This guide is essential for making perfect bacon in the oven every time. I have two simple baking methods that you can use for either chewy or crispy strips.
Table of Contents
- Bacon selection
- Pan selection
- Cooking bacon on a sheet pan vs. a wire rack
- How to cook bacon on a baking sheet pan
- How to cook bacon on a wire rack
- How long to cook bacon in the oven
- Save the bacon grease
- How to store bacon
- How to reheat bacon
- Serve this with
- Ways to use bacon in recipes
- Frequently asked questions
- How to Cook Bacon in the Oven Recipe
This recipe is for all the bacon lovers of the world. Whether you enjoy a thick, chewy texture or more light and crispy pieces, this step-by-step guide for how to cook bacon in the oven will be your go-to resource. I’ve been using this oven-baked method for years, resulting in perfectly cooked bacon every time.
When baking bacon, there are two ways to cook it, straight on the baking sheet or on a wire rack. The differences are subtle, but connoisseurs will appreciate the changes in texture. Learn my tips for making golden and perfectly crispy bacon in batches so that you can feed a crowd or meal prep for the week.
Many types of bacon and sizes are available, from uncured, cured, hickory-smoked, applewood, and thickness. The selections are endless. It comes down to taste preference and crispiness factor: the thinner the bacon, the more crispy but also more delicate.
The thickness will affect the time it takes to roast. This recipe uses a standard cut (classic, regular, or average). However, heartier thick-cut and extra-thick cuts can be used but will require additional time in the oven.
Using rimmed baking sheets is highly recommended. As the bacon fat renders, it will pool at the bottom of the pan. There will be a huge mess if not contained in a pan with raised edges. I use a foil-lined baking sheet, typically thicker and wider heavy-duty foil that covers the bottom and goes up the sides.
Foil makes cleanup easy and reduces the chances of it cracking after roasting, which could leak onto the pan. Parchment paper can also be used but will require more cleanup. I always cover the pan, whether I’m baking directly on the sheet pan or a wire rack.
Cooking bacon on a sheet pan vs. a wire rack
- Baking Sheet Pan: When the bacon is cooked straight on the pan, it tends to be slightly chewier, since it’s frying directly in the fat. It will only become shatteringly crisp with a longer cook time.
- Cooling Rack: Bacon made on the rack takes about 5 extra minutes of cook time because it’s not frying in the hot rendered fat. The result is more crispy along the edges, lighter in texture, and has a slightly more wavy appearance. The only downside? More to clean.
How to cook bacon on a baking sheet pan
Line the baking sheet pan with foil, ensuring it covers the sides. Place the bacon in a single layer directly on the foil-lined sheet pan. Evenly space the bacon apart, and be careful not to overlap so that the protein is consistently cooked and doesn’t stick together. Roast at 375°F (191ºC) for about 20 minutes, flipping over towards the last 5 minutes for even cooking.
Look for deep golden, reddish color with a glistening surface and a small amount of fat running through the protein if you like some chew. The more fat rendered, the crispier the texture. Keep a close eye on the last few minutes because the bacon can go from crisp to burnt! Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess bacon grease.
How to cook bacon on a wire rack
Line a baking sheet pan with foil to make cleanup easier. Use an oven-safe wire rack. Avoid ones with a nonstick coating; this type can break down in the hot oven. Arrange the bacon on top of the rack, so they’re evenly spaced apart and don’t overlap.
Bake at 375°F (191°C) for 25 minutes, carefully flipping over after 15 minutes. It will take about 8 to 10 minutes for the bacon to cook thoroughly, and become golden brown, wavy, and crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess bacon fat.
How long to cook bacon in the oven
Cook time depends on the bacon’s thickness, cooking method, and oven temperature. I roast at 375ºF (191ºC) because it gently renders the bacon fat for even color and texture development. The temperature is high enough to kickstart Maillard browning for a stunning brown color and better flavor. This occurs when the surface of the bacon reaches 300°F (149°C).
- Standard Cut Bacon: About 20 minutes (on pan), 25 minutes (wire rack)
- Thick-Cut Bacon: About 22 minutes (on pan), 29 minutes (wire rack)
- Extra Thick Cut Bacon: About 24 minutes (on pan), 31 minutes (wire rack)
Save the bacon grease
Instead of tossing out the rendered bacon grease, save it! The flavorful cooking fat adds incredible richness when sauteeing vegetables like green beans, braised kale, or frying up eggs in the morning. The smoke point is moderate, similar to lard, around 370ºF (188ºC).
Don’t use it at very high cooking temperatures. Let the tray cool down, don’t let the fat solidify. It will harden once it cools to room temperature. Strain the grease through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth to catch any bacon bits. Refrigerate for up to 3 months, or freeze indefinitely.
How to store bacon
Now that you have a plate full of tasty bacon, you can devour it right away, or it can be easily stored once cooled in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Freeze in a single layer for up to 3 months, defrosting before using. Once you have some bacon available at all times, I’m sure you will be adding it to make the flavor pop in your dishes or as the star on the plate!
How to reheat bacon
Using the microwave is the quickest way to reheat a slice or two. Wrap in a paper towel, and reheat for 10 to 15 seconds, or until hot. Add to a pan on the stovetop over medium heat, and cook until hot on both sides. Warm slices on a foil-lined sheet pan in the oven at 350ºF (177ºC) for about 10 minutes.
Serve this with
Ways to use bacon in recipes
- Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Creamy Pea and Bacon Risotto
- Cobb salad
- Quiche Lorraine
Frequently asked questions
Bacon does not have to be flipped when cooked in the oven. However, it will make both sides more evenly crispy and golden brown. Not flipping exposes one side to just hot air making it chewier.
The bacon should be cooked in the center of the oven. Too close to the heating elements at the top will make the rendered fat splatter. Use cool bacon so that it can slowly come to temperature and render the fat. Avoid overloading the tray, especially when using thick or extra-thick-cut bacon with more fat. Line the edges of the sheet pan with an extra one inch of foil to prevent splattering over the sides.
Impact of roasting temperature
Higher oven-roasting temperatures of 400ºF (204ºC) will render the fat quicker, making the edges crunchier. This will make extra-crispy strips and reduce cook times. However, monitor carefully to prevent the bacon from burning and turning hard in texture. Roast directly on a foil-lined sheet pan for about 15 minutes, flipping over in the last 5 minutes. Increase roasting time by about 2 minutes for thick-cut, and 4 minutes for extra-thick-cut.
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How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- 8 slices bacon
- Preheat Oven – Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 375°F (191°C). Line a large sheet tray with foil.
- Roast Bacon – Place the bacon on the pan, ensuring the strips do not overlap—roast for 15 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and use tongs to flip the pieces. Rotate the pan and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.Alternatively, for extra crispy bacon. Place a wire rack on the sheet tray and the bacon on the top—roast for 15 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and flip the strips. Continue cooking for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Absorb Grease – Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease.
- Baking Sheet
- Storing: Bacon strips can be refrigerated in a resealable bag or air-tight container for up to 1 week.
- Reheat: Individual slices of cooked bacon can be wrapped in a paper towel and microwaved for 10 to 15-seconds, or until hot.
- Roasting at 400ºF (204ºC): Flip the bacon after 10 minutes of roasting, then cook until crispy. Directly on the sheet pan takes about 12 to 19 minutes. On a wire rack, about 19 to 27 minutes. Time is dependent on the thickness of the bacon.
- Saving the Grease: To use as a flavorful cooking fat. Once the sheet pan cools down, but the grease is still liquid, pour it into a bowl through a cheese-cloth-lined fine mesh sieve. Transfer to a jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 months, or freeze indefinitely.
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