You may already know that you can bake bacon instead of frying it, but it was news to me a few months ago. Total game changer. The bacon takes just as good as when it’s done in the frying pan and it’s so much cleaner. It’s also easy. And you get some time off while the bacon is in the oven—-no babysitting the pan on the stove and getting an occasional burn when the bacon pops.
On the rack or on the bottom of the pan
I make this in a baking pan with a rack (they typically run $15-$30) so that the grease drips, staying away from the bacon. That said, you can also line a pan with foil and put the bacon directly on that. With that method, the bacon cooks more like it would in a frying pan, and with the foil, there is minimal cleanup.
Cold oven or preheated—-“squeezy” or crisp
Set the oven to 400⁰—-you can put the bacon in while the oven heats up or wait until it’s fully heated. Either way works. The overall difference is that the bacon will be a bit chewier (with more visible fat—-“squeezier,” our kids used to say) if you put it in when the oven is cold.
The bacon above was regular (vs thick) cut. The strips cooked in the cold oven (on the right) took 21 minutes; the strips in the preheated oven (on the left) took 17 minutes.
- Turn on the oven to 400⁰.
- Line the bottom of the pan with tin foil.
- Place the bacon on the rack so that the slices aren’t touching each other.
- Bake for 17-22 minutes, checking every few minutes. Cook time will depend on the thickness of the bacon and individual ovens.