This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

Bacon is good under any circumstances, but bacon in the oven is a game-changer. It’s easy and hands-off and consistent, and it works for a few or a crowd. Here’s how to cook it perfectly every time.

four slices of perfectly crisp thick cut bacon cooked in the oven on a plate
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why we love this recipe

Here’s the thing.

Bacon in the oven doesn’t splatter all over the weird spaces between the burners that you just wiped down like five minutes ago. It doesn’t talk back while you cook it.

It still makes your house smell like bacon, but somehow not for as long as the stovetop method. And it doesn’t need constant tending.

It understands its place to the point of being almost too humble. You’ll want to reassure it. “You complete me,” you’ll almost feel the need to say. How could it not know? Even the best among us don’t always know.

Why cook bacon in the oven

It’s usually a good idea. Here’s why:

  • It’s much more hands-off than stovetop cooking, leaving you free to flip pancakes, poach eggs, or sip a drink and chat.
  • If you’re cooking for a crowd, the oven can easily accommodate two pounds or more on two rimmed half-sheet pans.
  • It tends to cook nice and evenly
  • Splattering is minimal, and any splatters are contained to the oven rather than the stovetop and countertop
  • Somehow it makes the house smell like bacon in a good way, but not an overwhelming-all-week kind of way

Why cook it in a different way

There are a few instances where it’s better to cook bacon in a nonstick pan like this one or this one. (I rarely say “don’t use a cast iron pan,” but bacon cooks less evenly and can burn too quickly in spots when you use a heavy, heat-retaining pan like cast iron to make it.) 

Here are a couple of reasons I would choose a different cooking method:

  • If you’re only cooking a few slices, it’s not worth cranking up the oven.
  • If you’re making a recipe that will use the bacon fat to cook another ingredient in the same pan right after (like Quiche Lorraine or this risotto)

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the single ingredient you’ll need to make this recipe. (Psst…it’s bacon.)

a package of bacon

Sourcing bacon

  • You can use this method with absolutely any bacon that you like. I have three main sources: Whole Foods, FreshDirect, and ButcherBox.
  • For certain applications, like burgers, BLTs, grilled cheeses, and anywhere you want a true crumble, I prefer a slightly thinner option — but still a bit thicker than your standard supermarket brand.
  • Outside of those circumstances, I I always look for a nice thick cut.
  • Choose bacon that doesn’t have added chemical preservatives.

My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples

For years, I’ve been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.

I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they’re a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they’re mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a perfect batch of bacon in the oven. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Start with a bacon you really like. (Is that a tautology?)
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed half sheet pan.
  3. Bake until it’s as done as you like. Unless your oven is particularly uneven, there’s no reason to rotate the pan or flip the slices.
  4. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, then serve or use in recipes. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What’s the best oven temperature for bacon?

It’s flexible if you’re cooking other things at the same time, but I’ve found that 375°F is the sweet spot. At that temperature, the fat renders at just the right speed to let the slices sizzle away and crisp up perfectly.

Why such a wide range of cooking times?

I’ve given a wide range of baking time in the recipe card below. The thinner your slices, the more quickly they’ll cook. Also, “perfect” bacon is a matter of taste. Watch it carefully as it gets close to your desired doneness.

Should I line the pan with foil or parchment?

Using a piece of foil helps marginally with cleanup and also helps support the shape of thinner slices as they cook. That said, it’s truly not necessary, and I usually don’t do it.

Can I double this recipe for a large crowd?

Yes. To make bacon for a bigger crowd, place two sheet pans on oven racks the top and bottom thirds of the oven, and simply swap the position of the baking sheets about halfway through cooking time. 

Can I overlap the slices?

It’s okay to overlap slices slightly when placing them on your rimmed sheet pan, since they’ll shrink substantially during cooking. This is rare advice when roasting or baking, but it’s better to crowd bacon a little so it cooks in plenty of its own fat like it would on the stovetop, rather than spacing it out anemically.

Should I flip the bacon?

There’s truly no need to flip when cooking bacon in the oven.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

When I’m serving a big batch of bacon at breakfast or brunch, I always make it right before serving. Honestly, I use the aroma wafting through the house as a way to coax stragglers out of bed.

For other uses, it’s okay to cook the bacon in advance and reheat for a few minutes in the oven or for a few seconds in the microwave.

How to use it

In addition to the usual breakfast and brunch options, try using this recipe in:

four slices of perfectly crisp thick cut bacon cooked in the oven on a plate

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

four slices of perfectly crisp thick cut bacon cooked in the oven on a plate
4.94 from 16 votes

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Bacon in the oven is hands-off and consistent. I like to use applewood smoked bacon that's cut very thick, but you can use absolutely any type you like. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness, so watch carefully toward the end of cooking until you get a feel for how your oven and bacon work together.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound (454 grams) thick-cut bacon

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the center.
  • Line a rimmed half-sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment if you like. (I rarely do. It helps a bit with cleanup but isn't necessary.)
  • Arrange bacon in a single layer. If you have to overlap the slices just a little, it's okay — they'll shrink.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, more or less, until crisped to your liking. Watch carefully toward the end. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness.
  • Drain on paper towels and serve.

Notes

  1. I've given a wide range of baking time. The thinner your slices, the more quickly they'll cook — and "perfect" bacon is a matter of taste. Watch it carefully as it gets close to your desired doneness.
  2. Using a piece of foil helps marginally with cleanup and also helps support the shape of thinner slices as they cook. That said, it's truly not necessary, and I usually don't do it.
  3. To make bacon for a bigger crowd, place two sheet pans on oven racks the top and bottom thirds of the oven, and simply swap the position of the baking sheets about halfway through cooking time. 
  4. It's okay to overlap slices slightly when placing them on your rimmed sheet pan, since they'll shrink substantially during cooking. This is rare advice when roasting or baking, but it's better to crowd bacon a little so it cooks in plenty of its own fat like it would on the stovetop, rather than spacing it out anemically.
  5. There's truly no need to flip when cooking bacon in the oven.
  6. When I'm serving a big batch of bacon at breakfast or brunch, I always make it right before serving. Honestly, I use the aroma wafting through the house as a way to coax stragglers out of bed. For other uses, it's okay to cook the bacon in advance and reheat for a few minutes in the oven or for a few seconds in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.5g, Protein: 10.4g, Fat: 10.8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast and Brunch
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

More Recipes

Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.94 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. Hi Carolyn,
    I have always cooked bacon in the oven. So easy and no splattering as you said. It works even better if you just take the entire package of bacon as it comes out of the pack. Lay it in the center of your baking sheet. Once it begins to cook, then you separate it in a single layer. This keeps the bacon from curling! I often start with frozen bacon and do the same thing.

    1. Hi, Lynn! Great tip. I have done that with frozen bacon in a pinch but never thought to do it when it’s not frozen. Will give it a try! Thanks and have a great day.