How to Grill Bacon: Our Simple Guide


Want to learn something new this year? Why not start with learning how to grill bacon? 

For one, you’ll make your bacon exactly how you like it, and you can show off your expertise to friends, family or colleagues.

This is a simple guide on how to grill bacon on a coal grill:

  1. Choose and prepare your bacon.
  2. Set up the grill and other cooking tools.
  3. Place the bacon on the grates.
  4. Close the lid.
  5. Check regularly.
  6. Flip so it cooks evenly.
  7. Taste for flavor and crispiness.
  8. Enjoy!

Of course, there’s more to it than that, so check out our full guide below!

Preparing to Grill Bacon on a Coal Grill

Preparing adequately before you start to grill bacon helps to avoid simple mistakes and ensure your bacon turns out right.

Step 1: Choosing Your Bacon

Don’t think that all bacon tastes the same!

Here are some of the bacon cut types to choose from:

  • Side/Streaky: A very common bacon in the USA, the streaky bacon is cut from the pork belly, treated with salt and spices and smoked. The Italian version goes by the name Pancetta.
  • Back: This bacon comes from the loin at the center of the pig’s back. It has less fat than regular bacon so, isn’t as tough and tasty. Notable examples are the Canadian bacon and Irish bacon or rashers.
  • Collar: Cut from the back, near the head of the pig
  • Cottage: Comes from the meat around a boneless pork shoulder.
  • Jowl: These are smoked and cured pork cheeks. The unsmoked, dry-cured, and seasoned Italian version is called Guanciale.

Step 2: Prepare the Bacon

Don’t remove the bacon from the fridge and start cooking. Give it 15–20 minutes to adapt to room temperature. Throwing it on the grill while it’s still cold leads to uneven cooking.

Bacon tastes delicious on its own. This doesn’t mean you can’t spice up the flavor by seasoning. Try out these versatile ingredients:

  • Brown pepper.
  • Rosemary.
  • Minced garlic.
  • Barbeque rub.

Apply the spices and give them time to settle while you set up the grill.

Step 3: Setting up the Grill

Get your grill ready for cooking by following these steps:

  1. First, fetch the grill and put it in a convenient spot where you can grill safely and comfortably.
  2. Clean the interior and exterior of the grill to remove dust and other debris. Remember to scrub the grill grates to eliminate food remnants from the last grilling session.
  3. Arrange the coal on the grill and light them up—those using gas grills can move to the next step. 
  4. You can create two even piles on either end of the grill grate, or push the coal to one side and place a foil pan in the empty space to catch dripping fat, hence preventing flare-ups.
  5. Preheat the grill for 10–15 minutes, or until it gets to about 4000F.
  6. To control the charcoal’s blazing heat, use a few coals for a start or pour grey ash on top.
  7. Oil the grill grate with natural vegetable oil to prevent the meat from sticking on the grate. If you don’t have vegetable oil, you can use a fat piece of bacon. Just rub it on the grill grate, and you’re good to go.

Step 4: Grilling the Bacon

  1. Use a pair of tongs to arrange the bacon across the grill grates’ bar and make sure none of the pieces are lying on top of the other. 
  2. Place the bacon right on top of the hot coal on the grill grate if you want to cook with direct heat. To use indirect heat, put the bacon on the cool side (with no coal underneath) of the grill.
  3. Close the grill lid and let the bacon cook for at least 5 minutes before checking on it. 
  4. If you’re using direct heat, check the bacon often due to the higher temperature and cooking speed. For indirect heat, you can take longer time intervals to inspect the bacon because it cooks slowly.
  5. Flip the bacon so that it cooks evenly on both sides.
  6. Once you notice the bacon shrinking, darkening and getting hard—with small drops of grease—then it’s pretty much done.
  7. Taste a piece to make sure it’s just as you like it. This is for those who prefer their bacon to be chewy.
  8. Those who enjoy crispy bacon should leave it on the grill to continue cooking for 5 more minutes, tops.
  9. Keep the cooking time under 20 minutes to prevent the bacon from being too dry. 7–10 minutes of cooking will give you soft, chewy bacon.
  10. Remove the bacon from the grill and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel. The paper towel absorbs the excess fat draining from the bacon.
  11. The bacon will be ready to serve after 3–5 minutes of rest.

How to Grill Bacon in the Oven

There are two ways to grill bacon in the oven:

  • Using a baking sheet pan.
  • Using a cooling rack.

How To Grill Bacon on a Baking Sheet Pan

  1. Set the oven’s temperature to 4000F.
  2. Let it preheat for 15 minutes.
  3. Get some aluminum foil and cover the inside of the pan, including the sides.
  4. Lay out the bacon on the baking sheet pan and ensure the pieces don’t overlap.
  5. Put the baking sheet pan with the bacon inside the oven, close the lid and let the bacon cook.
  6. Start checking after the bacon has cooked for 10 minutes.
  7. Give it 14–20 minutes to cook to your preferred crispness.
  8. Watch out for color changes and remove when it starts browning and reaches the preferred bacon texture.
  9. Shift the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the excess fat.
  10. Serve after a few minutes of cooling.

How To Grill Bacon Using the Cooling Rack

  1. Set the oven’s temperature to 4000F so that it can.
  2. Preheat for 15 minutes.
  3. Cover the inside of the baking sheet pan using aluminum foil.
  4. Get a non-stick oven-safe cooling rack and put it in the middle of the baking sheet pan.
  5. Place the bacon on top of the rack. It should be well-spaced and not overlap.
  6. Open the oven and put the rack with the bacon inside.
  7. Let it cook for 10 minutes straight before you start flipping the bacon.
  8. Check the texture and remove once it gets to your preferred crispness.
  9. Remove the bacon from the cooling rack. Place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain any dripping bacon fat.
  10. Give it a few minutes to cool before serving.

How to Grill Bacon infographic

How to Grill Bacon in a Neff Oven

Neff ovens offer a wide range of automated functionalities, making it easy, efficient and safe to grill bacon.

  1. Turn on the oven. The grill element is at the top of the oven roof.
  2. Use the thermostat to set the temperature to 4000F and let the oven preheat. You can use the CircoTherm system to get to that temperature faster.
  3. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and lay your bacon without overlapping.
  4. Set the oven to full-surface grill if you are cooking lots of bacon. This will heat the whole surface of the grill and ensure the bacon cooks evenly.
  5. When you only have a few bacon rashers to cook, activate the center surface grill function. This will only heat the center grilling elements.
  6. Keep the door closed while the bacon is cooking and check at intervals of 5 minutes.
  7. Use the thermostat to switch the heat up or down. It depends on the required temperature at different stages of cooking.
  8. Start checking texture and crispness after 10–15 minutes.
  9. Enjoy your bacon when it’s to your liking.

How to Grill Bacon in Microwave

If you just have a few bacon rashers or want to cook fast, then using a microwave should help.

Follow these steps and get your bacon ready within 5 minutes:

Cooking Bacon on a Microwave Plate

  1. Open the microwave and place 3–4 paper towels on the microwave-safe plate.
  2. Put the bacon on the paper towels and ensure they don’t overlap to prevent them from sticking together.
  3. Cover the bacon with more paper towels.
  4. Microwave the bacon for 4–5 minutes.
  5. Check the texture to see if it’s to your liking.
  6. Continue cooking for 30 seconds to 1-minute intervals while inspecting the crispness.
  7. Remove the bacon once it cooks to your preferred texture.
  8. Be careful while handling the bacon since it’ll continue cooking, but enjoy when you’re ready.

The following factors will determine how long it takes to microwave the bacon:

  • Wattage: The power your microwave cooks with determines how fast the bacon gets done. The more power, the faster.
  • Amount of rashers: It’ll take exponentially longer to cook bacon for each rasher you add.
  • Bacon thickness: Thicker bacon takes longer to cook.
  • Preferred crispness: Cook longer for a more crispy texture.
Bacon sandwich on a plate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Put Bacon Directly on Grill?

Yes, you can cook bacon directly on the grill. However, doing so will leave you dealing with more flare-ups than you’d want to handle. This comes from the excess fat that drips straight to the hot coals or gas flames. The chance of ending up with burnt bacon in such a case is very high.

Can You Cook Bacon on a Gas Grill?

You can definitely cook bacon on a gas grill. In fact, it’s easier to control the temperatures and grilling process, unlike the coal grill. Still, you must learn how to use the gas grill and contain the excess fat by placing the bacon on foil.

Is Bacon Good for You?

Although it does contain some nutritional value thanks to the high animal protein, bacon isn’t considered good for you. It also contains excess fat and salt content that trigger health complications, like increased blood pressure and stomach cancer.

To be safe, limit your bacon consumption, especially if you’re at risk of developing serious health issues.

How Do You Grill Bacon Crispy?

The secret to a perfect bacon crisp is in the entire grilling process. From the moment you get it out of the refrigerator, to preheating your grill, adjusting the temperature, and checking on time. It’s a systematic succession of events running like clockwork. One small mistake could mess everything up.

Be ready to start removing the bacon when it shrinks, browns and foams white fat. This is the point it starts getting crispy—the crispiness increases as the bacon cooks. However, don’t leave it on the grill for long because it will become crunchy and may burn.

Is It Best To Grill or Fry Bacon?

If you want speed, fry bacon due to the heat conductivity on the pan’s cooking surface. However, if you want efficiency and less mess, grill your bacon. You can place foil under the grilling bacon to catch the fat, and there’s no pan to clean up after. Frying pans can easily get clogged with charred bacon.

A man cooking bacon on a coal grill

Conclusion

Grilling is definitely one of the best methods of cooking bacon. It produces delicious, crispy, well-browned bacon. Plus, shedding off the excess fat leaves you with much healthier bacon. 

Your only challenge is to get the cooking process right, which is easy if you follow all the tips listed above. Pick the best bacon, get your grill in order, monitor the heat and your bacon will end up with the perfect texture.

There’s very little difference when you grill bacon with a coal grill, gas grill, oven or microwave. A coal grill retains the bacon flavor, a gas grill gives you more control with temperature management, while the microwave cooks bacon the fastest.

Remember to observe safety measures and precautions with all the cooking equipment. This is to avoid causing any fire hazards. Keep a small fire extinguisher nearby in case the flare-ups get out of control.

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