Who doesn’t love crispy, mouthwatering bacon? Whether it’s for breakfast, a classic BLT sandwich, or adding a flavorful crunch to your favorite recipes, bacon is a versatile culinary delight. Forget about the hassle of standing over a sizzling pan, because cooking bacon in the oven is the way to go. Not only is it incredibly easy, but it also guarantees perfectly crispy bacon every single time. Let’s dive into the enticing world of oven-cooked bacon!
The Magic of Oven Cooked Bacon
Just like air-fried bacon, cooking bacon in the oven is one of the best methods out there. Simply lay out the bacon strips on a baking pan, pop them in the oven, bake away, and voila! You’re left with irresistibly delicious bacon. The best part? No more mess and splattering like when frying it on the stovetop. Oven-cooked bacon requires no babysitting or flipping – just let it bake to perfection. Plus, you’ll still have plenty of bacon grease if you like to save it for other delectable creations. This crispy bacon is not only great for sandwiches, but it also adds a delightful touch to Caesar salads, mashed potatoes, and breakfast casseroles.
Bacon for All Tastes
When it comes to bacon, there’s a type for everyone. The most common one is American bacon, sourced from the pig’s belly and known for its fatty goodness. However, don’t hesitate to explore flavored options like maple or peppered bacon, as they also work wonders in the oven. If you prefer a thicker, heartier cut, go for thick-cut bacon. It’s about 1/8″ thick and may require a bit more baking time. And if you’re looking for a leaner alternative, turkey bacon is a suitable choice. Just remember to adjust the cooking time to ensure it stays moist and flavorful.
Preparing the Pan
Here’s another reason why cooking bacon in the oven is so convenient: no wire rack or cooling rack required. Personally, I find that baking bacon slices directly on the pan yields the best results. The fat helps the bacon crisp up beautifully. To make cleanup a breeze, I recommend lining the pan with foil and/or parchment paper.
The Simple Steps to Bacon Nirvana
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of cooking bacon in the oven. Follow these steps for bacon perfection:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Place the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake until the bacon reaches your desired level of crispiness (no flipping required), which usually takes around 20 minutes.
- Once it’s ready, remove the bacon from the pan and place it on paper towels to drain the excess grease.
For turkey bacon, arrange it on a baking sheet and cook for 11-13 minutes. If you’re using thick-cut bacon, stick to the same temperature but extend the baking time to a full 20 minutes. You may need to flip it and cook it a few extra minutes to ensure it’s evenly cooked.
Tips for Crispy Oven Bacon
Here are some pro tips to take your oven-cooked bacon to the next level:
- To make cleanup a breeze, line your rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper before placing the bacon on it.
- Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer for optimal crispiness. Overlapping pieces won’t cook as evenly.
- When cooking larger batches of bacon, use two pans and switch their placement after about 10 minutes. This way, you’ll ensure even cooking and may need to add a few extra minutes of baking time.
- Always preheat the oven before adding the bacon to the pan. This helps to achieve that perfect golden crispness.
Don’t Waste That Delicious Bacon Grease
If you’re like me and can’t resist the temptation of bacon grease, you’re in for a treat. After cooking, allow the bacon fat on the pan to cool for about 10-15 minutes before pouring it into a jar. This liquid gold can be stored and used to enhance homemade creamed corn, salad dressings, BLT pasta salad, or even for frying up a batch of eggs. And let’s not forget about the delightful bacon gravy you can create with it!
Storage and Delicious Ideas for Leftover Bacon
Although it’s hard to resist devouring all of the bacon in one sitting, it’s good to know that leftovers can be stored. Keep them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or freeze them for up to 2 months. The best part? You can use frozen bacon right away by thawing it for just a couple of minutes.
Now that you’re a bacon-cooking pro, put those delicious strips to good use. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Creamy BLT Dip
- Bacon Pancakes
- Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe
- Dill Pickle Bacon Grilled Cheese – my personal favorite!
- Warm Bacon Cheese Dip – the ultimate appetizer
- Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon
Have you tried cooking bacon in the oven? Share your favorite tips and experiences below!