This Is the Absolute Best Way to Cook Bacon

By Brette Warshaw

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: We’re re-running one of our favorite tips for mess-free bacon with ease. Here’s why you should bake your bacon.


More: Your new favorite way to eat bacon

No, we’re not trying to deprive you of one of life’s greatest pleasures: cooking bacon in a hot cast iron skillet, watching it curl into crimped little ribbons, smelling it waft up in fierce, meaty clouds, and hearing it sputter and stutter like a seventh grade boy asking a girl to the movies.

More: 10 bacon recipes for your inner piglet

We’re trying to help you cook bacon better.

More: How to cook flat bacon

Because as glorious as cooking bacon on the stove can be, it’s also a mess. There’s grease all over the kitchen, and all over you. And because a pan is only so big, making a heaping plate of bacon is something that takes a while—and will leave you smelling like a high-end dog toy. Instead, you should bake your bacon.

More: 1 slab of bacon, 5 dinners


More: Sriracha maple bacon

Here’s how: heat your oven to 400° F, put slices of bacon on a baking sheet—as many as you’d like, just make sure they fit in one layer—and slide it into the oven. The bacon will sizzle in its own rendered fat, cooking evenly. Just 15 minutes or so later, you’ll have those perfect little pork ribbons—with minimal cleanup.

More: Curing and smoking bacon at home

Bonus points: Carefully pour the hot bacon fat into a jar, and store in the fridge. Use as you would lard or butter. Expect awesome, bacon-y flavor.

Sriracha Maple Bacon

Serves about 4 to 6 as a side dish

1 pound thick-cut bacon
3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons Sriracha (use more or less to taste)

  1. Heat your oven to 400° F and line a couple of rimmed baking sheets with parchment or foil. Lay your bacon out on the baking sheets making sure the pieces don’t overlap.

  2. Mix together the maple syrup and sriracha in a small bowl and brush the bacon slices on both sides with it. You should still have a bunch of the sauce left – you’ll use this to brush occasionally as the bacon is cooking.

  3. Stick the pans of bacon in the oven and bake until browned and crispy, about 18 to 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your bacon), taking the pans out and brushing the tops of the bacon with more Sriracha-maple sauce a couple of times during the baking process (once about halfway through and once towards the very end when they’re looking almost done). Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate or platter and serve.

Photos by James Ransom.