All bacon is great air fried but not all bacon is created equal! So these instructions for How to Air Fry Thin Cut Back Bacon will give you specific instructions and the best results for cooking this common British variety. Whether you prefer smoked or unsmoked, crispy or soft, I’ve got you covered.
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Anyone that has ever met me will know full well that bacon is my obsession, you could go so far as to call it my safe food. I eat bacon pretty much everyday, usually for breakfast and most of the time with my other obsession – eggs. So of course when I started air frying, bacon was one of the first things I tried.
I’ve written this post specifically for thin sliced back bacon. Cut from the loin of the pig, back bacon includes a lean medallion and a fattier steaky part attached to each other. I find thin cut rashers of bacon are best when looking for a crispy finish which is how I’ve cooked the rashers in this post.
There are probably three more classical ways of cooking bacon; frying, grilling (broiling) and oven cooking.
Historically I am a fryer of bacon. I’ve never added oil, it isn’t needed when the bacon has a layer of fat but I know many others do. So for me air frying doesn’t have any “health benefits” over frying but it does leave my hands free to be getting on with other things.
Oven cooking isn’t so common in the UK but is often employed in mass catering. If you’ve ever stayed in a budget hotel then gone to the chain pub next door for your free breakfast, the bacon was oven cooked.
Now I can firmly tell a difference in taste between oven cooked and fried bacon. I can’t quite describe it but it is definitely there. Grilled bacon tastes somewhere between the two. They’re all equally delicious but for me air fried bacon tastes like oven cooked bacon. Which as air fryers are basically small fan ovens, that isn’t surprising.
How to Serve
Bacon is super versatile. It can be served hot or cold depending on what you want to use it for.
Bacon is a non negotiable for me when thinking about a full English breakfast. A hot bacon and fried egg sandwich with butter on soft white bread might be my favourite thing ever. Actually this triple decker Egg & Bacon Club Sandwich is my all time favourite.
There are tonnes of other non breakfast ways to eat bacon too.
- Top a chicken breast with bacon, add bbq sauce and cheese and melt for a simple hunters chicken.
- Cook until super crisp, allow to cool and snap into bite size pieces to top a Classic Caesar Salad.
- Use cooked and cooled bacon in Puff Pastry Egg & Bacon Pie or Quiche Lorraine.
- Air fry to the bacon for Puff Pastry Bacon & Cheese Wraps.
There are two main varieties of bacon sold in the UK. Back bacon and steaky bacon are by far the most common. Both can be bought either thick or thin sliced and in smoked or unsmoked options.
There will always be some slight variation in the fat to meat ratio of bacon rashers. If you want a little less fat, look for the packs where you can see a smaller white band. If like me you think the fat is the best bit, look for a pack with more white. It really is just a preference thing. Either way, with this air frying cooking method the fast will get nice and crispy.
These instructions are specifically written to get the best out of thin cut back bacon. The actual thickness of the bacon is going to vary ever so slightly from store to store.
For example the rashers I cooked were sold in a pack of 10 slices totalling 300g from Asda. Aldi sell 10 thin rashers in a 360g pack. So obviously each rasher is ever so slightly bigger at Aldi. I wouldn’t stress about the slight difference – it isn’t going to affect the cooking.
This recipe is free from egg, dairy, gluten and nuts.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How Long to Air Fry Thin Cut Back Bacon
To get a nice crispy rasher, I suggest cooking thin cut bacon for a total of 10 minutes, flipping after about 6.
How to Air Fry Thin Cut Back Bacon From Frozen
If you have very smartly frozen back bacon rashers individually so they can be easily peeled apart and cooked from frozen then you are a better woman than I!
However, if this is you, you can simply follow exactly the same cooking instructions as from cooking from raw. If the bacon isn’t as cooked/crispy as you’d like it after 10 minutes, just keep cooking until it is cooked exactly how you want to eat it.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
Bacon can be cooked and stored in the fridge in a well sealed bag/container for around 4 days.
If you are planning specifically to cook the bacon in advance and then reheat later, I would recommend slightly undercooking the bacon so that it doesn’t dry out when reheating.
To reheat will only take around 3 minutes at the same temperature it was cooked at.
You can also freeze cooked bacon to defrost and eat cold or reheat as normal.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
The Air Fried Feast Community
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What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I use a Corsori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I’ve been using for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked does have a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori model has a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which most people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although some come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Thin Cut Back Bacon
- 4 rashers Thin Cut Back Bacon - around 30g/1oz each
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, Start this setting now.
- Arrange 4 rashers Thin Cut Back Bacon on the air fryer crisper rack. It doesn't matter if the bacon overlaps slightly.
- Cook for 6 minutes at 200c/390f. You will see that it has noticeably shrunk.
- Use tongs to turn the bacon over.
- Position is so it is now spread out as much as possible. This will ensure the fat crisps up nicely.
- Cook for a further 4 minutes at 200c/390f.
- These cooking times give you very crispy bacon with crispy fat. For softer bacon, cook for 4 minutes, flip then cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes. Remember that it will continue to crisp up a little further once cooking stops.
- This recipe is tested in a Corsori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I can just fit 4 thin back bacon rashers in the basket at a time. This gives just enough room to allow air to circulate.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.