Take your family meal prep game to the next level with this super easy make ahead bacon recipe. You can make a big batch of bacon in just a few minutes, and it comes out perfectly crispy every time. Are you ready to have your meal prep changed in the best way ever? Because, bacon really does make everything taste better.
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Bacon. People love it. They love to eat it for about every meal possible, and it even now makes an appearance in dessert too. If you haven’t tried a bacon donut, you really need to.
If your kids are anything like mine, than they love them some bacon too.
Our family eats bacon for breakfast, on sandwiches, on salads, and on potatoes too. Basically, bacon gets eaten a lot around these parts. Maybe you can relate?
But, here’s the thing. Bacon can be a total pain to make. You have grease popping off at you from a hot pan. It can take what seems like forever to fry. And, let’s not even discuss the mess that it leaves behind.
This busy mama needed a better way to cook bacon. And, if I was going to stick with a weekly meal plan. I needed to batch cook our bacon too.
And, I finally cracked the code on how to make a big batch of bacon at once. In only a few minutes, and with no mess.
Oh, and you can freeze the cooked bacon too. Make ahead bacon is basically what busy mom’s dreams are made of. Especially when you are trying to tackle family meal prep.
Can bacon be cooked ahead of time?
Bacon can absolutely a bajillion percent be cooked ahead of time, and that is part of what makes this recipe so amazing.
Picture never having to get burned while making bacon again. Or, having to clean up afterward.
Also, imagine making 2-4 lbs of perfectly crispy bacon in less than an hour.
And, always having freshly crispy bacon on hand for breakfast, to top sandwiches, and to add into salads. It is a pretty amazing feeling. Right?
How to make crispy bacon in the oven.
Keeping it real. I wish that I could claim that I was the genius who thought up the idea to cook bacon in the oven. Alas, I cannot.
However, when I tried some of the suggested recipes for baking bacon I kept running into the same issue.
The bacon would stick to the cooling rack that I placed on the cookie sheet, and would break apart when I tried to remove it. Or, it ended up being flimsy bacon. Whomp whomp.
Finally, in a last ditch effort I tried simply placing the bacon strips on aluminum foil. And, it worked so well.
By doing this, you get perfectly crispy bacon. And, zero mess. I mean what could be better than that?
All you need to do is add some heavy duty aluminum foil to a cookie sheet. Be sure to wrap it around all sides of the cookie sheet.
I highly recommend the heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent any grease running onto your cookie sheet. This is the secret sauce to zero cleanup. 😉
Next you add the bacon strips to your cookie sheets, and bake on 400 for 20-25 minutes. Depending on how crispy you want your bacon.
That’s it. Super easy right?
Does cooked bacon need to be refrigerated?
The short answer to this is yes. Cooked bacon does need to be refrigerated.
However, there can be some confusion around the topic as most bacon is considered to be smoked meat. But, most of the bacon that you pick up in the grocery store does not use the traditional smoked method.
Which basically means you most definitely need to refrigerate bacon after it is cooked. Because, ain’t nobody got time for food borne illness. And, wasting bacon is just plain sad.
So, please refrigerate your cooked bacon.
How to store cooked bacon
Cooked bacon will typically last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Don’t worry if you made a big batch that cannot possibly be eaten with in that amount of time. Because you will be freezing it. More on that later.
Since you have taken the time to bake a big batch of make ahead bacon, let’s discuss how to store cooked bacon to keep it crisp.
After you are done with your make ahead bacon, you can place the bacon strips in a freezer bag. I find your bacon will stay crispier if you push the air out of the bag before sealing.
Simply place your cooked bacon in the fridge, and pull out a few slices when you are ready to eat.
If you find that your bacon isn’t as crispy as you would like it. All you need to do is place it on a paper towel lined plate, and reheat in the microwave in 20 second intervals. This works like a charm.
Can you freeze cooked bacon?
The fact that you can freeze cooked bacon is a total game changer when doing family meal prep.
This way you can do a big batch of make ahead bacon, and have plenty of bacon at your disposal for a month or two of meals.
The best way to freeze cooked bacon is to do what I like to call ‘sort of’ flash freezing. Super fancy name. Right?
All you need to do is line a cookie sheet with some freezer paper or parchment paper, and then add a layer of your cooked bacon on top. Then add another layer of freezer or parchment paper on top of your first layer of bacon. And, add another layer of bacon on top. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Repeat this process for 3-4 layers. And, allow the cooked bacon to freeze for 2-3 hours.
Next, you will remove the bacon from the cookie sheet and place into a freezer bag. Press as much air out of the freezer bag as you can.
I also suggest that you place the amount of bacon that you think you will need at a time into the freezer bag. That way you have the exact amount you will need when you need it. Instead of one gigantic bag of bacon.
Cooked bacon can be stored for up to 4 months in the freezer.
How to reheat cooked bacon
When you are ready to eat your make ahead bacon. Grab however many pieces you need from the fridge.
Add them to a paper towel lined plate, and then heat in the microwave in 20 second intervals. Monitor the bacon to see if it meets your desired heat level.
If you are using the bacon on salads, you can totally skip this step. I personally put cold crumbled bacon on our salads all the time. And, have received no complaints.
You do whatever works best for you.
How to reheat frozen bacon
Ideally, you will want to pull the bacon from the freezer, and allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Once you have done that, place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate. Then heat in the microwave in 20 second intervals.
But, let’s be honest. You are busy. Chances are pretty high that you are going to forget to thaw the frozen cooked bacon. Right?
Don’t worry. I got you!
Place the frozen bacon on a paper towel lined plate, and heat the bacon in 30 second intervals. This may take a bit longer than if you allowed it to thaw. But, not that much longer. It still only takes a few minutes.
Make Ahead Bacon For The Win
You now know how to get perfectly crispy bacon in the oven with zero cleanup. And, you can rock your weekly meal prep by knocking out a big batch of this make ahead bacon at once too.
Now get out there, and enjoy your crispy bacon. P.S. Be sure to sneak a few extra pieces for yourself.
SAVE FOR LATER
Take your family meal prep game to the next level with this super easy make ahead bacon recipe. You can make a big batch of bacon in just a few minutes, and it comes out perfectly crispy every time.
- 1 lb or more of your favorite packaged bacon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line cookie sheets with heavy duty aluminum foil. Be sure to wrap it tightly around all 4 sides of the cookie sheet.
- Place strips of bacon on the cookie sheets.
- Bake the bacon in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until you reach your desired level of crispness.
- Be sure to rotate pans in the oven at about 10-15 minute mark. This makes sure all of the bacon reaches even cooking levels.
- Once bacon has finished baking in the oven. Allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove bacon from cookie sheets, and place on paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Once bacon has finished draining you can place in freezer bags to go into the refrigerator.
- If you want to freeze the cooked bacon. Place some freezer paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and then add a layer of bacon on top. Add another piece of freezer or parchment paper on top of the bacon, and then add another layer of bacon on top of that.
- Repeat this process for 3-4 layers.
- Allow bacon to freeze for 2- 3 hours.
- Remove bacon from freezer, and place into freezer bags. I like to separate the bacon out into portions that I will be using during the week.
- To reheat frozen bacon: Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge, and then heat on a paper towel lined plate in the microwave in 20 second intervals. Heat until you reach your desired level of heat and crispiness. If you forget to thaw, place the frozen bacon on a paper towel lined plate and heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 9
- Calories: 160
- Sugar: 0g
- Sodium: 500mg
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Trans Fat: og
Keywords: make ahead bacon, how to bake bacon in the oven, how to bake crispy bacon