The Best Way To Reheat Bacon Without Making It Too Dry

Smoky, salty, and crispy, bacon has a flavor and texture so universally beloved that it was even the centerpiece of the first meal ever eaten on the moon. Fast forward to today, and home cooks everywhere routinely enjoy making it for breakfast and BLT sandwiches, despite the fact that the cooking process can get rather messy with all the grease. 

As such, it's always tempting to make extra batches of the cured meat ahead of time to save on multiple cleanups. However, when you are ready to grab the leftover bacon and serve it the next day, there is always a lingering question of how to best reheat the strips without ruining them completely by drying them out.

Fortunately, all you need is some patience and an oven to reheat bacon without drying it out and rendering it into inedible, salty sawdust. By retrieving your pre-made bacon from the fridge at least a half-hour before you want to place it into the oven, you will give it a head start by bringing it to room temperature, so it can quickly heat up in the oven without spending too much time inside and becoming dried.

The right timing and temperature are key for reheating bacon

There's a big reason you should bring your bacon to room temperature before reheating it — if you place cold bacon inside a hot oven right out of the fridge, it will take longer for the bacon to warm up while cooking, which will lead to the meat drying out. Using an oven is also great because it allows a high-heat environment — ideally set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit — that encourages bacon to warm up quickly, minimizing the time in the heat and preventing excessive drying. One important note — you'll want to also spread out the bacon into a single layer on a baking sheet to ensure even reheating. 

Depending on the thickness of the slices, the bacon should be ready to go after about six minutes. Once you hear the bacon sizzle, it's ready to eat. If you prefer your bacon extra crispy, turn up the temperature in the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

The oven is not only great for reheating bacon, but it is also fantastic for cooking large batches of bacon the first time. A tip to ensure even doneness is to roast the strips on a wire rack allowing hot air to circulate around them (this step is not necessary for reheating).  Cooked in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven, the bacon will be ready after between 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your preferred crispiness. 

You can also use a skillet if you're just reheating a few slices

If you only want to heat up a small amount of bacon, and you don't have the time wait for the oven to preheat, you can do so with a nonstick skillet. Since bacon is already pretty greasy, there is no need for additional oil or butter in the pan. Try to keep the bacon as flat as possible on the surface, so each side is heated evenly. Once the bacon is toasted and ready to eat, you can also save the residue of smoky goodness on the bottom of the pan for the rest of breakfast — just add a touch of oil and fry some eggs; doing so will capture extra flavor from the bits of bacon grease left behind.

Whether freshly cooked or reheated, you can enjoy bacon in so many different ways beyond just a breakfast side. For instance, there is the classic BLT sandwich (try it with watermelon instead of tomato for a new twist). On the other hand, cold, pre-made bacon has plenty of applications, too, if you want to add it to a cooked dish. Leftover bacon is an excellent addition to a pot of baked potato soup or New England clam chowder. You can also add cooked and chopped bacon without reheating directly into fried rice, as the frying process will warm it up for you.