Here's how to cook bacon in the oven. Baked bacon is the best and easiest way to make crispy bacon without the mess.
The best way to cook bacon is in the oven. It's the easiest way to make bacon. And you don't have the mess from cooking it on top of the stove. You just put in the oven it and it basically cooks itself.
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How to cook bacon in the oven
There are a lot of variations on the oven cooking method—with a rack, in a preheated oven, or at different temperatures. I've tested many different ways, and this is the way I get the best results every time.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment and space the bacon strips out on it. You don't need to use a rack. I find the bacon cooks better without it. The bacon “fries” in the bacon fat it gives off in the bottom of the baking sheet. Lay the bacon out in a single layer leaving a little room in between the slices. You can usually get 8 – 10 slices on the baking sheet.
What temp to cook bacon in the oven
For this method of cooking bacon, you'll be starting with a cold oven. Do not preheat the oven. Just place the baking sheet in the cold oven and set the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake until the bacon is brown around the edges. This usually takes 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how quickly your oven comes up to temperature and the thickness of the bacon. I like to use thinner slices, they get a little crispier.
Leave the baking sheet on a cooling rack for the bacon grease to cool down. Once it's cool enough to handle, pour the bacon fat into a jar and save it to use for cooking.
What type of bacon to use
Using additive free bacon means your rendered bacon fat is not full of processed food chemicals. This is especially important if you're going to use the bacon fat for cooking. And you definitely should—it adds incredible flavor to whatever you cook with it.
Always make sure you use good quality bacon with no additives. Ideally, the ingredients should be just pork and salt. You can look for pastured bacon from a local farm. Or US Wellness Meats makes a great sugar-free bacon that is Whole30 approved.
You can also look for organic bacon in the grocery store. Just be sure to check the label and make sure you are okay with all the ingredients. I have yet to find a packaged organic bacon that doesn't have a small amount of sugar used for curing, but I will sometimes use it in a pinch.