Learning how to cook bacon in an air fryer is going to save you time, effort, and cleanup. You don’t have to worry about grease splattering everywhere as you do when frying and the results are just as delicious. And, you don’t have to hover over a skillet making sure that you don’t end up with char. As you’ll see, it’s also mostly a set-it-and-forget situation that doesn’t really take any longer than cooking bacon any other way.
You might be skeptical, but the best air fryers are more than up to the job and are much more versatile than they get credit for. In fact, we’ve already discussed that to some degree with our nine surprising foods to cook in an air fryer article. Now, you can add bacon to the list. Once you’ve tried cooking bacon in an air fryer, you might never cook it any other way.
Steps for how to cook bacon in an air fryer
- Place bacon in air fryer
- Set time
- Let bacon rest
Tools and requirements
- Air fryer
- Paper towels
- Aluminum foil for oven-style air fryers
Step by step for how to cook bacon in an air fryer
1. Place bacon in air fryer
Place the bacon on the crisper in your air fryer, making sure not to overcrowd. You want the airflow of the air fryer – remember, it’s essentially a small convection oven – to hit each piece of bacon on both sides.
If you’re using an oven-style air fryer, you’ll want to put the bacon on an air-fry basket (basically a mesh rack) with either a solid pan or a piece of aluminum foil folded up on the edges underneath to catch any bacon grease drippings.
2. Set time
If you have regular bacon, cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 176 degrees Celsius for seven minutes if you want softer bacon and nine minutes if you want crispy. Add two minutes cooking time if you have thick-cut bacon.
Press the start button and go do something else for seven to nine minutes.
4. Let bacon rest
Remove the bacon from the air fryer and place on a paper towel-covered plate to soak up excess grease. Make sure to dab both sides dry. The bacon is now ready to eat!
Where does the grease go when you air fry bacon?
If the bacon is sitting on a crisper or air fry basket, the grease will fall through the holes. In a basket-style air fryer, it will collect on the bottom, which makes cleanup easy as you just need to dump the cooled grease – wait until it’s cool! – in the trash and wash the basket.
If you used aluminum foil or a pan because you have an oven-style model, then dump the aluminum foil or the grease from the pan, then wash the pan. If you didn’t put anything under the bacon in this style of air fryer, you’re going to have a lot of cleanup on your hands so grab those paper towels!have pets or messy kids that regularly leave messes.
If you have one with a self-emptying base station, then the calculus changes. The base station sucks out the contents of the dustbin and deposits them into a bag inside that usually only needs replacing every 30 to 60 days (check your manual for specifics).
Is it better to cook bacon in an air fryer or oven?
Cooking bacon in an air fryer is better for two reasons. The first is that it cooks quicker. The second is the fact that when you cook bacon in the oven, you’ll most likely cook it on a baking sheet, meaning it will be sitting in its own grease when removed. So, using an air fryer is much better for cleanup.
The only real downside to cooking bacon in an air fryer is the limited capacity. While you can certainly do batches with most food, you’ll quickly accumulate bacon grease when air frying bacon and it’s tough to dispose of while hot. Since bacon grease’s smoke point is 325 degrees Fahrenheit / 163 degrees Celsius, it won’t take much for it to start smoking if you leave bacon grease sitting in the air fryer from a previous batch. So, if you’re cooking for a large group, using the oven or even skillet might be the better way to go.
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James Holland loves audio gear! So much so that he covers all the ins and outs, good and bad for Tech Radar and T3. Where does that so-called expertise come from? Not only is he a lifelong music-lover but he also works in the music industry and is a musician. When not testing headphones or listening to music, he loves to travel, rage at the latest PC games, and eat off-the-beaten-path but not too off-the-beaten-path food.