How to Cook Bacon in a Cast Iron Skillet

Tips and tricks you need to know to cook crispy bacon in a cast iron skillet any day of the week.

I love cooking with cast iron and have been using it pretty exclusively in my kitchen for about 8 years now. As I preach my cast iron love, I always come across folks who have a cast iron skillet but don’t love it yet. I think it’s because they just haven’t gotten used to it. Maybe it’s that they haven’t gotten to know the unique properties of cast iron that make is so great.

That being said, I’m here to tell you how to make perfect bacon in the cast iron. With my tips and tricks, your bacon will be flat, perfectly crispy, and won’t stick to the pan. I hope that it’ll be one more reason to get out your cast iron skillet and learn to love it.

Tips for cooking bacon in a cast iron skillet:

  • The key to getting flat, crisp bacon is letting the pan and bacon heat together.
  • Don’t over crowd the pan; the bacon should not be touching.
  • By cooking it at a lower temperature first, some of the grease will be released making it easier to crisp up the bacon at a higher temperature in the grease. It’s how “frying bacon” got it’s name. You are literally cooking the bacon in its own grease. So delicious.
  • Even if you take the pan off the heat, the residual heat from the pan will continue to cook the bacon. So remove the bacon from the pan when it’s done, Don’t just pull the pan off the heat.
  • That hot greasy pan is the perfect place to then fry a super tasty egg.

How do you keep bacon from sticking to the pan?

The trick is to start with a cold pan. As the pan comes up to temperature it will slowly release some of the grease, helping the bacon not to stick to the pan as it cooks.

Tips when cleaning your cast iron pan after you have cooked bacon:

  • Use a flat-edged wooded spatula or plastic spatula to release any stuck-on bacon pieces.
  • Use a paper towel or two to wipe up the extra grease in the pan if you aren’t saving it (I normally save some bacon grease and use it like I do olive oil when sautéing onions for recipes or cooking eggs).
  • While you are wiping out the pan, rub the paper towel all over the inside, outside, and handle of the pan and set it on the stove to cool.
  • No need to use water; just leave the extra bit of grease to add to your pan’s nonstick layer.
  • If you have really stuck-on pieces, I recommend getting a piece of chain mail as a scrubber. My friend Debbie gave me one for Christmas, and I don’t know how I’ve cleaned cast iron for years without it.
  • If you are wanting to cook more than what fits in your cast iron skillet, I recommend skipping the stove top and baking a full pan in the oven. It fits a lot more at one time.

Tips for buying cast iron:

I get lots of cast iron at the thrift store or the antique shop and re-season it myself (It’s not hard! Here’s a full tutorial on how to do that). And if you aren’t in the mood to refinish an old pan, you can always buy new. I like to get Lodge brand products because they are widely available, and they make their traditional cast iron here in the United States. This 10.25 inch skillet is only $15. They are super affordable pans that can last a lifetime.

Tips and tricks you need to know so that you can cook crispy bacon in a cast iron skillet any day of the week. Bacon and waffles on a plate.

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How to Cook Bacon in a Cast Iron Skillet


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 1 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings of bacon 1x

Description

Tips and tricks you need to know so that you can cook crispy bacon in a cast iron skillet any day of the week. Delicious, crispy bacon in minutes!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 46 strips thick cut bacon
  • large cast iron skillet

Instructions

  1. Lay the bacon in the cold cast iron pan so that the bacon isn’t touching.
  2. Place the pan over medium heat.
  3. Let the bacon slowly heat and cook as the pan heats for about 10 minutes. The edges should start to show a little color and there should be a layer of rendered grease on the bottom of the pan before turning it over.
  4. Turn the bacon over and increase the heat to medium-high. Let the bacon cook until crisp on that side, about 4 minutes.
  5.  Turn the bacon one more time to finish crisping on the the first side, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the bacon from the pan as soon as it is as crispy as you like it. Let it drain on paper towels before eating hot.

Notes

  • The key to getting flat, crispy bacon is letting the pan and bacon heat together.
  • Don’t over crowd the pan; the bacon should not be touching.
  • By cooking it at a lower temperature first, some of the grease will be released making it easier to crisp up the bacon at a higher temperature in the grease; it’s how “frying bacon” got its name. You are literally cooking the bacon in its own grease. So delicious.
  • Even if you take the pan off the heat, the residual heat from the pan will continue to cook the bacon. So remove the bacon from the pan when it’s done; don’t just pull the pan off the heat.
  • That hot greasy pan is the perfect place to then fry a super tasty egg.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: bacon, how to cook bacon, cast iron, best way to cook bacon, easy bacon recipe, how to make crispy bacon

Tips and tricks you need to know so that you can cook crispy bacon in a cast iron skillet any day of the week. 

Other bacon recipes you might like:

There you have it, a simple recipe with a foolproof method. I hope you love it.

What other cast iron issues or questions do you have? I’m here to convert you all to the cast iron side.

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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