Can You Put Raw Bacon In An Air Fryer? (read this first)
There’s no more welcome smell to wake up to than freshly cooked bacon. Bacon is so tasty, so quick to cook and turns any meal into a treat.
There have been a few concerns raised about cooking bacon in an air fryer. With many people asking questions along the lines of will bacon get burnt in the air fryer? Or will cooking bacon in the air fryer create too much smoke?
If these are concerns that you have, or if you just want to know the best way to cook bacon in an air fryer, keep reading.
Can You Put Raw Bacon In An Air Fryer?
Some people might be wary of putting raw bacon in an air fryer because of the health implications of raw pork. But as the air fryer achieves high temperatures in such a short time, it is perfectly safe to put raw bacon in an air fryer.
However, if you suspect the bacon is bad, you should never cook or consume it. Cooking bacon even in an air fryer will not remove any of the bad bacteria away.
You run the risk of getting salmonella, E. Coli or staphylococcus if you were to eat raw bacon. These germs will even be present in bad bacon after it has cooked.
They can lead to symptoms like headaches, fevers, diarrhoea and even kidney damage. Food poisoning symptoms will start appearing within a few hours or might take up to a few days.
The best rule of thumb is if in doubt, throw it out.
How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad
Bad bacon can cause serious infection and injury if eaten. This means you should always be extra careful when buying, cooking and eating bacon. Thankfully, bad bacon is pretty easy to spot, just look for;
- An expired sell by/use by date
- Blown (loose or unsealed) packaging
- A sour smell
- Slimy feel and look
- Colour change, from pink, red and white to grey, brown or green
- Any sign of mould
How Long Does Raw bacon Last In The Fridge?
Once the packet has been opened, the bacon has around 5 to 7 days life left in the fridge before it goes off. The problem is once the bacon has been exposed to oxygen, any bacteria in close proximity will start to breed on the exposed bacon.
Once you open a packet of bacon any uncooked slices that remain should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.
How Long Does Cooked Bacon Last In The Fridge?
You can store cooked bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for around 5 to 7 days.
Can Bacon Be Frozen?
Bacon can be frozen to preserve it as long as you don’t freeze it for too long. Any longer than around 4 weeks and bacon will lose its texture and some of its taste as well.
Why Air Fry Bacon?
If there’s one drawback with cooking bacon it’s the mess it causes on the hob. To be honest, until we got the air fryer, we were cooking bacon in the oven to cut down on the greasy mess.
Cooking bacon in the oven is effective but it does cost more because of the large area that needs to heat up. This is not a problem with the air fryer.
These small countertop appliances take up hardly any space and due to their internal dimensions, cost far less to heat up.
You should air fry bacon because;
- It eliminates grease splatter
- It cooks with no fuss
- Consistent results every time
- The bacon cooks faster
- The bacon has far less grease
Cooking Bacon In An Air Fryer – The Basics
Cooking bacon in an air fryer is a safe, healthy and convenient way to cook bacon. As long as you follow a few basic rules;
- Ensure you cook bacon at the correct temperature
We have found the optimum cooking temperature for bacon is 180 C (350 F).
- Keep the air fryer clean
Remove all fat and grease from the air fryer drip tray between batches to eliminate the risk of smoking.
- Cook for the correct amount of time
Bacon takes different times to cook depending on the type and thickness.
- All air fryers are different
This means there is no one size fits all when it comes to cooking times. Smaller air fryers will achieve high cooking temperatures faster than larger models for example. Which means for the first few times of cooking bacon in your air fryer, you will need to keep an eye on it.
Why Does Cooking Bacon In The Air Fryer Cause Smoke?
If you have tried cooking bacon in an air fryer in the past and it caused too much smoke, you will find it was because of one of the following;
- You had the temperature set too high
The smoke point of bacon fat is 200 C (400 F), which means theoretically, as long as you cook your bacon in the air fryer below 200 C, it should be OK.
- Bacon grease caught inside the air fryer
The other problem with bacon is that at temperatures above 180 C (350 F) bacon will splatter. This can get onto the heating element which can cause smoke. If your air fryer does start to smoke when cooking bacon, you will need to clean it out completely before cooking anything else.
If you always empty all of the grease from the drip tray in between batches of bacon you shouldn’t have any problems with smoke.
Apparently, placing a slice of bread underneath the basket to absorb bacon fat is supposed to stop smoking, we’ve never tried this as we’ve never encountered a problem with smoking bacon.
How To Cook Bacon In An Air Fryer
To successfully cook raw bacon in an air fryer you should;
- Arrange the bacon slices in the basket in a single layer
- Set the temperature to 180 C (350 F)
- Select the correct timespan
- Remove bacon grease from the drip tray between batches
Average Bacon Cooking Times
The following cooking times are for guidance only, as all air fryers are different, you might need to tweak these times to suit your particular appliance.
- Back Bacon
Back bacon will take around 8-10 minutes at 180 C (350 F)
- Streaky Bacon
Streaky bacon will take around 6-8 minutes at 180 C (350 F)
- Bacon Medallions
Bacon medallions will take around 6-8 minutes at 180 C (350 F).
All bacon types will need to be turned at around the halfway point to ensure they are cooked evenly.
Which Type Of Bacon Is Best For Air Frying?
All types of bacon cook equally as well in an air fryer. It really depends on the type of bacon you and your family prefer. Obviously you’re more likely to encounter smoke issues with fatty bacon like streaky.
But even this can be overcome as long as you follow the basic rules above.
For more information on cooking bacon in an air fryer check out this article.
How Can I Prevent Bacon From Sticking In The Air Fryer?
There are several ways to prevent bacon from sticking to the air fryer basket.
- Spraying the basket with oil
The easiest way to help prevent bacon from sticking to the air fryer basket is to spray the basket with oil. This does have limited success however, and is not the best option if you’re trying to reduce your calorific intake.
- Disposable paper liners
These disposable paper liners are made from reinforced baking paper and are available in many shapes and sizes so there will most likely be one to fit your air fryer’s basket. After use the liner can be disposed of in the general waste or in some areas they are accepted in the recycled paper bin (check with your local council).
- Silicone liners
Silicone liners work in the same way as paper liners with the added bonus that they are reusable. They are dishwasher safe, grease proof, waterproof, non-stick and made from food grade silicone.
What would really happen if pigs could fly?
The price of bacon would skyrocket
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Frequently Asked Questions
Raw bacon has less bacteria than raw pork because bacon is cured. However, that does not mean you can eat raw bacon because cured meat can still grow bacteria.
No, you can’t cook bad bacteria out of bacon. The pathogens will not be killed even if exposed to high temperatures.
It is not safe to eat raw bacon, even though bacon is cured, it can still grow bacteria which can cause serious illness if consumed.
As long as the bacon is fresh, it is perfectly safe to cook it in an air fryer.
You don’t need to put oil on bacon in the air fryer. However, spraying the basket with a small amount of oil will prevent the bacon from sticking.