Oven Cooked Bacon

Learning how to cook bacon in the oven will change your culinary life – you’ll never go back to the stovetop again!  This almost entirely hands-off method results in shatteringly crispy, evenly cooked, regular or thick cut bacon without the sputtering mess of the stovetop – then just toss the foil when you’re done (NO messy wire rack needed)! Cook as few or as many slices as you like (great for entertaining), or save some to pull out for eggs, omelettes, sandwiches, salads, burgers and more!

Watch How to cook bacon in oven

bacon in oven lined on a parchment paper lined baking sheet


 You need to try Cooking Bacon in the Oven!

  • CRISPIER!  You will be shocked by how crispy bacon in the oven gets without the risk of burning it!
  • EASY HANDS OFF COOKING: Pop the bacon in the oven and let it do its thing – SO easy! No need to stand over a hot stove, flipping each slice individually.
  • ZERO MESS: No grease splatters on the stovetop, countertops or backsplash to scrub away. Oven bacon also produces less smoke, keeping your kitchen (and smoke alarms) happy.
  • CLEANUP IS A BREEZE. Throw the foil away after cooking and you’re done!
  • COOK TO VARIED CRISPINESS: Whether you prefer your bacon crispy or chewy, cooking in the oven allows you to achieve any desired texture without fuss, and customizable within a single batch!
  • BATCH COOKING: Need to feed a crowd for birthdays, holidays, etc.? No problem! The oven can accommodate two large batches of bacon at once, making it ideal for brunches, parties, or meal prep.
  • MULTI-TASKING FREE HANDS: While the bacon sizzles away in the oven, you’re free to multitask in the kitchen making pancakes, crepes, French toast, etc. or take a well-deserved break.
  • KEEPS WELL:  Prepare a batch of bacon, then store it in the fridge for up to a week to enjoy, as needed, in sandwiches, eggs, salads, etc.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE FLAVOR: Experiment with different seasonings or glazes to add your own twist to classic bacon: sweet, spicy, savory – the possibilities are endless! (See Variations Sections)
cooking bacon in oven lined on a baking sheet showing how far to space the bacon
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What you’ll need for Oven Baked Bacon

  • Bacon: Any type of bacon will work in this recipe. Classic bacon (thinner cut) and thick-cut bacon both become shatteringly crispy! The only bacon that doesn’t get quite as crispy is center thicker cut bacon. The fat will render beautifully but it still has more chew.
  • Rimmed baking sheet: You can use any size baking sheet depending on how many slices you’re cooking at once. However, the baking sheet MUST be rimmed in order to trap the bacon grease and not cause a smoking oven. A typical 13×18 half baking sheet will hold about 10 strips of bacon without overlapping.
  • Foil: Line the baking sheet with foil all around the rimmed edges so you can just toss it after cooking for easy cleanup.
  • Parchment paper: I have tried cooking bacon in the oven directly on foil and with foil lined with parchment paper on top. Parchment paper surprisingly makes the bacon much crispier and more flavorful, so please use parchment paper on top of your foil!
  • Paper towels: The cook bacon in oven needs to drain on paper towels to remove excess grease in order to remain crispy.
  • Tongs: The bacon will be super hot coming out of the oven, so use tongs to transfer it to the paper towels so you don’t burn yourself.

Bacon in Oven variations

Cooking bacon in the oven is versatile, feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations and seasonings to create your own unique bacon recipes! Here are a few recipe variations you might enjoy:

  • Maple Glazed Bacon: Brush each bacon strip with a mixture of maple syrup and a dash of black pepper before baking. The maple syrup adds sweetness and caramelizes beautifully in the oven.
  • Spicy Sriracha Bacon: Mix together Sriracha sauce, brown sugar, and a touch of soy sauce. Brush this mixture onto the bacon before baking for a sweet, spicy kick.
  • Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon: Coat each bacon strip with brown sugar before baking. The sugar caramelizes in the oven, creating a sweet and crispy coating on the bacon.
  • BBQ Bacon: Brush each bacon strip with your favorite barbecue sauce before baking. The sauce adds a smoky, tangy flavor to the bacon.
  • Candied Bacon: Sprinkle each bacon strip with a mixture of brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper before baking. The sugar caramelizes, creating a sweet and spicy candied bacon.
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning Bacon: Sprinkle each bacon strip with everything bagel seasoning before baking. The seasoning adds a delicious blend of flavors, including garlic, onion, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.
  • Parmesan Crusted Bacon: Mix together grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder. Press this mixture onto each bacon strip before baking for a cheesy, savory flavor.
up close of cooking bacon in the oven showing how crispy the slices get

 How to Cook Bacon in Oven

Let’s take a closer look with step-by-step photos at how to cook bacon in oven (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Prep pan. Line a baking sheet with foil, then top with parchment paper. Parchment paper will make the baked bacon crispier than foil.
  • Step 2: Add bacon. Line bacon in a single layer without overlapping.
showing how to cook bacon in the oven by lining raw bacon in a single layer in a parchment lined baking sheet
  • Step 3: Cook bacon. Cook bacon until it reaches your desired crispiness. For thin cut bacon, I cook for 20 minutes, flip and cook an additional 5 minutes. For thick cut bacon, I cook for 20 minutes, flip, then cook an additional 10 minutes. HOWEVER, every oven is different, so dial in what works for your oven.
showing how to cook bacon in the oven by cooking until crispy
  • Step 4: Drain bacon. Transfer the bacon in a single layer to a parchment paper lined wire rack.
showing how to cook bacon in the oven by draining on paper towels
  • Step 5: Cleanup. Let the bacon grease cool and harden, then crumple the foil around it and discard – that’s it! OR save the bacon grease for another purpose.

Tips for Cooking Bacon in Oven

Follow these tips, for perfectly cooked bacon in the oven every time!

  • Room Temperature Bacon: Remove the bacon from the oven while you preheat the oven. Room temperature bacon helps it cook more evenly and prevents it from shrinking excessively in the oven.
  • Pat Dry: Before placing the bacon on the baking sheet, pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This helps the bacon crisp up better in the oven.
  • Use Parchment Paper: I have tried both parchment paper and foil and it’s surprising how much crispier, more flavorful and quicker the parchment paper makes the bacon! DON’T USE WAX PAPER! It’s not heat resistant and the bacon will stick.
  • Don’t Overlap: You can line the bacon snug together, but don’t overlap or it won’t get as crispy.
  • Adjust Baking Time As Needed: The cooking time will vary between individuals, so be flexible! Variables included the thickness of the bacon, moisture content of the bacon, number of slices, actual oven temperature, and desired crispiness. Check the bacon early at 15 minutes, but be prepared to lip and continue to cook as needed.
  • Watch Closely: Every oven cooks differently and every bacon brand is different, so PLEASE keep a close eye on the bacon as it cooks, especially towards the end of the cooking time. Bacon can go from perfectly crispy to burnt very quickly!
  • To Cook Two Pans: With this method, you can cook up to two pans of bacon at a time, simply increase the cooking time by a few minutes. When cooking two pans at once, rotate the top and bottom pans halfway through cooking.
  • Bacon Will Continue to Crisp: The bacon will get crispier once it’s removed from the oven, so take this crisp carryover into consideration when deciding whether or not to pull the bacon from the oven.
  • Carefully and Quickly Transfer Bacon: Don’t let the bacon sit in the grease while it cools, or it will become soggy. When it comes out of the oven, carefully transfer it to paper towels using tongs – be careful, the grease can burn you!
  • Save the Bacon Grease: Once the bacon is cooked, you can save the rendered bacon grease for future cooking. Let it cool slightly, then carefully pour it into a heatproof container and store it in the refrigerator for later use in recipes like frying eggs or sautéing vegetables, in dry beans, green beans, sautéing onions and other veggie dishes.
  • If Your Oven Smokes: It’s a sign your oven probably cooks hot or isn’t clean. The bacon should sizzle and simmer, but not splatter. If it makes a mess, try reducing your oven temperature next time.

How to serve Oven Cooked Bacon

Oven baked bacon is the ideal side to practically every breakfast from eggs to pancakes and elevates salads, sandwiches and more! Here are a few ideas:

up close of oven bacon cooked until crispy

Oven Bacon FAQs

Do you flip bacon in the oven?

The thickness of your bacon will determine whether or not it needs to be flipped in the oven. If you are cooking paper thin bacon, it is not necessarily to flip. However, most bacon benefits from flipping, ensuring it cooks evenly on both sides and therefore is supremely crunchy through and through. Thicker bacon is best if cooked for 15 minutes, then flipped every 10 minutes afterwards, until crispy on both sides.

How do you cook bacon in the oven without drying it out?

To cook bacon in the oven without drying it out, cook it at a higher temperature, about 400 degrees F, so the bacon becomes crispy quicker before all the juices dry out. Also, take care not to overcook, the bacon will crisp up more after it’s removed from the oven.

Can I use foil instead of parchment paper for bacon in the oven?

Yes, you can use foil instead of parchment paper for cooking bacon in the oven, however, I find the bacon does not get as crispy. I prefer to line the baking pan with foil for easy cleanup, then top it with parchment paper for the crispiest, most flavorful bacon.

How much bacon fits on a baking sheet to bake?

A 13×18 half sheet will fit about 10-12 slices of bacon. Take care not to try and squeeze the bacon in.  It’s perfectly fine for the slices to be touching, but not overlapping.

Can I double the oven cooked bacon recipe?

Absolutely!  Use two baking racks to cook double the amount of bacon, typically 20 slices.  Bake the bacon per recipe instructions, in the top third and lower third of the oven, rotating the pan positions in the oven about halfway through. You will likely need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Do I need to use a wire rack to cook bacon in oven?

Nope!  Using a wire rack when cooking bacon doesn’t result in crisper bacon – just look at the photos!  Additionally, bacon can stick to the wire rack and it’s a pain to clean. You will achieve shatteringly crispy bacon by cooking the bacon directly on parchment paper instead, so the rendered fat can accumulate around the bacon slices, resulting in slightly crispier edges and a more indulgent mouthfeel.

What are your favorite brands of bacon?

The thick cut bacon pictured in the plate photos is Hempler’s bacon and the thin cut bacon shown in the majority of the photos is Kirkland from Costco – both get super crispy (mine took 25 and 30 minutes).  Other great brands include Neuske’s, Niman Ranch, and Applegate.

Is it healthier to cook bacon in the oven?

No, oven bacon baked directly on the baking sheet is not healthier because the grease still accumulates around the bacon.  If you’re looking for a healthier option, cook the bacon on a greased baking rack placed in a backing sheet, so the excess fat can drip away from the bacon slices as they cook.

Why is my bacon cooking faster or slower in the oven?

Several factors can affect the cooking time of bacon in the oven:
1.     Thickness of the Bacon: Thicker slices of bacon will take longer to cook than thinner slices. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the thickness of the bacon you’re using.
2.     Type of Bacon: Different types of bacon, such as regular, thick-cut, or pre-cooked bacon, may have different cooking times. Follow the instructions on the packaging or adjust the cooking time based on your experience with that particular type of bacon.
3.     Oven Temperature: Variations in oven temperature can affect the cooking time of bacon. Make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature as specified in your recipe, and consider using an oven thermometer to ensure accuracy.
4.     Placement in the Oven: The position of the bacon in the oven can impact its cooking time. Bacon placed closer to the heating element may cook faster than bacon placed further away. The bacon should be bake din the middle rack. Rotate the baking sheet or adjust the position of the bacon as needed for even cooking.
5.     Bacon Moisture Content: The moisture content of the bacon can affect its cooking time. Bacon that is more or less fatty may cook at different rates.
6.     Crowding on the Baking Sheet: Overcrowding the baking sheet with bacon slices can result in uneven cooking. Make sure the bacon slices are spaced apart evenly on the baking sheet to allow for proper air circulation.
By paying attention to these factors and making adjustments as needed, you can achieve perfectly cooked bacon every time.

How Do You Cook Bacon in the Oven Without Smoking the House?

Your oven should not smoke when cooking bacon unless it is already dirty because it’s the grease that can causes smokiness and not the bacon.  Cook the bacon on a rimmed bacon sheet so grease doesn’t splatter/drop into the oven and use a clean oven/clean it regularly.

showing how to serve oven baked bacon on a plate




©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

showing how to cook bacon in the oven by cooking until crispy

Oven Baked Bacon

Learning how to cook bacon in the oven will change your culinary life – you’ll never go back to the stovetop again!  This almost entirely hands-off method results in shatteringly crispy, evenly cooked, regular or thick cut bacon without the sputtering mess of the stovetop – then just toss the foil when you’re done (NO messy wire rack needed)! Cook as few or as many slices as you like (great for entertaining), or save some to pull out for eggs, omelettes, sandwiches, salads, burgers and more!
Servings: 10 bacon slices
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

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  • Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet (including the sides) with foil for easy cleanup. Top with parchment paper (bacon gets crispier with parchment). You may prep and cook 2 sheets at once.
  • Add Bacon: Line the parchment with desired number of strips of bacon in a single layer without overlapping (as little as you like, or typically can fit up to 10-12).
  • To Cook REGULAR BACON: Bake regular bacon for 12-15 minutes, then check for doneness. Flip if needed (I always do), and continue to bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until it reaches desired crispiness. For paper thin bacon, it might be done in as little as 10 minutes, so watch carefully! If baking two racks at once, rotate their positions halfway through baking.
  • To Cook THICK CUT BACON: Bake thick cut bacon for 20 minutes, then check for doneness. Flip if needed (I always do), and continue to bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until it reaches desired crispiness, flipping every 10 minutes. If baking two racks at once, rotate their positions halfway through.
  • Drain: Using tongs, transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate or wire rack in a single layer. Let cool slightly, then serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for later use (See Notes).
  • To Save Grease: Let the bacon grease cool for a few minutes, then strain into a paper towel lined sieve placed over glass storage container (like Mason jars). Refrigerate for future use.



To Store

  • Make ahead: Follow the storage below, then just pull out slices as needed to use cold in sandwiches, salads, etc. or reheat per instructions below.
  • Storage:Store bacon in an airtight container in a single layer with paper towels on the top or bottom. I wrap mine “accordion style” by placing a slice at the end of a paper towel, then wrapping, adding another piece, folding over, adding another slice, folding over, etc., then placing in a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator for up 7 days.
  • Freezing:  Place the cooled bacon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and flash freeze until firm. Once frozen, transfer the bacon slices to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Properly frozen, oven-baked bacon can last in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. When ready to use, reheat the bacon in the microwave, oven, or skillet until warmed through.

To Reheat

  • Microwave: Place the desired amount of baked bacon on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels on the top and bottom. Microwave on high in 15-30 second increments until heated through to your liking. Be careful not to overheat, as bacon can become rubbery if cooked for too long in the microwave.
  • Oven: Reheat on a foil lined baking sheet at 350°F for 5 minutes, or until warmed through. Keep an eye on the bacon to prevent overcooking.
  • Skillet: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place the baked bacon slices in the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until heated through and crispy again.
  • Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the baked bacon in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

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  1. A says

    For another variation, dredge your bacon in flour and bake. It gives it a slight coating, similar to ‘battered’ fries

    • Jen says

      Yum, that sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!