If you’ve ever prepared too much bacon, or thought about cooking bacon a day or so in advance, you were probably wracking your brain to try and figure out the best way to reheat that leftover bacon so that you could experience all it’s yummy glory a second time. While there are many methods and ways that you can reheat leftover bacon, there is only one best way.
So, what makes one method better than another? To decide this, we looked at 4 unique methods (Heating in the Oven, the Air Fryer, the Microwave, and on a Skillet) and judged them on 5 different categories: Cook Time, Ease of Cleanup, Texture, Flavor Retention, and Convenience. Each of these categories were ranked on a 5 point scale to come up with an overall best way to reheat leftover bacon.
However, we know that not everyone feels the same about what is most important, so we listed out the some of the best methods for you to try out if one category weighs heavily for you.
The Overall Best Way to Reheat Leftover Bacon
Drumroll please… The winner is… the oven! That’s right folks, you heard it here, the best way to reheat leftover bacon is by sticking the strips into the oven. When done correctly, reheating your bacon in the oven will allow the bacon to crisp back up and retain much of its flavor.
Plus, it is super convenient since you can reheat so many strips at once without having to watch it like a hawk. You’d probably only have to do it once, versus several times with other methods, since they cannot fit as much in one batch.
And lastly, cleanup is pretty easy if you line your tray with foil. Simply drain the excess grease drippings into a bacon grease saver or container until it is hard enough to dispose, then throw away the foil and voila! (It may also be a good idea to rinse the pan just in case.)
The one downside is that it will take the longest period of time for a batch to reheat, appx. 5~10 minutes. But, with only having to do one batch, the total time could be just as long or even shorter than other methods.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Line a tray with aluminum foil.
- Either place the bacon directly on the tray or grab a wire rack and place the bacon on top of the rack, using the foil-lined tray as a drip tray for the bacon grease.
- Place the bacon in the oven for 5 minutes, flip the slices, then bake for about 3 minutes more and check to see if crispy. If bacon is crisped to your liking, remove immediately. Leaving in the oven too long can cause the bacon to dry out or burn.
- Serve immediately.
|Ease of Cleanup||4/5|
The Best Way to Achieve Ultimate Crispiness
If your #1 goal is to get that bacon to be crispy again, you should turn to your handy-dandy air fryer for reheating your leftover bacon. Because of the intense hot air in the air fryer, the bacon cooks relatively fast and crisps up easily. But be careful! Too long in the air fryer and you’ll completely dry them out.
Be sure to line the inside of your air fryer container with foil to make cleanup much more of a breeze. While this method does deliver the best crisp, you will have to be nearby to check on your bacon strips and the air fryer can only hold a few strips at a time, so you’ll likely have to do a couple of rounds if you’re reheating several strips.
- Set your air fryer temperature to 350 degrees (F).
- Line the air fryer container with aluminum foil.
- Place strips of bacon in the container so that they do not touch. (Overlap could cause them to heat unevenly and stick together).
- Set timer for 2 minutes
- Check to see if all or some strips are done.
- Cook remaining bacon in 1 minute intervals, checking after each, so that you do not dry out the bacon.
- Serve immediately.
|Ease of Cleanup||3/5|
The Best Way to Quickly Reheat
If you want that bacon and you want it now, it can be yours in a matter of seconds when using the microwave to reheat.
While this method is no doubt the fastest, it does require you to be on standby to remove and replace the bacon with another plate of it, and possibly another, and so on, as the microwave can’t hold many strips at once.
This method is also super easy to cleanup, but another downfall is the overall turnout of the bacon. In terms of texture, the microwave just doesn’t get the bacon very crispy unless you overcook it, in which case, it’s pretty dry and yucky. While hot and ready-to-eat, leftover bacon fresh out the microwave is slightly chewy and rubbery, affecting the mouth-feel and overall taste.
We believe that the microwave is best used to reheat leftover bacon that is going on/in a dish, since the bacon does not have to stand alone and shine. That being said, I’m not sure the bacon could stand alone with how soggy it is…
- Grab a microwave-safe plate and line with paper towel.
- Place the bacon strips on top and cover the strips with another sheet of paper towel. (This keeps the bacon from splattering grease all over your microwave.)
- Heat for 20-30 seconds, and then check to see if hot. Repeat as necessary.
- Serve immediately.
|Ease of Cleanup||5/5|
The Best Way to Reheat Conveniently
Your overall champion is back to take another title! The oven method is one of the most convenient ways to reheat leftover bacon. Why?
- Your oven can cook a large amount of bacon at once. No need for multiple cooking sessions.
- Since it takes 5-10 minutes to cook, you don’t have to stand there and baby-sit the bacon the whole time. You can move on to cooking other things, making that pot of coffee, or get to sitting and scrolling until the timer rings.
- The clean-up process is fairly easy, as described above. Just drain the grease, remove the foil, and rinse the pan. Easy-peasy.
- It is likely that if you are reheating this bacon to go with breakfast, you may need the oven for other things. So either your oven is already on and it’s easy to just pop in the bacon, or you have it on for the bacon and then it’s heated and ready for your next endeavor!
The Best Way to Bring Back the Bacon Flavor
It’s no doubt that the flavor of bacon is what has us running to it the second we smell it sizzling in the morning. So when it comes to leftovers, it just may be that flavor rules over all when it comes to reheating. If you want to recreate that salty, greasy, fresh flavor as if were being cooked for the first time, then look no further than your nearest non-stick skillet.
Reheating leftover bacon on the skillet may mean that not all portions get cooked as evenly, but nothing brings back the flavor like this method does. Since the bacon will cook in its own fat, no greasing of the pan is needed. However, to take the flavor up a notch, a simple hack is to take stored bacon fat that you saved from previously cooking the bacon and put a tiny bit (about the size of a penny) in the pan with the bacon. Boom. Flavor-town. But be careful not to add too much or the bacon will be swimming in it!
- Place your skillet on the stove and turn to medium heat.
- Add your bacon to the pan (and a tiny bit of bacon grease if desired), being careful not to overlap.
- Reheat one side for about 2 minutes and then flip.
- Reheat other side for about 1 minute and then remove if amount of warmth and crispiness desired has been reached.
- Place on plate/tray lined with paper towel to absorb grease.
- Serve immediately.
|Ease of Cleanup||2/5|
The Best Way to Reheat for Easy Cleanup
While we may have learned that reheating bacon in the microwave doesn’t exactly produce the best outcome when it comes to flavor and texture, you can’t beat it when it comes to speed and cleanup too!
While many of the methods listed are fairly light when it comes to the amount of work needed to cleanup, the microwave method is surely the easiest of all. The quickest cleanup involves using paper plates for your plates, then paper towel on top of the plate and then bacon. After removing the bacon from the microwave, you can transfer to another plate, or not! And then what’s left? Simply throw the plate and paper towels away and you’re done. Easiest cleanup ever.
. . .
If you’re looking for an all-around good bacon reheating experience, based on the evidence above, we believe the oven is best. But of course, if something like texture or time is more important to you, go with the method that will make you happiest! Go ahead and cook some bacon and find your best. Happy reheating and eating folks!
For more ideas on what to do with bacon, check out my other posts!