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Hot, crispy bacon that goes from freezer to table in just 30 minutes? This is fair! It’s so easy to make frozen ham in the air fryer without thawing or defrosting.
It happens to the best of us… you totally forgot to put that block of frozen bacon in the fridge to thaw overnight.
So now it’s breakfast time, you want some hot and crispy strips, and you’re wondering: can you cook frozen bacon in the air fryer?
The answer is a resounding YES! Stick that whole block in the air fryer, cook until you can pull the strips apart, then proceed as usual.
You can go from fridge to table in just 30 minutes!
Here’s what I’ll teach you in this post:
- The easiest way to cook frozen bacon in the air fryer
- Tips for making the best air fryer ham
- What to serve with your hot and crispy bacon
- How to avoid any potential problems when cooking ham in the air fryer
Not only is this method super convenient, but oh my gosh, cleanup is easy!
When I cook bacon on the stove, I’m wiping the walls, counter, and stove from the splatter. The air fryer completely eliminates that problem making the freshest ham possible!
I made this recipe using Air Fryer 5.8 QT Cosori. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.
How to make frozen bacon in the air fryer
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
FIRST STEP: Rub the frozen bacon block into the air fryer. Make sure the air blower closes properly.
STEP TWO: Set the air fryer temperature to 360 degrees F and cook for 8 minutes.
THREE STEP: After the time is up, use tongs to separate the strips and place them in as large a layer as possible. Overlap is fine.
STEP FOUR: Cook for another 10-14 minutes, checking frequently and turning every 3-4 minutes.
STEP FIVE: After 10 minutes, remove the strips that have reached the desired level of sharpness and discard the remaining strips. Keep checking and turning every 2 minutes, removing any bits that have finished cooking.
STEP SIX: Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess fat. Serve and enjoy!
Should you thaw bacon before air frying?
No! That’s the beauty of this recipe. When you cook the bacon for the first 8 minutes in the air fryer, it melts the block enough to pull the strips apart.
After that, you cook the ham as normal!
Tips for cooking frozen bacon in the air fryer
- Make sure you can push the frozen block of bacon into the basket far enough to seal the air fryer properly.
- Bacon has a smoke point of 374 degrees F, which is why we want to keep the heat lower. Cooking at 360 degrees F will help keep the ham from smoking.
- After dividing the ham, try to place the strips as close to a single layer as possible, but overlapping will occur since there are so many in there at once. As they cook, the overlap will decrease.
- Remove the bacon strips from the air fryer as they finish cooking so they don’t overcook, but the leftovers have plenty of time to brown all the way through.
- Making thick cut ham? No problem! Just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time to ensure the bacon gets nice and crispy!
What to serve with air fryer ham
How to cut frozen bacon
The air beater is my favorite way to break up a frozen block of bacon! It melts instantly in the air fryer, so you can separate the strips into the basket and continue cooking.
You can also refrigerate the ham the night before, let it sit in cold water for a few hours, or microwave it on the defrost setting.
But personally, I think using the air fryer is the easiest option, and it’s definitely the fastest!
Why you shouldn’t cook bacon in an air fryer?
This is a myth! If you have ever seen or read that you cannot cook bacon in an air fryer, please know that this is not true. It’s perfectly safe to make bacon in the air fryer, plus it turns out amazingly delicious!
If I had to guess, I bet some people’s air fryers started smoking when they tried to make ham, so they assumed it was a bad idea.
Excess grease is one of the main reasons your air fryer can start to smoke, but don’t worry; this is an easy fix!
Simply place a slice or two of bread in the drawer under the fryer basket to absorb extra fat. This should help.
Saturated fats can be another matter. If your air fryer needs a good cleaning, check out my article on How to Clean an Air Fryer!
Other Bacon Recipes You’ll Like:
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1 package frozen bacon, cut into neat slices
- Insert your ham block into your air fryer. It will be fine as long as you push it down enough to close the air vent properly.
- Set your temperature on your air fryer to 360 degrees. The smoke point is 374 degrees so I wanted to stay away from that. We cook it for 8 minutes. This gives your bacon time to thaw.
- Once your ham is tender, you will be able to use tongs to separate the strips. I tried to separate them and place them as close to a single layer as possible, but overlapping will happen since there are so many inside at once. As they cook, the overlap will decrease.
- Cook for another 10-14 minutes, checking frequently. At first, I turned them every 3-4 minutes with tongs. Then at the 10 minute mark, I would remove the strips that were the desired crunchiness. Then I would open more of the remaining strips and check and turn them every 2 minutes until they were all gone.
- Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease. Serve and enjoy!
Amount per service:
Calories: 54Total Fat: 4 gSaturated fat: 1 gTrans fats: 0 gUnsaturated fat: 2 gCholesterol: 11 mgSodium: 194 mgCarbohydrates: 0 gFiber: 0 gSugar: 0 gProtein: 4 g
This nutritional information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products can change the exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.
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