As much as I love bacon, I hate pan-frying it. Yes, it’s always more delicious that way, but it takes a lot of time, creates a lot of mess, and usually burns me with splattering grease. I usually make it in the oven, but I had never been quite satisfied with the results. It was hard to get it crispy without burning, though I didn’t have to worry as much about cleanup. Now we’ve discovered the perfect way to make bacon in the oven.
The trick is all in the technique. I’d previously been putting it on a broiler pan on the middle rack at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes. That’s doing it all wrong. For starters, the bacon couldn’t cook in its own grease. That’s what makes pan-fried so delicious. I ditched the broiling pan for a normal cookie sheet (with sides, of course). I also dropped the pan to the bottom rack and kicked the broiler into high gear. That high heat makes all of the difference, but you need the distance from the heat to prevent burning. And since you’re cooking it in its own grease, you’d better be prepared to move it to a paper towel-lined plate when it’s done (which only takes about 12 minutes; rotate the pan halfway through).
The result? Bacon that is perfectly crispy and juicy with minimal curling and no burning, yet very little cleanup involved. Just wait a few minutes for the grease to cool and pour it into a jar (yes, to use later, not to throw away). The only downside is that you can make delicious bacon so easily at home that you just might find yourself making it for a late-night snack. It’s okay; we won’t judge.