There are few things more delicious than freshly cooked bacon. However, with all the kitchen tools available nowadays, there are more ways to cook bacon than just frying it up in a pan. Some might claim that frying bacon in a skillet is the best way to cook it, but it can lead to quite a mess.
With kitchen appliances like the air fryer, cooking perfect bacon is as simple as pressing a few buttons. Let's look at how to cook bacon in the air fryer step-by-step.
How to Prep Bacon for the Air Fryer
Air fryers have become a pretty big deal and many people swear by having this appliance in their kitchen. While the Instant Pot was another appliance that quickly became popular, the air fryer has surpassed the popularity of the Instant Pot in recent years. If you're a fan of both appliances, you'll be glad to know that the latest version of the Instant Pot includes an air fry feature.
If you’re looking for the simplest ways to cook bacon in the air fryer, it doesn’t take much prep work ahead of time and you may find that your bacon is just as delicious (if not more delicious!) than when you fry it up in a skillet.
Compared to frying your bacon in a skillet, cooking it in the air fryer can be a way to use less oil and make bacon slightly healthier, although most of us aren’t eating bacon for the health benefits. Whether you’re cooking bacon to add to your breakfast plate or to mix in with your collard greens, making bacon in the air fryer is simple and easy, even for quick weekday meals.
When adding bacon to the air fryer, you don’t need to spray the pan since the bacon will release grease during the cooking process. You may need to play around with the temperatures, but air frying it at 350 degrees F will reduce any smoking.
Heat the Air Fryer to 350 Degrees F
The heating settings on your air fryer may vary, but 350 degrees F is a great place to start to keep the bacon from smoking. At too high of a temperature, the fat from the bacon can cause the air fryer to smoke.
The process of heating the air fryer will depend on the type you have. While some do need to be preheated, you shouldn’t have to worry about this when you’re cooking bacon.
Place the Bacon in the Air Fryer Basket
If you have a smaller air fryer or air fryer basket, you may need to cut the bacon to make it fit properly. If your bacon fits without cutting, simply place the bacon in the basket. If necessary, you can cut the bacon into smaller strips to make it fit without overlapping.
Cook for 7-12 Minutes
The cooking time depends on the type of bacon you’re using and how crispy you like your bacon. Of course, if you like your bacon extra crispy, it's going to take extra time.
The other factor is the type of bacon you’re using. Regular cut bacon should take between 7-9 minutes to cook while thick-cut bacon should take between 10-12 minutes. If you're a fan of extra-crispy bacon, add a minute or two to your cooking time.
Transfer Bacon to a Paper-Towel Lined Plate
Even though you cooked it in the air fryer, bacon releases grease while cooking, so add it to a paper-towel-lined plate to let the rest of the grease drip off.
This step helps the bacon dry off and also ensures your bacon is crispy and not soggy.
Clean the Drip Pan
Cleaning up after you’ve cooked your bacon in the air fryer is pretty simple and involves cleaning the drip pan and disposing of the leftover grease.
Alternatively, you might choose to keep the grease to use for baking or frying other meals.
Perfectly Cooked Bacon in the Air Fryer
The air fryer offers a quick and easy way to cook the perfect bacon. Even without frying it on the stove, you’ll find that the bacon comes out just as crispy.
While the nutritional value of bacon doesn't change much when you use the air fryer, one of the benefits is you can leave it in the air fryer to cook and then focus on the rest of your meal. There's no worrying about flipping it or keeping the grease from splattering all over the stovetop.
Whether you’re adding it to your breakfast plate or cooking it up for lunch or dinner, cooking bacon in the air fryer is a simple and efficient way to enjoy the perfect bacon.
Best Ways to Serve Air-Fried Bacon
We all know bacon is the perfect companion for eggs, pancakes, or waffles. But cooking the bacon in the air fryer opens up a world of possibilities for all the things you can do with it. If you cook bacon in the air fryer, you can focus more on the other parts of your meal since it frees up a spot on the stove and requires little attention.
Here are some ideas for how to serve your air-fried bacon:
- Mix it in with some vegetables like collard greens
- Add it to your pasta salad
- Make bacon-wrapped sausages, scallops, or jalapeno poppers
- Add it to a quiche
- Use it as a pizza topping
No matter how you choose to use it, bacon can be a delicious addition to any meal. Keep these simple steps for air-frying bacon in mind next time you choose to eat bacon at home.
- Hot Potato Salad with Bacon
- Smothered Chops with Onions and Bacon
- Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Sausage and Applewood Bacon
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com.