How To Cook Bacon In The Oven So It's Perfectly Crisp
Mmm, bacon. It complements your egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich, makes for a mean mashed potato add-in, and skyrockets the flavor profile of your burger… but that's all dependent on how you cook the meaty strips. It's no secret that undercooked, pinkish bacon often gets the boot, while perfectly crisp strips are a one-way ticket to a pork lover's heart. Because there's no point of wasting calories on lackluster meat, we've enlisted the help of Pete Balistreri, Tender Greens Chef and VP of Stores, to shed his expertise on how to cook bacon. Below, you'll find his go-to tips and tricks.
How to cook bacon in the oven
Before pre-heating your oven, you must pick the perfect package. Balistreri recommends opting for pre-sliced center-cut bacon that's preferably thick-cut. Nitrate-free bacon is the way to go, he adds. (We like Applegate Naturals' uncured bacon.) Now that you know which pack to choose at the store, here's how to cook it to perfection.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cover the top surface of a half-sheet tray with foil.
- Place the sliced bacon on the foiled sheet tray. Do not overlap the bacon. There should be a bit of space between the pieces.
- Roast the bacon for approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove the sheet tray from the oven. Be very careful when pulling the tray out of the oven, as it will have rendered bacon fat into hot oil. Do not pull the tray out quickly and splash the bacon grease.
- Remove the bacon with tongs into your desired dish. Once the bacon is removed, pour the grease into a ceramic coffee mug to cool. Once cooled, the bacon grease can be poured into a trash bag.
Why should you cook bacon in the oven as opposed to using other methods?
You may be used to using a pre-heated skillet to crisp your breakfast protein, but Balistreri tells us that baking is the way to go. "Your kitchen will be saved from bacon grease splattered around your stove. Also, you can set it and forget it using a 20-minute oven timer as you focus on the rest of your meal," he says. "The perfectly roasted bacon slices can be used in a BLT, burger, or with your classic breakfast." Yum—we can't wait to try this foolproof method!