The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Bacon on a Cookie Sheet

For many bacon lovers frying it up in a skillet on the stovetop is just part of the quintessential weekend breakfast experience. However cooking bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet can provide consistent and foolproof results every time. With oven cooking, you can prepare delicious bacon for a crowd without having to stand over a hot skillet dealing with all the popping grease. Follow this complete guide to discover how to bake bacon in the oven to crispy, flavorful perfection using an ordinary cookie sheet.

Why Bake Bacon in the Oven?

Cooking bacon in the oven provides several advantages over stovetop frying

  • It frees you up to prepare other parts of the meal instead of needing to constantly monitor the bacon.

  • The bacon cooks evenly without burning. No need to worry about crispy and limp pieces mixed together.

  • It prevents grease splatters all over your stovetop and kitchen. Contained oven mess is easier to clean.

  • You can cook a large batch all at once to serve a crowd

  • Hands-off cooking gives you consistent texture and doneness every time.

Choosing the Right Cookie Sheet

Any basic aluminum rimmed baking sheet, also called a jelly roll pan or half sheet pan, works well for oven bacon. Here are some tips for selecting the best one:

  • Standard size – Use a pan that is about 18 x 13 inches. Anything smaller may cause the bacon slices to overlap.

  • Rimmed edges – The sides will contain the grease and prevent drips in your oven.

  • Heavy duty – Choose a sturdy pan over flimsy and thin to allow even heat transfer.

  • Nonstick surface – This isn’t essential but can make cleanup easier if you don’t use a liner.

Avoid pans with dark finishes as they absorb heat and can lead to burnt spots. Standard natural aluminum works best.

Prepare the Pan Properly

To prevent a mess and make cleanup easy, it’s important to prep your cookie sheet before adding the bacon:

  • Use foil or parchment – Cover the pan completely with foil or parchment paper. This prevents baked-on grease drips.

  • Use a baking/cooling rack – Set a metal rack inside the foil-lined pan. This elevates the bacon allowing air flow and drainage.

  • Spray with nonstick spray – Mist the foil or parchment with nonstick spray so the bacon releases easily after cooking.

Arrange the Bacon Correctly

Proper bacon placement leads to even cooking. Follow these tips:

  • Space it out in a single layer – Don’t overcrowd the pan. Leave about 1/2 inch between slices for air flow.

  • Lay it flat – Make sure strips lay evenly flat on the pan. Overlapped or folded bacon won’t cook uniformly.

  • Match slice thickness – Arrange thinner and thicker slices separately so they cook at the same rate.

  • Start fatty side up – This helps render the fat during cooking. The bacon curls as it cooks.

Use the Right Oven Temperature

The ideal oven temp for cooking bacon to crispy perfection is 400°F. At this temperature:

  • The bacon fat slowly renders without burning the meat.

  • It provides enough heat to make the bacon crispy and browned.

  • Cooking times are kept at 20 minutes or less to prevent drying out.

Higher heat risks burning and charring the bacon before it fully cooks and crisps. Lower heat means longer cook times that dry out the meat.

Flip the Bacon Midway

During oven cooking, take the pan out halfway through and use tongs to flip each slice over. This allows even cooking and prevents the fatty underside from becoming soggy.

Bacon render time varies based on slice thickness. For regular cut bacon, flip after about 8-10 minutes. Thicker slices may need 12 minutes or so per side.

Check for Doneness

When the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness, remove it from the oven. Here are the visual cues to look for:

  • Golden brown color
  • Visible crispy texture
  • Rendered fat that has drained from the bacon

If you want it extra crispy, cook for a couple minutes more after flipping until deep golden brown with slight charring on the edges.

Drain the Excess Fat

Carefully pour off the grease from the foil-lined pan into a heat-safe container once you remove the bacon from the oven. Then:

  • Gently transfer the bacon with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease.

  • Let it cool for 2-3 minutes before serving so you don’t burn your mouth!

Properly draining the hot grease prevents soggy bacon and makes the pan easier to clean after cooking.

Cleanup of Cookie Sheet

After removing the bacon, simply dispose of the foil or parchment liner. Any miniscule grease remnants on the pan itself can be cleaned off with warm soapy water and scrubbing with a sponge or brush.

Avoid dumping hot grease directly into the sink, as this can clog drains. Always pour it into a container to throw away once cooled and solidified.

Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve mastered baking it, here are some tasty ways to serve crispy oven-cooked bacon:

  • Crumbled over salads
  • In BLT sandwiches
  • Chopped and mixed into baked potatoes with sour cream
  • Paired with pancakes or French toast
  • Rolled up and secured with a toothpick for easy snacking
  • Crumble over cooked vegetables like Brussels sprouts
  • Topping for baked potatoes or casseroles

Baking on a simple cookie sheet helps you achieve consistently crispy, evenly cooked bacon every time with less hassle and mess than stovetop. Now you can enjoy perfectly done bacon and free up your stovetop for the rest of breakfast.

Frequency of Entities:
bacon: 35 times
cookie sheet: 15 times
oven: 20 times
grease: 10 times
crispy: 8 times
cook: 12 times
fat: 6 times

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


Is it better to bake bacon at 350 or 400?

Bake at 400 Degrees F. Some recipes recommend baking bacon at other temperatures or starting the bacon in a cold oven, but I found that a preheated 400 degrees F is the best temperature for baking bacon.

Can you put bacon directly on baking sheet?

From there, you have options. There are three ways to cook bacon in the oven—directly on an unlined sheet pan, on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil, or on a metal cooling rack set over a sheet pan.

How long to bake bacon at 375 degrees?

Place the bacon in a cold oven, and set the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake the bacon in the oven for 15-20 minutes total. If you are doing more than one pan of bacon, rotate sheet pans from top to bottom halfway through. If you are not using a baking rack, flip the bacon strips halfway through cooking.

How do you keep bacon from sticking to cookie sheets?

Line the pan with aluminum foil or Silpat for easier cleanup.

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