How to Cook Bacon in the Oven | Yummly

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Don’t fry your bacon. Bake it! Master one of life’s favorite pieces of meat with our resident bacon expert’s easy tips and step-by-step instructions.

No-Mess Sheet Pan Bacon; photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

If you have 30 people coming over for brunch, I’m here to tell you that there is a better way to make a lot of bacon than frying it up one skillet at a time on the stovetop. Follow our tutorial and bake your bacon in the oven instead. Less mess, less fuss, less effort, and better results await. 

Why trust my bacon advice? Allow me to present my bacon credentials. With a couple of friends, I founded Baconfest Chicago, an annual chef tasting festival celebrating America’s favorite cured meat. For a dozen high cholesterol years, hundreds of chefs and thousands of bacon fans convened at our event for a true bacon-alia, sampling creative bacon dishes from countless bacon culinary geniuses, drinking bacon-laced cocktails, enjoying bacon poetry recitations and bacon songs, dressing up in bacon costumes, and admiring bacon sculptures. Was there a bacon-wrapped scale model of the Sears Tower being circled by a bacon-wrapped propellor plane? There was. Did we go through an estimated 8,000 pounds of Nueske’s bacon at each of our largest festivals, enough to lay out a bacon strip that could line a marathon course? We did.  

I’ve seen bacon reduced to a powder, made into cotton candy, transformed into a sausage, baked into bread, whizzed into a milkshake, stretched into bacon-maple taffy. I’ve eaten bacon creations that would boggle your mind, make the hairs on your neck stand up, and delight you with sheer bacony bliss. All this is to say that I know a thing or two about making bacon for a crowd. So, ignore the saturated fat content: Let’s bake bacon!

Jump ahead to:

Frequently asked bacon baking questions >>

Step-by-step: How to bake your bacon In the oven >>

Get the recipe: No-Mess Sheet Pan Bacon >>

Bacon recipes to use up all that bacon! >>

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Frequently asked bacon baking questions

Let’s set the record straight about cooking bacon in the oven

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

What is the best bacon to use?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my contact with bacon fanatics, it’s that taste in bacon is highly personal. I like my bacon smoky and made from great local pork bellies; you may prefer the thick cut bacon slices you get at Costco. The good news is, whatever bacon you like, the oven-baked bacon method will work and provide terrific results without the splatter. 

Will this method work for turkey bacon? 

Yes, the oven-baking method will work for turkey bacon, though you might need to cut the cooking time a little. 

What about nitrate-free bacon?

There’s a lot of scary stuff out there about the risks of eating bacon and other cured meats that are full of carcinogenic nitrates / nitrates. My research has led me to the conclusion that no matter what the label says, there’s not really any such thing as nitrate-free bacon. Even bacon advertised as nitrate-free or “uncured” is usually treated with celery juice, which contains high levels of organic nitrate. Although the FDA allows the label to call it uncured, this putatively healthy product is still packed with the nitrates and nitrites that give bacon its tantalizing pink color and delicious cured flavor. If you don’t want nitrates, I’m afraid you’ll have to pass on the bacon.

What temperature do you cook bacon in the oven?

I found 375ºF to be the sweet spot. You may need to go a little lower for thick cut bacon or a little higher for extra crispy. 

How do you know when the bacon is done?

Our step-by-step instructions say 20-25 minutes, but bacon doneness is highly subjective. The bacon you consider perfectly crispy may seem hopelessly burnt to someone who likes a more chewy strip. You’ll want to keep an eye on the color and texture of your bacon toward the end of the baking. Pull it when it’s just a shade lighter and a touch floppier than you like. After you blot and cool the bacon, it’ll darken and crisp a bit. 

How do you make crispy bacon in the oven?

Add five minutes! 

What about a wire rack? 

Some recipes call for you to bake your bacon on a sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack. In my experience, that didn’t work better. Bacon cooked on a rack on a pan took longer to bake, stayed floppy and tasted worse than bacon cooked on tin foil directly on the sheet pan. Bacon tastes best when cooked in its own rendered fat. 

Step-by-step: How to bake your bacon in the oven

This method is a game changer. Try it out and see just how easy it is to make crispy bacon for a crowd.

Step 1: Line a sheet pan with foil and preheat your oven to 375ºF

Use the heaviest-duty rimmed baking sheet you have and line with heavy-duty aluminum foil. That’ll keep the fat off the pan and make cleanup a breeze. Parchment paper can also work if you prefer, though my roll of paper isn’t big enough to keep the bacon fat off of the baking sheet. 

Step 2: Arrange your bacon

Put as many strips as you can in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. It’s OK to crowd a little, the bacon strips will shrink substantially as they cook, but you don’t want them to overlap.

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Step 3: Bake, bake it baby

Place your pan in the middle baking rack of your oven and let ‘er rip. You can bake multiple sheets at once if you like, just make sure to rotate your pans mid-bake so they all get evenly cooked. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Step 4: After 20 minutes, check the bacon

After 20 minutes of baking time, check the bacon. If it’s one shade lighter than you like and one degree chewier than you prefer, take it out of the oven. If it’s nowhere near your preferred doneness, stick it back in for another five minutes and check again. It may take 30 minutes of total time or more, depending on the thickness of the bacon. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Step 5: Remove bacon and blot excess grease with paper towel 

Remove the slices of bacon to a paper towel-lined plate with a pair of tongs. Blot between two layers of paper towel to remove the excess bacon grease.

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Step 6: Wait a minute!

Your bacon will crisp up a little more after it cools for 30-60 seconds, so give it a minute to reach peak bacon. 


Step 7: Save the fat (optional)

Many great chefs keep a little vat of bacon grease next to the stove. Next time you need to pan-fry something, you’ll have the option to grab a dollop of bacon fat instead of vegetable oil or butter. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Step 8: Enjoy! 

You did it. Your bacon is perfect. Remove the foil and toss it in the garbage for easy cleanup. No sweating over a hot stove or monitoring multiple skillets. You’ve made bacon for a crowd. 

Get the recipe: No-Mess Sheet Pan Bacon 

Yummly Original

This is the Yummly original recipe for oven-baked bacon and the reviews are in: People love this method!

Bacon recipes to use up all that bacon!

Bacon is great on its own or next to a plate of scrambled eggs, but if you limit yourself to bacon for breakfast, you’ll miss out on a world of options. Here are a few recipes to get your bacon imagination flowing. Maybe you’ll even host your own personal Baconfest. 

Lyonnaise Salad

This salad is a classic for a reason. In this rendition, you can pop your bacon into the oven at the same time as you're prepping the rest of the salad and avoid the mess of frying up pork fat in a skillet.

Spaghetti Carbonara


Another timeless classic that takes the quintessential bacon and egg combo to new heights of culinary greatness. 

Maple Bacon Donuts

Cliché? Maybe! But crispy bacon atop a maple-glazed long john or round donut is a treat few can resist. 

Bacon Waffles

Back at the breakfast table, we’re putting the bacon IN the waffles. Side dish no more, this easy recipe makes bacon the star of the waffle show. 

Quiche Lorraine

Bacon, eggs, and cheese in a delicate pastry shell — quiche Lorraine is just as good for dinner as brunch. 

Bacon Bean Soup

I like bacon in my beans. This rib-sticking stew makes for a hearty bacony dinner. 

Loaded Mac and Cheese

Carbonara too fussy for you? Make it American with this loaded bacon mac n’ cheese. 

Best Clam Chowder

Bacon and clams go together even better than bacon and eggs — the salty brine of the seafood is a lovely complement to the salty pork fat in this creamy soup. 

Classic BLT Sandwich

When it’s the height of tomato season, there’s no better way to eat bacon than in a BLT. 

More meat lessons

Master oven-cooked bacon, then master more meat skills, from perfect meatballs, to the juiciest steak or droolworthy St. Louis spareribs.

How to Make the Perfect Meatballs

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How to Make the Best St. Louis Spareribs

Why St. Louis is the best cut, plus the easiest bbq rub, bbq sauce, and techniques to create smoky, sweet and tangy, lip-smacking, fall-off-the-bone ribs