When frying bacon, it tends to curl up. I don't like it because my bacon doesn't cook equally and it's hard to get it crisp that way.

Is there a technique or a tip so I can have flat bacon?

  • Hah, I found this question wonder why my bacon was always flat...I don't use a bacon press either!
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 2:17

14 Answers 14


This is how I cook bacon, and also produce almost perfectly flat bacon. No special tools required (Well, I'm assuming most people have the following in their kitchen).


  • Sheet Tray
  • Cooling Rack (slightly smaller than the sheet tray)
  • parchment paper (Optional, but makes for easier cleanup).
  • BACON (I like the extra-thick cut).


  1. Take the sheet tray and line with parchment paper.
  2. Lay bacon down on parchment paper. You can fill the tray up, but I make sure the bacon stays in a single layer with no overlapping.
  3. Place the cooling rack upside down onto the bacon. This should keep it from curling.
  4. Place into oven and turn oven to 400 F. I don't find I need to pre-heat it, as, well, bacon isn't very complicated to cook.
  5. In about 15 minutes or so, you'll have cooked, flat bacon. (Adjust cooking time depending on your preference of crispiness.
  6. Take out of oven and remove from tray. (The tray and fat are hot, the bacon will keep cooking if you don't)

The cooling rack should keep it from curling while the fat slowly renders out. As a bonus, I don't need to clean my stove after.

Alternatively, the mention of the George Forman grill reminds me of an idea I saw somewhere (might have been Good Eats), use a waffle Iron! Use it just like the grill in Ward's answer.

  • It was an episode of Good eats that talked about the waffle iron, but specifically not the one about Bacon. Bacon was ancillary to the actual recipe involved. I can't recall which though.
    – Tremmors
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 1:24
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    The episode in question, if I remember correctly, was the Man Food breakfast - it also features making diner-style hashbrowns, fried eggs ( over easy? sunny side? I forget which ) and French press coffee brewing.
    – Kogitsune
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 17:46

This is specifically the reason for the invention of Bacon Presses

enter image description here

  • 2
    You don't need a special bacon press, any kind of press will work; for instance, I use a normal grill press when I don't want curly bacon. The only difference is that bacon presses have built in ridges so you get some curl, whereas if you use a normal flat press you'll get something more like crunchy bacon spears.
    – Tacroy
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 23:52

A George Foreman -type grill does a good job keeping bacon flat, and also lets the fat drain away as it cooks:

bacon on grill


This is the way I cook bacon and it almost always gives me flat bacon:

Put the bacon in a cold pan. Put the pan on the stove and turn it to medium heat. Let the fat slowly render out and fry the bacon on its own. Cook to your desired crispness

The gradual heating helps the bacon maintain its shape and is the best way to cook bacon, IMO.


This is very old practical way to get flat bacon - take your cold water bottle from the fridge, pour into a dish or pan, and let the strips of bacon lay in the coolness. In just a few minutes, the cool water will work its magic. Then cook. It will come out flat every single time. This is an old trick from my great grandmother. Don't dirty up a bunch of pans, or buy weights. Just use cold, cold water!


If you only need a small amount of bacon, microwaved bacon tends to be very, very flat. Of course, it doesn't scale well to quantities for more than one or two people, in which case the oven method already mentioned is extremely effective.


I've found that baking the bacon on a cooling rack (so the fat drips away) also results in flatter bacon.


I made my own bacon press hack and it worked absolutely perfectly. First you need really decent bacon as there are some brands that have killer qualities, but most brands are lackluster, especially supermarket brands. One of these brands is Farmers applewood smoked that I get at Costco. It's a bargain but what is most important is that it tastes as good or better than most restaurants. I also freeze it in six slice sections because it freezes very well with no difference in taste from fresh because of it's high fat content.

That said, this bacon tends to curl. One thing I realized in my decades of bacon experience is that the bacon, and most food for that matter, tastes much much better when cooked under medium to high heat and in regards to bacon, it lends a beautiful crispy outside and a gentle chewy inside. Perfect texture!

Bacon press hack: I found a 5 quart pot that had a footprint that fit perfectly into my nonstick frying pan. Filled it with a few inches of water so it had some weight, and of course cleaned off the bottom really well, and tried this as a bacon press hack for the first time yesterday. All I can say is the result was perfect, even, bacon HEAVEN 🥓 . In lieu of a dedicated bacon press, this hack works perfectly.


I just make incisions on the fatty rind before frying. I do however use a press to smooth the creases out of my morning newspaper...

  • Agreed - on back bacon in particular, the curves of the rind and fat make it pull together and curl up. If you make snips through the rind/fat first, that doesn't happen so much and it stays flatter. Commented May 2, 2013 at 8:47

If you are specifically frying them in a pan, I would turn the heat way down, and use a bit more oil. This cooks like it slowly, so the bacon doesn't curl. It does however take like, a good 30 mins to cook a strip of bacon. But you get nice orange color bacon that is ultra crispy.

Cutting the strip in half makes it curl less too.


My mother-in-law told me to cover the bacon when you cook it; we use the oven method. I'm covering the top of the bacon with a piece of foil and will see how that works.


Two ways:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper. Add the bacon, add a second pan to weigh it down. No need to turn

Second method: Place bacon in a cold skillet. Add another heavy frying pan over the top. Fry on low heat, turn after 5 to 8 minutes, turn with tongs, replace the other skillet, and fry until desired doneness: Chewy or crispy. No need for a press if using another skillet nested into the frying pan.


If I am pan frying, I cover the bacon with cold water, and cook on medium til the water evaporates. Then cook until finished. The bacon cooks evenly and stays flat. Since I like my bacon extra crisp I will put foil on the bottom of a small pot and press down on the bacon and let it sit for 1 minute or so depending on the cut of bacon.


Best to use a bacon press made of wood, no iron smell, no rust, won't burn your hand, handle won't come off. Make sure it's food grade wood.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Hello, While I won't debate the validity of the product, it's unfortuantely considered bad form to sell or advertise products here. As this does appear to be your etsy page, at a very minimum you should be disclosing your affiliation. Check here for more info: cooking.stackexchange.com/help/promotion
    – talon8
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 17:31
  • 1
    I'm not going to delete this; it answers the question, and even says something none of the other answers have. (I don't really know if it's true that wood's better, but it could well be.) We don't want actual spam, but it's totally acceptable to mention a product that solves the OP's problem.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:53
  • Just for full disclosure for everyone, I did edit out the self-promotional part. I think it's okay in it's current state.
    – talon8
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:58

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