Cooking bacon in an air fryer is the BEST way to cook bacon, whether you're making regular or thick cut. In less than 15 minutes you get perfect bacon in air fryer without frying.
Learn ALL the tips and tricks to make air fryer bacon in a toaster oven style, basket style, how to prevent white smoke, and how to cook bacon for a crowd.. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Can You Air Fry Bacon?
First things first, can you cook bacon in an air fryer AND does it turn out as good compared to frying it in its grease?
While most people pan fry or even making bacon in the oven, both of which cook in their grease, you'll be thrilled to learn that air frying is even FASTER than either method plus it turns out crispier without the added grease. There's no dried out bacon here, and you might just find air fryer bacon your new favorite method!
As long as you read through our tips and tricks for getting perfect it perfect every time, then YES! Your question about whether or not you can cook bacon in an air fryer. It's a little more complex than just adding bacon in an air fryer and turning it on, maybe people get white smoke so we teach you below how to prevent it.
Cooking Bacon in an Air Fryer
We put both of our air fryers to the test and as a family that cooks bacon 2-3 times per week, cooking bacon in air fryer method got two thumbs up from the entire family. Cooking it in either type of air fryer model resulted in fabulous and perfectly cooked bacon.
Unless you're vegan or vegetarian, cooking bacon in the air fryer is going to work for everyone. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30, low-carb, and keto-approved, especially when using uncured and sugar-free bacon. For my keto husband, bacon has also become one of his favorite low carb snacks and something we meal prep to keep in the fridge every week.
Why You'll Love This!
- Making air fryer bacon is faster than on the stovetop.
- You can pop it in the air fryer and walk away instead of having to baby it when cooking in a pan.
- Cooking air fryer bacon is healthier than other methods since the grease drips off instead of getting cooked in the grease.
- You're making the BEST dang bacon you'll ever have!
- The whole recipe needs just 1 ingredient: bacon!
And if you're looking for more air fryer breakfast recipes, serve the bacon in air fryer recipe with air fryer frozen hash browns, breakfast sausage in an air fryer, or make air fryer frozen waffles.
Be sure to snag our free air fryer cook times cheat sheet with 50+ cooking times for the most popular air fryer recipes.
Cooking bacon in an air fryer is an easy one-ingredient dish since bacon is the world's most perfect food just the way it is and comes pre-seasoned, you don't need extra ingredients other than just a package of bacon.
We used Butcher Box bacon for making air fryer bacon, which is a monthly meat delivery service. All of their meat is as healthy as it can get, plus they don't add sugar like most national brands, which also makes their product Whole30 compliant and strict keto.
- 10-16 oz pack of bacon - depending on which brand you end up buying, the size of the package could vary.
If you start cooking bacon in an air fryer regularly and want to shake things up a bit, here's a handful of seasoning ideas to try:
- candied bacon - brown sugar and cayenne pepper. You can also use maple syrup.
- salt and pepper
- cheese bacon
- chocolate bacon
- brown sugar
Keto/Low Carb/Paleo/Whole30- if you're following a keto, low carb, paleo, or Whole30 health plan you'll want to be sure to buy bacon that doesn't add sugar. Buying nitrate-free bacon is even better if you can get it.
An Air Fryer- We have an Omni Plus oven style air fryer and a small 3.2L Farberware basket style air fryer. (a Consumer Reports best buy!) Cooking bacon in air fryer oven works fantastic in either type of air fryer...an oven or a basket!
Cooking bacon in the air fryer is a simple as preheating the air fryer unit, laying as many pieces of bacon in the air fryer that you can, take a preventive measure to stop white smoke in its tracks, and air fry!
Air Fryer Bacon Temperature
Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 5 minutes.
Place 5 pieces of bacon in a small air fryer, or as many pieces as YOUR air fryer will hold. It's ok if they slightly overlap since they'll shrink down.
Air Fryer Bacon Time
Set the air fryer bacon cooking time to 10 minutes. Many air fryer recipes have you flip the food halfway through cooking to ensure even browning, we noticed that in our Instant Pot air fryer oven we did NOT have to flip the bacon but in our basket style Farberware we DID need to flip it.
Check the bacon after 5 minutes of cook time and readjust the pieces if necessary. You can flip the bacon over at this point if you prefer, but it might not be necessary and could depend on your particular air fryer model (they're all a tiny bit different).
The bacon in air fryer recipe takes about 10 minutes to cook, if you prefer really crisp bacon add 1-2 more minutes on the cooking time.
Cook a second batch if needed, depending on how much bacon you need or how hungry everyone is!
MASTER TIP: Be sure to read our cooking bacon in air fryer tips and common questions sections below for little nuances between basket or oven air fryers and steps you can take to prevent white smoke!
- Keep a closer eye on the bacon the first time you cook it or are possibly cooking a different brand than usual. It's always a good rule of thumb to check the cooking time 2 minutes before a recipe calls for to make sure yours isn't already done.
- To make thick cut bacon, you'll need to add an extra few minutes to the cooking time.
- In our air fryer oven, it wasn't necessary to flip the bacon in our air fryer basket, we did since it wasn't cooking as evenly. Do what's best for your particular model. If it doesn't seem to be cooking evenly after 5 minutes of cook time, it doesn't hurt to flip the pieces over.
- In a small capacity air fryer we were able to cook 5 pieces of bacon at one time, slightly overlapping the pieces. In our large air fryer we were able to cook 8-9 pieces at a time.
Preventing Air Fryer Bacon Smoke
If you've heard about air fryer bacon smoke and are concerned your kitchen will fill with smoke when you're cooking, here are a few popular tips and tricks on how to prevent white smoke before you go to air fry bacon.
First things first, what causes air fryer white smoke? When the dripping bacon grease hits the heating element it can cause massive amounts of white smoke to completely fill up the inside of the air fryer. And as soon as you open the door or basket, it fills up your kitchen too! In preventing air fryer bacon smoke you have to take extra steps to stop the bacon from hitting the heating element or at least minimize the drips.
Some of these ideas we have personally tried and other suggestions are from other readers we have not.
- put foil on the bottom of the air fryer (some models specifically say not to do this-like ours)
- put a small amount of water in the bottom of the air fryer basket
- make sure your air fryer is super clean (some readers have reported no air fryer white smoke as long as their unit was clean.)
- put bread on the bottom (this works and is a method we typically do! photo below). As you can see in our Instant Pot air fryer oven, we used the baking rack as a drip pan and added 2 slices of bread to catch much of the grease. My husband took a bit of the "bacon toast" and said it was really good! 😉
Is air fryer bacon healthier?
Cooking bacon in an air fryer is definitely considered healthier than pan fried bacon since less of the grease is getting absorbed into the final dish. To make air fryer bacon as healthy as possible, buy bacon that doesn't add sugar or comes uncured, or consider making air fryer turkey bacon instead of pork.
Is it safe to cook bacon in an air fryer?
Cooking bacon in air fryer is safe as long as you keep a close eye on the bacon because of potential drips splattering on the heating elements. While many air fryer recipes you can just toss in and walk away until the time goes off, the first time or two cooking bacon you should stay close by.
Can I cook frozen bacon in air fryer?
As long as your frozen bacon pieces were individually frozen and they aren't in a solid frozen package, then yes, you can air fry frozen bacon too. Just add a couple extra minutes to the cooking time. And if your bacon is a frozen package, then the best way to defrost it is actually in a microwave, not an air fryer.
What about air fryer turkey bacon?
Cooking air fryer turkey bacon cooks a little faster than pork bacon. In a preheated fryer at 400F, cook it for 8 minutes total or until crisp. Flip after 4 minutes if it isn't crisping evenly. Be sure to keep an eye on the turkey bacon since all devices can cook a little differently depending on how powerful your unit is.
Serving a crowd?
Use the air fryer Omni Plus hack to air fry bacon and hang your bacon over the baking rack itself! We kept this in for 12 minutes.
I've tried this method with thick cut bacon and it took 23 minutes, so consider just using regular cut bacon to keep this a quick and easy recipe.
I was able to add 8 pieces of bacon in small basket air fryer instead of 5! They did take 1-2 mins longer to cook as they twist.
More Air Fryer Breakfast Recipes
- Air fryer breakfast sausage links
- Frozen hash browns in air fryer
- Air fryer frozen waffles
- 25 air fryer breakfast recipes
- Sausage patties in air fryer
- Air fryer frozen biscuits
- Air fryer hard boiled eggs
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How do you reheat the cooked bacon
We reheat the bacon in our air fryer. Just pop it back in at the same cooking temperature for 1 minute until it's crispy again and hot.