Product Type: Knorr Sauces / Soups
Newest Review: ... not sure on the quality of the 10p ones but even oxo are only 78p. ~ Packaging ~ Knorr stock pots come in a cardboard box which is colour... more
A New Store Cupboard Staple
Knorr Stock Pots
Member Name: missrarr
Knorr Stock Pots
Advantages: Effective, convenient, pleasant addition to flavours in all dishes I've tried
Disadvantages: A bit pricier than conventional stock cubes
I love to cook, so it's finally occurred to me that there are probably an awful lot of products that pass through my kitchen so quickly that I never have time to review them. As a result, I've made myself concentrate and remember to put my thoughts down as and when I've used them. So, moving on from cookery books (plenty more of those reviews to come!), here's the first review I've written about a food-based product. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the wondrous epic (alright, maybe not), that is my appraisal of Knor Stock Pots. Read on, fascinated masses (feign interest at the back...).
The new 'Mr Rarr' in my life is, like most males, a self-confessed carnivore and seems to have a bit of a weak point for English roast dinners, pies etc. For which I hardly blame him! But it does mean that, before summer hits and such food is far too heavy in the warm temperatures, I've been trying to extend my repertoire slightly and cater for spoiling this lovely new addition to my life. So, yesterday, pie was suggested and duly cooked. I used a Knor Stock Pot as these were on offer in Asda for £1 for four, and after I had used one to treat mum to a home-cooked Bolognese the other day, I was more than happy to take advantage of that offer.
Knor Stock Pots are a deviation from your standard, pressed-powder stock cubes. They come in a cardboard packet in which four stock pots sit. They are gelatinous and "set" like a firm jelly, in oval semi-opaque pots with a peel-back lid. You can add these to your dish directly, or dissolve them in water.
Right, the scientific stuff:
Each pot makes 500ml of stock.
These have no artificial flavour enhancers, no added MSG.
No artificial preservatives
No artificial colours
A nice little touch I just noticed is that you can open up the cardboard packaging to find a recipe on the inside - I used the beef stock pot, so have a beef curry recipe.
Per 100ml as prepared, these stock pots will provide you with 5kcal, so each cube can provide 25kcal if used to produce the claimed 500ml of liquid stock.
As prepared per 100ml: 0.1g Protein, 0.2g Carbs (0.1g sugars), 0.4g Fat, 0.46g Sodium, 1.14g Salt, Trace of Fibre.
These are produced by Unilever, and you may well have seen them endorsed by Marco Pierre White in their TV advert campaign.
Each pot weighs 28g. Ingredients include; water, salt, 5.7% beef fat, yeast extract, garlic, thickeners, colour, herbs, rosemary extract, apple juice concentrate, onion juice concentrate, carrot juice concentrate, sugar, milk and vegetable fat, as well as pepper and paprika.
Yesterday's pie was venison based so I used beef stock to add flavour and depth to the gravy; I had not qualms about using this even though I also found it was very suitable for use with my Italian dish earlier in the week, as the balance of herbs in the ingredients make this suitable for the way I cook both dishes. Indeed, whilst it has paprika and other herbs and spices in the mix, I didn't find this stock to be overpowering or dominating in the final dish.
When you peel back the lid (very easy), you can squeeze the flexible plastic pot to dump the contents, which will come out as solid, into the receptacle you are using. I have never bothered to make liquid stock with these, as I can just add the water as the base ingredients, such as herbs and onions and seasoning, are sweating off. Initially your stock pot will retain it's shape, although you can hasten its melting process by pressing it into pieces with your spatula or spoon.
Very soon this will have dissolved or melted, leaving you with a seasoned sauce or gravy or adding taste to your meat.
***HOW DOES IT TASTE?***
Now, as I like to cook and grow herbs and my own ingredients, I will very often buy basic stocks cubes (although never again will I touch Tesco's value stock cubes as they just make everything taste of salt and are possibly the most surefire way to ruin a meal I've ever encountered). I rarely spend money on 'celebrity' endorsed products or brand names if I can have a mid-range supermarket equivalent on any base ingredient as I know that I have the skill and awareness to use this as a basic component and balance the flavours elsewhere in the cooking process. However, I do use a lot of stocks and I have to thank my mother for buying this and introducing me to them first time around.
In all the times I have used these - which is now quite a few - I have been really impressed. They make life that little bit easier and you don't have to crumble pungent stock cubes by hand, also I have never known them to compromise the final flavour of a dish by being too strong or salty, which some stocks can if you don't make them yourself.
The mix of herbs and flavours has never clashed with anything that I have cooked even though I tend to use a lot of seasoning myself, and whilst the meaty flavour is undeniably enhanced, this is not salty, tastes natural and really adds an extra layer to the depth of flavour in my beef or other red meat dishes.
In my venison pie, the red wine-based gravy worked well with this, and the tomato-based sauce of the Bolognese did also.
In short, this is now my preferred method of buying stock and if they're on offer at £1 for four I will stock up, as I find that they tick the boxes of being convenient, effective and very tasty. The packet I bought yesterday is advertised as being safe to use until February of 2013, so almost a whole year's shelf life - not that there's any chance of me not using them a long time before then when I have a mother and a significant other to spoil every weekend!
For those who prefer a lighter taste, it may be an exercise in stating the obvious, but the packaging also states that to achieve this you can use 750ml of water per pot to make a liquid stock - which might suit some people for soups etc.
I really love this product and whilst it may look gimmicky I think this does actually suit my style of cooking more than stock cubes, and I find it a lot less salty than even the higher brand stock cubes that I have used in the past. The taste seems more well-rounded and the seasoning mix used is, for me, spot on. Highly recommended and a great addition to the storecupboard.
Summary: Something I will definitely use again