How to Prepare Bacon in the Oven

I used to hate cooking bacon. I needed a really large pan or griddle, it made a huge mess of splattered and leftover grease to clean up, and there were only so many pieces you could cook at a time if you had a group to feed.

Enter oven-baked sheet pan bacon. You need to be doing this unless you have some kind of industrial flat-top in your home kitchen or don’t have an oven at all. Cooking bacon in the oven is much more efficient and requires less cleanup.

Set your oven to 400 degrees (F). It’s fine if it doesn’t preheat all the way before you put the bacon in, similar to letting bacon or sausage start in a cool pan.

Take your sheet pan and line it with aluminum foil, then a layer of parchment paper. If you don’t have the latter, it’s okay to go without but I think the parchment makes the bacon a little crispier. Note that a sheet pan has sides in order to catch the grease (do not use an open cookie sheet). The foil doesn’t have to completely cover the pan but should also form a little tray inside to catch the grease. You can skip the foil entirely but will have more cleanup.

Lay your desired number of bacon strips out flat on your pan until full. You can fill multiple trays as needed depending how much bacon you need and the number of pans you own. You can use any metal pan with sides you have (jelly roll, sheet pan, a rectangular cake pan even).

Put the bacon in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. Depending on the brand and thickness of bacon, this typically takes 15-25 minutes to cook. Remove the bacon from the oven when done to your liking, then move the bacon to another plate to drain the excess grease.

Let the pan cool (the grease may solidify), then dispose of the foil and parchment by removing the edges and rolling it up. Your cleanup is done, and you’ve made plenty of bacon!

Our favorite bacon brand is Nueske’s, which you can find in a couple grocery stores or butcher shops locally (for those of you in ATL, I’ve found it at Buford Highway Farmer’s Market and New York Butcher Shoppe). The taste is really excellent and the bacon is much leaner with less shrinkage versus other brands. You can otherwise order it online from their website. I typically order a lot of items and freeze some if ordering since the shipping is on the pricey side to cover the 2-day shipping with refrigeration packs. If I need to grab bacon at my local Publix, I typically pick up the Wright brand bacon.

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