The best (and cleanest) way to cook bacon
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Bacon is a mainstay of my weekend life, as I’m sure a lot of people are. I guess during the week too, if we’re being honest here; but when I enjoy bacon on the weekends, I go and cook them one package at a time. In a frying pan, on a hot plate, in the oven. I have tried most of the conventional methods and am here to share the best way to cook bacon in the oven. On a cooling rack. On a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
As you can see in the image below, a 12-ounce package of Trader Joe’s Un-Dried Apple-Smoked Bacon contains nine strips and they all fit nicely on a rack placed on a standard half-pan (the Nordic Ware branded version is the best, by far – never buckling). The cooling rack is key, of course, as it allows hot air to circulate all around the slices to ensure crispy bacon and no slice sag in its own fat.
The method could not be simpler:
- Preheat your oven to 400 ° F / 200 ° C. (To be completely honest, I also started with a cold oven; just add time on the backend accordingly.)
- Line your half baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (optional, but this will make cleanup a lot easier).
- Place your cooling rack on the baking sheet and arrange your bacon slices. You can keep them close together as they will shrink during cooking.
- Bake 18 to 20 minutes if, like me, you like crispy bacon. If you like your bacon softer, start checking around the 15th minute. Be aware that the bacon will get a little crispier as it cools.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let cool for a few minutes, carefully remove each slice with tongs (no need to drain them on absorbent paper), and enjoy! (Maple syrup optional, but fully encouraged.)
- Premium: If the idea of eliminating bacon fat haunts you, feel free to toss the cubed potatoes in the remaining oil with salt, pepper and paprika, and roast to your liking (about 20 30 minutes).
No dangerous oil splash while cooking bacon! Full access to the stove top to take care of other important breakfast favorites like eggs and pancakes! What’s not to love about this hands-off process? (This is certainly a rhetorical question.)