Published January 1, 1998.
For perfectly crisp, evenly cooked bacon with no hassle, use the oven instead of the frying pan.
Most of us cook bacon by frying it in the pan. But controlling the temperature of a pan on the stovetop takes patience and constant attention, and even then it sometimes seems impossible to avoid raw and burnt spots on the same piece of bacon.
We'd heard that oven-baked bacon is just as good as fried bacon that's been carefully tended at the stovetop for every last minute of its cooking time (this is the method preferred by working chefs because the bacon can be left largely unattended in the oven). Another advantage of oven cooking is that the cook is much less apt to get splattered with fat. We thought this was worth a try.
Cooking bacon in the oven was in fact just as easy, and just as good, as we'd been told. In fact, it has a couple of advantages in terms of the results you get. First, the oven gives you a larger margin of error (a couple of minutes) than the fry-pan when it comes to timing. Second, the oven cooks the bacon strips more consistently; when part of the bacon is done, all of it is done--there are no raw or burnt spots. And the only thing you need to do once the bacon's in the oven is to turn the pan halfway through cooking. Oven-frying does take a couple of minutes longer than pan-frying (10 to 12 minutes for 12 strips), but it's time that's yours to burn as you choose.list of recipes