How To Cook Bacon On The Grill

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Have you ever wondered if you could cook bacon on the grill? It’s as easy as pie and flavor is fantastic!  But you’ll want to use caution and try to avoid a grease fire at all costs. Here are the benefits of grilling bacon and step by step instructions for how to carefully make some fresh cooked bacon on your grill.

Bacon cooked on the grill. Photo by CookThink.
Bacon cooked on the grill. Photo by CookThink.

Benefits of Grilling Bacon

There are many benefits to cooking bacon on the grill. It is a unique taste experience that is wonderfully delicious. Because of the benefits, you’ll think twice about cooking it in the house again. Here are a few benefits:

1. Great Flavor.

It tastes really delicious when cooked in the grill.

2. No Mess.

It does not leave a mess when cooked on the grill. Because the lid of the grill closes, there’s not grease splattering everywhere which often happens on the stovetop, in the griddle or in the oven. 

3. No Need To Grease.

There is no need to grease the grill rack before cooking bacon because of the fat content.

Equipment

Gas Grill
Grill Grate and aluminum foil or Cast-Iron Pan
Tongs

Shopping List

1 lb sliced bacon
Barbecue Sauce (optional for Grilled BBQ bacon)
Brown sugar and black pepper (optional for candied bacon)

Top 3 Ways To Cook Bacon On The Grill

Through experimentation and testing we’ve looked at cooking bacon on the grill in a variety of ways. While keeping both safety and efficiency in mind, here are our top three ways.

1. Use Cast-Iron or a Grill Pan.

Our number one way to cook plain bacon on the grill is by using a foil covered grill pan or a cast-iron pan. Whatever you use to cook bacon needs to be high heat tolerant. For our example we used a grill pan for vegetables, which makes the hole much smaller than if the bacon were to be placed directly on the grill grates. It eliminates the possibility of it falling through the cracks.  A cast-iron pan is another top solution if you have one available because they tolerate high heat and make some wonderfully tasty food.

Green Bean Bundles Paula Deen. Photo by CookThink
Green bean bundles wrapped in bacon to be grilled. Photo by CookThink.

2. Wrap It Around Other Things.

Grilled bacon is great on the grill when it is wrapped around other things. Check out our recipe for Paula Deen Green Bean Bundles, for example. Bacon wrapped chicken skewers, bacon wrapped asparagus, bacon wrapped salmon bites, bacon wrapped tater tot bombs are all wonderful ways to cook bacon on the grill, in addition to grilling it plain.

3. Pre-cook It.

You might prefer to pre-cook bacon before placing it on the grill and that’s a great method too. You can buy it precooked at some grocery stores or pre-cook it yourself in an electric griddle, on the stovetop or even in the oven. Finish it on the grill gives it that delicious grilled flavor and wonderful crispiness.

Types of Bacon

There are many different kinds of bacon that have been created according to the type of animal the bacon comes from, the kind of processing that was used, and the ingredients that have been included.

Streaky bacon.

One of the most common kinds of bacon found in the grocery store is streaky bacon. It can usually be found in the refrigerated meat section and is simply labeled as bacon. It originates from the side of the pig and can sometimes be referred to as side bacon.

Ham bacon.

Ham bacon is one of the leanest kinds of bacon, along with back bacon. Ham bacon is firm in texture and is take from the back of the pig’s leg where the muscles work regularly.

Back bacon.

Back bacon comes from the pork’s loin, which makes it one of the leaner cuts of bacon. It comes from the middle back of pigs. Back bacon is quite common in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Jowl bacon.

Jowel bacon comes from a small part of meat in the pig’s cheek. It is rich and tender with a perfect ratio of meat and fat. It can result in quite crisp bacon when cooked.

Slab bacon.

Slab bacon is the source of bacon strips before it is sliced. It is a whole pork belly that has been cured with salt. The benefit of buying slab bacon allows you to slice it however you want, cubes, thin slices, chunks or thick slices.

Thick-cut bacon.

Usually, thick-cut bacon is simply a thicker version of the typical streaky bacon, even though it might not be labeled as such.  It is called thick bacon because the cut is about 50% thicker than the normal cut.  If you like more to bite into, this might be a favorite.

Sugar-free bacon.

When bacon is produced, the manufacturers typically add a fair amount of salt and sugar during its processing. These days if someone’s diet requires it or it is a personal preference, it is possible to buy sugar-free bacon.

Canadian bacon.

Canadian bacon originates from Toronto Canada. It is back bacon that has usually been fully cooked and is ready to eat. It is tender and tastes a lot like ham.

Pancetta (Italian) bacon.

Pancetta is visually a large roll of meat that is marbled with fat. It comes from pork belly and is cured with salt and pepper. It has a unique rich flavor that is different from other bacon.

Lardon (French) bacon

Lardon bacon comes as cubes of bacon or strips of bacon that is usually 3/8 inch thick. It is usually used by French chefs to give a flavorful punch to dishes as it’s quite dense in fat content. 

Turkey bacon.

The title is simply what it says. It is bacon that is made from turkey. If you’re looking for a low-calorie alternative to pork bacon, then turkey bacon is probably right for you. It is very lean.

Beef bacon.

Beef bacon is obviously bacon that is made from beef. It comes from the plate meat and is fairly fatty. It has a robust beef flavor that pork bacon does not have.

Duck bacon.

Duck bacon is bacon that comes from a duck.

Vegetarian bacon.

Vegetarian bacon is an alternative for someone looking for cholesterol free but high protein and fiber bacon. It is usually made from shiitake mushrooms, seitan, coconut etc.

Bacon cooked on the grill. Photo by CookThink.

Difference Between Cured and Uncured Bacon

Just to be clear, all bacon has to be cured before it can be consumed by humans.Read on to find the difference between cured and uncured bacon.

Cured bacon is bacon that has been preserved with a combination of salt, sodium and nitrates. Nitrates in particular is what gives it the beautiful pink color and helps to preserve it over time.

Uncured bacon is bacon that has been cured, but it has not been cured with sourced synthetic nitrates. It uses a different process. It is cured with natural nitrates. It allows a product to be created that is free of artificial chemicals and results in a healthier version of bacon.

How To Store Leftover Bacon

Leftover cooked bacon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Bacon on the Grill FAQs

Is bacon even good for you?

The answer to this question can be quite conflicting at times, and we all know that eating anything in excess is not good for one’s body. But is bacon good for you? Bacon is fairly nutritious as it includes high quality protein, healthy fats, potassium, several B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc.

When I was celebrating a 108th birthday with a friend a few years ago, I asked her what she attributed her long life to. Her response was, “Eat bacon and love Jesus”. I don’t expect that bacon will become the next superfood, but maybe she was on to something.

Is it better to fry or grill bacon?

From a health perspective, it doesn’t really matter whether you fry or grill your bacon. The answer depends on your preference. Do you like it better greasy and clean tasting? If so, you’d probably prefer to have it fried. If you like a bit of a woody or smoky flavor in your bacon, you probably will enjoy having it grilled.

What is the best cut of bacon for grilling?

It doesn’t matter what cut of bacon is used for the grill because you’re going to place it on a grill pan or cast-iron pan. You don’t want to put it directly on the grill grate.  It can be whatever you prefer. If you like a thick cut, then use your beefy cut bacon. If you prefer thin cut, that will work fine too. Just remember that thinner cuts will cook faster, so be sure to monitor the cook time accordingly.

Can you grill bacon on foil?

You can, but you need to be careful that the grease on the foil doesn’t get too hot. This can cause a grease fire and the foil can potentially burn in a grease fire. Just be sure to maintain the temperature while grilling bacon to avoid this. And don’t use foil unless it’s necessary.

How to make crispy bacon on the grill?

The amount of time the bacon is cooked will determine the outcome of the crispness of the bacon. Longer cook time will equate to more crispy bacon and shorter cook times will result in more rubbery bacon. If your goal is to achieve perfectly golden crispy bacon, remember that once your bacon begins to get crispy, you’ll likely want to remove it from the heat as it will continue to cook for a bit even after it’s removed. The key is to look ahead and anticipate. Don’t wait until it reaches perfection while it’s still on the grill or it will likely be more done that you prefer as it continues to cook after it’s removed from the heat.

How To Make The Best Cooked Bacon On The Grill

When you know how to cook bacon on the grill you won’t want to cook it any other way.

Key: Use A Cast-Iron Skillet or Grill Pan

Make sure you use a high heat tolerant grill pan or cast-iron skillet.

Step 1: Heat Things Up.

Heat the grill to about 400 degrees.

Step 2: Place the Strips Down.

Place the bacon on your pan.

Step 3: Flip!

After about 2 minutes, flip the bacon over using a set of heavy-duty tongs

Step 4: Remove from heat and enjoy.

You can place the bacon on paper towel to help absorb the grease while it cools slightly.

Bacon cooked on the grill. Photo by CookThink.
Bacon cooked on the grill. Photo by CookThink.

Bacon Grilling Tips

How Long Does it Take to Grill Bacon?

How long it takes to grill bacon depends on the thickness of your bacon, the pan used, as well as the temperature of the grill. We recommend using a grill pan or a cast iron pan, and a grill temperature of 400 degrees. With those two things remaining consistent, the grill time for your bacon will only be a couple minutes (1-3 minutes) per side.

If your goal is to achieve crisp bacon, remember to remove it from the grill when it starts to get crispy and before it reaches the desired doneness. The same is true if you like rubbery bacon, remember to remove it a bit before it reaches the desired doneness because it will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat.

Recipes That Use Grilled Bacon

Grilled bacon can be made in a variety of flavors. Feel free to experiment until your heart’s content. Here are some possibilities:

Grilled Candied Bacon Recipe.

Rub the bacon strips in black pepper and brown sugar before grilling them. It makes a delicious candied bacon.  

The Best Grilled Barbecue Bacon!

This simple addition to your bacon gives it a fantastic flavor and is a nice change from plain bacon. To make it, simply rub your favorite barbecue sauce on the bacon before grilling it.

What Does Grilled Barbecue Bacon Taste Like?

It tastes a bit like pulled pork. It has the pork flavor plus the barbecue flavor combined into one. And the delicious grill flavor incorporated.

How Easy Is It To Make Grilled BBQ Bacon?

If you can make grilled bacon, you can make grilled BBQ bacon. All you do is spread barbecue sauce on the strips of bacon before cooking them.

What Type of Grill To Use for BBQ Bacon?

Any grill is fine. A gas grill or a charcoal grill both do the job. 

What Barbecue Sauce To Use For Grilled Bacon

Use your favorite kind of barbecue sauce to make grilled barbecue bacon. If you like sweet, go for a sweet sauce. If you prefer savor, go with a savory sauce.

What To Pair With Grilled Bacon?

So many wonderful things can be served with grilled bacon. Here are some ideas:

Grilled Zucchini or vegetables
Pancakes cooked on the grill
Hashbrowns
Make a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich
Grilled jacket stuffed potatoes
Outback broccoli and cheese recipe

How to Cook Bacon on the Grill

Caution should be used when cooking bacon on the grill. Bacon grease tends to get hot quickly and you’ll want to make it your goal to avoid a grease fire. If you maintain a temperature of about 400 degrees your bacon should cook well.

To grill bacon, you will need a grill of your choice. Gas grills and charcoal grills both work well for the occasion. And then we recommend that you’re going to need something to grill the bacon on. We have used an aluminum foil covered, vegetable grill tray that came with our grill. Or a cast iron pan also works great if you have one of those handy. Keep in mind that the fire and the grease gets pretty hot, so whatever you use should be able to withstand heat. Fire up the grill and you’re ready to go. Bacon cooks quickly on the grill.

Ingredients

1 lb sliced bacon
Barbecue Sauce (optional for BBQ bacon)
brown sugar and black pepper (optional for candied bacon)

Instructions: How To Cook Bacon on the Grill

1. Heat grill (gas or charcoal) to about 400 degrees.

2. Place a cast-iron pan or grill pan on the grill grates.

3. Add bacon to the cooking sheet in a single layer.

4. Close the lid of the grill. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.

5. Using tongs, flip the bacon slices to cook on the reverse side. Cook until desired crispness is achieved. Remove from heat and enjoy!


How To Cook Bacon On The Grill

Have you ever wondered if you could cook bacon on the grill? It’s as easy as pie and flavor is fantastic!
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to cook bacon on the grill
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • grill
  • tongs
  • grill pan or cast-iron pan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sliced bacon

Instructions

  • Heat grill (gas or charcoal) to about 400 degrees.
  • Place a cast-iron pan or grill pan on the grill grates.
  • Add bacon to the cooking sheet in a single layer.
  • Close the lid of the grill. Allow to cook for 2minutes.
  • Using tongs, flip the bacon slices to cook on the reverse side. Cook until desired crispness is achieved. Remove from heat and enjoy!


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