Oven bacon is by far the quickest, cleanest, and easiest way to cook bacon for a crowd. Once you try it, it’s hard to go back to using a skillet on the stovetop.
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Bacon. We all love it. It makes everything taste good and goes with, well, almost anything. What do we all hate about bacon? Cleaning up the kitchen after frying it on the stovetop. Those little bits of popping oil go everywhere!! What’s worse is when they pop onto your skin and leave behind a nasty little burn.
What if I told you that you could get great bacon without using the stovetop? It’s true and so simple. I started making bacon this way about 3 years ago and now if I ever need more than 2 slices it goes in the oven. We are talking seriously simple cooking in the kitchen today!
The best part of making oven bacon is that you don’t have to flip it, which means any seasoning stays on the bacon where it belongs. You can enhance the sweet or the savory and get a bacon that pairs perfectly with whatever you may be serving.
To get this oven bacon party started you need bacon and a baking sheet. If you want you can add extra seasonings, aluminum foil, or an oven safe cooling rack, but they aren’t required.
I prefer thick cut bacon but any thickness will work with this method. Thinner bacon cooks faster, but the oven temperature remains the same. You can get your bacon straight from the butcher, you can buy it pre-packaged, or get fancy and order a Bacon Connoisseurs Sampler from Burger’s Smokehouse. It’s up to you.
Next you need a baking sheet. I am currently in love with this set of 2 Calphalon jelly roll pans. They cook evenly and consistently, which is very important for getting all of your bacon done at the same time. A 12″ x 17″ pan comfortably holds a pound of thick cut bacon. If you opt for thinner bacon you’ll have more slices in a pound so you may need a larger pan or more than one to fit it all.
The optional aluminum foil is a great way to reduce cleanup, but if you want to recycle it you’d have to clean the foil which defeats the purpose. Being that we are in a major drought out here, I’d rather use the foil and save the water, but you can make the decision for yourself.
Our next optional item is the oven-safe baking rack. Mine was not available during this photoshoot but it’s a great addition if you have one. The cooling rack lifts the bacon up and out of it’s own grease, resulting in a crisper bacon that isn’t floating in grease. I use a lot fewer paper towels with the cooling rack.
To start, grab your baking sheet and line it with the aluminum foil (if using). If you foil isn’t as wide as your pan, crimp the sides up to make a pan within a pan and keep the bacon grease from running out once it turns liquid. Place the oven-safe cooling rack on the baking sheet. Lay the bacon out in a single layer on the cooling rack (or aluminum or the pan itself depending on your preference.) It’s okay it if touches.
If you want to season the bacon now is your chance. I love a sweet and savory spice combination when it comes to bacon. My go-to for sweet are brown sugar, maple syrup, and molasses. For savory spice look to a hint of red chili pepper, paprika, cumin, garam masala, cracked black pepper, or even a couple jalapenos.
The picture below is bacon rubbed with one of my favorite combinations: garam masala, black pepper, and brown sugar! Your options are only limited by your creativity, but be careful not to over do it. FYI, bacon doesn’t need extra salt.
Place the bacon into a cold oven and set it for 365 degrees. Yes, a cold oven. Let thick cut bacon cook for 10 minutes (thinner bacon for 7 minutes) then turn the pans around. If using more than 1 pan, swap top for bottom as well. Set the timer for 5 additional minutes, then check it. If it’s not done continue to cook checking every 2 – 3 minutes. Thick bacon usually takes 18 minutes while thin takes about 12. It also depends on your oven. An oven that takes longer to preheat will take longer to cook.
When the bacon is done to your liking, remove from the oven and drain on paper towels as necessary. Serve the oven bacon up hot and refrigerate leftovers to use on sandwiches, salads, or other items throughout the week!
Have you ever tried making oven bacon before? Have you ever seasoned bacon with additional spices at home? Let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends!
Oven bacon is by far the quickest, cleanest, and easiest way to cook bacon for a crowd. Once you try it, it's hard to go back to using a skillet on the stovetop.
5 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 1 lb of bacon
- brown sugar, maple syrup, paprika, chili powder, garam masala, etc
- Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil (if using). Crimp the sides up if needed to make a pan within a pan and keep the bacon grease from running out once it turns liquid.
- Place the oven-safe cooling rack on top of the baking sheet (if using).
- Lay the bacon out in a single layer. It can be touching and will shrink a bit while it cooks.
- Season if desired.
- Place the bacon into a cold oven and set it for 365 degrees.
- Let thick cut bacon cook for 10 minutes (thinner bacon for 7 minutes) then turn the pans around. If using more than 1 pan, swap top for bottom as well.
- Set the timer for 5 additional minutes, then check it. If it's not done continue to cook checking every 2 - 3 minutes. Thick bacon usually takes 18 minutes while thin takes about 12.
- Drain on paper towels prior to serving if desired.
12" x 17" baking sheet
aluminum foil (optional)
oven safe cooling rack (optional)