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Perfect The Art of cooking Bacon : To Oil or Not to Oil? [Answered]

Nothing completes a breakfast like a side of crispy, juicy bacon strips! They are also widely used in sandwiches, burgers, and shredded pasta. We all know and love bacon, but what about cooking them?

If you’re wondering how bacon gets so crispy, using oil must have crossed your mind. But do you need oil to fry or bake bacon? Let’s find out! 


Do you add oil while cooking bacon?

You’d be surprised that the answer is no. You don’t need to add oil to bacon while frying, baking, or even roasting it. This is because bacon fat renders, which is enough to cook bacon in. Adding oil to the bacon is not necessary. Additionally, you can also save the fat you haven’t used for cooking other foods. This helps add a bacon-y flavor to the food!

Are you still wondering how you can cook some delicious bacon without oil? Lucky for you, we’re here to answer your questions! Continue reading to understand more about cooking bacon.

Do You Actually Need Oil to Cook Bacon?

We say no. Bacon is made from pig and beef meat, which have high-fat content. The fat is enough to cook bacon strips to a juicy perfection without using oil!

If you want to see how much fat your bacon strip has, look for the white parts of the meat. This is the fat. Are you wondering how fat helps bacon cook?

When bacon cooks, its fat melts and forms a rendered fat oil. Bacon strips can efficiently cook in this oil, eliminating the need to add extra oil or other alternatives.

As we know, the fat melts and liquefies when bacon is being cooked. A few minutes after you cook, you’ll notice the fat starts to solidify again.

You can store the excess rendered oil in a plastic container. Are you wondering why? Rendered fat oil can be used to cook other foods such as eggs. You can add the bacon essence to more foods by cooking them in bacon fat oil!

Many of you must think, “Does the same answer apply to lean bacon? Lean bacon is bacon with low-fat content. Interestingly, yes, the same answer applies to lean bacon too. The fat content in lean bacon produces enough rendered fat oils to cook perfectly.

The role of the rendered fat is primarily to ensure that the bacon strips don’t stick to the pan. So, whether you’re cooking regular or lean bacon, both have enough oils to cook thoroughly.

However, if you strongly believe adding a few drops of oil is a good idea, you can go with that too! 

Cooking Bacon Without Oil: A Simple Stepwise Guide!

Now you know that cooking oil in bacon strips is unnecessary. They can bathe in their fat oils and cook fantastically! Isn’t it great how such a delicious dish is so easy to cook?

You must still want to know how to cook bacon without using oil. We’ve put together a simple 3-step guide to make it easy. Read further to find out what they are!

Step #1: Pick the Right Pan

The first step is to choose the correct pan for the process. The ideal choice would be a cold, non-stick frying pan. If you don’t have a non-stick frying pan and are looking to buy one, we’ve listed 3 of our favorites. Check them out!

Sensarte Nonstick Frying Pan SkilletOrder Now!
Tramontina Aluminum Nonstick Fry PanOrder Now!
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These pans are excellent choices as they make cooking efficient and allow you to flip bacon strips like a pro!

Step #2: Rub Some Grease

Before you start cooking bacon strips, you have to grease the pan. Simply take your bacon strip and rub it all over the frying pan’s surface. It helps to start by adding a thin layer of fat to the pan’s surface before turning the flame.

Why does this happen when the fat melts as soon as you start cooking the strips? Well, the fat on the bacon strips starts to liquefy about 2 minutes after it starts cooking. So, your bacon strips need some grease initially, as it doesn’t allow them to stick to the pan. 

Step #3: Time to cook!

Cooking Bacon (Source: Lexington Herald Leader)

Now, it’s time to cook. After you’ve greased the pan, place the bacon and turn up the flame. Soon enough, you’ll notice the fat starting to melt off and the spreading. 

It is best to start cooking bacon on medium heat. Please wait till you see all the fat rendered out. Once it all becomes grease, you can lower the flame. The grease will spread on your pan and cook your bacon to perfection!

How much time do you have to cook? Well, this depends on the thickness of your bacon strips. It generally takes about 2 to 10 minutes on each side.

Cutting bacon meat into perfectly sliced strips is an essential aspect too. If slicing bacon meat sounds too hard, you always have pre-sliced options. Check out our pre-sliced smoked bacon recommendations:

BaconSmoked WithPrice
Fresh Brand Smoked BaconApplewoodBuy Now
Smithfield Naturally Smoked BaconHickoryBuy Now
Wright Brand Smoked BaconHickoryBuy Now

If your bacon strips have a strong smoky flavor, chances are you’ve overcooked them. Please remember not to let the strips for too long to prevent smokiness in the meat.

Note: Please don’t wash the grease-covered pan in your sink. As we discussed, the melted fat solidifies a few minutes again after cooking. So, if you wash the pan in your sink after you cook, chances are the fat washes down your sink and solidify in your drain. This can clog your drain and be a hassle to fix.

Precautionary Measures 

Well, yes. Bacon is easy to cook, so you must be wondering what precautions to take. You’re right. Nevertheless, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

The precautions to be taken during cooking are primarily associated with the rendered fat. While the process of making bacon is simple, it requires you to pay keen attention as well. 

As bacon contains lots of fats, many rendered oils are produced. The more the fat continues to render, the messier it gets. 

Cooking Bacon (Source: Food Hacks)

Please be careful, as the high content of rendered fat may cause hot oil splashes. Keep in mind to be at a safe distance from the pan. We advise beginners to wear gloves and a cooking apron while cooking bacon.

It is essential to watch out for oil splutters. They create a greasy mess and could be a potential fire hazard. Please ensure that you properly clean grease stains from your stovetop.

Please keep in mind to never throw water on grease fires. Trying to put off the fire with water only worsens the situation. So, what to do? 

First, turn the fire source off. Next, use metal lids, plates, or cookie sheets to cover the flames. This way, you can suffocate the flames by reducing the oxygen supply. But there is so no such thing as being too safe. Please have a fire extinguisher within your reach in case of a bigger fire.

Another crucial point to remember is that there shouldn’t be any fire sources or flammable material around the stove.

When hot oil splutters and spreads to these fire sources, grease fires start immediately. Having flammable material around may cause a bigger fire.

Is Cooking Bacon with Butter a Better Alternative?

Well, we now know that bacon doesn’t need cooking oil. Are you wondering if you can use other alternatives? Like butter?

If you are, the answer is no. We do not recommend using butter for cooking bacon. It doesn’t cook your bacon perfectly and can also make a mess for you to clean! Applying butter to the surface of bacon strips will take a long time for it to be done. It sounds unnecessarily time-consuming when bacon takes only 2 minutes to render fat.

So, it is best to avoid using butter for cooking bacon.

How about olive oil? Again, we would advise against using olive oil as well. Olive oil is extremely greasy, which is difficult clean from the pan too. It doesn’t fry the bacon strips, well. So, if you wish to use oil anyway, it is best to stick to unflavoured oils as they get you better results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use rendered oil from bacon fat to cook eggs?

Yes, you most definitely can. You can use the rendered oil for cooking eggs. All you need to do is crack an on the oil and season it with salt and pepper. Flip it on the other side to cook it thoroughly. Your eggs will have a lovely bacon essence once they are all done!

How do you cook bacon professionally?

Here’s our simple chef’s guide you can follow to cook your bacon:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 357 degrees. 
  2. Next, place the bacon strips on parchment paper and pop them in the oven
  3. Let the bacon strips bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Then, flip them over to let the other side cook for another 10 minutes.

You can now enjoy juicy, crispy bacon strips with your family and friends! 

Can I cook bacon by steaming it?

Yes, you can. Steaming is an excellent option for cooking bacon. You can use a steam oven to do so. Why steam bacon? When bacon is steamed, it retains more moisture. It makes the bacon strips softer and more tender. The best part is the edges will still have the bacon crispiness! Additionally, it is less of a mess to clean up. 


And that’s it for our post! We hope you’ve got your answer to “Do You Add Oil When Cooking Bacon?”.

You’d want to know the right way of making bacon. Fortunately, it is a simple process that doesn’t require extra cooking ingredients.

Please avoid using butter, olive oil, or other oils to avoid making a greasy mess! The rendered fat produces enough oil for your bacon strips to cook to classic perfection! 

Thank you for reading. See you in our next post! 

Susan Wilson

My name is Susan and I am the person behind this blog. My mission is to help you become a better cook and start cooking like a pro! Here we talk about our kitchen adventures – good or bad- so you can laugh or two about it. So let the journey of mastering the ART OF COOKING begin.