How to cook bacon in an air fryer

Air frying bacon is the best way to do it, saving you time and lowering fat and cholesterol. Here's how to do it.

Crispy baocn next to bread and fried eggs on a plate
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Air fryers can be used to cook a surprising variety of different foods to perfection. It's inarguable that there are some foods that even taste better air fried.  Gone are the days when we thought air fryers were just for cooking healthier, lower fat, French fries.

That's true of bacon, too. There's no better method of cooking bacon than in an air fryer. Air fryers are great at cooking meats like bacon for several reasons. the first is that it's incredibly fast. Another is that the bacon fat renders and crisps up quickly and evenly in an air fryer, giving it a delicious flavor and texture. 

What's more, there’s no need to add any oil when air frying bacon, plus the fat that melts can drip away while it cooks. Because it’s not swimming in its own grease as it cooks, air fried bacon is somewhat healthier than pan fried.

 If you don’t have an air fryer you could try cooking bacon in the microwave, but it's not quite as good. If you’ve got one of the best air fryers, here's every step to follow to make the best crispy bacon around - all from the comfort of your own home kitchen. 


  • Thin-sliced bacon. That's it. 

The method

crispy bacon on scrambled egg and avocado

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Set the air fryer top 400F/ 200C
  • Lay the bacon slices in the air fryer in a single layer. They can be close together but try not to overlap.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes, turn halfway through cooking.
  • Check that the bacon has crisped to your liking. For super crisp bacon you’ll need to add an extra couple of minutes and it may take up to 8 - 10 minutes.

Expert tip: cooking times will vary between air fryers. I've used air fryers that take as long as 10 minutes to cook bacon, but most take around 6 minutes. The cook time will of course depend on the thickness of your bacon, as well as the size and efficiency of your air fryer. Smaller air fryers tend to be much fast faster. The amount of fat on your cut of bacon will also play a part, as well as how you like it cooked. Check the bacon frequently and add more time as needed.

Air fryer bacon FAQs

Crispy bacon next to American pancakes and fried eggs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How much bacon can I cook in an air fryer?

 The size and capacity of air fryers varies significantly, so it depends on the model you have. Bacon cooks best in an air fryer when it’s cooked in a single layer. Lay the bacon strips in the base of your air fryer and see how many pieces you can squeeze in side-by-side.

Remember, bacon shrinks during cooking, so it doesn’t matter too much if there’s a slight overlap on the edge of 1 -2 pieces. As soon as you open it up to turn them, they’ll have shrunk and there’ll be enough space. But don’t heavily overlap, or lay pieces directly on top of each other - they simply won’t cook properly.

Do I need to preheat an air fryer?

Check your air fryer manual. Some models advise preheating before adding food, but not all. And some air fryers have an automatic preheat stage, so you don’t get a choice.

Because bacon requires such a short cook, it's advisable to preheat the air fryer first and place the bacon directly onto the hot perforated crisper tray.

If you’re new to air frying, check out our top tips on how to use an air fryer for all the need-to-know info from our expert tester Millie. 

What type of bacon cooks best in an air fryer?

The best cut is thin bacon, but any type of bacon can be cooked in an air fryer. It doesn’t matter whether it’s lean or fatty, thick or thin cut. You may just have to adjust the cook time according to the thickness. As long as you check the bacon every few minutes, you’ll soon get an idea of how quickly it’s cooking and how long it’ll need. 

Don't worry if you don't have an air fryer. There are plenty of other ways to cook bacon, including cooking bacon in the microwave.

Helen McCue
Contributing Editor

Helen McCue is a freelance contributor who trained as a Home Economist. After starting her career in the food industry, she moved into home appliance reviews, utilising her cooking skills and experience to put all kinds of products to the test, and over the years has reviewed hundreds of home and kitchen appliances for a variety of publications.

Having completely renovated her current house, Helen reviews kitchen appliances from her open plan kitchen at home in a beautiful Berkshire village. When she’s not working, Helen can be found enjoying the local countryside or dreaming about her next house renovation project.