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Oven baked bacon is one of my favorite meal prep items, because it cooks whole a lot of bacon at once! No tending the bacon, no flipping, no splattering grease everywhere. Just beautiful bacon strips cooked till your exact liking!
Oven Baked Bacon (Big Batch)
- 1 package thick-cut bacon strips, Note 1
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Line a baking sheet with a heavy-duty foil. (Note: You can crumble the foil, or leave it smooth. I tested both ways and there was no noticeable difference.)
- Arrange the bacon slices on the prepared baking sheet. (It’s ok to overlap a little to fit all the bacon.)
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until desired crispiness reached. Start checking after 10-minute mark. (No need to flip them half way.)
- Using a pair of kitchen tongs, transfer the cooked bacon onto a baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess fat.
- Carefully, pour the hot bacon grease into a glass jar. You can use bacon grease for just about anywhere oil is called for.
There’s nothing more convenient than having a batch of cooked bacon on hand. You can lightly heat it up for breakfast for dinner, or chop them up to garnish any dish.
How to choose bacon:
I love thick-cut bacon over thin cut bacon, because there’s just substance to them. Besides, I like my bacon crispy with a slight chew. And thick-cut bacon yields just that!
You can, of course, bake thin-cut bacon too, but they bake much faster, so I usually bake them at a lower temp as well. More details on cooking time below.
How to cook bacon in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Arrange bacon slices on the baking sheet – It’s ok to overlap a little to fit all the bacon on the tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes, but at the 10-minute mark start checking so it’s cooked to your desired crispiness.
- Transfer the cooked bacon on a paper towel to absorb excess grease. You may want to pat them with more paper towels on top as well.
TIP 1: For thin-cut bacon, preheat the oven to 400°F, and cook the bacon for 15-20 minutes.
TIP 2: Every oven is different. The cooking time will vary depending on the oven and how crispy you like your bacon. So, start checking on your bacon after the 10-minute mark.
Bacon cooks faster toward the end of the cooking process, so keep a close eye on the first time you make this in your oven. And note down the perfect time for your oven for the next time you make oven-baked bacon.
TIP 3: I tested baking bacon on a wire rack, and I didn’t see much difference as far as how greasy the bacon is.
Benefits of oven baked bacon:
- You can cook a large amount of bacon at once! No need to make your house smell like bacon every morning!
- You’ll get evenly cooked, straight bacon strips every time.
- Minimal hands-on time. No need to tend the bacon, flipping them and checking.
- No splattering oil everywhere – minimal clean-up. TIP: Use foil to line your baking sheet.
How to render bacon grease:
I usually don’t run bacon grease through a sieve or paper towel. With baked bacon grease, you don’t get as many impurities. Don’t worry about those tiny burnt pieces, they tend to sink to the bottom anyway!
I have a dedicated mason jar for storing bacon fat. You can simply add more to the top as you go. TIP: You will need to use a glass jar, because a plastic container will melt when you pour in hot grease.
Store bacon grease in the fridge indefinitely.
Can I freeze cooked bacon?
- You can freeze cooked bacon. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place a bacon strip on a plate lined with paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
- You can also chop them up into small piece to use for garnishes before freezing.