Up until I landed my first kitchen job at the age of 18 I thought the only way to cook bacon was sandwiched between paper towels in the microwave. It was a simple task I could assist with when I was younger and up to that point, I thought it was the best way to cook bacon. It was fast, efficient, and didn't require constant monitoring like when you cook it in a skillet on the stovetop. I thought cooking bacon in the microwave was supreme until I learned how to cook bacon in the oven. My entire life changed in that moment.
While working a breakfast shift, I was instructed to place 25-30 pieces of thick cut bacon in a single layer on cooling racks perched on top of baking pans. Fifteen minutes later the bacon slices were cooked and crispy, and the bacon grease laid underneath on the pan. The sun wasn't even fully up yet and I felt like I had witnessed a miracle.
How To Cook Bacon In An Oven
Today I use a similar approach, however, add in one more element to help with easy cleanup. Cleaning up bacon grease splatter wasn't an issue back when I used an industrial dishwasher, however, it is a bit of a pain in a home kitchen. Because of this, I add a layer of nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper on the bottom of the large baking sheet pan and top with a baking rack.If you want to make your bacon sweet, add on some brown sugar or maple syrup.
Once the crispy bacon is done, all I have to do is let the bacon fat cool and crumble it in the aluminum foil or parchment paper. Perfect bacon and easy clean up? Yes, please!
How Long To Bake Bacon
So you have your rimmed baking sheet ready and your oven pre-heated to 400℉. Now it's time to bake some bacon strips. Depending on the thickness of the bacon, baking bacon can take 12 - 20 minutes to cook to your desired crispiness. This big batch way of cooking oven baked bacon is great for brunches that require a lot of bacon.
What To Do With Leftover Cooked Bacon
Seem to have a bit of leftover bacon after serving brunch to your friends? Baked bacon can stay fresh for up to one week refrigerated in a container. Use it for BLT sandwiches, adding a savory note to plates of pasta, and snacking. There are a ton of bacon recipes on the web, so it won't be hard to use up leftover baked bacon.
This post was originally published in September 2020.