How to Cook Bacon in the Oven and Other Chef Secrets for Great Meals

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cooking bacon

Now that bacon is the new darling of the food world, some savvy (and lazy) cooks want to know how to cook bacon in the oven.

That’s right – no more standing over a hot frying pan! If you love bacon but are tired of babysitting it while you shift batch after batch for a large crowd, this article is for you.

cooked bacon

It’s amazing how many ways people have come up with to incorporate this tasty, fatty, salty, umami flavor into such a wide variety of foods. They range from old standards like mashed potatoes to the simply weird, like ice cream and cupcakes.

Unfortunately, cooking bacon can be a real pain. It's time-consuming and messy, and sometimes dangerous, thanks spattering grease.

Luckily, you can shove it in the oven and walk away unscarred if you know the tricks of the trade. Read on to find out how to make perfect, and less dangerous bacon, right in your oven.

Why You Need to Learn How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

How to cook bacon in a conventional oven

There are two great techniques for cooking your bacon easily in your regular oven. How you set up the pan depends on how crispy you like your bacon.

  • Set your oven to 400 degrees Farhenhitet.
  • Place aluminum foil over a large baking sheet to make cleanup easier. Place the shiny side up to help reflect heat to the bottom of the bacon.
  • If you like your bacon extra crispy, place cooling racks on top of your baking sheet. You can buy these at the local dollar store if you don’t have any. They keep the bacon elevated, ensuring that crisp result you’re looking for. If you like your bacon a bit chewier, skip the rack and put it directly on the baking sheet.
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    Place your bacon strips side by side on top of the cooling rack. They shouldn’t overlap or touch on the sides.
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    Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Then check for doneness every five minutes.

The total cooking time to will depend on the thickness of bacon and your oven’s accuracy. If you like crispy bacon, buy thinly sliced bacon, because thicker bacon often burns before it gets crisp. Once done, drain on paper toweling.

Some other cool chef tricks for making bacon in the oven:

If you don’t have cooling racks, and still want crispier bacon, create an accordion grill out of aluminum foil. Place it on your baking sheet and lay the bacon strips on top to elevate them.

Keep your oven clean by covering the bacon with foil until the last few minutes. This keeps most of the grease spatter off the inside of your oven.

Let the pan cool down entirely for easier cleanup. You can even put it in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes to let the grease solidify. This makes it easier to roll up the aluminum foil and throw it away without any liquid grease spilling all over the kitchen.

How to cook bacon in a microwave oven

For making smaller batches, consider making bacon in your microwave. There are some who complain that this technique gives uneven results. But you can remedy that problem by only cooking small batches in the microwave.

You can make enough for one or two, which makes it the perfect technique for singles or couples. It’s also great for those with small kitchens, like those in studio apartments or dormitories.

  • Find a microwave-safe plate and line with paper toweling. If you like crispy bacon, use more paper towels to sop up the grease.
  • Lay your bacon strips on the paper towels. Remember that microwave ovens cook from the outside in, so place the bacon in a circle along the edges of the plate. It’s okay if they overlap a little. Cover with a paper towel to save clean up time.
  • Cook for one minute for each slice of bacon, then check for doneness. If you want it crispier, cook in 30-second increments until done to taste.


Add Some Sugar and Spice

Now that you know the basic techniques for how to cook bacon in the oven, let's spice things up for a little variety. Try adding the following for an extra kick:

Peppered bacon

For those who like their bacon to bite back, there’s no need to buy expensive “peppered” bacon. The regular stuff will do, just add coarsely ground peppercorns before baking:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line your baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Crush or grind about 1-1/2 teaspoons of peppercorn. Do this right before baking, for the freshest flavor and fragrance.
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    Lay out 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of bacon on the baking sheet, with the edges touching.
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    Sprinkle the bacon with your freshly ground pepper and press it in firmly with your hands.
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    Bake in your oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check it after 15 minutes and then every five to reach your preferred crispness.

Billionaire bacon

There's something about the flavor combination of sweet and salty that makes the human brain explode with pleasure.

Bacon candied in brown sugar and baked to perfection is sure to send your neural network spinning. And the name is completely appropriate because you’ll feel like you’re living the high life with this recipe:

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In this case, using aluminum will result in a sticky mess, effectively gluing the bacon to the foil.
  • Use medium thick bacon. For even more flavor, you can choose a smoked bacon or maple-flavored brand.
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    Using about a cup of brown sugar on a plate, coat your bacon on both sides. Press the bacon into the sugar to help it stick better.
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    Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then, turn the bacon over and cook for 10 more minutes. Check for doneness, as it may need more time depending on your oven and your preferences.
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    Remove the sheet from oven and let it cool for several minutes. Then, remove your bacon from the sheet and allow to cool further on a plate.

You'll have ready-to-eat “candied” bacon after a few minutes. Remove and discard the parchment paper as soon as possible, so the hardened sugar doesn't glue it to your pan.

If you're on a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, you can use brown-sugar-flavored no-calorie sweeteners like Truvia or Splenda.

How to Make Bacon Cups in the Oven

Speaking of keto diets, these bacon cups are simply perfect for your low-carb lifestyle. Once they’re cool, they’re the ideal crispy container to fill with egg salad and other goodies.

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take a standard metal muffin tin and turn upside down. Place it on a baking sheet.
  • Using 2-1/2 to 3 slices for each cup, cut one slice of bacon in half and lay both halves over the bottom of the muffin cup, covering as much of the bottom as possible. Take another half-slice of bacon and place crosswise to the other two.
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    Take a whole slice of bacon and tightly wrap it around the outside of the muffin cup.
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    Bake about 25 minutes, until crispy.
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    Cool your bacon cups for about 10 minutes, then carefully pull them from the bottom of the muffin tray. Once cool, add your favorite fillings.


How to Cook Eggs in the Oven

Now that you know how to cook bacon in the oven, why not make your eggs the same way. Here are a few techniques to try:

Oven-poached eggs

If you’ve ever made poached eggs in the classic way, you might not appreciate how easy this is. The traditional method involves creating a little whirlpool of boiling water while you coax one egg at a time to cook perfectly without falling apart. It’s a terrific bother and easy to ruin, which is why poached eggs aren’t the go-to breakfast anymore.

But if you’ve got a hankering for Eggs Benedict, try this quick tip for poaching eggs in the oven so you can whip up a big batch for the brunch crowd in no time at all.

  • Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Grab a standard no-stick muffin tin and crack an egg into each cup, careful to avoid breaking the yolk. Place one tablespoon of water on top of each egg.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. Check for doneness to preference
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    Remove from pan from the oven and allow to stand for a minute. Then, gently scoop the eggs from the muffin cups with a spatula.

Microwave oven-poached eggs

If you don't have room in your regular oven, then put your microwave to use with this quick tip for poached eggs in the microwave. You can only make one at a time, but they only take a minute to cook. Check out the easy directions in the video:

How to hard boil eggs in the oven

If you like your eggs hard-boiled, you can cook those in your oven too. Cook a whole dozen at a time for breakfast or save them for later for egg salad to stuff into those bacon cups.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place one egg into each cup of a muffin tin.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
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    Cool in a large bowl of ice water.

Some people say baked hard boiled eggs peel a lot easier, too, which makes for perfect deviled eggs.

Make an Entire Breakfast in the Oven

If you love to entertain for brunch and hate standing in the kitchen, why not make the whole meal in the oven? Breakfast is a meal best served piping hot. But, trying to turn out four or five hot dishes at once can leave you in no mood for company. Here are some ideas for cooking the whole meal in just your oven (with a little help from your microwave).

Bacon and eggs breakfast bake

Did you know you can fry eggs in the oven? This recipe features fried eggs, tiny smoked sausages, and bacon. The seasonings and tomato add for a sweet and tart tang.

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Arrange half a package of Li’l Smokies and four slices of bacon on the sheet.
  • Bake in your oven for about 15 minutes.
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    Remove the sheet from the oven and move bacon and sausages aside to create four empty spots to fry your eggs.
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    Carefully crack four eggs into the open spots, being careful not to break the yolks.
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    Cut about a cup of cherry or grape tomatoes in halves and scatter around the baking sheet.
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    Cover the whole thing with salt and pepper to taste, along with about a teaspoon each of oregano and dried parsley.
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    Return to the oven to cook for 7 or 8 minutes, until the eggs are cooked sunny side up.

Baked ricotta and thyme eggs

These are perfect for entertaining on a special occasion. Elegant and delicious, this is also a keto-friendly dish that’s sure to impress.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Oil ramekins with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet.
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    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 cup of ricotta cheese
    1/2 clove of minced garlic
    Tablespoon of fresh thyme
    1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    Pinch of chopped parsley
    1/4 cup of chopped fresh spinach leaves 
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    Divide the seasoning and vegetable mixture between ramekins.
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    Crack two eggs into each ramekin, careful to avoid breaking the yolk.
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    Drizzle with olive oil and season with coarse ground salt and freshly ground black pepper.
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    Bake for 12 to 15 minutes to the desired firmness. The whites should be firm and the yolks a bit runny.

Baked orange French toast

If you’re not following any kind of diet, you need to try this delicious recipe. Not only is it simply delicious, it’s a great way to use up stale bread. And it goes great with bacon in the oven, too.

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

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    8 eggs
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup milk
    sugar, 1/8 to 1/4 cup to taste (optional)
    1 Tablespoon orange zest or 1 teaspoon orange extract
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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    Butter a large baking sheet with a high rim. You can use a sheet cake pan or jelly roll pan.
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    Dip eight slices of thick bread in the egg mixture until saturated, then place on the baking sheet
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    Pour leftover egg mixture over the bread and allow it to soak in. (At this point, you can cover the pan and save until morning if you're it preparing the night before.)
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    Bake for 20 minutes. Then, raise the oven temperature to 400 and cook for 10 more minutes to brown the French toast.
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    Sprinkle with powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness, or chopped pecans or walnuts for extra crunch.

Now You Know How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Plus, a few other oven techniques for delicious breakfast dishes. There’s no reason to stand over a hot stove while frying up batches of bacon, getting splattered with grease, while your favorite silk pajamas start to smell like a smokehouse.

Cook bacon, eggs, and other breakfast dishes in your conventional and microwave oven, instead.

While they bake, grab a mimosa and chat with your guests. Just relax while the oven does the dirty work. Then dig in and enjoy.

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