It is SO much easier baking bacon in the oven than to stand over a hot stove getting splattered with grease. And you can make a whole pan at a time, making it great for a crowd. You can even make it ahead! Let me show you how to bake bacon – it’s simple. Originally published June 4, 2017.
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Do you guys want to see what’s on my to do list every single day?
- eat breakfast
- sword fight with Truman
I call this my “preliminary to do list” because it’s all the things I want to do every morning before I do the things I actually have to do every day (my “real” to do list), like doing photo shoots for the blog and running errands and answering emails and, you know, stuff.
I’ve been looking back over my planner the last few weeks and just think it’s kind of funny/pathetic that showering is consistently on my to do list. On Thursday it didn’t get done until 5pm, that’s when you know it was a doozie of a day. But the bathrooms got clean!!
Also pathetic that playing with Truman is on my list. But it is. I was just reading this post about comparing yourself to others called How to Sabotage Your Life. It’s from Amy Lynn Andrews (who runs an online business like me–love her), and she writes:
“I’ve also had to review what I’m trying to do with my work in the first place. What really is my purpose here?
I started out with the idea I would supplement our income so I could preserve my freedom to stay home with my kids and pour into them. Somewhere along the line though, it seems that got flipped around. Many days, as I’m shushing them and telling them to “hold on a minute,” I realize it looks a whole lot more like my work is my focus and my children are secondary.”
Oh boy is this me. So. Sword fighting goes on the to do list. (And Charlotte stuff too of course, but she’s in school in the morning so not on the morning list.)
Do any of you working moms struggle with this? “What am I trying to do with my work in the first place.” My best friend Sarah started working from home within the last year. She got up to 20 hours a week freelancing (with legit $$) and then decided to quit just a few weeks ago. She says she feels so free. Sometimes I wonder what that would be like. I started my blog just after Charlotte was born, so I’ve had it as long as I’ve been a stay at home mom. What would my life look like without it?
I really don’t know! But I think that’s okay. I love this blog too much to imagine anything else. I’m trying to be zen about work-life balance lately. Letting more stuff go, and trying not to feel lazy about it. (Hence the totally random and off-schedule Sunday morning post (written Saturday night). Good morning everyone!!) I don’t want my kids to look back on their childhood and remember that my face was always shielded by a computer screen or a camera lens. My husband’s old boss used to say, work to live, don’t live to work. It’s so true!
The best way to Bake Bacon
But don’t you guys worry. I’m not going anywhere. I’m still comin atcha with:
10 Reasons you will love to Bake Bacon
- NO splatter! (Can you tell I’m bitter about the splatter thing?? I’ve been zinged one too many times.)
- You can make it ahead of time. See note below the recipe!
- You can make a ton of bacon all at once. And even microwave it later after it’s cooked! See note.
- You don’t have to babysit it. Throw it in the oven, set a timer, and get back to flipping pancakes on your freed up stove. (When are they going to invent baked pancakes already? Or actually never mind, Calvin already has a solution.)
- The strips of bacon are nice and straight. This is great for perfectionists, BLT’s, and the Grilled Cheese Eggs Benedict with Bacon recipe that I am posting next. IT’S AMAZING JUST YOU WAIT.
- No need to flip the bacon.
- No need to bake on a cooling rack. Years ago I read that you need to put bacon on a cooling rack and then put the rack on the sheet pan and then bake. (lots of recipes say this.) But cooling racks are a pain in the neck to clean grease off of, so I started doing it straight in the pan. Guess what, it works better. Think about it: bacon cooks in its own grease when you do it on the stove, right? It cooks faster. In doing research for this post, I saw lots of forums and comments where bakers were saying it was taking 20, 30, 40 (!) minutes to get the bacon crispy. I buy thick cut and it never takes more than 12-15 minutes. Leave that cooling rack in the cupboard. Cooking bacon in the oven is so fast!
- Bacon is so freezable. I mean when it’s raw. I always have it in my freezer. It’s super quick to thaw, just throw it in the microwave.
- Did you know that bacon is only 50 calories a slice? Eric read it off the package the other day and I didn’t believe him. That has nothing to do with the baking aspect, just a fun fact. Bacon for dayzzzz
- Buy high quality bacon. Just remember guys: IT’S WORTH IT.
Here’s the local bacon I buy. Made in Manteca CA, my hometown!
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
Here’s a quick overview of how to do it. Full instructions can be found in the recipe card below!
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line your pan with aluminum foil (optional).
- Lay out your bacon in one layer on the ungreased pan. Arrange the strips as close to each other as you can.
- Bake at 400 on the middle rack for 10-14 minutes depending on thickness and your desired crispiness level.
- When the bacon is done, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
What Temp to Bake Bacon?
I bake my bacon at 400 degrees. Some people go lower, some higher, but 400 degrees is the temperature I swear by for perfectly crispy bacon.
How to store Baked Bacon
Once your bacon is cooked, the texture is going to deteriorate if you refrigerate it. Of course, you have to, because it’s meat, so here’s what I recommend. Wrap the bacon in a single paper towel and then place it in an airtight container. When you want to reheat it, put that paper towel-wrapped bacon on a microwave safe plate and punch in your desired amount of time. The paper towel will absorb moisture from the bacon while in the fridge and while reheating and keep the texture more crisp (though of course nothing like straight from the oven).
Bake Bacon in the Oven FAQs
Nope! Just another reason cooking bacon in the oven is so easy. The heat from the oven circulates around and cooks the top and bottom at the same time.
Yes, absolutely. I never use parchment paper, just cook the bacon straight on the pan. If you want super easy clean up you can cover the pan with tinfoil, but it’s optional.
It is absolutely better in the oven (crispy! perfect! easy!), and here are the reasons why!
No flipping required. This means you are not standing over a hot pan getting your skin burned or your clothes stained with little sizzling pops of screaming hot bacon grease.
No burning the bacon. When you bake bacon in the oven, all sides of the bacon are getting heated up evenly at the same time.
No limit to the amount of bacon you can cook. Ok, I’m exaggerating. Your oven isn’t infinitely large. But you can definitely put two entire half sheet pans of bacon in the oven at the same time (one on the top rack, one on the bottom) and that is WAY more than you can do in whatever skillet you would have used.
No curling issues. I hate when bacon curls up in the pan, making some edges burn while others stay raw! This doesn’t happen in the oven.
Bake Bacon in Oven for these Recipes
Easy BLT Pasta Salad << this would be great for 4th of July parties!
Bacon and Goat Cheese Aioli Burger with Crispy Onions << yeah dude.
Cheesy Overnight Bacon and Egg Casserole << this ones really popular around here.
Overnight Bacon and White Cheddar Scones << I haven’t made these in forever, but guys, you brush the tops with bacon grease before they go in the oven. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
Bacon, Gouda, and Spinach Frittata << this one is healthy and delicious!
Deviled Eggs with Maple Candied Bacon << I adapted this process to make candied bacon on AMAZING deviled eggs
Oven Baked Bacon and Potatoes from Southern Plate
How to Bake Bacon in Oven
- any kind of bacon
- Sheet Pan
- aluminum foil, optional
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line your pan with plenty of aluminum foil for easy clean up. (Or don’t. I just wash the pan. No big deal.)
- Lay out your bacon in one layer on the pan. No need to grease the pan. Bacon is basically grease, so you’re good.
- Arrange the strips as close to each other as you can. Touching is fine, but don’t overlap. I usually can get 1 or 2 strips at the bottom of the pan, perpendicular to the rest.
- Bake at 400 on the middle rack. If you use regular bacon, it will take about 10 minutes. (I always buy thick cut, that’s going to be more like 12-14 minutes.) Either way, check on it after 10 minutes. Then set the timer again until it’s done to the crispiness level that you like. The darker it gets, the crispier it will be. Feel free to take one out and test it.
- When it’s done, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
- My rule for baking bacon is to always bake a full pan. If you need 4 strips for your recipe, you’re wrong. You actually need 4 strips plus 2 or 5 to snack on while you cook. (Seriously though, throw the rest in the fridge and eat it for breakfast tomorrow. You won’t regret it.)
- If you want your life to be amazing, funnel all the bacon grease you just made into a mason jar and store it in the fridge. Then use it next time you make the Best Pancake Recipe I've ever made. It keeps a long time in the fridge (several weeks.)