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Easy Oven Bacon: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

4.6 stars (21 ratings)

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Transform your breakfast game with the ultimate bacon hack: cooking it in the oven. No more grease splatters, no flipping required. In just a few simple steps, we’ll show you how to achieve the perfect crispy or chewy bacon every time, along with expert tips and creative seasoning ideas to elevate your morning routine.

3 slices of crispy oven bacon on a black plate

Easy Bacon for a Crowd

Bacon. We all love it. It makes everything from burgers to beer cheese taste better and it 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? Easy oven bacon is a real thing! It’s so simple. I started making bacon this way over ten years ago, and now whenever I need more than two slices, it goes in the oven. Whether I am making bacon twists, bacon weaves, or plain bacon strips, oven bacon is seriously simple cooking!

The best part of making perfect oven bacon is that you don’t have to flip it, and all the splatters are contained inside the oven. Oven bacon is perfect when you’re hosting a big breakfast or brunch or anytime you are cooking for a crowd because you can quickly and easily cook large amounts.

A package of bacon on a cutting board and a baking sheet

What You’ll Need

There is literally just one ingredient you need for this recipe – bacon. You can buy thick-sliced bacon wrapped up in brown paper from the butcher, grab thin-sliced bacon from the fridge section at your local grocery store, or anything in between.

  • Bacon – While I usually opt for classic pork bacon, you can also use this method for turkey bacon or vegan bacon strips. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the packaging.

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The only two items you really must have to make oven bacon are an oven and rimmed non-stick sheet pans. They must be rimmed to contain the bacon grease. The non-stick aspect prevents the need for an added liner that can affect cooking times and create more mess. A half sheet pan size fits the average American oven, but you can opt for larger or smaller pans as needed.

Some people swear by using fitted racks, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. Personally, they don’t get me better results and can make the cleanup more complicated, more on that further down. It’s totally up to you whether or not the extras are worth the time, money, and effort.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

This recipe is so simple – even easier than frying up a package of bacon!

Uncooked bacon on a baking sheet
  1. Arrange the bacon. Arrange the bacon on a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Cook the bacon. Place the baking sheet in a cold oven, turn the oven to 375ºF for chewy bacon or 400ºF for crispy bacon, and cook until done to your preference.
  3. Drain. While the bacon is in the oven, line a plate, cooling rack, or large cutting board with a few layers of paper towels. Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, transfer it to the paper towels to drain and cool. Then serve and enjoy!

How Long to Cook for the Best Chewy Bacon

How long to bake bacon depends on the thickness of the bacon and your preference for its chewiness. To get the chewiest bacon, we use a lower oven temperature of 375ºF. This allows us to cook lower and slower than the common recommendations for crispy bacon. If you are using very thin bacon and the edges are still getting too crispy, you could drop the temperature to 350ºF. These times are estimates, and your oven may vary, depending on how quickly it heats up. 

  • Thin-sliced chewy bacon – Start in a cold oven and cook for 12 to 15 minutes
  • Thick-sliced chewy bacon – Start in a cold oven and cook for 18 to 25 minutes.

How Long to Cook for the Best Crispy Bacon

Unlike chewy bacon, getting the crispiest bacon requires a hotter oven and slightly longer cooking times. The higher temperature will help to engage the Maillard reaction more quickly, crisping up bacon strips and building layers of flavors. It’s easier to get the crispiest bacon with thin slices, but you can also do this with thick-sliced bacon. These times are estimates, and your oven may vary depending on how quickly it heats up. 

  • Thin-sliced chewy bacon – Start in a cold oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Thick-sliced chewy bacon – Start in a cold oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.

Baking Sheets and Optional Liners

When it comes to how to prepare the baking sheet for your bacon, you have a few options. Some people swear by lining their baking sheets, while others (me) swear by cooking directly on the pan. I’ve tried multiple methods and found that each one gives slightly different results. There is no one correct way to do it. Take what I’ve learned and choose for yourself.

3 baking sheets -one plain, one with a rack and the other with foil
  • Non-stick baking sheet with no rack or foil. This is my personal preference. I find it to be the easiest of the options. The cleanup is straightforward, with no foil or parchment to fiddle with. The direct exposure between the metal pan and the bacon allows better heat transfer and quicker cooking times. As it’s non-stick, the bacon is easily released from the pan with the help of a metal spatula, and any baked-on bits soak off quickly in soapy water.
  • Baking sheet with rack. For extra crispy bacon, this is a great option. It allows more air circulation around the bacon, so it gets a little crispier than it would while frying in its own bacon grease. However, it’s a pain to clean the rack. Since I’m not on a mission for ultra-crispy bacon, the rack is never worth the cleanup effort for me.
  • Baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. This used to be my go-to option before I switched to a non-stick baking sheet. Both foil and parchment prevented my bacon from sticking, but it also created a mess. The bacon grease would always seep under the liner making nearly as much mess as cooking directly on the baking sheet. It slowed down the cooking rate, and I ended up with more trash, as the greasy foil or parchment cannot be recycled. Granted, I didn’t have to scrub the pan, but I still had to clean up the grease and wash it.

Oven Baked Bacon Tips

For the best, perfectly cooked baked bacon, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Do not preheat the oven. An important (if not unusual) part of this recipe is that you should be putting the pan into a cold oven. A hot oven (or hot pan) causes the bacon to shrink up, while a cold oven allows those bacon strips to stay longer and flatter. Pay attention to how quickly your oven heats and adjust the cooking time as needed.
  • Bake in a single layer. The slices of bacon should all be in a single layer. They can be touching but not overlapping or they will not cook evenly. Use multiple pans and rotate them halfway through if needed.
  • Drain before serving. Bacon is not a sponge, so it won’t absorb the fat that renders out during the cooking process. However, pork fat (aka bacon grease) is solid when cool, so if you let the bacon cool while sitting in the fat it will stick to the bacon in white globs. To prevent this, while the bacon is still hot, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels and blot away any excess grease before serving.
6 slices of oven bacon on a black tray

Cleaning Up Leftover Bacon Grease

Whenever you make bacon, you are going to be left with the rendered bacon grease. To quickly and easily handle the mess, clean it up while it’s still warm and liquid.

If your intention is to discard the bacon grease, carefully drain the grease from the pan into a coffee mug or ramekin and allow it to cool. Once solid, wipe the bacon grease out of the mug and into the trash using a silicone spatula or paper towel. You can then wash the pan with minimal effort. NEVER discard bacon grease or any other cooking oil down the drain.

If you wish to save the bacon grease, use it to add extra flavor when sauteeing onions and garlic, frying homemade omelets, or swap it in for the cooking fat in any recipe that would benefit from the flavor of bacon. Instead of draining the bacon grease directly into a coffee mug, run it through a strainer to remove any bacon solids and store it in a resealable container. Glass canning jars work well. Store it in the back of your fridge and use it as needed.

Seasoning the Bacon

As you know, bacon is plenty flavorful itself and needs no extra seasonings. However, it can be fun to try something different and experiment with new flavors – especially if you’re adding bacon to sandwiches or salads!

For savory options sprinkle on dried herbs and ground spices that you would normally find in pork sausage. A combo of sage, thyme, rosemary, and fennel mimics breakfast sausage, while garlic, onion, oregano, and basil will give it a flavor profile similar to Italian sausage. You can always spice it up with cayenne pepper or jalapeno pepper.

Looking for something a bit sweeter? Try rubbing the bacon with a combination of warming spices like cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, or go for a spice blend like pumpkin spice or apple spice. One of my favorite combinations is to mix three parts brown sugar with one part garam masala.

Whether you do or don’t add extra spices to your bacon, be aware that you do not need to add salt! Bacon is naturally salty due to the curing process it undergoes to turn pork belly into the bacon we love. So while adding some cracked black pepper is a nice touch, any additional salt is unnecessary.

3 strips of baked bacon on a black plate

Serving Suggestions

Serve this baked bacon just as you would any bacon! It’s perfect served next to some eggs and toast or pancakes at breakfast, piled on sandwiches or salads, or chopped and stirred into tonight’s chicken pasta dish. Bacon is a great way to add a little salty, savory taste to nearly any meal.

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3 slices of crispy oven bacon on a black plate

Easy Oven Bacon: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Transform your breakfast game with the ultimate bacon hack: cooking it in the oven. No more grease splatters, no flipping required. In just a few simple steps, we'll show you how to achieve the perfect crispy or chewy bacon every time, along with expert tips and creative seasoning ideas to elevate your morning routine.
4.6 stars (21 ratings)
prep: 5 minutes
cook: 15 minutes
total: 20 minutes
servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon

Instructions

  • Optional: If using, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or a rack.
  • Arrange the bacon in a single layer, so that it’s just touching.
  • Place the bacon into a cold oven, then heat it to 375ºF for chewy bacon or 400ºF for crispy bacon.
  • Once the oven is heated, check bacon for doneness and adjust the time accordingly.
  • For chewy bacon in a quick heating oven, expect around 12 – 15 minutes for thin-sliced bacon and 18 – 25 minutes for thick-sliced bacon.
  • For crispy bacon in a quick heating oven, expect 18 – 20 minutes for thin-sliced bacon and 25 – 30 minutes for thick-sliced bacon.
  • Use a metal spatula to loosen the bacon from the pan, then remove it from the pan to drain on paper towels before serving.
  • For easy cleanup, carefully pour warm liquid bacon grease into a resealable glass container, using a silicone spatula to scrape the pan, and allow it to cool and solidify. Use paper towels to wipe the remaining bacon grease from the pan prior to washing. Leftover bacon grease can be used in place of cooking oil or other fats. DO NOT pour bacon grease down the sink! If discarding, dispose of it in the trash.

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Notes

Ovens heat at different rates. A slower-heating oven will do more cooking while it’s heating and will take less additional time to finish.
If using more than one pan, about halfway through (or after the oven is preheated), swap the top of the pan for the bottom to promote more even cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slicesCalories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 26gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1273mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @reneenicoleskitchen or tag #reneenicoleskitchen!

For the step by step version of this recipe, check out the Perfect Oven Bacon Story.

About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

More about Renee

17 Comments on “Easy Oven Bacon: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven”

  1. Sorry to be dense. Do you start the timer when you put the bacon in the oven, or when the oven comes to the set temperature? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • I start the timer when I put it in the oven. Not every oven will heat at the same rate and it’s easier to check it early and add time than it is to over cook and try to rewind time. The bacon should be placed in a cold oven, but if you put the bacon in and don’t set a timer, you may forget to set one at all and end up with over cooked bacon. YOu can always add time as needed after that first timer goes off.

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I always cook bacon this way- DELICIOUS! I use thick cut bacon but mine cooks on 425* for about 35 minutes ( we like it crispy). I use large aluminum sheet pans from the dollar store. No mess! Just toss the pan when finished!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I always cook bacon this way- DELICIOUS! I use thick cut bacon but mine cooks on 425* for about 35 minutes ( we like it crispy). I use large aluminum sheet pans from the dollar store. No mess! Just toss the pan when finished!

    Reply
    • What a great suggestion Rikki!! If I cooked our bacon that long I think my husband would go to the store for more! Haha! That’s the beauty of making a recipe your own – you get exactly what works for you and your family.

      Reply
  4. I don’t know why I haven’t been cooking bacon in the oven until recently! It’s much easier with less grease splatter. Now I need to switch it up add add some tasty flavors like you suggest! Yum!

    Reply
  5. Everything is better with bacon, right? I do such a low fat diet almost all the time, and bacon is a huge weakness. I love using the oven, and seldom remember to do it that way! Great post!

    Reply

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