It’s already been established on the food blog that I’m a huge Rachael Ray fan. If she makes it, I buy it and use it. If she tapes it, I watch it and watch it. When I saw her bake bacon in the oven on an episode, I immediately bought her baking sheet (with a rack) and couldn’t wait to test the results.
The Rachael Ray Bacon Baking Sheet with Rack QUICKLY became one of my favorite things in the kitchen. How much did I love it? Well, I ordered a second one immediately.
I’ve used it most often for baking bacon but it is also ideal for roasting vegetables and, of course, the baking sheet itself can be used for anything, simply remove the rack.
The Best Oven-Baked Bacon
The basics (please read below for the whys and hows): Place your bacon onto the pan. Place into a cold oven and THEN turn on the heat to 400 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes.
Bacon in the oven simply tastes better and I have to admit, I was surprised just how much better. I also love that it doesn’t curl up – especially useful for breakfast wraps, crispy homemade bacon bits for salads, and BLTs.
(Continued below the goodness….)
Oven-Baked Bacon at 400 degrees for 20 Minutes
While I, of course, use my baking sheet with rack for cooking bacon in the oven, it isn’t a necessity. You can put your bacon directly on a foil-lined baking sheet and you’ll do just fine. I have experimented for months with oven-baked bacon (I love my life) and these are my tips of the trade:
- Buy good bacon. The whole bacon is bacon premise is incorrect and when you try different brands you’ll see what I mean. Smithfield and Oscar Meyer are the two I buy the most frequently.
- Don’t pre-heat the oven. I mean, you CAN, but putting the bacon into a cold oven, then turning on the heat, seems to cause the bacon to render its fat more slowly (which is a delicious thing) and more evenly, as in less instances of a slice of bacon that’s half crispy and half fatty.
- Baking Times Vary. Not only do oven temperatures and personalities vary, people’s individual preferences vary too. My husband likes for his bacon to be crisp whereas I like for mine to bend if you hold him out like a diving board. Use 400 degrees and 20 minutes as a “guide,” not as an “absolute.” Use this approach, but check the bacon at the 15 minute mark – unless you like yours to bend even more than I do, it will not be ready to eat at this point, but you’ll get an idea of how much further you want to go.
- Keep Time. When you discover your favorite time frame for baking the bacon just as you like, write it down and put it someplace you’ll ALWAYS know where it is. On the refrigerator, in a frequently-used recipe box, or tattooed on your arm – this is vital information, treat it as such!
Not even remotely and ad and I have not been paid to say anything (if only I were paid to talk, I’d talk all the way to the bank!), but I highly recommend this Oscar Mayer Naturally Hardwood Smoked bacon, pictured below. Extraordinary and worth the extra pennies.
I just realized I don’t have a category for bacon on the food blog. What kind of madness is this?! I’m about to take care of that irresponsible oversight…