Many of us are addicted to bacon -- so addicted that we want to turn it into a dish: A bacon bowl.
The commercials for the Perfect Bacon Bowl say that it is the "easy way to make delicious edible bowls out of bacon" in "just minutes," and that "the unique design allows the bacon to crisp up evenly, while grease collects in the channel so you can pour it out of your diet."
But does the Perfect Bacon Bowl, which is widely advertised on TV, really do that?
Viewers asked News4 Consumer Reporter Liz Crenshaw to find out.
"I love crisp bacon. I thought it would be really fun to make this bowl that they show on TV," said Cliff Gilbert of Bethesda, Md.
News4 bought the Perfect Bacon Bowl for $23. It came with four bacon bowl molds -- or pans -- and a recipe guide.
Gilbert gave it a try. He followed the directions, using three strips of bacon to construct each of his bacon bowls. After building several, he put the first batch in the oven, and meanwhile cooked two other bacon bowls, one at a time, in the microwave.
In the microwave, he first cooked the bacon bowls for the initially recommended time of two minutes and thirty seconds. The directions indicate you might need to add more time.
"I hope it's ready," Gilbert said as he took the bowls out of the microwave -- and then, he said, "Oh no, that's not crispy enough."
After a total of four minutes in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds, Gilbert was satisfied with the bacon's crispiness. And as the Perfect Bacon Bowl claimed, it collected a lot of grease.
In the meantime, the bowls in the oven cooked for 35 minutes and looked done enough to take out of the oven. But once they were out, Gilbert said, "That is definitely undercooked."
As directed, Cliff put them back in for additional time, for a total of 44 minutes. Even then, Gilbert said, "This bacon bowl is still undercooked."
In the end, after lots of trial and error with timing, one out of five bacon bowls turned out crispy enough for Gilbert. "In the microwave we got one winner and it was excellent," Gilbert said.
But Gilbert called the process "time consuming."
News4 reached out to the makers of the Perfect Bacon Bowl. They said:
"Complete customer satisfaction is our goal. Perfect Bacon Bowl product went under extensive testing, and has gotten high marks from consumers across the U.S.
"Our testing found that the type of bacon used affects cooking time and as demonstrated through that research and noted in the instruction booklet that comes in every package, size and structure of the bacon bowl may vary depending on the type of bacon or cooking method used. Also worth noting are that cook time may vary depending on the specific appliance model used and elevation.
We have millions of satisfied Perfect Bacon Bowl consumers, with more than two million units sold to date."
So the Perfect Bacon Bowl: does it really do that? "We had no perfect bacon bowls," Gilbert said. "There was one pretty close, and I was very happy with that."
For $23, would Gilbert buy them? "No," he said. "If they were ten dollars, yes I'd give it a shot."