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Yes, You Can Make Perfect Bacon in an Air Fryer. Here's How

Crispy air fryer bacon takes about 8 minutes from start to finish with very little mess to clean up after.

David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or the best way to cook bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tools | Appliances | Food science | Subscriptions | Meal kits
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
David Watsky
Dan Avery
3 min read
Bacon in an air fryer

Air fryer bacon is easy and the results speak for themselves.

Getty Images

Air fryers make many staple recipes well -- and fast. We've cooked cheeseburgerswhole chicken and, of course, plenty of wings, fries and frozen snacks in the popular countertop appliance. That got us wondering, can you make crispy bacon in an air fryer? Oh, heck yes you can.

Bacon is always high on our list of foods to have at the ready for breakfast, brunch or a quick BLT and these powerful convection ovens are well-suited to handle it. Making bacon in the air fryer might be the fastest, easiest way to get those heavenly slabs of pork fat crisped up without having to clean a splattered stovetop afterward.

Making bacon in the air fryer is super simple, takes almost no skill, very little time and no special equipment other than your air fryer. If there's one drawback, it's that air fryers have limited capacity so you might not be able to cook an entire package in your air fryer depending on its size. But air fryer bacon cooks so fast, that making it in batches is no big hassle.

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

bacon and burger loaded into air fryer basket

A small air fryer can handle a burger patty and two slabs of bacon. 

Pamela Vachon/CNET

How to cook bacon in an air fryer

You can 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.

Getty Images

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

Pouring water in bottom of air fryer

Fill the bottom with water to help avoid smoking.

TikTok: cookswithskye

How to make bacon in the air fryer

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Cook for 7 to 9 minutes on air fry and that's it 

How long should you cook bacon in the air fryer

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'll 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.