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close up of perfectly cooked oven baked bacon strips on a parchment lined sheet pan

How To Cook Bacon in The Oven

Find out how to cook perfect bacon at home, every time. No more over cooked or,(even worse) unevenly cooked bacon strips. This step-by-step guide will show you how to cook bacon in the oven at home, which will result in less clean up, free up your time spent in the kitchen, and best of all produce perfectly cooked strips of bacon.

Who doesn’t love a few strips of perfectly cooked bacon for breakfast?  I know I sure do, though the kicker here are the words ‘perfectly cooked’. To often have I had breakfast while on vacation, or prepared by other people, and the bacon is just not cooked well. It is crispy in some parts, under cooked in others, and is often curled right up.The worst is when it’s served cold!

perfectly cooked oven baked bacon on a sheetpan

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The Secret To Better Bacon

One of the first things I learned when I was training to become a Chef, was breakfast cookery. Things like, learning how to cook a quiche, frying or poaching eggs, and making hash browns from scratch quickly became my everyday routine. Not that I minded, I could eat breakfast all day long! The one thing that really did jump out at me though was how restaurants and hotels cook their bacon.

I had always, cooked bacon in a frying pan on the stove at home. It’s how I had seen everyone else do it, and it made sense. It was fast, the bacon cooked fairly well, and I could reuse the pan to cook my scrambled eggs afterwards. So I was blown away to discover that the best way to cook bacon is to cook in in the oven.

That’s right, baked, in the oven, on a baking sheet.

The end result was simply beautiful. Perfectly cooked strips of bacon, without any of those under cooked, curled up parts. I was immediately sold on the method.

Benefits To Cooking Bacon In The Oven

There are two main benefits to cooking bacon in the oven as opposed to pan frying it.

  • you’ll save time spent cooking
  • the bacon strips cook much more evenly
  • bacon fat

The best part about cooking bacon in the oven, (at least for me), was the time it freed up in the kitchen. No more standing by the stove, constantly flipping slices of bacon. You could use the time while the bacon is cooking in the oven to make toast, fry your eggs etc, allowing you to get everything on the table that much faster.

When batch cooking bacon for meal prep, instead of watching over the bacon, you have at least 15 minutes to prep something else while the bacon does it’s own thing. You just have to set a timer to make sure it doesn’t over cook!

The other benefit to baking your bacon is that it cooks much more evenly. By baking the strips of baking on a baking sheet, the bacon itself is exposed to an even heat source as opposed to a frying pan which has hot spots etc. The bacon fat evenly renders out of all parts of the bacon at the same time, creating smooth, lightly crisped slices of porky goodness.

a glass jar of rendered bacon fat on an olive wood board

Finely the bacon fat that is rendered out on the bacon sheet can be strained and saved for use in roux, which is then used to thicken sauces and gravies, or used as an alternative to canola oil when pan frying meats and vegetables. 

How Long Do You Cook Bacon In The Oven For?

This depends on a few things, but generally speaking baking bacon strips takes about 12 to 15 minutes when cooked at 375F.

Variables that can impact the cooking time include:

  • the thickness of the bacon, (thicker bacon strips will take longer),
  • how fatty the bacon is, 
  • oven temperature
  • whether or not you oven is a conventional oven (no fan) or convection oven(has a fan to blow air around). Convection ovens run hotter, and will cook the bacon faster.

The first time you cook bacon in the oven at home, make sure to note how long it takes and then use that as your baseline for future batches. As a rule of thumb, bacon cooked at 350F will take 15+ minutes, bacon cooked at 375F will take 12-15 minutes, and bacon cooked at 400F will take 10 – 12 minutes.

Step By Step Guide To Cooking Bacon In The Oven

So let’s get to it!

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose your bacon. Ideally you want a good quality bacon that is evenly sliced, and doesn’t have thick sections and thinner sections. Note that thick sliced bacon will take quite a bit longer to bake in the oven then ‘regular’ bacon.

There are so many different kinds of bacon to choose from, that you really should just go with your personal preference here. Smoked, non smoked, flavored, traditional, or sodium reduced, all will cook fairly similarly in the oven.

Bacon that is flavored with sugar such as maple bacon can burn quite easily once the sugars start to caramelize, so keep an extra eye on it until you get the timing down! – Chef Markus Mueller

In this guide I am using a traditional smoked bacon of regular thickness, about 375 grams worth in total. Once you have purchased your bacon, it’s time to get cooking!

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375F and let it come up to temperature. As it pre-heats, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it with oil to prevent the bacon from sticking to the metal.
  2. Lay the bacon out in strips on the sheet pan, making sure they do not over lap. Avoid stretching the bacon while you do this to ensure even cooking. When tray-ing up the bacon, get creative and flip the slices around to completely fill the baking sheet while leaving no empty spaces. The slices can touch each other, just not over-lap.traying up raw bacon slices on a parchment lined sheet pan
  3. Once the oven is pre-heated, and the bacon tray-ed up, pop the baking sheet in the oven, and set a timer for 12 minutes. I like to set the timer a little lower because you can always cook the bacon for another minute or so if it’s not quite done, you can’t turn the clock back so to speak.
  4. When the timer goes off, remove the baking sheet from the oven, being careful not to burn yourself, there will be hot fat on the try.
  5. Remove the fully cooked bacon from the tray with tongs or a spatula, and allow any excess fat to drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately, or cool the bacon for use in meal prep.close up of perfectly cooked oven baked bacon strips on a parchment lined sheet pan

Do I need to cook the bacon on a wire rack?

You’ll see some recipes call for baking the bacon on a wire rack in your oven. This is by no means a ‘wrong’ way to do it, just different. When cooking bacon on a wire rack, the bacon strips don’t fry in their own fat. The fat simply renders out and drips down. Because the bacon isn’t being cooked in it’s own hot fat, it will also take a little longer to cook.

This results in a bacon that is crispy around the edges, a little lighter in texture, and has a wavy appearance.

If I batch cook bacon in the oven, how long will it last?

Cooking bacon in the oven in a large batch, or multiple smaller batches is ideal for meal prep. You can fully cook the bacon, cool it, and then use those bacon strips to make bacon bits, used on sandwiches and wraps, added to breakfast egg muffins, pasta dishes or soups, or just quickly reheated in a toaster oven or microwave to eat as is.

Either way you decide to eat it, pre-cooked bacon if stored in a air-tight food safe container, will last at least 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator.

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close up of perfectly cooked oven baked bacon strips on a parchment lined sheet pan
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How To Cook Bacon In The Oven

A simple step-by-step guide to cooking bacon in the oven at home. Learn how to do it, why the bacon cooks better, plus other interesting tips.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword how long do i cook bacon in the oven?
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 1404kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 375 grams regular sliced bacon

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 375F and let it come up to temperature. As it pre-heats, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it with oil to prevent the bacon from sticking to the metal.
  • Lay the bacon out in strips on the sheet pan, making sure they do not over lap. 
  • Once the oven is pre-heated, and the bacon tray-ed up, pop the baking sheet in the oven, and set a timer for 12 minutes. I like to set the timer a little lower because you can always cook the bacon for another minute or so if it's not quite done, you can't turn the clock back so to speak.
  • When the timer goes off, remove the baking sheet from the oven, being careful not to burn yourself, there will be hot fat on the try.
  • Remove the fully cooked bacon from the tray with tongs or a spatula, and allow any excess fat to drain on a paper towel. 
  • Serve immediately, or cool the bacon for use in meal prep.

Video

Notes

  • Avoid stretching the bacon while you do this to ensure even cooking. When tray-ing up the bacon, get creative and flip the slices around to completely fill the baking sheet while leaving no empty spaces. The slices can touch each other, just not over-lap.
  • I like to set the timer a little lower at first because you can always cook the bacon for another minute or so if it's not quite done, you can't turn the clock back so to speak.

Related Posts

A step-by-step guide on how to cook bacon in the oven. Perfect for meal prep, oven baked bacon, cooks more evenly, is easier to do then pan frying, and tastes better! #bacon #breakfast #mealprep #cookingtips

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2 Comments

  1. I learned to cook bacon in the oven from my cousin who managed a restaurant. She cooked it on the broiler pan, though, so the fat dripped away. I like the idea of letting the bacon render in its own fat, so I must try your method. It’s a great way to cook for a group!

    • It’s the only way I have ever cooked bacon ‘at work’…never done it on a broiler pan but I see the appeal having the bacon drip away. It does create a slightly different texture as well I have been told.

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