It’s easy to cook bacon on the grill, as long as you know a few secrets.
Read our tips for grilling bacon, and enjoy a whole new level of smoky deliciousness!
Best Bacon for Grilling
If you’re cooking the bacon over indirect heat, you can use regular, center-cut or thick-sliced bacon.
For direct heat grilling, we recommend a nice, thick-sliced bacon. The savory strips will cook more evenly, and thicker slices are easier to turn and less likely to slip through the grates.
For your reference, a pound of regular sliced bacon will generally contain between 16 and 20 slices.
A pound of thick-sliced bacon will usually have about 12 to 16 strips.
If you have a good butcher (or an uncut slab of artisan or homemade bacon), you can have it cut in thicker slices that will be ideal for grilling.
Cooking Bacon on the Grill
We prefer indirect heat for cooking bacon, as the low-and-slow approach results in more evenly cooked strips. It’s easiest to grill bacon using a cast iron skillet or griddle, a grilling basket, or a disposable aluminum pan. A pan will help contain the fat and juices and reduce smoking and flames.
Heat the grill to a moderate temperature, around 325 degrees F, and preheat your griddle or skillet, if using. If you’re cooking over charcoal, let the coals die down a bit before cooking the bacon.
With a charcoal grill, move the skillet or griddle away from the coals before laying your bacon on it. With a gas grill, turn down the burners to medium-low once you add the bacon.
Keep an eye on the bacon as it can cook quickly. With practice you’ll learn the best temperature and timing for your grill.
You can also use a grilling basket to cook bacon as we’ve shown in the photo above, which makes it easy to flip the bacon over. A disposable aluminum pan is handy for tailgating and makes clean-up easy.
Cooking bacon over a fire in a cast iron skillet is a time-honored way to cook bacon when camping. (Why does everything taste so much better when it’s cooked outside?) Be sure to bring heavy oven mitts for moving the pan and a long-handled fork or spatula for flipping the bacon, as the skillet gets very, very hot.
Note: If you pack along an empty resealable can (a coffee can is perfect), you can easily drain off the bacon drippings to use later. (Here’s a handy guide about What To Do with Bacon Grease.)
Grilling Bacon Over Direct Heat
If you’re going to cook thick-sliced bacon strips directly on the grill, make sure the grill is nice and clean. To keep meaty bacon slices from sticking, brush the grate with a light coating of oil with a high smoke point such as canola oil or grapeseed oil before grilling.
Thick-cut bacon may be placed directly on the oiled grill grate. Watch the bacon very carefully, turn it using tongs or a large metal spatula, and keep a spray bottle handy in case the grease flares up – which it almost certainly will. Turn the bacon several times using a long handled spatula until it’s nicely browned.
Another technique is to thread bacon on a metal skewer, going under and over the strip every inch and a half or so, to secure the bacon for grilling. If you want to use bamboo skewers instead, soak them in water for an hour first to prevent the skewers from burning during cooking.
Serve your delicious direct cooked grilled bacon nice and hot, and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to clean up any grease!
If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin!
Photos used with permission: Ted Murphy, grill image; Greg Hayter, skillet image.