Baked Bacon

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photo collage: a plate of bacon, bacon on a cookie sheet, a jar of bacon fat

“Almost anything can be improved with the addition of bacon.”
~ Jasper Forde

It’s Genius!

How did I go 40+ years of my life without ever knowing about baked bacon? I can cook a whole pack at once and simply walk away. No more standing at the stove, getting my clothes splattered with grease. Now, I just enjoy my morning and revel in the scent of bacon cooking. When the timer goes off, I wander back into the kitchen and watch it for the last few minutes, until it’s the perfect level of crispiness. An added bonus is that it makes the best bacon fat ever – smooth, creamy white, delicious, and awesome for frying anything, including chicken livers (pro tip).

Buying Quality Bacon

Not all bacon is the same, so I thought I’d share some examples, so you can make an educated choice:

  • Oscar Mayer is the classic that most of us grew up with, but I don’t buy it now due to the chemicals it contains and the antibiotics the pigs were fed. Here’s the ingredient list: Pork cured with water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrate.
  • Applegate Organic Sunday Bacon: This is sold in health food stores. If you look at the label, you’ll see a small amount of sugar in the ingredient list, but none on the nutrition label. This is because sugar is used to cure the bacon but none remains by the end of the curing process. This makes it an AIP-friendly brand. If you buy a similar brand, doublecheck the ingredients because sometimes they’ll add “spices” and that is usually code for nightshades. Here’s Applegate’s ingredient list: Organic pork, water, sea salt, and less than 2% of the following: organic cane sugar, celery powder.
  • Pederson’s Natural Farms Organic No Sugar Added Uncured Smoked Bacon: This bacon is both AIP and sugar-free, so win-win! It’s also sold in many health food stores. However, Pederson’s has a lot of bacon varieties, so look for the package with this ingredient list: organic pork, water, vinegar, salt, and celery powder. Note: they also have a variety that uses fruit extracts (pomegranate, citrus, and rosemary) in place of celery powder. That is AIP-friendly as well. 

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Baked Bacon | Phoenix Helix

Baked Bacon (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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  • Author: Eileen Laird
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 package of AIP-friendly bacon


  1. DON’T preheat the oven.
  2. Arrange bacon slices on a cookie sheet. Place them close together but not touching.
  3. Put them in a cold oven. Turn heat to 400 degrees. Walk away.
  4. Come back 20 minutes later and check the progress. Bacon is done when it’s golden brown. If you like it crispy, cook it a little longer, but watch closely. It can turn from crisp to burnt quickly. Thick-cut bacon takes a few minutes longer to cook than traditionally thin bacon.
  5. Remove bacon to serving plate, and pour off the bacon fat to use in later cooking.


  1. I put the bacon directly on my cookie sheet, because I don't mind washing it. However, if you want to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup, that's an option, too!
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Oven

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35 comments on “Baked Bacon”

  1. I’ve cooked bacon like this for years. We did it this way at a hotel I worked for. I use a piece of parchment paper as it helps with pan clean up. Also we have a local place that sells beef bacon. I’m going to have to check out the ingredients as I’ve only had it pre AIP but wow is it delicious! I hope it’s one I can still have.

  2. Thrilled to know that the rack is not necessary! The only thing that’s harder for me about baking bacon (over pan-cooking) is the clean-up, but with no rack, it just got a lot easier. Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome! I agree – with cooking, easy cleanup is essential. I also got a tip from a reader that you can use parchment paper for even easier cleanup, so that’s an option too.

  3. Could you remind me why bacon fat and bacon is ok for RA and not inflammatory? It makes sense while I am reading about diet for us and then I start doubting it.
    Thanks, Barbara

    1. Barbara, there’s a big difference in quality of bacon, as I outline in the article. If you buy the paleo brands, you aren’t getting the chemicals and additives contained in conventional bacon. That said, I still consider bacon a treat. I eat it once/week on my autoimmune paleo diet and love every bite! It’s not unhealthy, but it’s not as nutrient-dense as liver or as anti-inflammatory as seafood either. So, I focus on the AIP food pyramid for my food choices. Don’t fear bacon, but don’t make it the bulk of your diet either.

  4. Hi!! I just started AIP a week ago and your website has been a big help! I am wondering… Why is it ok to have the Penderson Bacon in regards to it having salt? Is it because it is less than 2%? The same for the Applegate one in regards to the sugar? I know you mentioned the sugar isn’t on the end product, but I am wondering if it is also because it is less than 2%. If something has less than 2% of something I’m not suppose to eat, is it still ok? Thanks for all your help!!

    1. Hi Kelly. Salt is allowed on the AIP – in fact it’s considered an important part of a healthy diet. It’s very rare to eat too much when your diet is focused around whole foods. Sea salt or another mineral-based salt like Real Salt is the recommended kind. For more information, you can read this article from The Paleo Mom: Is Salt Paleo? Welcome to the community!

      1. Gotcha! I thought I could only have Sea Salt, so I’ve been eliminating anything that doesn’t specify salt as sea salt. So excited for Bacon! Thanks for the quick response and the help!

  5. from what I have read about US Wellness bacon is that their pigs eat corn and soy that cannot be guaranteed to be non gmo

  6. Wetting the bacon before cooking it helps it to cook more evenly and I don’t get so many of those burnt ends like I used to. I used to actually rinse the bacon (tip from wwII era homemakers) but now I use a spray bottle of water and just spray the pan before I place the bacon on, and then spray the tops of the bacon before cooking. Alternatively, wet the pan and just coat the bacon with the water on the pan as you place it on….whatever works for you! We mostly cook fresh pork belly and the water also helps to distribute the salt that I sprinkle on before cooking.

  7. I adore Nick Offerman! Another funny bacon lover comedy routine is Jim Gaffigan. I couldn’t get the link to copy, so check him out via you tube.

  8. I’ve baked bacon with and without a rack; flipped and not flipped half way through; and at temperatures from 350 to 400. My favorite is 375, directly on the pan, not touching it for at least 20 minutes Most times it needs more than 20 minutes. The ends burn more quickly in a hotter oven.
    I’ve never tried starting with a cold oven. I’ll try that on my next next batch.
    Cooked 2 pounds of the applewood smoked non-nitrate brand that whole foods carries last weekend. Kept it stored in the frig, and warm it in skillet as needed. 7 of us ate it all in one morning.

    1. You are clearly a bacon perfectionist, which is a worthy goal. Let me know how you like the cold oven start.

  9. I cook my bacon on a wire cooling rack that fits into a rimmed baking sheet… it keeps the bacon out of the fat and allows it to crisp nicely. And then I can pour all that lovely bacon fat into my “random fat pot” that sits beside the stove.

      1. I use unbleached parchment paper on my cooking sheet before adding bacon. Cooking time & temp remains the same. Clean up is a breeze. If you want to save bacon grease, just lift parchment paper and pour into stainer, then the parchment goes in the trash. The cooking sheet is a quick clean up and eliminates the amount of grease that may accidentally goes down your drain! Unbleached parchment is key!

  10. Hey Eileen,

    This is the only way I cook bacon! I place the bacon on a cooling rack though and place the cooling rack on top of a large pan. I like the idea of putting the bacon in the oven while it’s preheating – I can see how that creates a nice texture. I will have to try that next time.

    And I LOVE Nick Offerman! Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite shows. His character is hilarious. That video clip totally put a smile of my face this morning. Thanks friend.

    Have a great day.


    P.S. Bacon

  11. First, thank you for the sharing the bacon love! Second, that video is hilarious. I’ll have to share it with my husband tonight. 🙂

    Note to self: bake bacon more often, it really is so much easier and it will save you from painful bacon “kisses”.

  12. We put our bacon on a wire rack holding it just above the cookie sheet. And you are right – the very best way to cook bacon!

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