Here we will show you how to air fry thick cut bacon the healthy way, and also with different textures. The bacon we are using is really thick, so it takes some extra time. The correct times and temperatures for air frying the bacon at certain points will be given for juicy and tender, slightly crispy, and super crispy.
When I say that the bacon is thick, I mean the bacon is thick.
You can see just how thick the bacon is in the picture. The bacon usually comes in a pack weighing a total of 1 pound. This pack weighed 1.5 pounds, so the bacon was literally cut 50 percent thicker. The bacon strips were not only thick cut, but were still the same length of regular cut bacon. The proportion of the ham and fat on this thick cut bacon was about the same to what you would get for regular bacon, only it had more ham and fat because it was thicker.
Depending on the thickness of the bacon you are using, the time to cook it might vary, but the technique used is pretty much the same.
The main benefits to air frying thick cut bacon vs regular bacon is the size advantage after it is cooked. Air frying regular bacon the healthy way and making it crispy, yielded really small and thin crunchy strips that almost resembled jerky.
Don’t get me wrong, the regular bacon was still good when air fried. It just wasn’t enough bacon left over to call bacon after it was finished air frying. Using bigger strips that are thick cut when air frying, resulted in regular sized bacon once it had been cooked past well done. It was still just as healthy, but with bigger more fulfilling slices to satisfy the hunger and appetite.
How To Air Fry Thick Cut Bacon
Now let’s go over step by step on how to properly air fry thick cut bacon the healthier way. It will show pictures with the different levels of how the bacon looks as it is air frying for specific amounts of time.
Here is the equipment that you will need for air frying bacon:
- An air fryer
- An air fryer that has racks and layers is ideal for cooking good healthy bacon.
- An air frying rack
- Placing the bacon on an air frying rack will give the fats on the bacon a chance to fall down into a drip pan that should be placed underneath the rack.
- Using the rack will keep the oils from resting and soaking back into the bacon while it is cooking, resulting in really greasy bacon.
- The bacon will not need to be flipped or repositioned either. It can cook just how it is the entire time.
1. Lay the bacon spread out flat and straight on the air frying rack.
All of the bacon needs to be laid down flat in the air fryer, nice and straight from one end of the longest part of the rack to the other end. None of the bacon should be crowded up against another. None of the bacon should be on top of, or overlapping any other pieces.
If the ends are longer than the rack, then take the ends, spread them out nice and straight, and have them curl inwards toward the middle of the rack. This way the long ends will not interfere with the cooking process, and will cook evenly with the rest of the bacon.
If the bacon isn’t set straight and flat in the air fryer, then the bacon will not evenly cook all the way through. It will produce uncooked and tender spots in some areas, with hard or crispy spots in others.
2. Place the bacon in the air fryer and heat it to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the bacon is placed in the air fryer, heat it to 425°F. Close the door to the air fryer and let it cook.
3. Let the bacon air fry for 7 minutes for tender and juicy bacon; 17 minutes for bacon with a little crispy; and 25 minutes for really crispy bacon.
Here are the results of the bacon after it has air fried for the specific allotted amount of time and temperature (425°F).
7 Minute Tender And Juicy
At around the 4 minute mark, the bacon will begin to sizzle and pop in the air fryer. This is an indication that the bacon is being thoroughly cooked. After about 7 minutes the bacon will substantially reduce in noise and sizzle a lot less. It is now safe for consumption.
At this point, the bacon has been fully cooked, but will still be flimsy. It will be tender and juicy, still containing majority of its fat and grease. The bacon is healthier thanks to the frying rack, but still has the potential to be a lot healthier with less oils and fat.
17 Minute Bacon With A Little Crisp
At this point, the edges of the bacon will be pretty crispy, giving the overall bacon a little bit of crisp. The overall bacon however, will still be bendable without breaking.
It will be a lot more healthy than cooking it until the 7 minute marker, as more of the oils and fats have left the thick cut bacon. The size of the bacon strips will also begin to reduce by about 25% and start looking like the size of regular bacon.
26 Minute Extra Crispy Bacon
At this point, the thick cut bacon is still fairly sized, but has now become really crispy. It still has plenty of meat on it without looking like thin frail jerky, like the regular cut bacon would. The bacon isn’t necessarily really crunchy but it is no longer bendable without breaking it.
Majority of the fats and grease have been cooked off, so now the bacon has become the healthiest with the least amount of calories. In order to make the bacon the healthiest, the bacon has to be cooked well done. It would be cooked longer, just before the point that it starts burning.
As illustrated in the picture above, the bacon is cooked very well, but has no burnt spots, so there will be no bitter aftertaste. It will have a nice crispy texture, especially on the edges, and it is thoroughly cooked throughout the entire bacon.
I used the most simple and basic air fryer to cook the thick cut bacon in. I did this to allow individuals using any type of air fryer ( both low end air fryers and high end air fryers) to be able to follow the instructions above to achieve the same results.
The cooking time may vary depending on the air fryer you are using.