Cooking bacon in the oven is my absolute favorite method for perfect bacon. Not only can you cook a big batch of bacon strips at one time, but the result is perfectly crispy bacon every time.
Whether you’re making bacon fresh for breakfast, or you need to cook bacon to include in another recipe like our slow cooker white chicken chili with bacon or our crockpot chicken bacon ranch tater tot casserole, using the oven is the best way to get the job done.
The Benefits of Cooking Bacon in the Oven
There are SO MANY benefits to using the oven method for cooking your bacon!
Less mess! Avoid all those bacon grease splatters all over your stove with oven bacon. Using the oven, your bacon just sizzles away on the baking sheet until it’s perfectly crispy (or done to your liking).
More time efficient. This cooking method is the most efficient way to cook bacon, alleviating the need to stand by the stove flipping a few pieces of bacon at a time in your frying pan. Cooking a full pan of bacon let’s you multitask while the bacon cooks and results in all of your bacon being ready to go at the same time.
Evenly-cooked bacon, every time. Thanks to the way the oven gets hot air surrounding and cooking all parts of your bacon (even those parts that begin to curl up), you get more evenly cooked slices of bacon.
Easy clean up. When you line your baking sheet with aluminum foil, clean up is a breeze! Once you’ve transferred your bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, just let the excess grease sit on your foil-lined baking sheet until it solidifies. Then all you need to do is gently fold the aluminum foil in on itself to encapsulate the grease and toss everything into the garbage.
Great when serving a crowd. If you’ve having friends or family over for brunch, this is definitely the easiest way to get bacon on the table along with the rest of your meal.
Ingredients & Equipment Needed
The only ingredient you need for oven baked bacon is…bacon! Pick your favorite type of bacon (this method works for both thin cut bacon and thick cut bacon).
Helpful Tools & Equipment Include:
- Large Rimmed Baking Sheet. Having a large cookie sheet with edges is a must for oven cooked bacon. This prevents the bacon fat / grease from running off of your tray.
- Aluminum Foil. Lining your baking pan ensures an easy clean up. Aluminum foil is my favorite way to do this because you can wrap it up the sides of the pan, keeping the grease off of your pan. In a pinch, you can also use parchment paper.
- Paper Towels. You’ll need paper towels to help remove excess grease off of your bacon. Paper towels are the perfect tool to soak up the fat, ensure there isn’t too much grease leftover on your bacon for the most enjoyable eating experience.
- A plate. It’s easiest to line a plate with paper towels to transfer your bacon to after cooking. Just grab a standard dinner plate.
- Tongs. You’ll want to use tongs to remove the hot bacon off of the baking sheet to transfer it to your paper towel lined plate. Tongs make for easy grabbing and transfer, and help you avoid burned fingers.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 2: Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, making sure to wrap up the sides of the pan.
Step 3: Place the strips of bacon in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they’re not overlapping. It’s okay if the edges are touching, just be sure you don’t have your bacon strips on top of each other.
Step 4: Place the pan of bacon into the preheated oven. Begin checking on your bacon at the 10-minute mark (baking time will vary oven to oven), but plan for 15-20 minutes of cooking time total.
Step 5: Once cooked to your liking, remove from the oven.
Step 6: Promptly transfer the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate, and blot the excess grease away. You can also do this by pressing the bacon between paper towels.
Step 7: Serve and enjoy!
Possible Dietary Restrictions?
While plain bacon is gluten free and dairy free, some brands may contain flavorings or additives with gluten or contain trace (or sometimes significant) amounts of dairy-derived ingredients. If serving your bacon to someone with a dietary restriction, be sure the label confirms the bacon you’ve chosen meets your requirements.
Get crispy bacon with thin bacon or thick bacon by altering the cooking time. No matter what type of bacon you choose, you can get wonderfully crispy bacon. If you’re cooking thicker bacon, you may need to add a few extra minutes to your cook time. Just be sure to keep a close eye on your bacon as it nears the end of the cooking window, and leave the baking tray in a couple of minutes longer if your bacon has not reached your desired crispiness level.
A single layer of bacon, where the slices have a small gap between them, makes the best bacon! If your bacon slices are overlapping, those sections of bacon will not cook as nicely, resulting in sections of chewy bacon… not ideal. Give your bacon enough space to cook on all sides for the best results.
Check on your bacon at the 10-minute mark, and rotate the pan if necessary. It’s always a good idea to take a peak at your bacon part way through the cooking process to see if there may be any uneven cooking from hot spots in your oven. Rotate the pan if one side begins to look more done than the other.
Have more bacon than will fit on one pan without overlapping? Spread them out across two pans! I’ve found especially for 16 ounce packages of thin cut bacon, we need to use two pans. No big deal! Place your bacon side-by-side without overlapping on both pans, and simply rotate your pans halfway through cooking (swapping which oven rack they’re on). Easy peasy.
Storage & Reheating
Store cooked and cooled bacon in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the fridge for up to one week. You can also freeze cooked bacon that has been completely cooled for up to 4 months in a freezer safe zip-top baggie or airtight container if desired.
What’s the best temperature to cook bacon at?
Bake bacon at 400°F. You may have seen recipes recommend baking bacon at other temperatures or starting the bacon in a cold oven, but I’ve found that placing bacon into a preheated, 400°F oven is the best temperature for baking bacon. Begin checking on your bacon at the 10-minute mark, but pan for 15-20 minutes of cooking time total. The timing will depend on your oven temperature, the thickness of your bacon, and your preferred level of crispiness.
Does It Matter Which Side of Aluminum Foil Is Up?
Unless you’re using a specific variety called out to be non-stick, then no, it does not matter if the shiny side or flat (sometimes called the dull) side is up.
Do You Need to Flip Bacon When Baking?
No, you do not need to flip bacon when baking it in the oven. Just another reason to love the ease and deliciousness of oven-baked bacon!
Do You Cook Turkey Bacon the Same as Regular Bacon?
Technically, yes, you should be able to cook turkey bacon with this same method with a good result. However, after a lot of research, it seems to get crispy turkey bacon there are two main recommendations. Either place the turkey bacon on a wire rack on top of your lined baking pan to allow the air to circulate all the way around it OR prep your turkey bacon the same way as regular bacon on a lined baking sheet but flip it half way through the baking process.
Can You Use Bacon Grease to Cook?
Yes! Bacon grease is good for sautéing and baking, and can add a rich, smoky flavor to dishes. Try it for frying eggs or hashbrowns, searing meats, adding some bacon flavor and meatiness to sauces and gravies, or to add a savory touch to baked goods.
If you’d like the save the bacon grease from your baked bacon to use for cooking, simply pour the rendered fat that has cooled slightly (but is still liquid) into a sealable glass container to cool completely. Store the bacon grease in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Tasty Recipes that Use Crispy Bacon
Recipes to Pair with Oven Baked Bacon
📖 Oven Cooked Bacon
- 1 12 – 16 ounce package of your favorite bacon (thin or thick cut)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, making sure to wrap up the sides of the pan.*
- Place the strips of bacon in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they’re not overlapping. It’s okay if the edges are touching, just be sure you don't have your bacon strips on top of each other.
- Place the pan of bacon into the preheated oven. Begin checking on your bacon at the 10-minute mark (baking time will vary oven to oven), but plan for 15-20 minutes of cooking time total.
- Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, transfer the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate, and blot the excess grease away. You can also do this by pressing the bacon between paper towels.
- Serve and enjoy!