There is more than one way to cook bacon — all of them fine — but baking it in the oven is unrivalled in terms of ease. There’s no splattering grease, no need to watch it closely and the low-and-slow, even heating of the oven means each strip comes out perfectly crispy end to salty end. You don’t even have to preheat your oven; in fact, it’s better if you don’t.
Just like cooking bacon in a pan, bake-on benefits from a cold start. The fat gently renders out as the oven heats, resulting in flatter, crispier, more evenly-cooked strips of cured pork. (Plus, you save a little energy by not waiting for the oven to preheat.) Just set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet, lay out the bacon, and set it all in a cold oven.
Set the temperature to 190C, and walk away. Check in on your bake-on after 20 minutes or so, and let it cook until it’s as crispy as you please.
Remove the pan from the oven, remove the bacon (and wire rack) from the pan, and strain the grease into your grease crock or jar. Eat the perfectly crisp bacon. Repeat as needed.
This story was originally published on 12/11/10 and was updated on 6/6/19 to include information regarding preheating the oven.