I know baking bacon is old news to some. But several people I have mentioned it to lately have never heard of baking bacon. When you indulge in bacon, the easiest way to make it is to bake it. It comes out evenly done and crispy, with almost no effort from you.
We have been baking bacon for the occasional treat for the last year and I don’t know if we will ever go back to cooking it any other way. It makes a few splatters in the oven, but so does roasting a chicken. Unlike the microwave, which requires lots of paper towels and washing out the microwave, or a skillet, which takes forever, needs watching and makes a mess, baking bacon takes almost no attention from the cook and makes minimal mess.
This doesn’t really even merit a recipe, but I’ll give you a method. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bacon slices in half – this will help them cook more evenly. Choose a baking sheet with sides that will hold all the bacon in a single layer. If the ends or just the edges overlap, that is fine. The bacon will shrink significantly as it bakes.
Bake the bacon for 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes more, or until it is as crispy as you like it. Some slices will finish cooking before others. Remove them from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate and return the rest to the oven to finish cooking. Trust your nose to let you know when to check on the bacon near the end of the cooking time – the minute you get a whiff of dark bacon, check on it.
Save any bacon fat you need for cooking – a tablespoon adds a nice smoky flavor to soup or potato dishes. Discard the rest of the fat in the trash after it cools a bit, wiping the pan with a paper towel to remove some of the grease.
What is your favorite way to cook bacon?