How to Bake Crispy Bacon in the Oven Without Parchment Paper

Baking bacon in the oven is one of the easiest ways to cook up a tasty batch of bacon. No splattering grease, even cooking, and easy cleanup make oven-baked bacon a crowd favorite. But do you really need parchment paper to bake bacon in the oven? Can’t you just bake bacon directly on the pan?

I’ve baked pounds and pounds of bacon over the years, and I’m here to share my tips for perfectly crispy oven-baked bacon without any parchment paper. Trust me, it can be done!

Why Bake Bacon in the Oven?

Before we get into the no-parchment method, let’s go over why you should bake bacon in the oven in the first place:

  • No splattering grease: Baking bacon contains the mess to inside the oven instead of all over your stovetop.

  • Even cooking The oven heat circulates all around the bacon, cooking it evenly on all sides. No need to flip and rotate pieces.

  • Easy cleanup: Just wipe down the sheet pan when done. No need to scrub your stovetop and surroundings.

  • Cooks a lot at once: Fit a couple pounds of bacon on a sheet pan versus just a few pieces in a skillet.

  • Hands-off: Simply slide the pan in the oven and set a timer. No need to constantly watch and flip.

  • Consistent results: Takes the guesswork out of cooking bacon. Just follow the timings.

How to Bake Bacon Without Parchment Paper

Baking bacon without lining the pan may sound crazy. You’re probably thinking it will stick and make a huge mess.

I promise it’s not as messy as you think if you follow a few tips:

1. Use a Good Pan

The type of baking sheet you use makes all the difference. I recommend using a heavy-duty aluminum rimmed baking sheet. The raised edges will keep fat from running off, and the thick conductive metal will allow the bacon to crisp up nicely.

Avoid pans with a nonstick coating, as these can degrade at higher oven temperatures.

2. Don’t Overcrowd

Lay slices of bacon out in a single layer without overlapping on the pan. Overlapping causes some pieces to steam instead of fry.

Try to leave about 1/2-inch between each slice. This may mean baking your bacon in batches depending on how many slices your pan can fit.

3. Bake Cold

Here’s a little trick that makes a big difference: Start baking your bacon in a cold oven.

Place the bacon on the pan, then put the whole thing in the cold oven. Set oven to 400°F and let the bacon start warming up as the oven heats up.

This allows the fat to render slowly, basting the bacon and preventing sticking.

4. Bake Long Enough

Be patient and bake the bacon long enough to fully crisp up. Thinner sliced bacon may take 15-20 minutes while thicker cut bacon can take 20-25 minutes.

The bacon will shrink as it cooks. Fat will render out of the slices and the meat will get crispy.

5. Blot Excess Fat

When the bacon is crispy and browned to your liking, remove it from the oven. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot pan!

Transfer bacon slices to a paper towel-lined plate. Gently blot both sides with more paper towels to soak up excess grease.

6. Enjoy Your Crispy Bacon!

Now you have a batch of perfectly crispy oven-baked bacon, no parchment paper required.

Crumble it up for salads and soups, use strips for sandwiches and BLTs, or just enjoy the bacony goodness on its own.

Oven Bacon Baking Tips

Follow these extra tips and tricks for the best results when baking bacon in the oven without parchment:

  • If bacon starts to curl as it cooks, use tongs to flatten and straighten it out. This exposes more surface area for even crisping.

  • For candied bacon, brush slices with maple syrup or brown sugar before baking.

  • For spicy bacon, sprinkle with cayenne pepper or chili powder before baking.

  • Check bacon frequently towards end of cooking time to avoid burning.

  • Let pan cool before emptying bacon grease into storage container for later use.

  • To save time, coat pan with a thin layer of bacon grease before adding slices.

  • If bacon does stick, let it cool slightly before gently loosening with a metal spatula.

FAQs About Baking Bacon Without Parchment

Should you flip the bacon while baking?

Flipping isn’t necessary! The hot air circulates and cooks it evenly on both sides.

How long does it take to bake bacon at 400°F?

Thinner sliced bacon takes 15-20 minutes while thick cut bacon takes 20-25 minutes at 400°F. Adjust time as needed based on doneness.

Why is my oven bacon soggy?

If it’s overlapping or overcrowded on the pan, steam will make it soggy. Give each slice breathing room.

How can I keep bacon from popping in the oven?

Use a pan with raised edges to contain splatters. Baking at a lower temp (350°F) also reduces popping.

What’s the best way to clean a bacon grease coated pan?

Let the pan cool completely before wiping out excess grease with paper towels. Warm soapy water will take care of any remnants.

Can you reuse bacon grease after baking?

Absolutely! Let it cool completely, then funnel into a storage container. Use for cooking eggs, meats, veggies, etc.

Mistakes to Avoid When Baking Bacon

Avoid these common mistakes for the crispiest oven-baked bacon:

  • Overcrowding the pan – leave space between each slice

  • Starting bacon in a hot oven – start from cold

  • Not baking long enough – be patient for crispy results

  • Burning the bacon – watch closely near end of cook time

  • Using a flimsy baking sheet – opt for a heavy-duty rimmed pan

  • Not draining grease after – blot with paper towels to remove excess

Follow my tips and you’ll enjoy perfect bacon every time without any parchment paper required! Now get baking!

HOW TO COOK BACON IN THE OVEN | easy, crispy and no mess!

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