Fab or flub: Does a ‘perfect’ bacon bowl exist?
07/21/2014 12:00 AM
07/18/2014 1:14 PM
If there is one thing that our great nation loves, it is bacon. For proof, look no further than the various bacon festivals held around the country each year or the fact that you can now find bacon as an ingredient in everything from ice cream to cocktails.
It is no surprise, then, that a product called the Perfect Bacon Bowl would exist. Part of the illustrious selection of As Seen On TV products currently on the market, the Perfect Bacon Bowl claims to be an easy way to make delicious, edible bacon bowls that can be filled with things like eggs, salad or mac and cheese.
As a bacon fan, I was intrigued. As a user of As Seen On TV products, I was skeptical but still intrigued. The idea seems like a basic, foolproof concept, so expectations were high. I was also interested to try my hand at making a bread bowl with the product, since that is another listed use. Perfect Bacon Bowl makers are available wherever As Seen On TV products are sold and cost $10 for a set of two.
When I saw the Perfect Bacon Bowl in person, it reminded me of an inside-out bundt pan. I checked both the box and the instructions to see what the product is made of, but couldn’t find any information. My best guess is a heavy-duty, coated plastic. I did like the fact that the product is machine-washable and features a grease-collecting channel to prevent messes.
For my trial, I used store-brand bacon and ready-made pastry dough. The instructions for making a bread bowl are pretty easy: Roll out a golf-ball-size piece of dough until it’s about a centimeter thick, then mold it on top of the Perfect Bacon Bowl and pop it in the oven.
The bacon bowl instructions were a little more extensive: Cut half a strip of bacon into two, then create an X formation over the top of the bowl form. Then take two more strips and wrap them around the top of the bowl so that they overlap. Once done, you pop the bowl into the microwave to cook.
Fab or flub?
Flab! First things first, the Perfect Bacon Bowl does work. If you want an edible bowl made of bacon, then this is definitely the product for you.
However, I found that the quality of the bowl varies depending on several factors, and because it was inconsistent, I couldn’t give it a full on “fab” rating. For my first test, I tried the Perfect Bacon Bowl in the microwave for the suggested minimum of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The result was a bowl that was cooked to such a crisp that it tasted dry and stale. Definitely not as good looking as the bacon bowls on the box.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl can also be used in the oven. Baked at 375 degrees, the oven bowl’s cooking process requires more time — 30 minutes or longer, depending on how fast the bacon crisps. I found the suggested time to be just right for making a bacon bowl that was deliciously crunchy but not overdone.
As I waited for the bowl to cook, I wondered if I could replicate a bacon bowl using the underside of a muffin pan, like I had seen on Pinterest. Sure enough, my muffin pan bacon bowl looked identical to the one made by the Perfect Bacon Bowl — so why did I even need the extra product?
The good news is that as a bread bowl maker, the Perfect Bacon Bowl works even better than it does with bacon. I used premade pastry dough, which I molded onto the cup. The result was a perfectly golden bread bowl great for holding soups or making mini pizzas.
However, based on the instructions, it says bread bowls should be left in the oven for 8-10 minutes. But this was definitely not enough time.
If you do use the Perfect Bacon Bowl for bacon, opt for a cheap brand of meat like I did. After I tested the product, I read several reviews that stated that more expensive bacon didn’t hold together as well.
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