This Is the Best Way to Cook Bacon and It Won't Make a Mess
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This Is the Best Way to Cook Bacon and It Won't Make a Mess

Jul 21, 2023

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Bacon is a true weekend hero, but it can be a greasy endeavor -- just ask your stovetop. Not so much if you make it this way.

Love bacon but not the mess? Try this method instead.

Bacon is the stuff dreams are made of. The cleanup? Well, that can be a greasy nightmare. While having to tackle an oil-splattered stovetop has never stopped me from cooking bacon, it does take the joy out of it a bit.

But there is another way: Making that big, beautiful slab of bacon in the oven means less grease, less mess and less of a pungent lingering bacon smell after. It also takes about the same amount of time as frying it in a skillet and gets even crispier.

Your trusty oven is by far the best way to make bacon, and if you use a wire rack to drain grease while it cooks, it's healthier, too. Here's all you need to know to cook perfect bacon without the mess.

For more kitchen hacks, you can also check out how to stop food from exploding in the microwave, and 10 foods you should never cook in your Instant Pot.

Here are my tips for cooking perfectly crisp bacon in the oven. Spoiler alert: There aren't many steps, and none of them take very long.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. I would avoid air fryer mode if your oven has it since the fast-moving air is more likely to blow grease around the inside. We're aiming for a mess-free scenario.

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or use a nonstick sheet pan for a more eco-friendly approach. If you're going the foil route, make sure the edges ride up the sides of the tray so the grease doesn't spill over the sides and down onto the tray.

If you're using nonstick bakeware, I prefer a ceramic sheet pan or tray but Teflon works well, too.

It's fine if the bacon strips touch since they'll shrink and shrivel while cooking.

Arrange bacon on the tray. They shouldn't overlap but it's fine if the slices are touching since they'll shrink down significantly while cooking. If you prefer super crispy bacon with a bit less grease, you can arrange the slices on a wire rack above the tray for the fat to drip down below.

Cook for eight to 10 minutes. Be sure to keep one eye on the bacon as some ovens run hotter than others. If you like your bacon crispy and well done, give it another few minutes. Remember, bacon does a lot of its crisping after it comes out and cools.

Now we're gettin' somewhere.

Drain the bacon on a sheet or two of paper towels. After a few minutes, you're ready to serve up those crispy strips with eggs, in a BLT or crumbled to fancy up boxed mac and cheese.

The best part? After cooking bacon in the oven, all you're left with after is a small ball of foil to be heaved effortlessly into the trash.

When cooking bacon in the oven, I love using a smaller countertop convection model. A large oven works just as well but takes longer to preheat and, dang it, we want bacon now.

The Ninja Double Oven and Breville's Smart Oven Air are two multifunction ovens that work well. Both are large enough that bacon grease won't splatter on the ceiling, but are small and powerful enough to preheat quickly and cook bacon to a crisp in under 10 minutes. (We've also got tips for how to clean your cast iron skillet and how to make boxed mac and cheese taste so much better.)

Preheat the ovenLine a baking tray with aluminum foil or use a nonstick sheet pan for a more eco-friendly approachArrange bacon on the tray.Cook for eight to 10 minutes.Drain the bacon