Once you make Crispy Air Fryer Bacon, you may never cook it another way again! So easy to make, easy clean-up, and SO crispy and delicious!
Bacon is a staple in my house. Not that we eat it every single day, but it's used in so many dishes besides just as a breakfast protein.
The secret to the extra yummy flavor in my Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese recipe? You guessed it: bacon.
Bacon is what makes my Filipino Bacon Fried Rice extra tasty.
It's what give Instant Pot 3-Bean Chili a delicious smoky base flavor.
Even in small doses, everything really is better without bacon.
What's the best way to cook bacon?
There are several different ways to cook bacon. But which is the best? The answer is subjective, but here's what I have found in my 30+ years of cooking and baking.
Making bacon in the microwave: You can place bacon on top of a paper-towel lined microwave-safe plate. Then microwave for a couple of minutes until the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness. This is now my least favorite way to make bacon, although it gets the job done. Microwaving bacon rarely allows the bacon to crisp up evenly, and the bacon can stick to the paper towels.
Cooking bacon in the oven: this is a MUCH better method than cooking bacon in a microwave. You can bake it at 400° degrees on a baking sheet covered with foil, and it comes out perfectly evenly crispy.
Making bacon in an air fryer: I was skeptical at first, but even the first batch of bacon made a believer out of me. For me, making bacon in an air fryer is the best way to cook bacon.
Tips for making bacon in an air fryer
- Don't overcrowd the basket. Cook bacon in a single layer, without overlapping. This will help the bacon crisp evenly and ensure there's not too much fat cooking in your air fryer, which reportedly can cause some air fryers to smoke.
I have never had this happen to me in any air fryer I have owned (currently, this is my favorite air fryer), but I do want to warn you that I have read it can happen in other types of fryers if you try to cook too much fat at once.
- Use parchment paper. I use just enough to cover most of the bottom of the basket. Make sure you top the parchment paper with a full, even single layer of bacon. This will help keep the paper from flying around during air frying.
Air Fryer Bacon FAQs
Many people love air fryers because they allow you to cook food that is normally deep fried with less oil, but you get the same crispy effect. With bacon, it's already high in fat, so you wouldn't normally cook it in more fat (I mean, I guess you could but...). So there's really no amazing health benefit to cooking bacon in an air fryer. Sorry, Charlie.
Absolutely! This is how I air fry bacon in my Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker/Air Fryer. The racks allow the air to circulate even more fully around the bacon, resulting in even cooking.
Cooking bacon in the air fryer is the least messiest. You have less to clean up, and air fryers tend to be fairly easy to clean. With the microwave method, you'll likely have splatter to clean up. And with the oven method, even if you cover the pan with aluminum foil, you'll still likely have some grease on the pan to clean out.
I find that air fryer bacon is the easiest to clean up!
How to make bacon in the air fryer
Making bacon in an air fryer is SO super easy.
Simple place in a single even layer at the bottom of the air fryer insert basket. You can place parchment paper to cover the insert bottom. Just make sure the bacon covers the corners of the paper to keep the paper down and prevent it from flying around during air frying.
Air fry at 400°F degrees for 10 minutes.
So simple, but yields amazingly crispy bacon that is ridiculously DELICIOUS.
What to serve with air fryer bacon
This crispy air fryer bacon can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Crispy Air Fryer Bacon
- 6 slices uncooked bacon
- black pepper (optional)
- Place bacon slices in the air fryer basket or trays in a single layer. If necessary, you can slice the bacon in half and/or air fry on racks, or cook in batches. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired (totally optional!)
- Air fry at 400°F for 10 minutes, or until the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken: Make Once, Eat Twice Recipe