One of the handiest yet most basic things I learned to do when I worked at Focus on the Family was to cook bacon in the oven. We went through TONS of bacon because it was often served during breakfast plus some was served at lunch time for sandwiches and occasionally for entrées. So cooking it on a sheet pan in the oven just made sense.
Now that I have a family of bacon lovers and we often go through a full pound or two of the meat in a single meal, it’s once again super convenient to cook bacon in the oven.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- Place the raw bacon slices on a baking sheet with a lip. The lip is important as this prevents too much splattering as well as contains the bacon fat as it renders off the meat. You may line the sheet pan with some parchment paper if you like to make clean up easier, but I don’t because not doing so makes it easier to save the fat for cooking with later.
- Put the sheet pan in a preheated 400° Fahrenheit oven. Allow to bake for 15 minutes or more. How long it takes depends on how well your oven works and how thick the bacon slices are. After baking for the initial 15 minutes, continue to bake the bacon in 1 or 2 minute increments until done. The bacon should be browned but not super crispy.
- Pull the sheet pan from the oven then carefully remove the bacon with heat safe tongs and place the slices on a paper towel or cloth towel lined plate so the excess fat drains off. Allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes and enjoy!
Don’t Waste the Bacon Fat!
Once I’m done cooking the bacon in the oven, I save the fat. It is great for healthy cooking and it adds AMAZING flavor. To save the bacon fat, something like a mason jar will do, but I have this spiffy grease container. It has a strainer so it removes the meat bits while allowing the fat to pass through into the container.
Here’s a funny story from when I worked at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. After the bacon had been made for breakfast one day, I took the cooled baking pans to the dish room to wash them off. As I first washed some other dishes that had piled up, one of my coworkers walked in and saw the baking sheets coated with the partially-solidified bacon fat. He asked if those were the sheet pans from cinnamon buns. Not looking up and recalling that the cinnamon bun sheet pans were in the room also, I said yes. So he scooped up a big gloop of bacon fat and put it in his mouth. He immediately began sputtering and gagging because, well, he expected frosting!