So I pulled out a rimmed cookie sheet and a rack (optional but nice, so the bacon doesn’t cook in its own fat) and arranged a few slices of thick bacon on it. Then, because I’ve rarely seen a lily I didn’t want to electroplate, I decided to go a little farther. I love glazed bacon. So I scattered a little brown sugar on each slice, set the oven to 400, and popped in the tray.
Ten minutes later, I checked on the bacon. It was softening up, the brown sugar melting and spreading across each slice, the fat dripping off. I set a timer for another five minutes and carried on with making pancakes.
It took a total of about twenty minutes for the bacon to cook, twenty minutes during which my only task was to peek into the oven periodically. I didn’t even take the pan out until I judged the bacon done. Certainly no turning!
And the bacon was gorgeous. Gently lacquered, with the tiniest crisp sugar coating and lovely flavor, it was meaty and flat, with less shrinkage than usually happens in a pan. It was probably the best bacon I’d ever made at home, and with so little effort – and no splattery mess. The next time I added some freshly ground black pepper along with the sugar for a tiny bit of heat. Even better. Next time I might add some crushed red pepper, or maybe use a little spoonful of chile jam instead of sugar.
You can roast the bacon at 350 or 400 degrees; choose depending on how long you expect the rest of breakfast to take. Expect thick-sliced bacon cooked at 400 to take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook; add about 5 minutes when baking at 350. The exact time will depend on how thick your bacon is, how quickly your oven heats, and how accurate your oven thermostat is.
Oven-Roasted Brown Sugar Bacon
Time: 20 to 30 minutes Hands-on: 5 minutes (max)
Thick-sliced bacon, however many slices you want and can fit on your cookie sheet(s)
1 teaspoon brown sugar per slice
Freshly ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Lay the bacon on a rimmed cookie sheet (or two, for larger quantities), preferably fitted with a rack. Sprinkle each slice with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Sprinkle with black pepper or chile flakes to taste. Set oven to 350 or 400, depending on how fast you want the bacon to cook. Slide the cookie sheet into the oven.
Check the bacon after 10 minutes. Don’t flip it or anything, just open the door or turn on the light and look at it. It should be getting soft and floppy. Continue checking every 5 minutes thereafter, until it looks done how you like it. Remove to a serving plate and eat!