The Best Way to Cook Bacon — Oven vs. Skillet vs. Air Fryer

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plate of bacon

Bacon at its best!

There are so many methods to cook bacon, so I tested 3 of the most popular ways to cook bacon to find out which is truly the best technique. It’s the oven vs. the air fryer vs. the traditional skillet. So what’s the easiest and most efficient method, and which one creates the tastiest bacon strips?!

The 3 methods tested: Cooking bacon in the Oven, Skillet, and Air Fryer

bacon in an airfryer

Air Fryer

If you haven’t hopped on the Air Fryer train by now, what are you waiting for?! We love this handy kitchen appliance and its ability to make crispy, crunchy, delicious keto dishes. Naturally, cooking bacon in the air fryer basket is a must!

Cooking method: Place 3-5 bacon strips in the air fryer basket and cook at 370º F for 8-10 minutes.


    • Grease stays contained
    • Makes very crispy bacon
    • Not messy and easy to clean up
    • Great for cooking just a few pieces
    • Bacon ready in 8-10 minutes


If you are feeding a large crowd or cooking for a family in the morning, this will take several batches to get a large quantity. I like thicker bacon, and I did notice the air fryer makes the bacon super thin and crispy.

bacon on a pan in the oven


Need to make a bunch of bacon at once? You can crisp up the strips in the oven on a baking sheet! This method is easy and doesn’t require constant monitoring or flipping like traditional stovetop cooking does.

Cooking method: Place up to 10 strips of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the oven at 400º F (do not preheat oven). Remove from the oven after 18-20 minutes when the bacon is sizzling and crispy. To make sure the bacon cooks evenly, you can drain the grease and rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.


    • Great for large batch cooking
    • Easy cleanup. You can either:
      • Ball up the foil and toss away
      • Pour drippings into a glass jar and save for future use
    • All strips are evenly cooked


This is the longest cooking time of the methods tested as it can take up to 20 minutes for bacon to finish cooking. That said, you can cook more strips at once so the timing evens out between having to cook in batches with the other methods.

skillet of bacon


Ah, the classic bacon-on-the-stove method. This is how most people prepare their salty strips so we couldn’t leave it out of the comparison.

Cooking method: Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat on the stove. Place 3-5 strips in the pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.


    • Great for just a few strips.
    • Can cook more if using a larger sized skillet.
    • Easy to determine the crispiness level at a glance.
    • You can save the grease for future use after the bacon is removed from the pan.
    • Or you can immediately cook eggs or veggies in the bacon grease using the same pan.


While this is a common method, it can make a big mess if you don’t employ the use of a grease shield, which leads to having to clean up both the pan and the stovetop. It also requires constant supervision as bacon can burn in an instant!

So, which method is our winner?

pile of bacon

The Oven Method!

While it may take the longest, it requires the least amount of effort—you don’t even need to preheat the oven! I love how all the strips are cooked to the same degree and the bacon grease is contained on the foil that’s put on the baking sheet, making it simple to toss away or reuse the bacon grease later. Plus, I’m not having to cook in batches, and can serve up all the bacon strips at once!

Ever try pizza with a bacon crust? Check out this unique keto BBQ Bacon Weave Pizza!

About the writer:

Ashley Mott is a keto recipe developer and has over 2 years of experience as a content creator. She studied design and historic preservation. She has always loved testing new and innovative recipes.

Join The Discussion

Comments 20

  1. Carling Belknap

    My husband cooks it on the grill! It keeps the stink out of the house and turns out fantastic!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      YUM! Love that idea, Carling Belknap!

  2. Hayley

    I was wondering this very thing! Thank you!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are welcome!

  3. Jess

    I like the oven method. Hubby and I each have a slice of bacon every day with our eggs. Batch cooking it saves me time: only have to cook bacon 2X a week, only clean a sheet pan 2X a week, don’t have to stand over it like I would in a skillet. Another bonus is I get a good amount of bacon grease at one time. I pour it into a pint canning jar and use it to cook the eggs in, I melt some and toss on veggies for roasting, and in a skillet to sear red meat (the venison we harvested needs the extra fat).

    • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

      What a great tip, Jess! Bacon grease does have many uses. I bet its delicious in with the eggs & veggies!

    • pattihoff

      How do you keep the bacon grease? If I cook it on Monday but not cooking venison hamburgers till Wednesday? TIA

  4. Jenifer

    I tried the oven method for the first time this weekend. WOW! I love this method and the bacon tasted so much better! Thanks!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! You’re welcome, Jenifer! Glad this method was a success for you!

  5. Rosie Dawes

    This was great, I liked to see all of the methods conveniently laid out for me!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      SO glad you enjoyed each cooking approach listed, Rosie! Thanks a bunch for commenting!

  6. ayeah14

    I use a george forman grill. No splatter, cooks fast and even. I strain the collected grease and use it to cook with.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s great! No one likes the splatter!

  7. John Call

    I use the oven method all the time, and when I drain my bacon on paper towels, I then use the paper towels to soak up the grease before I ball up the foil and throw it in the trash.

    • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

      Hi John! I love that idea! Great way to be frugal. Thank you for sharing.

  8. marcellamrice

    I have to say in your photos your bacon does not look that crispy.

  9. Carmel

    Use a timer to prevent overcooking. We also cook ours on a rack on the sheet pan.

    • Angie (Hip2Keto Sidekick)

      Hi Carmel! Great suggestions thank you❤

  10. Luci

    Where do you buy the Zoe brand bacon?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Looks like you can get it at Vons, Trader Joes and Sprouts.

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