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Oh bacon – it’s just one of those universally loved foods that most of us can’t get enough of.
Whether you’re looking to top your grilled burger with bacon or you’ve got them wrapped on some jalapeño poppers, you might be wondering – can you cook bacon on the grill?
It’s a fair question – and if you’re asking that probably means you’re at least a little safety conscious, which is a good thing.
The good news is we’ve got you covered. In this guide we’ll go over everything you need to know about grilling bacon safely, and for tastiest results!
Can You Grill Bacon? The Short Answer
The short answer is yes, you can cook bacon on the grill. However, this advice comes with some major caveats.
Bacon is extremely high in fat content, which inevitably renders while it cooks and leads to grease. Grease dripping down into an open flame can lead to massive flare ups. With huge flare ups, at best your bacon will be burnt to a crisp and at worst, you’ll have a full on grill fire on your hands.
So when you cook bacon on the grill you need to be sure that the bacon strips are not directly over a flame. We’ll go over some of the different ways you can ensure your grill is set up safely for bacon cooking.
It’s worth pointing out too that you can grill bacon on all types of grills, including gas grills, charcoal grills, and pellet grills. The key once again is to ensure that your bacon isn’t cooking over a direct flame.
Safe Set Ups for Cooking Bacon On the Grill
When it comes to cooking bacon on the grill, there is more than one way to go about it. They produce different results, so learn about each and plan ahead to get the best possible bacon for your meal!
Grills with Flame Deflectors
If you’re grilling bacon on a gas grill, it’s actually quite easy to do it directly on your main cooking grate IF your burners are protected with flame guards.
Remember, what we can’t have is grease dripping directly into your flame. So if your grill is kitted with flame guards (some mid-range and many high end gas grills come with flame guards standard), you should be good to go. With that being said, I’d still be careful and monitor your cook closely as it’s still possible for grease to splash around and get in your flame.
Case in point, I have a Weber Genesis II E-410 – which is a mid-range gas grill. It came with Weber’s Genesis grill line‘s standard flame deflectors (Weber calls them Flavorizer Bars). I regularly grill bacon on the cooking grate around 375-400ºF without issue, and they turn out incredibly tasty!
Cook with Indirect Heat
The other tried and true method for cooking bacon on the grill is with indirect heat.
All you need to do is set up your grill with two heat zones. If you’re on a gas grill, that means light the burners on only one side of your grill. If you’re using a charcoal grill, that means move your lit coals to one side of the grill so the other side of the grate doesn’t have coals underneath.
You can then place your bacon on the side where there isn’t heat directly underneath the grate – in other words, the indirect heat side of the grill. When you shut the lid on your cooker, the bacon will heat up and cook beautifully without dripping grease directly over the fire.
Use Aluminum Foil
You could use a makeshift foil pan. Although it takes away some of the benefits of cooking directly on a grate, it’s still a perfectly viable way to do it.
All you need to do is tear off a couple of sheets of aluminum foil to create a double layer. Make sure the sheets are big enough to accomodate your bacon. Turn the edges up at least an inch to ensure that the foil will contain the bacon grease as it cooks.
It probably goes without saying at this point, but be extremely careful when removing your foil, especially if the grease is still hot enough to be in liquid form when you are cleaning. We’d recommend waiting until the bacon grease solidifies before you remove the foil from just to be on the safe side.
Use A Cast Iron Skillet
Most cast iron skillets are safe to put on your grill grate – and they’re also a great way to cook bacon. If you’re looking for a simple and relatively easy to clean solution, you can simply cook your bacon strips inside of a cast iron skillet placed on your grill.
With a cast iron, you can take the skillet off of the grill at any time after your pork is done – just make sure you have a safe pad or trivet to place your skillet once it comes off of the grill. Allow the grease to cool some before cleaning.
Benefits of Grilling Bacon
Even though it potentially takes a little bit of extra planning and clean up, grilling bacon leads to some incredibly tasty food. Here are some of the top benefits of grilling your bacon.
Beautiful Sear Marks
When cooked properly, grilled bacon will form beautiful sear marks from the grate which add a nice crispy flavor to your end results. It’s not the sort of thing you’ll get with pan fried or oven cooked bacon!
No matter which type of grill you’re working with, your bacon is bound to pick up some delectable smokey flavor while it cooks.
It’s more obvious how it works with charcoal grills – your lit coals simply emit smoke that rise up and flavor your food.
If you’re working on a gas grill with flame deflectors, you will still pick up smokey flavor. As the bacon cooks, grease will drip down onto the deflectors. The deflectors will be scorching hot and vaporize the drippings, which will rise back up into your food in the form of steam and smoke.
The Convenience Factor
If you’re grilling up some bacon burgers for a group of people, it’s way easier to cook your bacon strips right there on the grill instead of indoors in the kitchen.
Same goes for bacon wrapped bites like jalapeño poppers or the like – it’s just so much more convenient to throw them on the grill before the main course if the party is outdoors!
Can You Cook Bacon On a Gas Grill?
Yes, as long as bacon grease does not drip directly onto your burners. If your grill does not have burner deflectors, it’s probably not a good idea.
Can You Cook Bacon On a Charcoal Grill?
Yes. Simply place your lit coals on one side of the grill and your bacon on the other side so that grease won’t drip directly on the coals.
Can You Cook Bacon On a Pellet Grill?
Yes. Most pellet grills naturally use indirect heat – similar to a convection style oven. That means you’re good to go with pellet grill bacon. However, some of the newer pellet smokers on the market allow an option to grill directly over the firepot. Just be sure that your grill is NOT set up to cook over direct flame if you’re cooking bacon.
Can You Cook Bacon On a George Foreman/Electric Grill?
Yes! This is the safest type of grill to cook bacon on because it’s powered by an electric heating element, not a burner. Cooking bacon on a George Foreman grill is as safe as cooking bacon on a griddle or flat top cooking surface.
If you came wondering “can you grill bacon?”, I hope you have a better understanding of how it works now! The answer is most likely yes, you can grill bacon.
It’s just extremely important to understand the associated dangers with putting pork directly on a grill. You need to make sure you know where your flame is and do everything you can to avoid grease dripping right on to a fire.
No matter how your grill is fueled, it’s probably a good idea to have a two temperature zone set up. That way you can easily move your bacon to the cooler side of the grill if you do happen to get some flare ups.