In our house, bacon is a staple. We eat it a lot!
And over the years, the way I cook bacon has changed several times. It really has been an experiment in the best method for cooking bacon the way I like it.
Now if you like limp bacon, I really can’t help you. You can stop reading and go on with your day!
But if you want bacon that is nice and crispy (enough to almost stand up straight), but not so tough you break a tooth; If you want the bacon fat to literally melt in your mouth, instead of needing vampire incisors to tear through it, please continue on with me.
I will show you the best (really the only) way to cook your bacon!
But first, let me tell you all the ways I’ve tried it, before creating the magical experience my bacon-eating is now.
- Microwave on a paper towel – tough but limp at the same time. Just don’t even bother.
- Microwave on a bacon cooker – mildly crispier but still tough to chew through. Seriously not worth it.
- Stovetop in a skillet – this method works well, but it’s such a mess that I hated cooking bacon that way. Cleaning the pan, stovetop, walls, fan over the stove, the floor and lastly myself was way more work than bacon was worth. I know that’s almost blasphemy, but come on!
- Oven baked on a cookie sheet – this keeps the mess at bay, and you only have the cookie sheet to clean up. So that’s a plus! The bacon gets nice and crispy but sometimes it’s too hard and tough to chew through. And it hurts my teeth.
- In my Instant Pot on Sauté – This was pretty much a failed experiment from the start. The only way this works is by cutting the bacon into small pieces. And that’s only good if you want to toss it on your salad. I prefer my bacon in copious amounts, right in my hand.
- Sous vide style – cook it for 24 hours at low temperature, and the idea is that it will render some of the fat, and make the bacon tender and juicy. Its fully cooked when it’s done in the water bath, but you still have to throw it in a skillet to crisp it up. I found the texture to be no different than just cooking on the stovetop. Sure, it’s less of a mess, but it takes 24 hours! Who wants to wait that long or plan that far ahead for their bacon?
And finally, the very best method!!
Slow cooked in the oven on a cookie sheet. After being slightly dissatisfied the last few times I cooked bacon at 400 degrees, I started thinking that there must be a better way. Many times, meats are better when they’ve been slow cooked at a lower temperature, maybe bacon would be the same. I decided to put the bacon on a cookie sheet, and put it in the oven at 300 degrees. The first batch was thick-cut bacon, and it took approximately 45 minutes to cook. The second batch was regular thin-cut bacon and it took about 30 minutes to cook. I flipped and rotated them both every 15 minutes.
The results were perfectly crispy, but juicy, bacon with fat that dissolved in my mouth!!
I found bacon nirvana!
Now for the bonus side benefit to putting your bacon in the oven…Bacon Fat!
In the oven the bacon fat renders off and once the bacon is done cooking, I pour the bacon fat into a mason jar for later use. It will keep either in the pantry or the fridge for a very long time.
You might ask what the heck do you use this luxurious bacon fat for?
You make everything else taste like bacon,
I like to sauté with it, cook eggs with it, I might even bake cookies with it — seriously, anywhere you might use butter, you can use bacon fat.
Oh and heat it up, add a little red wine vinegar, some Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and pour over fresh spinach, for a mouth-watering-ly delicious wilted spinach salad!