If you use thick-cut bacon, plan to cook for an extra 5 to 10 minutes.
- 12 strips bacon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
1 Prep the bacon: If you have an oven-safe baking rack, place it inside a sheet pan. (For even easier clean-up, you can also line the sheet pan with foil.)
Lay out the bacon strips on the wire rack. Make sure they don’t overlap. Sprinkle bacon strips with black pepper, if you want.
2 Bake the bacon: Place the bacon in a cold oven, and set the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake the bacon in the oven for 15-20 minutes total.
If you are doing more than one pan of bacon, rotate sheet pans from top to bottom halfway through. If you are not using a baking rack, flip the bacon strips halfway through cooking.
Start checking the bacon around 18 minutes, as some bacon cooks faster depending on the fat content. The bacon is done when it turns a dark tan color. Remember that the bacon crisps up as it cools, so don't worry if it's not completely crispy when you take it out of the oven.
3 Drain and cool: When the bacon comes out of the oven, place it on a few paper towels to drain and cool. If you like, pour off the bacon grease from the pan and save it for cooking. (I love to cook eggs in my bacon grease!)
4 Store the bacon: Bacon can be kept in the fridge for a few days and reheats well in a skillet over low heat. You can also freeze the bacon if you made a big batch. Just make sure to freeze the strips individually, or in between pieces of parchment paper, so they don't stick together.