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How to Make Bacon in an Air Fryer

Whether you like your bacon crispy or tender, your craving will be satisfied.

Dan Avery Former Writer
Dan was a writer on CNET's How-To and Thought Leadership teams. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
Expertise Personal finance, government and policy, consumer affairs
Dan Avery
2 min read
Bacon in an air fryer

You'll be makin' bacon in no time.

Getty Images

Air fryers have become one of the most popular countertop appliances of the past few years, buoyed by housebound cooks looking for new kitchen adventures during the pandemic. Sales of air fryers increased by 76% between January 2020 and December 2021, according to market research company NPD.

And why not? They're convenient, versatile and, because they deliver a satisfying crunch without a lot of oil, relatively healthy.

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Devotees have used air fryers to make everything from cake to kielbasas. They can even tackle one of the most delicate and divisive foods: bacon.

We checked in with air fryer aficionados to find out how.

For more cooking tips, find out how to make bacon in the oven and how using your air fryer can actually save you money.

How to cook bacon in an air fryer

You can definitely make bacon in your air fryer, according to TikTok chef Skyler Paladino, aka @cookswithskye. You just have to make sure the machine is cleaned thoroughly and that you haven't set the temperature too high.

Paladino, who has nearly 180,000 followers, says bacon made in an air fryer tastes the same as it would in a frying pan.

Bacon in an air fryer

Don't let your strips of bacon overlap in the air fryer.

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"The air fryer just makes it easier to cook, allowing for more even cooking and control," he told CNET. 

Here are the simple steps to follow.

Place your bacon in the air fryer. Lay the strips next to each other, careful not to overlap them.

You may have to make your bacon in batches or cut strips into smaller pieces if they're too long. 

Fill the bottom with water to cut down on smoke. If your air fryer doesn't have a bottom, Paladino said, be sure to clean the drip tray between each batch and keep a close eye on your fryer while it cooks.

Pouring water in bottom of air fryer

Fill the bottom with water to help avoid smoking.

TikTok: cookswithskye

Set the temperature on your air fryer. There's some wiggle room depending on how thick your bacon is, what kind of machine you have and how you like your bacon done.

Paladino -- who likes his crispy -- recommends air frying your bacon for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (The smoke point for bacon is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so you definitely want to keep it under that.)

Food blogger Natasha Kravchuk, who has more than 3 million YouTube followers, suggests 7 minutes for softer bacon and 8 to 9 minutes if you like it crunchy.

If you have thick-cut bacon, according to Kravchuk, cook it a bit longer: 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 to 10 minutes for tender strips, and 10 to 12 for crispy.