How to Cook Bacon in the Oven [How Easy Can It Be?]

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
Photo Credits: Charles Smith, Flickr.com

Hey, bacon lover. I thought I could show you how to cook bacon in the oven.

How do you like your bacon?

Crispy? Chewy?

Everyone has a different preference for their bacon dish and sometimes this preference is determined by which meal the bacon dish is serving. For most people, a meal of bacon is to kill for but the thought of cooking bacon in a skillet on a stove is numbing. When you think of how the bacon will ruin your apron and stove with lard and create some good cleaning job for you, all you want to do is give up and order a dish.

Oh, wait. Don’t throw in the towel on cooking your own bacon dish yet. There are other ways to cook your bacon without getting all that bacon grease on your body or having to clean up a messed up kitchen, sorry stove. You can cook your bacon in the oven and you can also cook it in the microwave. However, the focus here is to show you how to cook bacon in the oven.

If you prefer videos, here’s a video of how to cook bacon in oven

What You Need to Cook Bacon

Depending on the type of bacon meal you want to prepare, you may have a slightly different recipe and procedure for cooking your bacon. It’d be okay, even better, to follow the procedure described for the meal you want to cook except you’ll like to experiment with your own ideas which may even come out pretty nice. Who knows.

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If what you want is to cook the bacon by itself before adding it to any other meal or eating then you’ll need a baking sheet, cooling rack, aluminum foil, and of course, your bacon. If you want to spice the bacon with pepper or sugar then go ahead and add that to what you need.

One thing that you need to note is that you can skip the cooling rack if you do not have any or if you prefer chewy bacon. One reason you may not want to use the cooling rack is that it provides you one extra dish to wash so you can skip it if it’s too much bother. If on the other hand, you want crispy bacon after cooking then you should really overlook the discomfort of washing an extra dish in order to achieve your aim.

Preparing Your Bacon for the Oven

Video: How to Cook Bacon in Oven

This video explains how to cook your bacon in the oven in easy steps

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Oven-Baked Bacon

You need to decide what type of bacon you want to cook because it will determine the results you get after cooking. You honestly don’t want to regret the time you spent getting your meal ready because of the final taste and texture. Bacon comes in different sizes, types, and densities. If you want it chewy after cooking then you may opt for thick bacon but if you want crispy bacon then you should opt for bacon with lighter slices.

After you’ve made a choice of bacon, you’ll have to make another big choice – how to cook bacon in the oven. The method you choose will make a subtle but important difference in the outcome of your cooked bacon. These choices are: placing the bacon on the aluminum foil in the baking sheet before cooking OR placing the bacon on the cooling rack before cooking.

Placing the bacon on the aluminum foil in the baking sheet before cooking

Set out your cooking materials on your kitchen table. Place the aluminum foil in the baking sheet and make sure the sheet is completely covered on all the corners. Then lay the bacon on the foil in such a way that they are not sitting on each other. It’s okay if the bacon slices touch themselves but it’s not okay if one sits on the other because this position will cause some parts to go uncooked.

Placing the bacon on the aluminum foil means that it will cook in the bacon grease. If you want it chewy then you have to start checking its progress in the oven from 15 minutes. Take it out once it has attained the consistency that you want for your bacon. Remove the cooked bacon from the baking sheet and place them on kitchen towels in a plate to get rid of bacon fat and allow them to cool down.

Placing the bacon on the cooling rack before cooking

To set up your bacon for cooking on a cooling rack, you have to follow the normal procedure. First, make sure that your aluminum foil is adequately covering the baking sheet. Place the cooling rack on the baking sheet and set the bacon on the rack. Remember to keep each bacon slice apart.

Now place the sheet with the bacon in the oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Except you just don’t like the taste of bacon fat on your baked bacon, the reason you’ve chosen to cook your bacon on the rack is that you want your bacon crisp.

Your bacon should be able to achieve this finish after 20 to 25 minutes. If you trust your oven enough, you can wait 20 minutes before you check the bacon. Otherwise, check the bacon after 15 minutes to see how much progress it has made. When you are satisfied with what you see then you can take the bacon out of the oven, put them on a kitchen napkin to extract bacon grease and allow them to cool down before serving.



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Setting Your Oven to Cook Bacon

How to Cook Bacon in Oven
Photo Credits: Joel Kramer, flickr.com

An important factor to consider when deciding how to cook bacon in the oven is whether you should preheat the oven or not. Your choice will also depend on what you want your cooked bacon to look and taste like. If you want to make crispy bacon then skip preheating your oven. This will help your bacon cook gradually just as it would if you were using an unheated stove and skillet. Put your bacon in the cool oven and set it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, allow it more time to cook – about 25 to 30 minutes.

However, if you want your bacon chewy then you should preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before placing your bacon in it. Subsequently allow the bacon cook for 20 minutes (when it is brown) before you bring it out from the oven.

Cleaning Up After Your Oven Bacon

When you have finished cooking your bacon, then it’s time to clean up. The first thing to do when cleaning up bacon grease after cooking is to save the bacon grease in a canister. Then roll away your aluminum foil and dispose of it. The bacon fat is quite tasty and will always come in handy when you want to make another meal like cooking eggs or popping popcorn.

It’s also possible that you are not interested in saving the bacon oil. In this case, leave the bacon fat to dry up on the sheet then peel it off gradually and dispose of it. Wash the sheet and the rack and place them back in their position.

What to do with Your Oven Bacon

Serve your cooked bacon to your family or guests. You can also save them in your refrigerator after you’ve placed them in a food bag.

Some Extra Tips on How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

As earlier mentioned, there are several types of bacon to be considered before you conclude about cooking bacon in the oven. maybe you didn’t know, but there is even bacon for vegans made exclusively from plant products. Not all bacon is made from pork and definitely all bacon are salted. They are just salted differently.

How to Cook Bacon in Oven
Photo Credit: peakpx.com

10 Types of Bacon You Should Know

American-Style bacon

It’s usually the bacon you find in the breakfast of most American families. They’re always strips of long and narrow pork which can be cooked to be crispy or chewy just the way you’d want it. It’s usually greasy when cooked and is made from the belly of pork.

Slab bacon

Well, the bacon slab is simply American-style bacon that is sliced in a slab when you buy it. You can always buy the bacon slab from a butcher or from the farmer’s market. The advantage of buying your bacon in slabs is that you can decide how thin or thick you want your bacon to be. You’d usually make this decision based on what you want to cook.

Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon is produced from the loin of pork. The loin of pork has less fat which makes it produce less fat when you cook the bacon in an oven or even stove. Canadian bacon makes great meals out of dishes like omelets and really, any breakfast dish you add it to. It’s easy to find this beacon slices in round thick shapes that in long strips.

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Pancetta

The beacon that is pancetta is also made from the belly of pork. The difference here is that while the American-style bacon is smoked after it is cured, pancetta is not. You’ll find it commercially in small cubes that are prechopped. In some places, you may be able to get the butcher to make it into thin slices for you especially if you plan to cook it wrapped around meat or vegetable.

British Bacon

One difference between the British bacon and the American-style bacon is that it is not smoked after it is cured. Also, it is made from out of the pork loin and not the pork belly. Surprisingly, it has more fat than Canadian bacon. You can also call them rashers.

Irish Bacon

It is very similar to rashers but has a little less fat and is also leaner. It’s easy to admit that it is just a thick slice of pork loin, and that is what it is.

Duck Bacon

This beacon is made from the breast of the duck Moulard and is a great alternative to pork bacon. Duck bacon is made by rubbing the meat with sugar and salt before smoking it. The slices are as thin as pork bacon. They also have the same flavor as pork even though they do not have as much fat.

Coconut Bacon

Someone thought of vegans and decided to help them deserve the goodness of bacon too. This bacon goodness is made from coconut flakes which are coated in maple syrup, liquid smoke, and tamari. Amazingly, the coconut bacon tastes just like your traditional bacon.

Lamb Bacon

Since the world is testing the boundaries of bacon, we now have bacon made from lamb. It’s sliced, smoked, and salted. You can find lamb bacon on the menu of many connoisseurs.

Soy Protein Bacon

This is bacon for vegetarians. The saturation of fat in it is very low and it is cholesterol-free because of its make up ingredients. It tastes like smoked bacon but it doesn’t contain the fat present in your regular pork. You’ll find it displayed as Veggie Bacon Strips or with a similar name.

How Useful is Bacon Fat?

Beacon fat is broadly useful in a lot of appreciable ways. It can be used in place of your regular oil and butter for frying or sauteing. You can even consider baking with bacon fat in place of lard in the pie crust.

How is Bacon Cut?

Regular or Standard Bacon

It is usually sliced to be 1/16 inch thick. It’s useful for every kind of cooking both as a single strip oven bacon and for other kinds of dishes.

Thick-Cut Bacon

The strips are usually double the thickness of the regular bacon. It’s easier to cut them in small pieces before you use them in dishes like soup and pasta.

Center-cut bacon

The fat contained in this type is about 30 percent less than the fat found in regular bacon. This is because the bacon is mostly cut from the part of the belly that is close to the bone. It’d interest you to know that even though this bacon is moist, it doesn’t have come with extra fat. 

Slab

Unsliced, which means that you can buy this bacon in the quantity that you want and cut it into your desired size. Just let the butcher know what you want.

Bacon from pork is usually cured in salt and there are various types of curing. These cures include

  • Wet-Cured: Wet-cure means that it is brined in saltwater using sodium nitrite as a preservative. The preservative may also be injected into it
  • Dry-Cured: This method is less common but allows for the pork to be rubbed with salt, sodium nitrite, sugar, and spices.
  • Uncured: This is not really true because every bacon is salt-cured. When you see the label uncured it simply means that the only nitrites that occur in its natural form were used for curing. This actually means that there are no chemicals added.

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