Does Bacon Lose Calories When Cooked? Here’s What You Need To Know

Bacon is a breakfast staple loved by many But if you’re watching your calories, you may wonder – does cooking bacon change its calorie content?

I used to assume that cooking bacon made no difference to the calorie count. But after doing some research, I realized there’s more to the story.

In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at how cooking affects bacon’s calories, fat and nutrition. I’ll share some science-backed facts on how frying, baking and other cooking methods impact bacon’s calories

You’ll also learn

  • How much fat renders out of bacon when cooked
  • Why the cooking method matters
  • How to lower the calories in cooked bacon
  • Should you count the leftover bacon grease?
  • Expert tips to enjoy bacon without excess calories

Let’s sizzle some bacon and uncover the truth!

Here’s How Cooking Affects Bacon’s Calorie Count

Raw bacon contains a lot of fat marbled throughout the meat. According to the USDA, a slice of raw, uncured pork bacon (28g) has 87 calories and 7g fat [1].

When you cook bacon, the fat melts and renders out. This lowers the calorie count significantly.

A 28g slice of pan-fried bacon loses around 40% of its initial weight as moisture evaporates. This cooked slice (17g) now has just 48 calories and 3g fat [2].

So cooking bacon reduces the calories by almost half!

However, nutrition labels display info for raw bacon. If you compared 100g of raw bacon vs 100g cooked bacon, the cooked would have more calories pound for pound.

This can be confusing. For accuracy, you should compare the calorie counts based on cooked vs uncooked weights.

To recap:

  • Cooking bacon decreases calories by rendering out fat
  • But gram for gram, cooked bacon has more calories than raw
  • For correctness, compare calories using cooked and uncooked weights

Why The Cooking Method Matters

How you cook bacon also affects its final calorie content.

Frying in oil or butter adds extra calories as the bacon absorbs the fat. Baking on a rack or grilling allows fat to drip away, lowering calories.

For example, a pan-fried slice has 48 calories while an oven-baked slice may have just 36 calories.

The doneness also matters. Well-done crispy bacon loses more moisture and fat compared to undercooked chewy bacon.

Finally, the bacon’s cut and quality affect how much fat renders out. Thick-cut artisanal bacon may have more calories than thin supermarket bacon even when fried the same way.

So when counting calories, consider:

  • Cooking method (fry, bake, grill)
  • Doneness (crispy vs chewy)
  • Bacon cut and quality

Why Cooking Lowers Bacon’s Calories

Now let’s understand the science behind why cooking bacon decreases its calorie content.

Raw bacon contains streaks of fat integrated within the lean meat. Bacon is about 50% fat [3]. Pork back fat is mostly made up of saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fat [4].

When bacon is heated, the fatty acids melt and liquify. As the temperature rises, the liquefied fat drips out of the solid meat strands. This separating of fat from meat is called “rendering” [5].

Since fat provides 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of protein or carbs, removing fat significantly lowers the overall calorie count.

However, not all the fat renders away. Some remains trapped within the bacon after cooking, contributing calories and flavor. Lower temperatures and shorter cook times result in less fat rendering.

How Much Fat Renders Out When Cooking Bacon?

When bacon is cooked perfectly, around 50-60% of the initial raw weight is lost. Most of this weight loss comes from rendering fat, along with water loss [6].

For example, 28g of raw bacon loses about 17g after frying or baking, with about 12-14g of this from rendered fat.

The amount of fat that renders out also depends on the cooking method and doneness. Frying, broiling or grilling allows more fat to render compared to baking. Cooking to a crispy texture removes more fat than a chewy texture.

Regardless, a significant portion of the fat remains within cooked bacon. That’s why it’s still high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.

Should You Count Calories From Leftover Bacon Grease?

After cooking bacon, you may see a good amount of liquefied fat left in the pan, especially if you fried it. This is often called bacon grease.

But should you count the calories from this leftover grease when calculating bacon’s calories?

The answer is no, for two reasons:

  1. You won’t consume all of the grease. Some of the fat stays in the pan after cooking. You would only ingest a portion of it if using it for cooking other foods.

  2. The grease has already been accounted for. Nutrition info for pan-fried or deep-fried bacon already includes calories from any absorbed oils or rendered fat.

So don’t worry about subtracting the calories in leftover grease. But do limit how much you reuse bacon grease, as it is high in saturated fat.

How To Reduce Calories When Cooking Bacon

Want to enjoy bacon without going overboard on calories? Here are some serving tips:

  • Choose center-cut or back bacon, which are leaner than regular bacon
  • Remove any visible white fat before cooking
  • Bake bacon in the oven on a broiling pan or cooling rack
  • Microwave bacon between paper towels to absorb grease
  • Blot cooked bacon with paper towels to soak up excess fat
  • Limit portions to 2-3 small or medium slices
  • Sprinkle crumbled bacon as a topping instead of full slices
  • Pair bacon with nutrient-rich foods like vegetables or eggs

Following healthy cooking methods and watching portions can help balance bacon’s richness.

The Takeaway: How Cooking Affects Bacon’s Calories

So does cooking decrease bacon’s calories? The short answer is yes!

Frying, baking or grilling bacon leads to fat rendering which significantly lowers the calorie content compared to raw bacon. For accuracy, compare calories using cooked and uncooked weights rather than gram for gram.

However, bacon still remains high in calories and saturated fat after cooking. The cooking method, doneness, cut and quality affect how many calories remain.

For a healthier breakfast, look for leaner bacon, trim excess fat before cooking, and use healthy cooking methods. Limiting portions is key to enjoying the flavor of bacon without going overboard on calories.

With some mindful preparation, you can savor the delicious taste and crispy texture of cooked bacon as part of a balanced diet. So go ahead and enjoy your morning bacon – just be mindful of how much you consume!








How to Lose Fat by Eating Bacon – Dr. Berg


Do you weigh bacon raw or cooked for calories?

Weighing meat and veggies before they’re cooked is just the easiest way to be accurate.

How many calories are in 1 cooked bacon?

In general, an average 8 gram slice of bacon will run you somewhere between 38 and 45 calories. Unsurprisingly, plain bacon will cost you a little less than seasoned and calorie count goes up when the Average Weight does (thicker bacon will have more calories).

How many calories are in 2 slices of cooked bacon?

Kirkland Signature Fully Cooked Bacon (2 slices) contains 0g total carbs, 0g net carbs, 6g fat, 6g protein, and 90 calories.

Do the calories in bacon include the grease?

Yes, the nutrition information for bacon usually includes the total calories along with all the fat. So, once cooked, if you discard the bacon grease that renders out, you will likely be discarding some of the calories, as well.

How many calories are in a slice of bacon?

This indicates that the USDA labs are taking a 28g slice of raw bacon with 117 Calories, cooking it, draining the fat, and the result, on average, is an 11.5g slice of pan-fried cooked bacon with 54 Calories. I drain away the rendered bacon fat, slow cook it to remove any excess water, strain it into a glass jar, and store in the refrigerator.

Can you eat uncooked bacon?

Sign in or register to get started. I don’t know – but I’m going to strongly urge you not to eat uncooked bacon. Raw bacon has more Calories than when it is fully cooked, because one normally discards the fat and liquid after cooking it.

How much fat is in a slice of bacon?

In the US, the raw weight of a normal slice of bacon is 1 ounce (28g), which on average has 117 Cals, 4g Protein, 11g Fat. Source: 10123, Pork, cured, bacon, unprepared For comparison, if you discarded the rendered fat and did not use it or consume it immediately, you should log the bacon as cooked.

How many calories are in a slice of turkey bacon?

One slice of cooked turkey bacon (8.1g) has 30 calories, 2.4g of protein, 2.1g of fat, and 0.3g of carbs with 164mg of sodium. Plant-based bacon varieties can also be found at some grocery stores.

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