I’m no bacon cultist but whoever decided that it would be a good idea to take a pork belly, cure it in salt, smoke it, slice it and then fry it up was a visionary the likes of which the world has never seen before or since. This salty, smoky, crispy meat goes well with pretty much everything and is guaranteed to make any dish more delicious. It’s basically the King Midas of meats.
The only bad thing about bacon is that it can be messy to fry up on the stove top.* It splatters, and if you have to cook a lot of bacon for a crowd, it can seriously throw off your timing as you have to babysit it on the stove. I’m not sure where I learned about cooking bacon in the oven (I’m guessing Alton Brown), but I’m super glad that I did. It’s the easiest, least messy way to cook this delectable delight and if you’ve never tried cooking bacon in the oven, it will change your life.
- 8 Pieces of Thick-Cut Bacon
- Do not preheat the oven! This is the key to perfect oven bacon.
- Place the bacon on a half-sheet pan and put in the cold oven.
- Turn the oven on and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until it reaches the desired doneness (see notes below)
- When the bacon reaches your preferred doneness, remove from the oven and place on a paper towel to drain.
The fewer pieces of bacon you have on the pan, the less time it will take.
Begin checking the bacon 10 minutes before you think it should be done and take out of the oven when it reaches your desired crispness/doneness.
The bacon will continue to cook a wee bit when you take it out of the oven.
*If you have a cast iron skillet that needs seasoning, do not use this method for bacon. Frying up bacon or sausage in the skillet, wiping out the grease with a paper towel, and repeating is the perfect way to season a cast iron skillet.
Bacon freezes great and can be cooked from frozen by slightly adjusting the cooking time. I always freeze each slice of bacon individually in a single layer so I can take out a few pieces at a time rather than freezing a whole pound in one giant bacon block.
Google the “Bacon Number of [celebrity name]” and you can be the master of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. #1994PopCultureReference.