Is bacon better on a grill? For many the answer is a resounding yes, but how do you cook bacon on a grill? Some might scoff at the need to learn this skill but grilling season means different things to different people.
A brunch cookout, for example, combining different grill-friendly aspects of both breakfast and lunch, makes it necessary to know how to cook bacon on a grill without creating a smoking, charred mess.
It’s one thing to add a piece of already-cooked bacon to a burger or to top off meat skewers. It’s quite another to put bacon on the grill itself. Here’s what you need to know to make bacon on the grill.
Benefit to Cooking Bacon on a Grill
Even if one argues that bacon is not better cooked on a grill there are many other benefits. For instance, my husband used to cook bacon on the stovetop but between the bacon splatter and lingering bacon smell he could tell I wasn’t a fan. So he took to grilling bacon on the outside grill and he has done so ever since.
- No bacon splatter on the stovetop to cleanup
- Less chance of bacon splatter burning the cook
- No lingering bacon odor in the kitchen
- BBQ and grill bacon all at once
- Easy to let grease cool down outside before disposing
- Great flavor
Ways to Cook Bacon on a Grill
There are multiple approaches you can take, some are beginner-friendly, others may be more challenging. It’s best to experiment with a couple of individual slices of bacon first if you’ve never done it before–why commit a whole package when you’re testing your skills out for the first time?
These are just some of the ways you can cook bacon on a grill:
- Lay the bacon directly on the grill (do not recommend)
- Wrap the raw bacon around other uncooked food and grill
- On skewers
- On a rack or in a pan
- On an aluminum foil pan
- Wrapped in foil
- On parchment paper
- Using a cast-iron skillet
Of all the techniques above, the cast iron skillet method typically gets the best reviews but I prefer the aluminum foil . The heat is even and the cooking is easier than laying bacon directly on the grill. You could end up with incinerated bacon in a matter of minutes when cooking directly on the grill or a flare-up from grease, and a lot of attention is required.
What is the Best Kind of Bacon to Grill?
There is no wrong kind of bacon to grill but it is often easier to grill with thick-cut bacon. It’s easier to turn and will not as easily stick to grill grates, pans, and other food cooking.
What Type of Grill To Use for BBQ Bacon?
Any grill will work including a gas, electric or charcoal grill.
Crispy Bacon or Chewy Bacon?
To make chewy bacon, increase the temperature and cook for a shorter time.
To make crunchy bacon, decrease the temperature and cook for a longer time.
How to Store Leftover Bacon
Grilled bacon can be stored in a zip loc bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tips For Grilling Bacon
Preheat Your Grill: Before cooking bacon on the grill, you’ll want to preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are using a cast iron skillet or a frying pan, you should preheat that as well. The cooking temperature for bacon should be a minimum of 145 degrees, but that’s not why you’ll preheat it to 400–the idea is to use a cooking temperature that will give your bacon its crispiness.
Use Tongs To Flip The Bacon: Some people might enjoy the bracing sensation of a grease burn, but the rest of us will want to use tongs and not a spatula to flip the bacon halfway through the cooking process. If you cook in a pan or skillet on the first side for seven to 10 minutes, flip the bacon and cook for another three minutes or until done to taste. Cooking directly on the grill may require you to flip as early as two minutes into the cooking process. You’ll want to grill them to taste but be sure there are no undercooked spots on the meat you placed directly on the grill.
Cooling Rack Bacon: If you make your bacon on a baking sheet on the grill, you may find it cooks up like it would in a frying pan but the bacon may not be as crispy. You might try putting a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet and cooking the bacon on the grill that way–it may produce a crispier result.
Cooking Bacon With Skewers: Skewered bacon has the potential to cook unevenly, so when placing the meat on skewers it pays to be mindful of how you “thread” the skewers. Don’t forget about the sides of the meat when grilling skewers of any kind, turning them over like burgers (two cooking sides only) may result in underdone meat depending on circumstances. If you are making skewers with bacon that have cubed meat on them, consider cooking on all four sides.
Parchment Paper: You might be tempted to use parchment paper to make bacon. In the oven, parchment paper tends to get singed at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a grill, the singed paper may be the best you can do at 400, burned paper may be just as likely depending on the grill and what you are using to power it.
Indirect Heat: To grill bacon without flare-ups, cook with indirect heat versus direct heat so no grease winds up in the BBQ.
Try these delicious recipes with bacon:
- Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup
- Bacon-Wrapped Pickles
- Blue Cheese-Stuffed Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin
- Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs Stuffed with Pickles & Peppers
- Cheesy Bacon Beef Hot Dogs
- Sliced Bacon (cooks choice on amount and cut type)
- Preheat the grill to 400 °F degrees
- Place the cooking surface of your choice on the grill grates
- Add bacon to the cooking surface in a single layer (no overlapping)
- Close the lid of the grill and allow to cook for 7-10 minutes
- Use tongs to flip the bacon slices to cook 3-5 minutes on the reverse side
- Cook until desired preference is achieved.
Cook times will vary based on the thickness of the cut of bacon and desired texture (crunchy or soft).