If you’ve heard the hype about cooking bacon in the air fryer. Air fryer bacon is easily the best bacon you’ll ever have!

Discover how to cook 5 types of bacon in the air fryer in under 9 minutes!

I’ve done all the experimenting, troubleshooting, and testing to help you make cooking bacon in the air fryer a breeze.

Air fryer bacon layed out to show the difference between cooking times and cuts.
How to Cook Bacon in the Air Fryer (Perfect Air Fryer Bacon).

Bacon is one of the best parts of a keto diet, low-carb diet, and a high-protein low-carb diet (HPLC). You can stick bacon on the side of anything, or you can sprinkle it on top.

Now you can make the best air fryer bacon – 5 ways!

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Is bacon keto?

Bacon is an incredibly versatile meat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. But regular bacon and turkey bacon often have added sugars that are not keto and are often served with bread or toast for breakfast.

Bacon is high-protein and can be high-fat or low-fat depending on the cut you buy.

The amount of protein and fat in bacon will be dictated by which cut of bacon you buy. The higher the fat content, the lower the protein.

Bacon varies considerably between brands so always read the nutrition label.

Per 100g (3.5oz) Carbs Protein Fat Calories
Bacon, streaky 0 15.8g 23.6g 273
Bacon, middle 0 15.2g 20.0g 238
Bacon, centre cut (middle) 0 42.4g 31.4g 467
Denny’s, bacon, honey jalapeno 4.9 36.9g 32.0g 468
Turkey bacon 4.2 29.5g 25.9g 368
Canadian bacon 1.8 28.3 2.8 146
Bacon (meatless) 2.7 11.7 29.5 309
Bacon nutrition per 100g/3.5oz serving

Nutritional values from cronometer.com

Best air fryers for bacon

Any of these 3 air fryers will cook bacon faster than if you pan fry or use the oven to cook your bacon. And if you are wanting to cut back on fat to reduce calories, the fat drips away into the air fryer tray below.

Do you need to preheat an air fryer?

The only ingredient you need for air fryer bacon is….bacon!

Pick your cut…any cut will do. Thick slices, streaky bacon, thinner slices, or even turkey bacon.

The bacon releases enough grease that you don’t even need to grease the air fryer tray. Don’t worry the bacon strips won’t stick.

Bacon on plate ready to be cooked in the air fryer.

Whether or not you need to preheat the air fryer really depends on the brand you are using. My air fryer only takes 2 minutes to preheat (so much faster than my oven) and I find it cooks more evenly when I take the extra few minutes to do so.

However, if you want to skip the preheating step I recommend taking a minute off the cooking time for your bacon since your bacon will start cooking during the preheating.

Cooked bacon on a paper towel
Delicious air fryer bacon

See the air fryer bacon recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact quantities and instructions.

Instructions

Cooking air fryer bacon is so simple. First, turn your air fryer on. If there is more than one function on the machine, select the air fryer function.

Next, set the temperature to 350F/180C and adjust your time according to the cooking time below. Start your air fryer and let it preheat. This should only take 2 minutes.

Raw bacon before cooking
Lay your bacon slices across the air fryer basket.

Once the air fryer is preheated open the basket and lay 4-5 bacon strips on the venting tray in the basket. It’s ok if they touch or overlap a bit, but they shouldn’t be laying on top of each other.

You need a single layer of bacon and little bit of space between each slice so they allow heat to circulate and to cook faster.

Remember, no oil is needed. The bacon grease will be more than enough to cook bacon.

how to make perfect crispy air fryer bacon
Making bacon in the air fryer basket is so quick and easy.

Close the basket and let the air fryer bacon cook. About halfway through, your air fryer might beep for you to flip your bacon. You can ignore this or flip your bacon. I don’t notice a difference when do or don’t have the bacon turned in my air fryer bacon.

That’s all! Once it’s done remove the perfect bacon, and place it on a paper towel lined plate. Then, drain the grease from under the venting tray, and quickly clean up the basket.

You are all done! This is one of the easiest air fryer recipes ever! You’ll never go back to frying bacon in a pan again.

Shot of air fryer bacon cooking in a basket

Bacon cooking times

Bacon cooking times will vary slightly depending on the cut of bacon you use. To get the best air fryer bacon, I recommend:

  • Regular Cut Bacon: 5-6 minutes
  • Thinner Bacon Slices: 4-5 minutes
  • Crispy Regular Cut Bacon: 7-8 minutes
  • Thick Cut Bacon: 5-6 minutes
  • Crispy Thick Cut Bacon: 8-9 minutes
  • Bacon Bits: 10-11 minutes

Most of the crisping happens during the last minute of cooking. Because of this, it is better to start with the lower time and if you want your bacon extra crispy add it in for another minute.

Different cuts of bacon cooked in an air fryer
Cooking times for the perfect bacon.

How to make air fryer bacon bits

Crispy, crunch, non-greasy bacon bits are what you get when you make bacon bits in the air fryer. They are literally the best bacon bits I have ever tried.

As you cook your bacon, the fat drips to the bottom of the air fryer basket. Then you are left is perfectly crispy bacon that crumbles like a dream.

Want to figure out how to use it in tasty recipes? Here are a few ideas:

How to store bacon bits

Store your bacon bits in a glass jar with a lid or empty spice jar in the refrigerator. Once you cook bacon bits, they will stay good for up to a week. Bacon bits can also be frozen in a zip baggie!

TOP TIP: To keep bacon bits super fresh, you can place a small pieces of scrunched paper towels at the bottom of the jar to trap any oil.

homemade bacon bits on a paper towel
Crunchy bacon bits made in the air fryer.

What to do with bacon grease?

The rendered fat can be discarded or it can be saved to use for cooking. If I am saving my bacon fat I will pour it into a glass jar and let it cool to room temperature.

Grease from the bacon should always be poured into a heatproof container that won’t melt.

Then I will add a lid and place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Always make sure you smell your cooking fat before using it to make sure it’s still good.

If you want to lower your fat, you can drain each slice of bacon on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.

TOP TIP: Cooking oil should never be dumped down the drain. Cooking oil and grease will cool and solidify and block your drains. If you want to throw old cooking fat away, allow it to cool, then wrap in paper then throw in the garbage/rubbish.

bacon grease in a mason jar
How to store bacon fat.

How to store and reheat bacon

After air frying, I usually wrap my bacon in a paper towel to absorb any grease.

Air fry cooked bacon can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container or ziplock bag for 3-5 days.

To reheat your bacon:

  • pan fry on the stovetop for 1 minute on each side. Thicker bacon will take longer to reheat than thinner slices so always test and adjust your cook time (reheat time).
  • place a few slices on a plate and microwave for 10 seconds.
  • place a single layer of bacon in your air fryer basket and cook at 350F/180C for 2 minutes.

I find having cooked bacon in the fridge is perfect for quick and easy breakfasts. It’s an eays way to meal prep for breakfast and salads at the weekend.

How to prevent smoking when cooking bacon

You’re cooking bacon in your air fryer and it starts smoking. What did you do wrong? Here are two reasons your bacon might be smoking.

  1. Did you clean the basket between uses or batches? This is especially important when cooking in batches. Air fryers need to be cleaned or the food and grease build up will cause issues. Be sure to drain the grease and clean out the basket really quick between batches.
  2. Is your temperature too high? It’s important to know the smoke point. Bacon fat will start burning and produce smoke at 250C/400F. If you increased the temperature to cook your bacon faster that’s probably why you see smoke. Clean out the basket and cook the bacon at 350F to prevent smoking.
collage of air fryer bacon images

Best keto bacon recipes

Look at all these recipes that call for bacon!

Using your air fryer, you can quickly make the bacon bits for your chicken Caesar salad, ABC keto burger (avocado, bacon, chicken burger), or keto low-carb cauliflower bacon popcorn or dozens of other recipes and the clean-up is a breeze!

And if you miss eating bread with bacon for breakfast, you can make almond flour bread, coconut flour bread, or breakfast chaffles on my website! You can even make your favourite bacon sandwiches for breakfast!