The Best Way To Cook Bacon On The Grill Without Starting A Grease Fire

There are many different ways to cook bacon, but grilling it has to be one of the tastiest. It imparts the meat with a delicious extra layer of smoky flavor, as well as gives it a gorgeously crispy texture. Depending on the size of your grill, it can be a great method for feeding a crowd. And since you're cooking outdoors, it also keeps the grease and lingering odors away from your kitchen.

But grilling bacon comes with its own pitfalls. The small strips of meat can easily burn thanks to the high heat, or even worse, they can slip through the grates. Plus there's the added risk of fat dripping down and causing a flare-up or a grease fire.

Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate these risks and enjoy the taste of freshly grilled bacon without the fire hazard, and without losing half your porky strips to the coals. They mainly involve using a skillet or other kind of griddle surface to act as a barrier between the grates and the meat. You can even make your own foil pan if you want to make clean-up even easier.

Use a skillet or homemade foil pan to grill bacon

One of the easiest ways to grill bacon is by using a cast iron skillet. You'll want to preheat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and put the skillet on it to get nice and hot. Then, lay your strips of meat on the pan, close the grill lid, and let it cook for around seven minutes or so depending on the cut of the bacon. Turn it with tongs and give it an extra few minutes on the other side until it has crisped up to your liking.

Another option is to cook bacon on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil – but don't switch it for parchment paper, which could burn. Give it around 12 minutes on a medium-low heat with the lid closed. Or if you've got one, try cooking the meat in a grill basket with a handle, which makes it easy to flip, too.

Alternatively, you can make your own griddle pan out of aluminum foil. To make sure it's robust enough to handle the job, use a sheet that's twice the size you need, folding it in half to create double-thickness. Fold up the sides like a lip and secure the corners, so the fat won't drip everywhere. Place the foil tray with the bacon directly on the pre-heated grill grates. Once the foil tray has cooled, you can dispose of it, making clean-up a breeze.

Can you cook bacon directly on the grill?

If you're keen to cook bacon straight on the grill, perhaps because you want to get those dazzling crosshatch marks on your meat, then it is possible if you're very careful. There are several tips and tricks that will help you get a good result without all the stress. For starters, make sure you're using thick or ideally extra-thick bacon, as thin slices are too flimsy, burn faster, and can slide through the grill grates.

It's also important to use indirect heat rather than direct heat when you're cooking bacon directly on the hot grates. Try turning off the burners as soon as the slices of meat hit the grill. If you're using coal, have a two-zone fire so that you can move the strips to a lower temperature and prevent them from spending too long over fierce heat.

When cooking directly on the grill, you'll have to keep a close eye on the bacon to make sure it doesn't start to burn. Flip it regularly for the most evenly cooked results — because nobody wants bacon that's burnt and undercooked at the same time. For a much more forgiving technique, it's well worth using a skillet, foil tray, or other surface that offers an extra layer of protection.