Posted by: scootrah | March 31, 2014

The Bacon Bowl – Money well spent?

Have you seen the commercial for the “Perfect Bacon Bowl”? The one that promises to turn already-delicious bacon into an even more mouth-watering treat as an edible serving dish? I had chuckled over the ad several times when my brother mentioned how awesome he thought it looked and was thinking about getting one. Eureka! With his grand 50th birthday just a couple weeks away, I picked up the phone and had not one, but TWO sets of the incredible device on its way to my house for just $10!

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The correct “wrap” of the bacon according to the handy instructions and recipe guide

I have to admit that the birthday gift was an excuse to try it for myself, and with that 2nd set I got for “FREE”, I did just that the moment the box arrived. The ad told me I’d “Never have a boring meal again!” and I could hardly wait the 30 minutes it took for that oven-baked goodness to save me from the lack-luster meals I thought I’d been enjoying up until now. I had to wait an additional 10 minutes or so for the bacon to cool enough to pull off the form – my mouth watering so much now I could hardly stand it – and then….yuck. A disappointing, undercooked wad of bacon so stuck to the bowl form that by the time I wrenched it free it was only suitable for bacon bits, not to hold the serving of mac and cheese I’d planned to enjoy from it.

Undaunted, I decided to try again. I thought maybe it stuck to the form because it was new and needed to be greased first (although logically, bacon should have enough grease in it), so I gave it a good non-stick spray and tried it again. Dud number 2. And now I was finding it difficult to clean its “easy-to-clean” surface. The design of the thing has these grooves to drain the grease that the bacon just seemed to cook into, and required a nylon bristle brush to clean out. Maybe its dishwasher-safe material is really intended to be cleaned in the dishwasher for best results, but since I don’t have one, I was stuck getting it clean with elbow grease.

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Another failure – a stuck-on mess that created bacon bits by the time it was removed rather than a bowl you could put stuff in

Third try – maybe the way I laid the bacon on (according to the instructions) in criss-cross strips then wrapping strips around the bowl, didn’t really work. So I tried my own pattern by wrapping the bowl and placing the strips in a cross over the top. Failure – still not crisp and hard to remove. Maybe the problem I was having was using thick cut bacon and I needed to use the cheap, thin stuff to get it crisp? Fourth try and fourth fail.

I hadn’t really planned on spending AN ENTIRE AFTERNOON COOKING BACON for one lousy bowl, but that was how it was shaping up. I headed to the store for the cheapo bacon and another round. Of course, I couldn’t let all the failed attempts go to waste, and was rapidly approaching bacon overload, but I’m not a quitter! So I scrubbed down the bowl and started my 5th attempt.

Visions of a crispy, bacon serving dish were starting to disappear....

Visions of a crispy, delicious-tasting bacon serving dish were starting to disappear….

The super annoying thing about this was that even with the thin bacon, the bacon bowl still wasn’t crisp enough to hold its shape after it cooled down. So as a last resort, I decided to zap it. The instructions do say a variety of stunning dishes can be created in the oven OR microwave, but I’m not a fan of radiated bacon – I just think it’s too messy in the microwave and it hardens rather than crisps. But I was determined to enjoy a new era of culinary delights with my bacon bowls, and started zapping in 15 second increments. After about a minute, it seemed crisp enough and was bowl-shaped enough to hold a delicious filling – but what? I’d already eaten the mac and cheese hours ago!

Opening the fridge door, the light shown directly on the huge bowl of my mom’s killer potato salad she’d delivered the day before (I LOVE my mom!), and I knew the marriage of it with bacon was just moments away – and what a union it was! The bowl worked a bit like a nacho hat as I broke off crispy pieces of porky goodness to mix in with the creamy potato salad – genius if I say so myself.

Finally - SUCCESS! My mom's KILLER potato salad tucked into a scrumptious bacon bowl - heaven!

Finally – SUCCESS! My mom’s KILLER potato salad tucked into a scrumptious bacon bowl – heaven!

But back to the Perfect Bacon Bowl itself – I don’t think I really needed the bowl to enjoy the bacon and potato salad together, or bacon and mac and cheese, or bacon and chili, or bacon and…..and the amount of time and effort it takes to make the darn thing combined with the lousy cleaning just don’t add up for me. And really, how long would it take me to make enough bacon bowls for my guests and me to enjoy? They hold a cup of something at the very most, and if I have a party of six over with each person eating two bacon bowls and me eating several bacon bowls as I make the bacon bowls, how economic is it financially and time-wise? I can just make LOTS of bacon – the good, thick-cut bacon – for everyone to enjoy in a fraction of the time with less clean up!

So there you have it. While the mouth-watering TV ad promises to create “a whole new way to munch,” I would say “You don’t need this!” You’ll use it a couple of times, hate cleaning it, then toss it into your next thrift store donation bag. Say “YES” to bacon all day long, and “NO” to the Perfect Bacon Bowl – oh yeah, and it makes mini bread bowls too. I’m not even going there…

The Perfect Bacon Bowl – Grade: D+ (that’s D for DUD)

 

 

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Responses

  1. The first time I saw this product, I wondered why not just turn over a muffin pan (placed in a cookie sheet to catch the drippings) and do 6 at once? Maybe you could try that next and let us know the results…

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    • Funny you should ask that…I actually did try the inverted muffin pan when the Bacon Bowl was not cooperating. The bacon stuck to the tin with industrial strength even after spraying it with non-stick spray. Because it doesn’t have a non-stick surface and it can’t be seasoned like cast iron, I think if I try it again it would need more greasing than just the non-stick spray.

      Like

  2. Thanks for sharing with us. I saw the ad and was wondering!

    Like


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