The best way to cook bacon is to bake it in the oven! No splatter, no smoke, no pre-heating, and no headaches. Learn How to Cook Bacon in the Oven with my easy, mess-free method, plus how and why to save bacon fat!
8 ounces (8–10 strips) high quality bacon (center-cut or regular)
other equipment: rimmed half sheet pan, parchment paper, paper towels
Prepare dishes: Line a rimmed half sheet pan(affiliate link!) with parchment paper. Measure the paper to be slightly longer than the pan. This will help keep all the grease contained and reduce mess. Additionally, line a large plate with two layers of paper towels.
Arrange the bacon: Place 8-10 strips of raw bacon flat on the parchment lined sheet pan. The bacon strips can be touching, but not overlapping. The bacon will shrink considerably while cooking.
Cook the bacon: Place the pan into a cold oven and immediately set the temperature to 375F. Set a timer for the cook time depending on the thickness of the bacon. Thinner bacon will take 18-23 minutes. Thicker bacon will take 24-28 minutes. If you prefer crisper bacon, add another 2 minutes. Start with minimum cook times and watch carefully from there. All ovens vary slightly so it’s important to watch the bacon carefully towards the end. Remove the bacon from the oven when it is browned, sizzling, and appears crisp to your liking.
Plate the bacon: After removing the bacon from the oven, wait about 30 seconds for the sizzling to calm down. Use a fork or tongs to remove the bacon from the pan and onto the paper towel-lined plate. Use another paper towel to dab the bacon to remove additional grease – this helps the bacon crisp up nicely. The key is not to let the bacon sit in the grease after it comes out of the oven.
Serve & store: Let the bacon cool for at least 5 minutes (it will crisp as it cools), and then serve or use in a recipe as needed. Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use on sandwiches, salads or soups for up to 3-5 days.
Save the fat (optional): To save the bacon fat, first let it cool for several minutes to thicken. Carefully lift the parchment paper from the baking sheet and use the paper to funnel the grease into a mason jar or small bowl with lid (photo in post above). Strain if you wish (not required). Store this sealed jar of bacon grease in the fridge for up to 6 months.