From America's Test Kitchen Season 2: Bacon, Eggs, and Homefries
A couple of strips of crisp bacon are always a welcome accompaniment to a plate of eggs, but bacon requires frequent monitoring when cooked on the stovetop, and the grease can be messy. The microwave produces unevenly cooked and flavorless strips, so we looked to the oven for an easier way to cook bacon. Bacon renders its fat while cooking, of course, so it was important to choose a pan that would contain it; a rimmed baking sheet worked just fine, and as a bonus it enabled us to cook more strips at the same time. We didn’t have to turn the bacon because the heat of the oven cooked it evenly, though rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through ensured even cooking. In comparison to the results from stovetop frying, bacon cooked in the oven wasn’t quite as crisp, but it was certainly crisp enough, and it had the same great meaty flavor. Although preheating the oven and draining the bacon after cooking takes a little extra time, the payoff is that you don’t have to stand at the stove while the bacon is in the oven—or deal with grease splattered on your stovetop.
Serves 4 to 6
Use a large, rimmed baking sheet, such as a jelly-roll pan, that is shallow enough to promote browning, yet tall enough (at least 3/4-inch in height) to contain the rendered bacon fat. To save time, you can add the bacon to the oven before it reaches 400 degrees, but exact cooking time will vary from oven to oven. If cooking more than one tray of bacon, exchange their oven positions once about halfway through the cooking process.