If you’ve bought yourself an air fryer, or received one as a gift, perhaps you’ve taken it out for a spin or two (air fryer baked potatoes, anyone? Buffalo wings?) but you’re looking for ideas to make more of this shiny and large new appliance. The air fryer must earn its keep!
Air Fried Bacon
Bacon is absolutely one of the easiest and best things to make in the air fryer. The bacon crisped up perfectly, and I think the best part was realizing that you didn’t have to worry about splatting as you do when cooking bacon in a pan. Or, even in the oven (I also like baking my bacon). The air fryer contains the oil completely, and then you can wash the removable components in the dishwasher (check your model to make sure everything is dishwasher safe).
You can cook the bacon exactly as crispy as you like it – I tried it with thin-cut bacon and medium thick sliced, and I liked the thicker version better. It came out a little bit less greasy than pan cooked bacon, even pan cooked bacon that has been blotted with paper towels.
You want to place the bacon in a single layer, though there can be a tiny bit of overlap since (as you know) bacon shrinks quite a bit as it cooks, so it will end up as a single layer as long as you don’t really crowd the basket. If you are cooking a lot of bacon, you will probably need to do this in batches. And depending on the size and configuration of the basket – some are round, some are square, and some are rectangular – you might want to cut your bacon crosswise to fit more pieces in neatly.
I cut mine in half for these photos, but probably could have left them in long strips, since once they started cooking and shrinking they would have been just fine.
How Long to Cook Bacon in An Air Fryer
The amount of time varies from product to product as you would expect. Most regular or thick cut bacon will get crispy in between 7 and 11 minutes. The air fryer is pretty forgiving in terms of opening it to test for doneness, and then closing it and turning it back on, since it requires no preheating, and no changes in pressure. Not done? Add a few more minutes. And err on the side of less time vs. more til you get the hang of a particular food. Some air fryers allow you to see inside while the machine is running, but most don’t so you’ll have to open it up and see.
And not only is cooking bacon (and everything else) in the air fryer generally much faster than in a conventional oven, you also save the reheating time, which is about 15 minutes shaved off the preparation. That is a big check in the pro air fryer column.
Preventing the Air Fryer from Smoking
Sometimes the air fryer will get smoky when cooking bacon. To reduce the smoke, you can place a piece of bread under the basket or insert to soak up some of the grease as it drips down.
Looking to Buy an Air Fryer?
Here are 5 of the best air fryers, according to Consumer Reports:
- Elite Platinum Air Fryer
- Farberware Air Fryer
- GoWISE USA Air Fryer
- Ninja Air Fryer
- NuWave Brio Air Fryer
Use Your Air Fryer Bacon in These Recipes:
- Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
- Bacon, Fresh Corn and Oregano Cornbread
- California BLT
- Slivered Wedge Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Bacon
How to Make Bacon in the Air Fryer
- 6 ounces regular or thick-cut bacon
- Place the bacon in a fairly single layer in the air fryer, cutting the bacon in half crosswise if it allows you to fit in more pieces. Remember that the bacon will shrink as it cooks, so that a bit overlap is fine.
- Set your air fryer to dual heat for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes is up, check, and if it is done, remove it to a paper towel lined plate. If you prefer it crispier add 1 to 4 more minutes.
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