Oven-baked bacon is the best (and easiest!) way to get crispy, delicious bacon every time. This will be your new go-to method for making bacon!

Cooked Bacon on Speckled Plate

There’s nothing quite like the smell of bacon sizzling in the kitchen. But as much as we love bacon, the traditional method of cooking it on the stove (or griddle) can be a messy and time-consuming process. That’s where cooking bacon in the oven comes in!

It’s a simple technique that requires less hands-on attention, creates less mess, and delivers consistent results every time. And after years of cooking bacon the messy way, this is now our go-to method of preparing it.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to cook bacon in the oven, including step-by-step instructions, tips and tricks, flavor variations, and creative ways to use your perfectly cooked bacon.

Oven Baked Bacon on Plate with Grey Napkin in Background

Why Cook Bacon in the Oven?

Before we jump into the step-by-step process, let’s discuss why cooking bacon in the oven is the best method (in our opinion!):

Less Mess: Cooking bacon in a frying pan often results in grease splatters all over your stovetop, countertops, and even your clothes. Baking bacon reduces splatters and keeps your kitchen cleaner.

Consistent Results: It’s easier to achieve evenly cooked, consistently crispy bacon when cooking it in the oven. This is especially true for large batches or thicker cuts of bacon.

Hands-Off Cooking: When you bake bacon, you don’t need to stand over the stove, flipping and monitoring the bacon constantly. This frees up time to prepare other dishes or simply relax with a cup of coffee.

Effortless Cooking for a Crowd: If you’re hosting a brunch or preparing a large family breakfast, baking bacon is a lifesaver. You can cook multiple batches at once without the need for multiple frying pans or batch frying. Everyone gets to enjoy their bacon hot and crispy at the same time, making it the most stress-free and efficient method when cooking for a crowd.

Raw Bacon Slices on White Plate

What Do You Need to Make Oven-Baked Bacon?

Baking bacon in the oven couldn’t be easier and doesn’t require a lot of supplies. Here’s a short list of tools and equipment to gather before you get started:

Bacon the star of the show! Choose whatever type of bacon you prefer. Keep in mind thick-cut bacon will require longer cooking times.

Baking Sheet – a large, rimmed baking sheet. The rimmed edges prevent grease from spilling over, making cleanup easier and reducing the risk of oven fires. We prefer heavy-duty baking sheets as they don’t warp as easily. And if you’re cooking for a crowd, these oversized sheet pans are the best!

Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil – Lining your baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil not only makes cleanup a breeze but also prevents the bacon from sticking to the sheet.

Baking Rack & Cooking Spray (optional) – Some people prefer to use a wire rack when cooking bacon, which allows more grease to drain from the bacon while cooking. Be sure to choose an oven-safe rack with a tight grid pattern to prevent the bacon from falling through. And you’ll want to spray it with cooking spray before adding bacon to avoid sticking.

Oven Mitts or Pot Holders – To protect your hands from the heat of the oven, baking sheet (and hot grease!), you’ll want a pair of sturdy oven mitts or pot holders. Silicone oven mitts are great for easy clean-up.

Tongs – To safely remove cooked bacon from the pan, a good set of tongs works best. You can also use a fork or spatula.

Plate and Paper Towels – To drain excess grease from your cooked bacon, you’ll need a plate and a stack of paper towels. Place the towels on a plate or tray to create a grease-absorbing layer, and use additional paper towels to pat off the extra grease on top.

Sizzling Bacon Diagonally on Pan with Parchment Paper

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Below you’ll find comprehensive instructions and tips for cooking bacon in the oven. Jump below if you want the simplified version.

Detailed Instructions + Tips for the Best Oven-Baked Bacon

Here is a step-by-step guide that will take you through the process of how we cook bacon in the oven, including several tips to help you along the way.

Step 1 | Preheat the oven to 400°

Preheating the oven ensures that your bacon starts cooking immediately when placed in the oven, leading to more consistent results.

Step 2 | Prepare the Baking Sheet

Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. To catch the most grease, make sure your paper or foil extends up the sides of the pan.

Sheet Pan Lined with Parchment Paper

Step 3 | Arrange the bacon

Lay the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet or wire rack, ensuring they don’t overlap. Overlapping bacon slices can cause them to stick together and cook unevenly.

Placing Bacon Strips on Parchment on Metal Baking Pan

Step 4 | Season or marinate the bacon (optional)

If you want to enhance the flavor of your bacon, now is the time to add your choice of seasonings or marinades. See the “Flavor Enhancements” section below for ideas.

Step 5 | Place the bacon in the oven and set a timer

Depending on your desired level of crispiness, set a timer for 15-20 minutes. Keep in mind that thinner bacon slices will cook faster than thicker ones. It’s always better to start with a shorter cooking time and adjust as needed. You may need to add extra time for thick-cut bacon.

Bacon Cooking in the Oven

Step 6 | Monitor the bacon

Check on your bacon every once and a while throughout the cooking process to ensure it’s not burning and to rotate the baking sheet if necessary for even cooking. Check more frequently during the last minutes when the bacon can easily go from perfectly crisp to burnt.

Oven Cooked Bacon in a Line on Parchment

Step 7 | Remove the bacon and drain

Once the bacon has reached your preferred level of crispiness, carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use tongs or a spatula to transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Place bacon in a single layer, then add another paper towel on top and carefully pat to remove excess grease. Repeat until you are done with all of the cooked bacon strips.

Using Tongs to Pick Up Bacon
Place Bacon on Paper Towels to Absorb Grease

Step 8 | Let the bacon cool

Allow the bacon to cool for a minute or two before serving to avoid burns and to let the bacon firm up slightly for the perfect crispy texture.

Cooked Bacon Piled on a Plate with Grey Napkin

Step 9 | Serve and Enjoy!

Now for the best part – time to enjoy your crispy bacon!

Hand Holding Crispy Bacon with More Bacon in the Background

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Add a wire rack if you’d like (be sure to coat with cooking spray).
  3. Arrange bacon strips in a single layer, no overlapping.
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins, or to your preferred crispiness.
  5. Remove from pan with tongs and soak up the extra bacon grease on a plate lined with paper towels.
Raw and Cooked Bacon Side by Side Close up

Flavor Variations

While classic bacon is undeniably delicious, adding extra flavors can take your oven-baked bacon to another level. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Sweet and Savory: Sprinkle the bacon slices with brown sugar, drizzle with maple syrup, or brush with honey before baking. This will create a caramelized, sweet-savory glaze that complements the salty bacon perfectly.
  2. Spicy Kick: Add a dash of cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or your favorite hot sauce to the bacon before baking for a spicy twist.
  3. Add Herbs: Sprinkle the bacon slices with chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage before baking for an earthy, aromatic flavor.
  4. Smoky BBQ: Brush the bacon with your favorite barbecue sauce or create your own blend of spices, including smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, for a smoky, barbecue-inspired flavor.
  5. Cheesy Bacon: During the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle shredded cheese (such as cheddar, Gouda, or Monterey Jack) over the bacon, allowing it to melt and create a gooey, cheesy crust.
Bacon Served on Round Plate

Uses for Oven-Baked Bacon

Crispy bacon is a tasty breakfast side dish that is perfect on its own, but it has a flavor profile that can also add so much depth to other foods.

Here are some delicious ideas for incorporating your perfectly cooked bacon into a variety of dishes:

Breakfast: Upgrade your morning meal by adding crispy bacon to egg dishes, breakfast sandwiches, or even pancakes and waffles for a sweet and savory treat.

Salads and Sides: Crumble your oven-baked bacon over salads, roasted vegetables, or baked potatoes for added crunch and flavor.

Sandwiches and Wraps: Use your crispy bacon in BLTs, club sandwiches, or wraps for an extra layer of deliciousness.

Pasta: Incorporate chopped bacon into pasta dishes like carbonara, mac and cheese, or even a simple bacon, garlic, and olive oil pasta for a satisfying meal.

Appetizers and Snacks: Use your oven-baked bacon as a base for bacon-wrapped dates or water chestnuts, jalapeño poppers, or bacon and cheese-stuffed mushrooms for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.

Pizza Topping: Add bacon to your homemade pizza, either as a standalone topping or in combination with other ingredients like pineapple, jalapeños, or caramelized onions, for a mouthwatering creation.

🍳 More Delicious Breakfast Sides – 30+ side ideas here.

Cooked Bacon on Wrinkled Parchment Paper

Storage and Reheating Tips

If you have leftover bacon or want to cook a large batch ahead of time, proper storage and reheating techniques are essential to maintaining the perfect texture and flavor. Here’s how to do it:

Refrigerator Storage

Allow the cooked bacon to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container or plastic storage bag. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezer Storage

For longer-term storage, wrap the cooled bacon in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe storage bag. Label the bag with the date, store in the freezer, and use within 1 month for best quality.


The easiest way to reheat bacon is in the microwave. Place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate in a single layer, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for 20-60 seconds (depending on how thick the bacon is).

Alternatively, you can place it on a baking sheet and heat in a preheated 350°F oven for a few minutes until heated through and crispy, or warm it in a skillet on medium heat for a couple of minutes on each side.

Sizzling Bacon and Grease Close Up

What to Do With Leftover Bacon Grease

After cooking bacon in the oven, carefully pour the still-warm (but not hot) grease from the baking sheet into a heat-resistant container, such as a glass jar or ceramic dish. We recommend using a fine-mesh strainer to catch any bacon bits or impurities.

Once transferred, let the grease cool to room temperature, then cover the container and store it in the refrigerator. Properly stored, bacon fat can last up to six months, although for best flavor it should be used within the first three months.

Raw and Cooked Bacon Side by Side

Using Bacon Grease

Bacon grease is essentially rendered pork fat and can be used in place of butter, lard, or oil in many recipes, adding a deliciously smoky, savory flavor.

Here are some creative ways to use leftover bacon grease:

  1. Cooking Eggs: Use a tablespoon or so to cook scrambled eggs, omelets, or even to fry eggs. It adds a nice, subtle bacon flavor that makes the eggs taste extra rich and delicious.
  2. Popcorn: For a savory twist on this classic snack, use warmed bacon grease instead of oil to pop your popcorn.
  3. Sautéeing and Roasting Vegetables: Toss vegetables in bacon fat before roasting in the oven, or use it to sauté onions, garlic, or greens for extra flavor.
  4. Baking: Believe it or not, bacon grease can be used in baking, too. Substitute it for part of the butter in savory baked goods like cornbread or biscuits.
  5. Dressings and Sauces: Bacon grease can be incorporated into salad dressings, marinades, or sauces for a bit of smoky richness.
  6. Grilling: Lightly brush the grease over your grill grates before grilling to prevent food from sticking and add some extra flair.
  7. Refried Beans: Traditional refried beans are often cooked with lard, but you can substitute bacon grease for a tasty twist.
Closeup of Oven Cooked Bacon


Cooking bacon in the oven offers a simple and efficient method for achieving consistently crispy bacon with minimal mess and less hassle than traditional pan-frying.

We hope this comprehensive guide has inspired you to give oven-baked bacon a try and explore the delicious possibilities it offers.

We’d love to hear your tips and tricks, as well as your favorite ways to enjoy bacon in the comments below!

Bacon on Parchment with Plate of Bacon in Background

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to learning how to cook bacon in the oven.

What is the best temperature to cook bacon?

The best temperature to cook bacon in the oven is generally around 400°F. This temperature is high enough to render the fat and achieve that perfect crispness we all love in our bacon without burning it. Plus, it cooks the bacon evenly, providing consistently delicious results.

However, feel free to adjust slightly based on your oven and personal preference. Every oven behaves a bit differently, so you might need to experiment to find its bacon “sweet spot.”

Grabbing Cooked Bacon with Kitchen Tongs

How Long to cook bacon in the oven?

Cooking bacon in the oven typically takes about 15-20 minutes at 400°F. However, the exact time can depend on several factors, including the thickness of the bacon and how crispy you prefer it. Thinner bacon might be perfectly crisp at around 15 minutes, while thick-cut bacon could require a few extra minutes.

If you like your bacon extra crispy, you might let it bake a bit longer, but be sure to keep an eye on it to prevent burning (unless burnt bacon is your thing!). Bacon will continue to crisp up a bit as it cools, so it’s best to pull it out when it’s just shy of your preferred crispiness.

One Strip of Cooked Bacon

Do I need to flip bacon in the oven?

No need to flip bacon when cooking it in the oven! The oven’s heat circulates around the bacon, allowing it to cook evenly on both sides without flipping. However, for thicker cuts of bacon, you might choose to flip it halfway through for a more even crispiness. Always remember to use a pair of tongs to avoid any hot grease splatters.

Closeup of Bacon Strips

Do I need to use a rack when cooking bacon in the oven?

No, you do not need to use a baking rack to cook bacon in the oven. The bacon can be placed directly on the pan (though we do recommend lining it with parchment or aluminum foil for easier clean-up). In our experience, the bacon turns out just as crispy whether you use a rack or not. However, some people do choose to use a rack to allow extra grease to drain rather than cooking in the grease, making the bacon slightly healthier. If you do use a rack, just be sure to spray it before adding the bacon in order to avoid sticking.

Metal Baking Sheet with Wire Rack and Cooking Spray
Bacon on Metal Pan with Wire Baking Rack

Do you have to use parchment paper when cooking bacon in the oven?

While parchment paper isn’t necessarily required when cooking bacon in the oven, it can make the clean-up process much easier. The paper will hold much of the excess grease, leaving the pan nearly spotless. We recommend using parchment paper that is larger than the size of your pan, ensuring it extends up the sides. That way the grease won’t seep under the paper. If you don’t have parchment on hand, you can use aluminum foil or place the bacon directly on a baking sheet.

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Cooked Bacon on Speckled Plate

Oven Cooked Bacon

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Oven Baked Bacon – the best (and easiest!) way to get crispy, delicious bacon every time!

  • Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 package bacon
  • Optional – flavor enhancements (see list of ideas)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Add a wire rack if you’d like (be sure to coat with cooking spray).
  3. Arrange bacon strips in a single layer, no overlapping.
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins, or to your preferred crispiness.
  5. Remove from pan with tongs and soak up the extra bacon grease on a plate lined with paper towels. 
  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Ovens can vary, so check your bacon often so it’s not overcooked.
  • Author: Kelsey Restemayer
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 slices
  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 365.8 mg
  • Fat: 21.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 36.5 mg
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Cooked Baking on Metal Sheet with Parchment Paper

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