Cooking bacon is an art form, with so many ways to turn slabs of perfectly made meat into crispy masterpieces. And the method you choose is up to you: In a skillet, oven, or even cooked over the campfire, like one of our favorite Instagrammers showed off recently.
One of the advantages of cooking bacon in the oven is the ease of cooking a whole pound at once, with the help of a handy baking sheet. But if it’s your first time cooking bacon in the oven, there are a few tricks to remember.
- Perfect Temperature
Every oven is different but the standard advice for cooking bacon in the oven is to crank it to about 400°F. Definitely test yours to find the best temperature, and try and start with just a few pieces so you don’t wreck the whole batch.
- Proper Pan
Use a full sheet pan if you want to cook a full package. If your oven has hot spots, half-sheet pans are a good call, as they’ll let you have a little more control over where to put them in the oven.
Repeat after us: I will use a pan with a rim. Bacon grease is a delicious fact of life, so higher edges mean no scalding bacon grease lining the bottom of your oven or burning you in transfer.
- Lining Up
As bacon cooks, it releases sugars and grease and all sorts of goodness around it. If you don’t line your pan, all that goodness will hang out for eternity (or until you spend some scrubbing time) on your pan. So, whether you choose aluminum foil or parchment paper, pick something to cradle your bacon!
- Ventilation is Key
If you’re cool with a little chew to your bacon, then placing your bacon directly on the pan (and its liner) is aces. But if you want to make it crispy, place a rack between your bacon and the liner. This will help air move around the bacon and keep the bacon out of the grease as it cooks.
- Timing is Everything
Again with the oven differences…. Depending on your oven, your bacon may be ready in 15 to 20 minutes, or it could take less. Start checking in on it around 12 minutes and remember that it will crisp a little after you take it out. Which takes us to the last step…
- Let it Breathe
Just like all meat, yours will benefit from a little R&R after you finish cooking it. Once you pull the bacon out of the oven, you can let it rest on a cooling rack (or the rack you cooked it on, if you used one), or pull it off with tongs and lay it on paper towels to finish crisping and stop sizzling.