How to Bake Bacon

Cooking bacon in oven
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Everyone loves bacon (except for vegetarians) with good reason! This delicious, crisp, salty, sweet, and chewy meat is perfect in just about every recipe, from sandwiches to salads to desserts.

Baking bacon is an easy, mess-proof way to prepare this pork product. You don't have to turn it, deal with curling and twisting pieces, or handle spatters. It's also easier to get rid of the bacon grease using this method (or save it to make traditional gingersnap cookies!).

Here's how to bake bacon to get crisp and delicious results without the mess.

First, preheat your oven to 400°F if you're cooking thin, or regular cut bacon. If you want to bake thick-cut bacon, preheat the oven to 375°F. The lower temperature will ensure that the bacon cooks through without burning.

Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with sides with heavy-duty foil. Make sure the pan has sides or grease will drip all over your oven. Arrange the bacon on the pan, placing the pieces side-by-side, being sure not to overlap the pieces. In fact, leave a little space between the bacon slices so they have room to brown and crisp in the oven.

Don wrote me and said that to give the bacon that pretty 'ridged' look he wads and unfolds the foil first so it is wavy, then arranges the bacon on it. That technique also gives the fat somewhere to go so the bacon isn't sitting in the fat as it cooks. And this method shapes the bacon while it is baking.

Bake the thin-cut bacon for 12-17 minutes, or until desired doneness. I myself like my bacon very crisp, so I bake it for 16-18 minutes.

For thick bacon, bake for 10 minutes, then turn the bacon with tongs. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 12-17 minutes longer or until the bacon is browned. The bacon is done when the bubbles on it become smaller and it makes less noise.

That's a great way to tell when any food is done frying, actually! Listen for the reduction in noise.

Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven, drain the bacon on paper towels, and use in any recipe. Like these:

Bacon Wrapped Sausages
Spaghetti Carbonara
Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes