Bacon is a breakfast staple and one of the most beloved foods around. It is hardly surprising considering its highly-addictive flavor that always leaves you wanting more.
As any professional chef would tell you, you need to have the right tool for the job. Not many people realize it, but there are actually cooking pans designed specifically for bacon.
Of course, choosing the best one can be a tall order especially if you have no idea where to start. Luckily, we are here to help.
What are the best bacon pans? The best bacon pans have the characteristic square shape with raised grill lines for improved grilling and tall sides for protection against hot grease. Be sure your pan is made of a high-quality material.
Presented here are our picks for the 5 best bacon pans out there. Each one of these brings something unique to the table. On top of this, we’ve also come up with a handy buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision as you start shopping. So, be sure to keep reading!
Bacon Pan Buying Guide
Bacon cookers may be great for convenience and cutting down on the time it takes to make breakfast in the morning, but freshly cooked bacon crisped to perfection in a bacon pan is really where it’s at.
Now, you may be thinking, “Isn’t it a bit silly to have a frying pan dedicated specifically to cook bacon?”
To that, we say, not if you consider well-made bacon serious business. You should think of it as using the right tool for the job. By using a bacon pan, you can guarantee consistency and quality every time you cook your breakfast.
Plus, a bacon pan can be used to grill other foods, so your pan won’t go ignored either.
Examining the Bacon Pan
There are a couple of things you may want to look into before deciding which bacon pan you want for your kitchen.
Before anything else, you need to know the defining characteristics of a bacon pan. This is incredibly important as you want to ensure that you are getting the right item in the first place. Listed below are some of its defining features:
1. Flat and Square: One of the things that immediately stand out is the shape of the pan. Unlike traditional pans, bacon pans are square and flat.
This is because bacon pans are designed to let you cook as many pieces of bacon as you can in one batch. After all, each slice of bacon is notably long and skinny. So, frying them in a round pan is by no means an efficient option.
2. Grill Lines: Another distinctive element of bacon pans are the grill lines found on the surface of the pan itself. This serves a specific purpose: making sure that the bacon is cooked quickly and thoroughly.
It allows for hot air to circulate and also allows for some of the grease to drip off the bacon, which is a bonus for anyone who has to pat the bacon dry every time. Plus, it’s easier to save and store bacon grease when it collects this way.
3. Tall Sides: Another thing you will probably notice with bacon pans is that it features taller sides. Bacon tends to sizzle and crackle when cooking. This design element serves as a safety feature as it helps keep the oil and grease from splashing.
4. The Lid: Another vital safety feature is the lid, which most bacon pans will come with. Like the tall sides, the lid prevents hot oil from splashing and hitting you as you cook breakfast.
Bacon pans come in a wide array of materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages. As you would expect, the materials used to make the pan will have a significant impact on your cooking experience.
As a home cook, you need to know what you are getting yourself into when choosing a particular bacon pan.
Listed below are some of the materials most commonly used to make bacon pans:
- Cast Iron – Cast iron is an excellent choice for cooking bacon. This is because it is pre-seasoned – meaning it helps enhance the flavors of the food while also making the pan nonstick. In addition to this, it is also a great heat conductor. Moreover, it can distribute heat evenly – leading to perfectly cooked bacon every time. However, the downside to these types of pans is that they can be bulky and cumbersome to store.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel pans are known for their durability and consistent heat transfer. So, it should come as no surprise that the same can be said for stainless steel bacon pans. They can heat pretty quickly, so you may need to stay focused when cooking your breakfast. Moreover, they are also especially easy to clean.
- Nonstick – Nonstick materials are ranked among the most widely used choices for bacon pans for obvious reasons. The last thing anybody wants is to have their bacon sticking to the pan’s surface, after all. However, you need to be careful as you may end up with a chewy piece of bacon when cooking with these pans.
- Anodized Aluminum – Another great choice for cooking bacon is hard-anodized aluminum. It brings durability to the table without sacrificing its lightweight design.
The 5 Best Bacon Pans
Now that you have a better understanding of what to look for in a bacon pan, it is time that we tackle the matter at hand. Presented here are our top picks for the best bacon pans:
|Cooks Standard Square Grill Pan
|Hard-anodized, nonstick, 11x11"
|Wilton Griddle & Bacon Pan
|Steel, nonstick, 15x21"
|Loge Cast-Iron Grill Pan
|Pre-seasoned, oven-safe, 10.5"
|Nordic Ware Oven Crisp Baking Tray
|Aluminum, catches grease
|ESLITE LIFE Grill Pan For Stove Tops With Lid
|Eco-friendly, includes lid, 9.5"
Each of these pans are ready to serve some juicy or crispy bacon. In addition to standard bacon pans, we’ve included an oven and a microwave-friendly model for a little variety, Be sure to check them out below.
1. Cooks Standard Square Grill Pan
First, we have the anodized nonstick square bacon pan from Cooks Standard. This bacon pan was designed with durability as the number one priority. You can use this piece of cookware, day in and day out, and it will never fail to deliver satisfying results.
It owes much of its success to the materials used to make it. Hard anodized cookware is harder and sturdier than your typical stainless steel pans. In addition to this, the aluminum helps distribute evenly throughout the whole pan – effectively preventing any hot spots and creating amazing results.
Moreover, it is also worth noting here that this pan has a nonstick coating. As you would expect, this helps make your cooking and cleaning experience that much smoother.
We also love the versatility this pan brings, as it is compatible with most stovetops including electric, gas, glass, ceramic, and halogen. It is also certified oven-safe up to temperatures as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wilton Non-Stick Griddle and Bacon Pan
Next, we have the non-stick griddle and bacon pan from Wilton. Similar to other items on this list, this pan was made for bacon lovers. It also features a large griddle-like surface to help make cooking faster and easier. Its stainless steel construction also helps with heat distribution and efficient clean-up after cooking.
It measures 15 x 20″. This means that this pan is large enough to cook several pieces of bacon in one batch. This eliminates the problem of having to cook multiple batches – a real hassle, especially in the morning.
You will also probably notice that the bacon pan has a slightly angled center. This is a deliberate design choice.
Its purpose is to let the excess grease and oil flow away from your bacon so that it doesn’t get saturated. Instead, the oil flows into the channel around the edges of the pan. This helps ensure that your bacon comes out crispy and not too oily.
3. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pan
Next, we have the Cast Iron bacon pan from Lodge. In all likelihood, you will have probably heard of Lodge. After all, it is one of the few American cast iron cookware brands out there. It has established a reputation known for quality, versatility, and durability. Needless to say, this bacon pan delivers on all fronts.
At a glance, the pan may seem like an ordinary cast iron pan. However, upon closer inspection, you will come to realize what it truly is: a modern twist on a classic piece of cookware. Designed to deliver exceptional heat retention and even cooking.
This is made possible by the pan’s use of grill ribs. The pan’s surface elevates food and cooks the bacon on its drippings. Needless to say, this design choice makes this pan all the more versatile as it effectively expands its usability.
Aside from cooking bacon, this pan can also be used for searing, sautéing, broiling, frying, braising, and even baking.
You’d also be glad to know that you can use this pan on the stove or in the oven. It is also durable enough to be used on the grill or over an open campfire.
4. Nordic Ware Oven Crisp Baking Tray
Finally, we have the Nordic Ware Baking Tray. This is perfect if you are looking for the healthiest cooking option available.
Making full use of the hot air circulating in your oven eliminates the need for any additional oil to cook your bacon. It is perfectly designed for cooking bacon – and a variety of other naturally greasy and oily foods – in the oven. The drip tray makes clean-up a breeze.
Moreover, the pan itself is made from a high-quality aluminum pan. This means that you can expect seamless heat transfer and optimal results every time.
5. ESLITE LIFE Grill Pan For Stove Tops With Lid
Next, we have the ESLITE LIFE Grill Pan. This eco-friendly product features a beautiful wooden design and includes a lid.
The sturdy aluminum body will provide many years of use without breaking and the non-stick coating makes it super easy to clean.
We also love the ergonomic handle that stays cool while cooking and the heat-resistant glass lid so you can be worry (and burn) free in the kitchen.
This pan’s unique design features parallel ridges that keep your bacon away from the extra fat, ensuring a delicious, crisp, and not overly oily meal.
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