The Best Method For Cooking Bacon At Home

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / Poggensee

A slice of bacon can boost the flavor and texture of nearly any dish. You can enjoy bacon in your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even your cocktails and desserts. It’s safe to say this crispy treat is one of the world’s favorite meat items.

Bacon is a wildly diverse ingredient, and just as there are many ways to use it, there are also many ways to prepare it. But of all the ways of cooking bacon in the home, which one is the best?

The best way to cook bacon at home is in your oven using a baking sheet and parchment paper. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and lay the bacon down so it does not overlap. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 18 to 25 minutes. This method is ideal because it cooks the bacon evenly to perfection, and there is minimal cleanup.

There are dozens of ways to cook bacon at home. Some are fast and easy, while others are elaborate labors of love. Some methods are passed on for generations, and others rely on modern technology and fancy cooking machines. If you are a bacon lover and want to know the best method for preparing this crispy delicacy in the comfort of your own home, keep reading. In this article, we will tell you the best and most popular and effective ways to cook bacon at home.

What Is The Best Method For Cooking Bacon At Home?

With so many different ways of cooking bacon, it is hard to choose one perfect method. After all, each way of cooking bacon gives different results. Some methods produce perfect crispy slices while others keep the meat soft and juicy.

With that being said, however, there is one method that delivers consistently great bacon, is very easy to execute, and involves minimal cleanup. For these reasons and more, cooking bacon in the oven on a baking sheet with parchment paper is the best way to cook bacon at home.

This method is ideal for anyone who wants crispy bacon, likes to reserve bacon fat, but doesn't like having to constantly flip and watch it as it cooks. The best aspect of the oven method is its easy cleanup. Not only does the oven produce great evenly cooked bacon, but the parchment paper makes the cleanup easier than any other method. And while this method is often considered superior, there are other methods worth knowing. If you are short on time, don’t have an oven, only need to cook a few slices of bacon, or like using old-school techniques, here are some other methods you can consider.

Five Effective Ways To Cook Bacon At Home

1. Cooking Bacon With The Baking Sheet Method

Cooking Time: 18 to 25 minutes

As mentioned previously, this is arguably the best overall method for cooking bacon in the home. To achieve perfect bacon using this method, you need one or two baking sheets, ample parchment paper, and a reliable oven.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, lay out plenty of parchment paper. You want the parchment paper to go above the four edges of the baking sheet. This will prevent any drippings from leaking onto the pan, making cleanup a breeze. Next, lay out the bacon and try not to let it overlap.

You need to cook the bacon for 18 to 25 minutes. This varies based on several factors including your oven and the size and thickness of the bacon. This method will take a bit of perfecting, but once you figure out the timing, you will likely never want to cook bacon any other way again. Not only is this the best method overall, but it is by far the best option for those who need to cook a lot of bacon all at once, as you can cook at least two trays of bacon at a time.

2. Using A Frying Pan To Cook Bacon

Cooking Time: 10 to 12 Minutes

One of the more classic and nostalgic methods of cooking bacon is on a frying pan. This is a popular method for small families who cook breakfast on the weekends, or for single folks who want to place a few strips of bacon on a burger or BLT. There are some pros and cons to this method.

What’s great about cooking bacon on a frying pan is your pan heats up fast and gets very hot, so the bacon can cook within 10 minutes. It also is a great way to reserve the bacon grease, if this is something you like to save.

The downside of this method is it requires a lot more attention. You will need to adjust the temperature multiple times to ensure the bacon is cooking but not too quickly. You will also need to flip the bacon so both sides cook but don’t overcook.

Overall, this is a great method for cooking a few strips of bacon, but you might get some inconsistent results, with some pieces being crispier than others, and even some pieces having both over- and under-cooked sections. If you use a non-stick pan, cleanup is fairly easy, but you will likely have to give your stovetop a thorough wipe down, as grease tends to splatter from the pan during the cooking process.

3. Cooking Bacon In An Air Fryer

Cooking Time: 7 to 8 Minutes

If you have an air fryer, then you might want to consider plugging it in the next time you need to cook some bacon. Air fryers are good for cooking bacon for several reasons. For one, it's one of the healthiest methods. Bacon is certainly not a healthy food, but air fryers collect the fat at the bottom of the pan, so you end up eating less of the fat than with other methods.

The best reason to use an air fryer, though, is it cooks bacon very quickly, and yields crispy results. You can have crispy evenly cooked bacon in 7 to 8 minutes, making it one of the fastest methods available.

Keep in mind many air fryer trays aren’t that large, so this method works well when you only need a few slices, otherwise you will need to repeat the process and clean the drip tray several times.

4. Cooking Bacon In The Microwave

Cooking Time: Between 4 and 5 Minutes

If you are pressed for time, have a very limited kitchen setup, or simply hate cooking, then look no further than your microwave for cooking bacon. The best method to cook bacon in the microwave involves placing the bacon between two pieces of paper towel. This will prevent splatter and also helps the bacon cook evenly.

Microwaves are powerful machines, so they can cook your bacon in just 4 to 5 minutes. Keep in mind that leaving your bacon in the microwave for just 10 or 20 extra seconds can turn perfectly cooked bacon into a burnt and crumbly disaster. For this reason, it is good to check and adjust the bacon after three and a half minutes and go from there. While this method of cooking bacon does not yield the best flavor and crisp results, it gets the job done.

5. Using A Cast Iron Skillet To Cook Bacon

Cooking Time: 8 to 12 minutes

Bacon is not just a food for some people, it is a mood. The crackling sound and intoxicating smell are nostalgic and can conjure all sorts of great memories and feelings. There is perhaps no better nostalgic method for cooking bacon than in a cast iron skillet.

Cast iron skillets and bacon go hand in hand. One of the best ways to get your cast iron skillet seasoned is to cook lots of bacon on it.

These heavy skillets are great at maintaining consistent heat, which helps cook your bacon quickly and evenly. The downside is you can’t put a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher, or even use soap, so cleanup takes a bit of time. Still, these pans are Southern cooking essentials, and if you are making biscuits and eggs to go with your bacon, consider pulling out the cast iron skillet for some nostalgia and authenticity.

Summing Up The Best Way To Cook Bacon At Home

Bacon is delicious in almost everything and tends to make most dishes more delicious. While bacon tastes pretty darn great no matter how you cook it, some methods of cooking bacon at home are better than others. The best way to cook bacon in your home is in your oven using a baking sheet with parchment paper. Its consistent cooking, easy cleaning, and ability to cook many slices at once make the oven method the clear winner for cooking bacon at home.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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