This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
Air fryers have become one of the most popular countertop appliances of the past few years, buoyed by housebound cooks looking for new kitchen adventures during the pandemic.
They’re convenient, versatile and, because they deliver a satisfying crunch without a lot of oil, relatively healthy.
Devotees have made everything from cake to kielbasas in their air fryer. The air fryer can even tackle one of the most delicate and divisive of foods: bacon.
We checked in with some air fryer aficionados to find out how. (You can also find out how to make bacon in the oven and how cooking with an air fryer can actually save you money.)
How to cook perfect bacon in the air fryer every time
You can definitely make bacon in your air fryer, according to TikTok chef Skyler Paladino, aka @cookswithskye. You just have to make sure the machine is cleaned thoroughly and that you haven’t set the temperature too high.
Paladino, who has nearly 180,000 followers, says bacon made in an air fryer tastes the same as it would in a frying pan.
“The air fryer just makes it easier to cook, allowing for more even cooking and control,” he told CNET.
Here are the simple steps to follow.
Place your bacon in the air fryer. Lay the strips next to each other, careful not to overlap them.
You may have to make your bacon in batches or cut strips into smaller pieces if they’re too long.
Fill the bottom with water to cut down on smoke. If your air fryer doesn’t have a bottom, Paladino said, be sure to clean the drip tray between each batch and keep a close eye on your fryer while it cooks.
Set the temperature on your air fryer. There’s some wiggle room depending on how thick your bacon is, what kind of machine you have and how you like your bacon done.
Paladino — who likes his crispy — recommends air frying your bacon for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (The smoke point for bacon is 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so you definitely want to keep it under that.)
@cookwithskye perfect bacon every time #bacon#baconfyp#airfryerrecipe#airfryer♬ INFERNO – Sub Urban & Bella Poarch
Food blogger Natasha Kravchuk, who has more than 3 million YouTube followers, suggests 7 minutes for softer bacon and 8 to 9 minutes if you like it crunchy.
If you have thick-cut bacon, according to Kravchuk, cook it a bit longer: 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 to 10 minutes for tender strips, and 10 to 12 for crispy.