Do You Need Oil To Cook Bacon? (Find Out Here)

Beautifully fried egg and bacon

Bacon, the king of breakfast in the United States and many other countries, doesen’t need an introduction. This salty, greasy, and crunchy teat fits in many breakfast dinners, in between a burger or a club sandwich, and much more. As a chef, I have seen a lot of discussions about whether bacon should be cooked with oil or not, so I want to clarify it once and for all.

You don’t need oil to cook bacon because bacon is 40-50% fat. The bacon’s fat will quickly come out of the pan, making additional oil pointless. The high grease content also explains why bacon shrinks by over 40% when cooked.

You aren’t required to add extra oil to a pan when you’re cooking bacon. The fat content on the bacon will be enough to add grease to the pan and cook the bacon properly, so extra isn’t needed. The same goes for a grill, campfire, oven, air fryer, etc.

That said, extra that isn’t needed doesen’t necessarily mean bad. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use oil for cooking bacon?

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Can You Use Oil to Cook Bacon?

You don’t need oil to cook bacon; however, some things in life are great even if they aren’t needed. For example, you don’t need a big juicy burger, crispy fries, and a cold beverage to wash it down with, but it’s still great. So, can you use olive oil for cooking bacon?

You can use a slight amount of olive oil for cooking bacon; however, this isn’t necessary because bacon contains a lot of grease. However, heating two teaspoons worth of olive oil in a pan and frying your bacon will accelerate the cooking process.

The thing with extra oil and bacon is excess grease. If you add additional oil to your bacon frying process, dry the bacon with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels, so they aren’t soaked in oil and grease.

My favorite tool for this is the Faberware Slotted Spoon. It’s extremely affordable, high quality, easy to pick bacon with, and it comes with a hanging hole on the handle.

Can You Use Butter Instead of Oil to Cook Bacon?

Oil and butter aren’t the same things. So even when you shouldn’t use additional oil for cooking bacon, that doesen’t necessarily mean you can’t use butter. Or does it?

You shouldn’t use butter instead of oil when you cook bacon. In fact, you shouldn’t use either because bacon already has fat on it which will grease the pan. In addition, you should add bacon to a cold pan, and if you add butter or oil to it, the bacon won’t cook as quickly.

If you’re a big fan of butter, you could heat the butter on a pan and only then add the bacon. This would give a slightly buttery taste; however, the grease would be excessive. Still, this wouldn’t be a big deal, so it won’t hurt you if you’d like to try it. Just don’t add too much butter!

Read also: Why Is Meat Expensive? (9 Reasons You MUST Know)

How Long Do You Fry Bacon in a Pan?

I have fried bacon hundreds of times, and while doing that, I have picked the skill of determining when bacon is perfect and how long you should fry it on a pan. Since you’re here, I’ll share the tips with you!

The time you should fry your bacon comes down to your preferred doneness. If you like your bacon soft, fry for 2-4 minutes; for medium crispiness, fry for 4-6 minutes, and if you like bacon extra crispy, 6-8 minutes is great.

The actual time can vary depending on when you put the bacon on the stove, the type of pan and stove, and the temperature you’re frying. The times below are calculated from when bacon starts sizzling well after putting it on the pan cold with the pan turned on to high heat.

Oh, and turn the bacon when 2/3 of your bacon’s preferred doneness level’s time has passed. So, if you like medium bacon, turn it when 3-4minutes have passed and let it cook on the other side for the rest time. Below you can see a soft, medium, and crispy cooked bacon and their recommended cooking times.

Level of DonenessCooking Time
Levels of cooked bacon and cooking time

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Do You Flip Bacon?

When it comes to most ingredients, meat especially, you need to turn them while cooking. This is because you want even cook through the meat or ingredients. Given that bacon is so greasy and thin, should you flip the bacon, or is it pointless?

Generally, you don’t need to flip the bacon when cooking. However, if you’re frying the bacon on a pan, you’ll get a more evenly cooked bacon.

There are many ways to cook your bacon. If you cook your bacon on a pan, the heat is only coming from below, which makes turning a viable choice! You don’t need to even think about turning it if you’re cooking it in the oven or an air fryer because the heat and circulating air will cook it evenly.

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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