Wondering How to Cook Bacon so you get perfectly crispy strips and no mess? Below you’ll find 3 simple methods to choose from: the traditional stovetop way, by baking in the oven, or quickly in the air fryer. No matter which way you slice it, you’ll be enjoying bacon by itself or in all your favorite recipes.

A white plate is loaded up with cooked bacon pieces.

3 Ways to Cook Bacon

Bacon… is there any better way to make breakfast (or any meal for that matter) infinitely better? I don’t think so.

Most of us know the traditional way of cooking bacon—on the stovetop. But have you ever oven-baked or air-fried bacon? If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing. These 3 methods to cook bacon are a game changer.

One of these other methods boasts easy cleanup while the other is less messy and WAY faster.

But, no matter which method you choose, the result is the same…

Perfectly crispy and delicious bacon! (Here’s more on how to Bake Bacon in the Oven and also a deeper dive into Air Fryer Bacon.)

Bacon is the only ingredient for this recipe.

Selecting Your Bacon

The only ingredient you need to make this recipe is:

  • Bacon. Whatever type of bacon you prefer will work. Note, the cooking times will be different for thick-cut bacon vs. regular. Look for a brand free of nitrates if possible. For the absolute best bacon, be sure to check out the butcher counter.

How to Cook Bacon on the Stove

Below are the steps to follow to cook bacon on the stove:

Add Bacon to Pan and Cook

If you’re using the stove top, the first step is to add the bacon slices to the frying pan.

Be sure to keep the strips from touching each other or they will cook into each other and be hard to flip.

Bacon slices are cooked in a stainless steel skillet.

Over medium-high heat, let the bacon cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Use tongs, a fork, or a spatula, flip the bacon over. Continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful of the hot skillet.

Drain the golden brown bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel. Use another towel to pat it dry and remove excess grease.

How to Bake Bacon in the Oven

Below are the steps to follow to cook perfect bacon in the oven:

Prep the Pan

This method is ideal for a large amount of bacon.

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Avoid a pan with flat edges, as the grease will drip off into the oven creating a smoky mess. Then, place a wire rack over the foil.

You can also choose to line the pan with parchment paper and skip the wire rack.

Bake in the Oven

Place the bacon in a single layer in the sheet pan. It’s best to keep the bacon from touching each other.

If you’d like, slightly lift pieces of the bacon to give the strips a wavy look after cooking.

For regular-cut bacon, cook for 15-20 minutes.

For thick-cut bacon, cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the bacon from the pan and set it on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat the strips dry with another towel to soak up extra bacon grease.

How to Cook Bacon in the Air Fryer

Below are the steps to follow to cook bacon in the air fryer:

Add Bacon to the Air Fryer

The first step is to preheat the air fryer to 350°F. This temperature, while lower than the oven, is best to keep the air fryer from getting smoky. Bacon grease burns at 400°F.

Then, carefully place bacon in a single layer on the rack. Again, try not to let the pieces touch. You can push the bacon up in pieces if it’s too long, or to make it look wavy.

Slices of bacon are shown in the air fryer before cooking.

Air Fry the Bacon

Place the metal rack with the bacon into the preheated air fryer.

Depending on the thickness of the bacon, let it cook for 9 to 11 minutes. The thicker your bacon, the longer it will take.

When it’s done cooking, use tongs to move the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. If you prefer, dab the cooked bacon with another paper towel to remove any extra grease.

​Here are more tips to make Air Fryer Bacon.

Bacon is cooked in the air fryer until crispy.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Store: Keep leftover bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze cooked bacon in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months.
  • To Reheat: You can warm up cooked bacon strips in the oven or air fryer. It only takes a few minutes. Avoid the microwave or you’ll end up with soggy bacon.

What is the proper way to cook bacon?

There is no one way to cook bacon; it’s completely up to you! The stove-top is the most traditional way, the oven is super simple, and the air fryer is really fast. Bacon lovers, choose your preferred method to get perfect crispy bacon!

Do I cook bacon with oil or butter?

Neither! The slices of bacon release enough fat while it cooks, so you do NOT need to add anything extra. If you are cooking turkey bacon, a little butter or oil will ensure a crispy texture.

A white plate is loaded up with cooked bacon pieces.

Is it better to cook bacon in the oven or on the stove?

It entirely depends on your personal preference. The oven is a hands-off method while the stove is the traditional way to get crispy bacon.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Leave some room. Bacon will cook best when it has some space between the pieces. Be sure nothing is overlapping.
  • Clean as you go. If you have to cook the bacon in more than one batch, take some time to clean the grease before starting another round.
  • Watch closely. No matter what method you pick, pay attention so the bacon doesn’t burn. The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your bacon and the method.
  • Save some for later. Drain the extra grease into a glass jar for another use. Also, make a big batch of bacon to top your favorite recipes with.
  • Plus it up. You can make the bacon sweet or spicy by rubbing brown sugar or sprinkling with red chili flakes before cooking.
A plate full of chopped bacon pieces is ready to use.

What to Serve with Bacon

Bacon makes every breakfast better! Serve it alongside any of these delicious recipes.

For something sweet, whip up a stack of pancakes, like Blueberry Pancakes or Gluten-free Pancakes, or make these Double Chocolate Banana Muffins. Don’t miss this Dutch Baby Pancake.

Or, keep it really simple with Overnight Oats, Air Fryer Hard-Boiled Eggs, Sweet Potato Hash Browns, or these Breakfast Egg Muffins!

More Bacon Recipes

There are so many reasons to cook up a batch of bacon for your favorite recipes. Here are some of them.

For an appetizer, try Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño PoppersBacon Wrapped Scallops, or Bacon Wrapped Dates.

As a side dish, you can’t beat Bacon Wrapped Asparagus or Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon.

While there are too many breakfast options to list, some of my favorites are Mini QuicheBreakfast Potato Hash & Eggs, and Savory Waffles.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

How to Cook Bacon (3 Ways)

Wondering How to Cook Bacon so you get perfectly crispy strips and no mess? Below you'll find 3 simple methods to choose from: the traditional stovetop way, by baking in the oven, or quickly in the air fryer. No matter which way you slice it, you'll be enjoying bacon by itself or in all your favorite recipes.
Bacon slices are cooked in a stainless steel skillet.
Yield 8
Prep 1 minute
Cook 9 minutes
Total 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 4-8 oz. bacon strips regular or thick-cut

Instructions 

  • SKILLET: Place bacon in a single layer in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until crispy. Let drain on a paper towel
    4-8 oz. bacon strips
  • AIR FRYER: Place bacon in a single layer and cook at 350 for 9-11 minutes.
    4-8 oz. bacon strips
  • OVEN: Place bacon in a single layer on a large sheet pan either lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and a wire rack. Lift up pieces of the bacon to give it a wavy appearance, if you’d prefer. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-25 minutes. Regular-cut bacon will take 15-20 minutes while thick-cut bacon will take closer to 20-25 minutes.
    4-8 oz. bacon strips
  • Drain Bacon: Remove bacon from the skillet, oven, or air fryer and place strips on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat dry with additional paper towels to remove excess grease.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Store: Keep leftover bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze cooked bacon in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 4 months.
  • To Reheat: You can warm up cooked bacon strips in the oven or air fryer. It only takes a few minutes. Avoid the microwave or you’ll end up with soggy bacon.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.2g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 94mg, Potassium: 28mg, Vitamin A: 5IU, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

You May Also Like

Thanks for
Stopping By!

I’m London! Join me as we cook up nourishing meals for you and your loved ones and learn a few healthy cooking tips and tricks!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating