Toaster ovens provide a convenient way to quickly cook or reheat smaller portions of food. Their compact size makes them ideal for apartments, dorms, offices, or anywhere you need an extra oven but don’t have much space.
One question that often comes up is whether you can cook bacon in a toaster oven. The short answer is yes; you can absolutely cook bacon in a toaster oven. However, there are some things you need to know to do it properly.
How to Cook Bacon in a Toaster Oven
Cooking bacon in a toaster oven is similar to cooking it in a conventional oven. The main difference is that toaster ovens are smaller and heat up more quickly.
Here are some tips for getting perfect, crispy bacon from your toaster oven:
- Use a bacon tray or rack. A flat baking sheet will work, but a bacon tray with a rack will allow the fat to drip down, and the bacon won’t sit in grease. The rack raises the bacon for even cooking.
- Line the tray with foil or parchment. This makes cleanup much easier. The rendered bacon fat can make a mess without something to catch it. Line your tray with foil or parchment paper.
- Cook at 400°F. The high heat helps the bacon render its fat and get crispy. Cook thick-cut bacon at 400°F. Thinner sliced bacon may need a lower temperature of 350°F so it doesn’t burn.
- Flip halfway through. Cook bacon for about 5 minutes, then flip each slice over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired crispness. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Blot the grease when done. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Gently blot to soak up any excess grease.
- Make a batch. Since toaster ovens are small, cook multiple trays of bacon in batches to make enough for the whole family. Drain each batch before starting the next.
With the right tools and technique, you can make perfect, crispy bacon in a toaster oven every time.
Toaster Oven Bacon Cooking Times
Bacon cook times can vary based on the cut and thickness of the bacon, as well as your desired level of crispness. Here are some general guidelines for cooking times when using a toaster oven:
- Thinly sliced bacon: 3-5 minutes per batch at 350°F
- Regular sliced bacon: 5-7 minutes per batch at 400°F
- Thick-cut bacon: 6–8 minutes per batch at 400°F
- Extra-thick bacon: 8–12 minutes per batch at 375°F.
These times are for cooking raw, uncooked bacon. If reheating previously cooked bacon, halve the cooking times. All ovens heat up differently, so keep an eye on them and adjust the time accordingly.
A good rule of thumb is to check it after a few minutes, then check every 1-2 minutes until it reaches your perfect level of crispness.
Cook times can vary based on the cut, thickness, and your personal taste. Get to know your toaster oven and make any timing adjustments needed.
Toaster Oven Bacon Temperature
The best temperature to cook bacon in a toaster oven is between 350°F and 400°F. Here are some temperature guidelines based on the bacon thickness:
- Thinly sliced bacon: Cook at 350°F.
- Regular sliced bacon: Cook at 375–400°F.
- Thick-cut bacon: Cook at 375–400°F.
- Extra-thick bacon: Cook at 350–375°F.
Higher heat helps render the fat and make the bacon crispy. But thicker cuts need a lower temperature so the meat fully cooks before burning. Play around with different temperatures in 25-degree increments to find your toaster oven’s sweet spot for perfect bacon.
If precooking bacon in the microwave before the toaster oven, use a lower oven temperature of 300–350°F to finish crisping it up. This prevents burned or overcooked spots.
In most cases, a toaster oven temperature between 350 and 400°F will yield crispy, evenly cooked bacon. Adjust as needed based on thickness.
Toaster Oven Bacon Mistakes to Avoid
Cooking bacon in a toaster oven is easy, but there are a few mistakes to watch out for:
- Overcrowding: Only cook 1-2 slices per tray at a time. Overcrowding causes uneven cooking.
- Not flipping: Remember to flip the bacon halfway through for even crisping.
- Too much heat: Higher temperatures are usually better, but dropping the temperature by 25 degrees can prevent burning if needed.
- Old bacon: Check expiration dates and cook fresh bacon within 1 week of opening the package.
- No tray: Always cook on a lined tray or rack. This catches grease and allows air flow.
- No blotting: Gently blot cooked bacon on paper towels to remove excess grease.
- Microwave precooking: If parcooking bacon in the microwave first, use lower oven temperatures to finish in the toaster oven.
Avoid overcrowding, burning, and undercooking by using the right tools, temperatures, and techniques. With a few simple precautions, it’s easy to make perfect bacon in a toaster oven.
Tips for Buying Bacon for Your Toaster Oven
Choosing the right type of bacon makes a difference when cooking in a toaster oven.
- Look for thin or regular-sized sliced bacon. Thicker cuts take longer and may burn.
- Choose center-cut bacon if you don’t want large fatty areas that can shrink a lot.
- Applewood- or pecan-smoked bacon has a delicious flavor.
- Precooked or turkey bacon needs less time in the toaster oven.
- Buy bacon individually wrapped or in 1-lb packages. Resealable packages keep unused bacon fresh.
- Check the sell-by dates. Use bacon within 1 week of opening for best freshness and flavor.
- Choose a reputable brand like Oscar Mayer, Hormel Black Label, or Wright Brand bacon.
The right package of tasty, quality bacon can make all the difference when cooking in a toaster oven. Look for thinner cuts and trusted brands, and check freshness dates for the best results.
Toaster Oven Bacon FAQs
Cooking bacon in a toaster oven is convenient, but you may have some questions if you’ve never tried it before. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about making bacon in a toaster oven:
How long does it take to cook bacon in a toaster oven?
Cooking times range from 3–12 minutes, depending on thickness. Thinner bacon takes 3–7 minutes, while thick-cut bacon can take 8–12 minutes to cook at 350–400°F. Watch it closely, as ovens vary.
Should you use aluminum foil when cooking bacon in a toaster oven?
Yes, lining the tray with aluminum foil makes cleanup much easier. The rendered bacon fat can stick and cause a mess without foil.
What temperature is best for cooking bacon in a toaster oven?
350–400 °F is ideal. Use lower temperatures for thicker cuts to prevent burning. Higher heat helps render fat for crispy bacon.
Should I flip the bacon when cooking it in a toaster oven?
Yes, flip it halfway through the cooking time for evenly crisped bacon. Cook 3-5 minutes, flip, then cook another 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness.
Can you reuse bacon grease from a toaster oven?
Yes, bacon grease can be reused. Carefully pour it into a heat-safe container after cooking. Refrigerate and use for sautéing veggies or other recipes.
With the right techniques, cooking crispy bacon in a toaster oven is easy. Adjust times as needed and watch closely for perfect results.
Cooking bacon in a toaster oven is totally doable with the right tools and techniques. Use bacon trays, moderate heat between 350 and 400°F, frequently flip, and blot excess grease.
Adjust cook times based on thickness and your oven’s sweet spot for crispy bacon perfection. Toaster ovens provide a great way to conveniently cook up delicious bacon at home with minimal hassle.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.