We Tried It: Bakin’ Bacon In The Oven

wetriednewbaconThey say life is hard. Not so, my friends. Not so when you’re tasked with trying a new way to make and subsequently eat bacon. And of course, you’re right — making bacon in the oven isn’t exactly a “new” concept.

“My mom/dad, always made our bacon this way,” you probably said to me if you’re a friend I spoke with recently on the subject.

But most people probably make bacon on the stove, whether in a grill-top pan or otherwise, with a bacon guard to keep the spatters at a minimum or just freeing up your range to grease galore. It’s also fun to say “bakin’ bacon,” for obvious reasons, and that’s enough justification to do something around here.

OVEN TEST 1
First I found a recipe for “crispy, crunchy bacon,” with flour-coated bacon that bakes in the oven. Cool, let’s try that, because bacon.

THE BACON: D’Artagnan

THE METHOD: The instructions said to coat the bacon in flour and place it on a foil- or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Bacon coated in flour, hanging out.

Bacon coated in flour, hanging out.

Did that. Failed to check the bacon while cooking, perhaps trusting too blindly. At the 20-minute mark, checked bacon to find it on the verge of inedibility.

Future bacon bits?

Future bacon bits?

THE TAKEAWAY
Crunchy, indeed. Exhibit No. 38783 on why you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet. If you need homemade bacon bits, however, this is your new jam.

But don’t worry, it wasn’t a total waste — I made the same bacon on the stove top and it was delicious like bacon wants to be.

bothbacons

OVEN TEST 2
After returning to the Consumerist’s deeply underground super secret lair and bemoaning that poor, burned bacon, my understanding and empathetic coworkers shoved me out of my funk by suggesting that I redo the oven test, only skipping the flour and keeping an eye on the bacon while it cooked, this time.

THE BACON: Boar’s Head

THE METHOD: You can look for a recipe with a fancy name on it, but even Ina Garten’s “Roasted Bacon” comes down to what I did — preheat oven to 350 degrees, lay uncoated bacon on foil-covered tray, bake for 20 minutes.

Uncoated bacon, hanging out.

Uncoated bacon, hanging out.

This go around, I set a timer for 10 minutes and checked the bacon then. It looked pretty delicious, but I let it go for a further three or so minutes. This will vary, of course, by how cooked you like your bacon.

All done, ready to drain and get chewed.

All done, ready to drain and get chewed.

THE TAKEAWAY: Delicious, perfect, bacony. And without all the spattering on the stove top. I just left out the grease-covered foil to let it congeal a bit and then tossed, so clean-up is definitely a lot easier.

Also, I got to eat a lot of bacon.

Special thanks to tasters/owners of reliable ovens, Lauren and Liz, along with guinea pigs Jim, Katie, Bobbi and Todd. You are my best bacon friends.

Found a kitchen or DIY experiment — old or new, it doesn’t matter — you want me to try? I’ve got my limits, but I’m open to suggestions. Send an email to tips@consumerist.com with the subject line WE TRIED IT.

Read Comments6

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  1. DaveP says:

    While I typically gook it on the stove in my cast iron skillet, I do make it in the oven when I need to cook a large quantity. One thing I have learned is that you have to keep a good eye on it. It can go from barely crispy to burnt in a minute or two.

  2. Grey says:

    The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the tray. A larger tray means fewer minutes because the pool of grease won’t be as deep.

  3. Liberal says:

    good test to be involved in. bacon, bacon.

  4. offenhauser says:

    I bake it in the oven but on a broiler pain so the grease drains off.

  5. Thorzdad2 says:

    I’ve cooked bacon in the oven before and, while it’s true that you eliminate grease splatter on the stovetop, I always ended up with splatter all over the oven interior. I used a wire cooling rack sitting in the tray to let the bacon grease drip away from the meat.

  6. JoeBlow says:

    When I bake bacon, it’s often with some of those frozen hash brown patties. I don’t know if that’s enough to act as some sort of heat sink. I usually bake for 10 minutes/side, around 400 degrees. More recently, I picked up some spiky looking silicone baking sheets, looking similar to these: http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Baking-Non-Stick-Raised-Silicone/dp/B00E3EZTL4 at Ocean State Job Lot. These sheets do well to let the grease fall from the bacon, though they are a bother to hand wash sometimes.