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How To Reheat Bacon – I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

Bacon is the undisputed king of the breakfast buffet, but what do you do with your leftovers?

(If you have any, that is!)

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to restore bacon’s crispy, just-fried taste after storing it in the fridge or freezer?

Hang tight. I’m going to show you five different ways to reheat bacon that won’t leave you disappointed.

A note on my experiment

In my house, we take our bacon seriously, which is why I almost always end up cooking too much.

This time around, I used my leftovers in a series of reheating experiments, which included:

  • In a skillet (fresh-tasting results)
  • In the oven/toaster oven (good for large portions)
  • Under the broiler (hot, crispy bacon)
  • In the microwave (no crisp, and a little rubbery)
  • In an air fryer (hot and delicious)

Disclaimer: My goal was to get my bacon as crispy and fresh-tasting as possible.

I was pretty impressed with the skillet method, which has the added benefit of being able to cook eggs in the same pan.

The oven method produced consistent results, and you can reheat lots of bacon at once.

The broiler and the air fryer resulted in the crispiest bacon.

The microwave left me with sad, soggy bacon. I don’t recommend it

Reheating bacon in a skillet

Set a skillet over medium heat on your stove and allow it to warm up. Then, spread the leftover bacon out in the pan, avoiding overcrowding. Heat the bacon on one side for 2-3 minutes until sizzling. Then, flip it over and continue warming it up until hot and crispy. Serve immediately.

This process may require even less time, depending on the thickness of your bacon cuts.

How to reheat bacon in a skillet:

  1. Warm a skillet over medium heat on your stove (no need to add fat).
  2. Spread the leftover bacon out in said skillet without overlap.
  3. Heat on one side for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Flip the bacon, and warm it for a further 1-2 minutes or until hot and crispy.
  5. Serve immediately.

The bacon will release its own fat, so there’s no need to add additional grease or butter to the pan. That being said, using a non-stick or cast-iron skillet is advisable.

Related: Can Non Stick Pans Go In The Dishwasher?

Spreading out the bacon will allow it to crisp up deliciously and evenly.

This is an excellent method for a breakfast fry-up because you can fry other components, like eggs, at the same time.

My verdict

This reheating technique is fast and convenient and delivers crisp bacon that tastes freshly fried.

The minor downside is that you can only warm up a limited number of pieces at a time, and of course, you need to monitor the entire process.

Reheating bacon in the oven/toaster oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread the bacon out on a wire rack over (with a drip tray underneath). Alternatively, use a foil-lined baking sheet. Heat the bacon for 5-10 minutes until hot and crispy. Check it at the halfway mark and flip the bacon if it’s on a baking tray. Serve immediately.

If you’re using a toaster oven, you can reduce the heating time. The smaller space means the bacon will warm up faster.

How to reheat bacon in the oven/toaster oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Spread the bacon out over a cooling rack with a drip tray (or a foil-lined baking sheet).
  3. Heat for 5-10 minutes, or until crispy. Flip the bacon halfway through heating if you’re using a baking sheet.
  4. Once hot, serve immediately.

A wires rack is best because the bacon can crisp from all angles.

If you’re using a foil and a baking tray, you can crumple the foil a bit to elevate the bacon.

This will help air circulation and stop the bacon from resting in its own fat.

Top tip: don’t throw away the excess fat. Collect it and use it to fry some eggs in.

My verdict

This is one of my favorite methods purely because of how effortless it is.

You can heat loads of bacon at once and end up with fantastic results.

My one caution is that you need to be mindful of overheating the bacon and drying it out.

Reheating bacon under the broiler

Set the broiler to high. Spread the bacon out on a wire rack over a drip tray. Alternatively, use a foil-lined baking sheet. Pop the bacon under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Then, flip the bacon and pop it back under the broiler for a further minute. Serve immediately once crispy.

Using a wire rack allows excess fat to drip off the bacon, making this a slightly healthier option.

How to reheat bacon under the broiler:

  1. Set the broiler to a high heat setting.
  2. Spread the bacon out on a wire rack over a drip tray (or a foil-lined baking sheet).
  3. Place it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Next, flip the bacon over and return it to the broiler.
  5. Heat it for a further minute until crispy.
  6. Serve immediately.

Flipping the bacon is a crucial part of this method, else it will burn on one side.

With strong direct heat, you need to keep an eye on the process to avoid drying the bacon out or overcooking it.

My verdict

This method delivers super crispy results and fast. 

I’d recommend this method if your bacon is slightly undercooked for your liking or you like it extra crispy.

Reheating bacon in the microwave

Line a microwave-safe plate with a piece of paper towel. Spread out the bacon on the plate in a single layer, not touching. Heat the bacon for 30-45 seconds or until heated to your satisfaction. Remove from the microwave and serve immediately.

Spreading the bacon out on the plate helps it heat evenly.

How to reheat bacon in the microwave:

  1. Line a microwave-safe plate with a piece of paper towel.
  2. Spread the bacon out on the plate in a single layer, avoiding overlaps.
  3. Heat the bacon for 30-45 seconds, or until hot.

Fat and grease heat up very quickly, so the bacon won’t need much time in the microwave.

The paper towel base soaks up any extra grease, so the bacon isn’t swimming in it.

Be mindful of overheating the bacon by leaving it in the microwave for too long. It will turn dry and unappetizing.

My verdict

This definitely wasn’t my favorite method. 

The bacon turned out rubbery, chewy, and with zero crisp.

Avoid using the microwave if you can.

Reheating bacon in an air fryer

Set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C). Spread the bacon out in the fryer basket, taking care not to overcrowd it or have overlaps. Heat the bacon for 2-4 minutes, checking it every minute or at the halfway mark. Once crispy, remove and serve immediately.

To avoid cleaning a greasy fryer basket, line it with foil or parchment paper before adding the bacon.

How to reheat bacon in an air fryer:

  1. Set the air fryer to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Optional: Line the fryer basket with foil.
  3. Spread the bacon out in the basket, not touching.
  4. Heat the bacon for 2-4 minutes, checking it regularly.
  5. Once crispy, serve immediately.

Spreading out the bacon will ensure that it crisps up as evenly and as quickly as possible. Overlap can result in sticking and soft spots.

Given the harsh direct heat of an air fryer, it’s best to check the bacon regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn or dry out.

Depending on size and cut, the bacon can heat up really quickly, so watch it closely.

My verdict

This is the method I’d recommend for guaranteed crispiness.

However, it’s not ideal if your bacon is already verging on overcooked, as it will only serve to dry it out more.

How to store bacon

You can keep cooked bacon in the fridge for up to five days. After cooling it to room temperature, dab away excess fat with a paper towel and store the bacon in a sandwich bag or a shallow, airtight container. Alternatively, wrap the bacon up tightly in foil or plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge.

Although the bacon will remain safe to eat for up to 5 days, it may start to dry out after 3-4 days. 

Protecting it from air exposure by (for example) sucking the air out of the sandwich bag will help prevent this.

Top tip: If you’re cooking bacon in preparation for later use, cook it to one level below your desired crispness. This will ensure you end up with perfect bacon that crisps when reheated rather than drying out.

Related: Does Cooked Bacon Need To Be Refrigerated

Can you freeze bacon?

You can freeze cooked bacon for up to 6 months. The best way to go about this is to flash freeze the bacon on a baking tray first so that the slices don’t end up clumped together. You can also freeze raw bacon, but be aware that it can still go rancid in the freezer, so try to use it within 1 month.

How to freeze cooked bacon:

  1. Cool the bacon to room temperature.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread a layer of bacon out on top of it, not touching.
  3. If you have more bacon, cover the first layer with a second piece of parchment paper and lay the extra bacon out on top.
  4. Repeat the process until all the bacon is accounted for.
  5. Pop the baking sheet in the freezer overnight.
  6. Once frozen, transfer the bacon pieces into zip-lock freezer bags.
  7. Remove any excess air while sealing.
  8. Label each package clearly and use within 6 months.

To remove the air from your freezer bags, submerge them partially in water while zipping them closed to force out any extra air.

This helps to prevent any premature freezer burn.

How to thaw and reheat bacon

You can thaw bacon overnight in the fridge or by leaving it out on the counter for up to 2 hours. Alternatively, hold the frozen bacon under running water or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Once defrosted, you can reheat the bacon in the skillet, oven, or microwave.

You can also reheat bacon straight from frozen. Given how thin it is, it won’t take long to defrost when subjected to heat. You may just need to adjust your reheating times slightly.

How To Reheat Bacon

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover bacon.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon, reheat bacon
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 541kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion bacon
  • 1 portion American bacon

Instructions

  • Warm a skillet over medium heat on your stove (no need to add fat).
  • Spread the leftover bacon out in said skillet without overlap.
  • Heat on one side for 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip the bacon, and warm it for a further 1-2 minutes or until hot and crispy.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

The bacon will release its own fat, so there’s no need to add additional grease or butter to the pan. That being said, using a non-stick or cast-iron skillet is advisable.
Spreading out the bacon will allow it to crisp up deliciously and evenly.
This is an excellent method for a breakfast fry-up because you can fry other components, like eggs, at the same time.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 541kcal

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