Items you will need
- Two baking sheets
- Broiler trays (optional)
- Aluminum foil
- Clean plate
- Paper towels
- Airtight storage container
- Oven mitts
Pan-frying is a suitable method for cooking smaller portions of bacon, but for a batch as large as 5 pounds, it’s too inefficient -- you would have to stand over the stovetop flipping meat all morning. Large batches require a hands-off method that you can set and forget, so leave the skillet in the cupboard and preheat the oven. Cooking bacon in the oven is easier and faster -- you can cook all 5 pounds in as little as 45 minutes -- so you can multitask with ease and avoid the frustration of splattering grease and a smoky kitchen.
Place one of your oven’s racks in the top third of the oven and another in the lower third. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. If you have slotted broiler trays, place them on top of the sheets.
Line up your bacon strips on the baking sheets so that they do not overlap with each other. If you are using broiler trays, place the bacon strips on top of those -- this allows their grease to drain into the lined sheet. You should be able to get about 1 pound of bacon on each sheet.
Place your baking sheets in the oven -- one on the top rack, and one on the bottom rack. Set your timer for 10 minutes.
Monitor your bacon for the next several minutes. If you are not using broiler trays, you may need to remove the bacon from the oven momentarily to drain excess grease from the baking sheet. Slowly pour it into the sink so that the bacon doesn't fall off the tray, then put the baking sheet back in the oven. When the bacon is done, it will be crisp with a golden-brown color.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and place your bacon on a clean plate lined with paper towels to cool. Throw away your aluminum foil, reline the baking sheets and repeat the process. Keep in mind that any batches after the first may not take as long to cook, as the baking sheets are already hot.
Once your bacon cools, place it in an airtight container. You can then refrigerate it for up to one week or freeze it for up to three months.
Broiler trays aren't just for easier cleanup, they also make the bacon crispier. For less crispy bacon, skip the broiler trays and cook directly on the lined baking sheet.
Always use oven mitts when handling hot baking sheets.
Remove your cooked bacon using tongs, so that you don't burn your fingers.