Bacon is one of the most popular cuts of pork. The cured, smoked meat is good served alongside eggs, tossed into a salad or topping a burger.

Traditionally, bacon is pan-fried on a stovetop. But it can be a tricky process -- the thin strips are easy to undercook or overcook and all of the grease produced is very unhealthy.

For a healthier, hassle-free option, try baking your bacon in the oven.

The Rack Method

Using a baking rack is the best way to make crispy baked bacon. All you need is a large-rimmed baking sheet, a baking rack and aluminum foil.

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Line the baking sheet with foil. Be sure the foil goes up the sides of the pan so it will capture all the grease and keep the clean-up process easy.
  • Place the baking rack on top of the sheet. This will allow the grease to drip off onto the foil while it cooks.
  • Arrange up to one-pound of bacon across the rack. It will shrink up while it cooks, so it is okay for your pieces to touch, but don't overlap the slices.
  • Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of your oven and cook for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how chewy or crispy you want your bacon to be.
  • When it's finished, move the bacon to a platter lined with paper towels, which will absorb the grease. As it cools, the bacon will crisp up a bit more.
bacon on a plate

Parchment Paper Method

If you don't have a baking rack, a good alternative is to line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and then place the bacon on top. The bacon will cook quicker this way than with the rack method, so you will need to adjust your cook time accordingly.

Along with a faster cooking time, the parchment paper allows for the easiest cleanup because it captures all the grease without any leaking through.

Another alternative is to use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. After lining the pan with the foil, you can crumple up some foil pieces and lay the bacon on those to keep the meat out of the grease. Also, to prevent oven splatters you can lay a piece of foil on top of the bacon, and just remove during the last few minutes for "final crisping."

Direct Pan Method

This is the messiest option, but if you don't have a rack or parchment paper, you can simply place your bacon directly on your baking sheet. It will cook nicely, but your pan will be covered in a mess of grease and it can be difficult to clean.

Mouthwatering Bacon Meals

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

A simple recipe with only five ingredients, this is a quick and easy dish you can efficiently serve as an appetizer at your next party. The recipe pairs crispy bacon with juicy shrimp that complement each other to make a delicious dish.

shrimp wrapped in bacon

Bacon Asparagus Brie Bites

Spring is in the air, and this recipe is like having the season in your mouth. It only takes a few minutes to put together this delicious breakfast with veggies, cheese, crescent dough and bacon, but it will make your tummy happy for hours.

Maple Bacon Smokies

If you want to be the hit of your next office or holiday party, put together some mini hot dogs, bacon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and brown sugar and then bake. It's a classic recipe, and you will be amazed at how fast they disappear.

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