What are the different types of bacon?

Bacon is a cured pork product that comes in both smoked and unsmoked versions.


Streaky bacon has a higher fat content and is thinner in shape, while back bacon is leaner. Both versions cook quickly and can be chopped and added to dishes, or eaten for breakfast, stuffed into a sandwich or piled onto pancakes. Follow our guide for different cooking methods and top tips.

Try our best ever bacon recipes for mouthwatering breakfast spreads, salads and satisfying lunches. Plus, make sure your kitchen kit is up to scratch with our review of the best non-stick frying pans.

How to cook bacon in a frying pan

Put 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the bacon and cook for 2-4 mins on each side, depending on how crispy you like it.

How to dry fry bacon

Put the bacon in a non-stick frying pan set over a medium heat. When the fat starts to run out from the bacon, increase the heat and cook for 1-3 mins on each side, depending on how crispy you like it.

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How to grill bacon

  1. Heat the grill to its highest setting. Line a baking sheet with foil and add the bacon.
  2. Grill for 2-4 mins on each side, depending on how crispy you like it.

How to cook bacon in the oven

Cooking bacon in the oven takes a little longer than frying or grilling, but it’s a lot more hands-off and gives great results. There are a few ways to go about it..

Simply baked

To bake bacon on a tray in the oven:

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Lightly oil a non-stick tray then lay the bacon over (streaky or back) in a single layer.
  2. Bake for 10-15 mins, using tongs to flip the bacon halfway, until cooked and the fat is crisp around the edges.

Cooked on a rack

If you have an ovenproof rack then this can be used to cook bacon evenly in the oven and allows the fat to drip off making it a slightly healthier method.

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Sit the rack on tray, lay the bacon over the rack in a single layer and bake for 10-15 mins, until cooked and the fat is crisp around the edges – there is no need to turn.

How to get bacon really crispy in the oven

To achieve super-crispy bacon, opt for the streaky kind. It can be used in salads, crumbled over macaroni cheese or sprinkled on soups. Try our best ever crispy bacon recipe.

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a non-stick baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Lay the streaky bacon out in single layer, top with another sheet of greaseproof, then top with a second baking sheet, then a heavy casserole dish or ovenproof frying pan to weigh it down.
  3. Bake for 15-20 mins, or until very crispy. Can be kept in a plastic container with a lid for two days.

How to cook bacon in an air-fryer

Air-fryers are a great gadget for using to cook crispy bacon.

  1. Heat the air-fryer to 180C and lay the bacon rashers in a single layer in the basket.
  2. Cook 8-10 mins, turning once if needed until cooked and crisp around the edges.

Top 5 bacon recipes to try

1. Egg-in-the-hole bacon sandwich

Egg and bacon sandwich on plate

Give a classic breakfast sandwich a twist with our egg-in-the-hole bacon sandwich. Slice to enjoy the runny yolk, and use smoked streaky bacon for a savoury, crispy base. Sourdough bread makes this extra satisfying, and the perfect indulgent weekend breakfast.

2. Spinach, bacon & roquefort tart

Tomato and spinach tart sliced on board

Whip up our spinach, bacon & roquefort tart using just six ingredients. Transform a humble sheet of shop-bought puff pastry with creamed spinach, sweet cherry tomatoes, cheese and streaky bacon. If you're entertaining at short notice or need a no-fuss lunch for a crowd, look no further.

3. Leek & butter bean soup with crispy kale & bacon

Soup with kale, bacon and hazelnuts in bowl with spoon

Our leek & butter bean soup with crispy kale & bacon is a favourite winter warmer. The butter beans make this soup creamy and silky smooth, and also help to thicken the base. It's a simple, healthy recipe that's sure to please the whole family. The toasted hazelnuts, crispy kale and salty bacon add an extra punch of flavour and texture.

4. Best ever fluffy American pancakes with cherry-berry syrup

Pancakes with cherries and bacon on plate

Need a simple but stunning brunch dish? Stack up our fluffy American pancakes with cherry-berry syrup with rashers of crispy bacon. The combination of the tangy cherry syrup and salty-but-sweet maple bacon is simply irresistible. Spread on a layer of creamy mascarpone and tart fruit between each pancake.

5. Posh BLT

Bacon sandwich on slate

Add some oomph to the classic with our posh BLT. It's made with homemade maple bacon, sundried tomato paste and fresh sourdough bread to upgrade the go-to sandwich.

Enjoyed these recipes? Try our other breakfast dishes

Vegan family breakfast menu
Easy, healthy breakfast ideas
Our most indulgent pancake recipes
How to make overnight oats


What's your favourite way to eat bacon? Leave a comment below...

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