Everyone in my family loves bacon, so sometimes I need big batches for family gatherings. Whether making a little or a lot, Oven-Roasted Bacon cuts down on the mess and frees your stovetop up for other breakfast goodies.
With Bacon Boy and the Bacon Princess among the offspring, bacon is an absolute requirement at family breakfast gatherings around here. For our last family brunch I made two and a half pounds of it. We could have eaten more, but hey, I have to draw the line somewhere.
Growing up, there was one way to make bacon: in a frying pan on the stove top. Its need for incessant tending is quite inconvenient when you’re trying to get a range of other dishes together, and occasionally it’s dangerous, especially in hot weather when more skin is exposed and vulnerable to spattering fat. Ouch! And the mess … the whole stovetop, the counters and cupboards next to it and the floor can get greasy.
So it was a revelation of the highest order to me some ten years ago when I found a technique for oven roasting bacon in one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks (you can see her method here). This may be old news to you, but I’d wager that the first time you heard about it, you felt the same frisson of excitement that I did. No constant monitoring, clean up is easy—just let the bacon fat solidify, then fold up the parchment and discard it, or scrape off the solidified fat to save it—and you can still have your bacon as soft or crispy as you like.
Just line a sheet pan with parchment paper or tin foil, optionally set metal racks on it, lay on the bacon and roast it until done to your liking. For years I used the racks, but I didn’t have enough for big batches and they didn’t fit my sheet pans properly. Frankly, they were awkward and a bit of a pain. Lately, I’ve simply been laying the bacon directly on the parchment paper and roasting away.
I did a test last week using both methods for comparison purposes. I have to say, I preferred the direct-parchment-version, and not just because it was easier come clean up time — it cooked faster to a crispy yet still pliable texture. Experiment complete, I enjoyed breakfast for dinner.
If you’re already familiar with this method of cooking bacon, this post may be a bit of a yawn for you. But if you haven’t tried it, do! Sometimes a simple change in technique makes a huge difference.
Let’s Roast Some Bacon
Roasting bacon in the oven cuts down on the splattered grease mess, makes more room available on the stovetop, and is a fast way to prepare big batches. It keeps both the cook and the bacon lovers in your life happy!
- desired quantity of the side or streaky bacon of your choice
Pre-heat the oven to 400 ℉ and line as many baking trays as you need with parchment paper or foil.
Place the bacon strips on the prepared tray. If you're making a lot they can be very close together or even touching since the bacon shrinks as it cooks. Place in the pre-heated oven and roast for 15 minutes for well-done but still pliable bacon. My family likes their bacon super -rispy so I leave it in a few minutes longer for them. Since ovens and tastes vary, use trial and error to achieve just the texture you prefer.
Once cooked, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate or tray, and top with more paper towel to absorb excess fat before serving.
Set the baking tray aside to cool until the bacon fat has solidified. Then you can fold up and discard the parchment paper. If you want to save the bacon fat, scrape it off and store.
If you’re cooking the bacon at the same time as another dish that requires a slightly lower temperature, just leave it in longer. I’ve made it at 375 ℉ before and it turned out fine; I haven’t made it at a lower temperature.
First Published 2015 05 09
Updated 2022 10 22