Cooking bacon to the perfect degree of crispiness is a skill worth learning, especially if you have never cooked for yourself before, and you need to feed a crowd at breakfast time.
Cooking bacon in the oven is healthier than frying it, and it also crisps up wonderfully, with no soggy, unappealing fat surrounding the meat.
It’s incredibly simple to cook bacon in the oven if you need to do a lot at once, and when it’s done, you can use the bacon in sandwiches (irresistible!) or add to other recipes.
I find streaky bacon to crisp up best in the oven without drying out, but be careful if you want to cook bacon medallions in the oven – the lack of fat means that they will dry out very quickly, and no-one likes eating shoe leather! In this case, a bit of fat is a good thing.
Preheat your oven
You can’t put the bacon into an oven you’ve just switched on – it needs ten minutes at least to get up to temperature before you put the bacon in. Preheat to 400F/fan 180C.
Line a baking tray with foil, as this helps reduce the mess and gives you less washing up to do once the bacon is cooked!
If you want extra crispy bacon, put a wire rack in the baking tray to place the bacon on.
Don’t overlap the slices
Lay your bacon strips down flat in a single layer, making sure none of the strips are lying on top of the others, as this will give you soggy bits on your bacon.
Use a tray and wire rack, or just place them on the foil lined baking tray, and put them in the oven.
Bake for around 15-20 minutes
How long you leave the strips in depends on how crispy you like your bacon. If your oven is fierce or you’re not sure, start checking on the bacon at around 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it until it’s done to your liking.
Drain and serve
Put the cooked bacon onto a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess grease, then serve immediately. Drain the fat left in the baking tray into a clean glass storage jar with a lid, and use it to add flavor when cooking eggs, roasting veggies etc.