“ Brand: Argos / Type: Slow Cooker „
I actually won this slow cooker in a raffle about a year ago, and until then had never used one or had any urge to.
It is the perfect size for me as there are only two of us at home and its 1.5 litre capacity is great for preparing meals for one or two people. If you have a whole family to cook for I imagine you will need a bigger one!
Anyway, a few months after winning the slow cooker I decided to look up a few recipes and give it a go.
The slow cooker came in a blue and white Argos value branded box, and inside there was just the cooker and an instruction leaflet.
The first recipe I tried was chicken in a smokey BBQ sauce. It was incredibly easy to prepare as it basically consisted of chucking frozen chicken breasts, passata, paprika, and a few other things in the slow cooker, giving it a quick stir, and switching it on. I then headed out to work and spent the whole day worrying that I would return home to some kind of fire.
Obviously I needn't have worried; I got home that evening to be greeted by the gorgeous smell of cooked food. I was super impressed to have my tea ready and waiting for me after a long day at work so decided to keep the slow cooker and use it more often.
This particular slow cooker is a very basic and simple one, and the price tag of around £9 means I wasn't expecting anythng flash from it. It is made up of a ceramic dish, which fits inside the heating unit. You put the food inside the ceramic dish, put the ceramic dish inside the heating unit, put the lid on, and switch it on just by plugging it in. That's all it takes. There are no heat settings as they would be with a less basic one. It is literally just on or off. I've found this setting fine for everything I've cooked in it so far.
It is easy to clean this slow cooker as you just remove the ceramic bit and wash it like a normal dish. Same goes for the lid. Unless you are really messy with it then the rest of the cooker won't need cleaning as it doesn't come into contact with any food.
As the title suggests this slow cooker is from Argos, and is part of their value range. It was about £9 and last time I checked they still sell it.
It is by no means top of the range but it's perfect for someone like me who us only cooking for two people and doesn't use a slow cooker that often. As I say I've had it around a year and had no issues with it at all, it works perfectly every time.
After years of using my hefty 6 litre slow cooking monster to feed an extended family, the numbers in our household have diminished, but my desire for the convenience of using a slow cooker has not, so the hunt for something more suited to a dinner for two was on! Having hunted around a bit and been horrified by the prices of some of the smaller, branded slow cookers, I had a quick check on Argos Direct when Argos had their recent summer sale. The item arrived boxed, with additional internal packaging and arrived undamaged from transit, which I was very pleased about considering the breakable nature of the pot and lid.
This 1.5 litre slow cooker is one of the more basic in any range, but at under £9 it was just right for us in terms of budget and function. It's a no-frills budget buy (as you'd expect) ~ it's plain white and this version has just a light to show that the power is on and there are no heat settings such as HIGH, LOW or KEEP WARM, this cooker just completes the job on a single heat setting. As with all slow cookers, ingredients need to be hot when they are put into the cooker and, with the speed with which the casserole that I put into it started bubbling merrily away to itself, I'd say that this single setting seems to be of a general HIGH temperature.
The heating unit does feel flimsy ~ I get the feeling it could easily be dented if you were a bit heavy handed with it, so I always stow it away carefully when not in use so that it can't be knocked. Additionally, whether because the unit's a bit flimsy or because the heat setting is relentlessly 'HIGH', the unit does seem to get a bit hot to touch once the cooker has been on for a while. Now as with all heated items you'd probably approach it with oven gloves anyway when handling the dish / cooker, but it's worth being extra aware of this item getting hot in terms of where you place the cooker whilst it's cooking, particularly if there are children around or if your worktop is a busy place!
The ceramic cooking pot is fine and I love the glass lid, which makes it easy to check on your grub without having to open the top and let all the heat out. Capacity-wise it's just right for a meal for two, even with leaving the recommended 2cm 'space' at the top to avoid overfilling and allow for efficient cooking. It's worth noting that this recommendation should probably be particularly adhered to as because of that high heat setting, contents which are quite liquid, for example a casserole, can get quite a simmer going and could risk spilling out if you were to fill it right up to the lid.
The instruction manual which comes with the cooker is basic but useful enough and well worth having a quick read through before using. There is also a short recipe booklet which comes with the 1.5 litre version, which includes recipes for a soup, casseroles and two puddings ~ it's just a shame that none of the casseroles were vegetarian-friendly.
On the whole I am very pleased with this budget brand slow cooker and have probably used it at least once a week since I purchased it (approximately two months ago). I can't speak for how long it lasts as I've only had it for such a short time, but even if it just lasted as long as the warranty (1 year) I would say it offers good value for money. I would certainly buy it again and I would recommend it if you want a no-frills slow cooker which suits meals for one or two ~ particularly if you can get it at a sale price and reduce your costs further.
I'm also posting this review on my Caio account ~ PlaysNicelyWithOthers :-)
I work funny hours as I do nursing and so it is shift work, sometimes I come home late and can't be bothered to cook for myself and last year my daughter and her family came home to live while they saved up for a house and they brought home with them a slow cooker, which I had seen before but never used.
They used it a lot as we all worked different hours and it was nice to come home to a cooked meal that was ready there waiting for you whenever you finished work.
So, when they left home to their new house and took the slow cooker with them, I went out and bought one from Argos.
It's a simple slow cooker not fancy or complicated to use, a white one to match my kitchen and you just plug it in pop your ingredients in the glass bowl and turn it on and it will slowly cook the meal for you when your out.
This slow cooker was from the value range and it has low and high settings on it.
I use the low settings for a stew which I mostly cook in the slow cooker and find that when I have finished my seven hour shift and drove home, the meal is nicely cooked and warm and the meat is very tender, ready to eat.
You can see the food in the slow cooker through the glass lid, just pop your meat, veg, gravy and water into the bowl turn it on low and leave it to do it's thing. How easy is that.
The glass bowl can be put in the dishwasher after you have used it and the whole slow cooker can be wiped down with a damp cloth to keep it clean.
I like the convenience of this and it only cost me £9.99 which is cheap enough for anyone's purse.
These are also ideal if you have elderly relatives that needs a hand as you can visit and pop the meal on and they can get it later when it's tea time.
You can make soups, stews and casseroles in it easily and cheaply as a slow cooker full of stew will feed a family of four.
I'm happy with my buy and would recommend this to you.
I had never heard of a "Slow Cooker" until a year ago. On one of my weekly visits to my parents I was rather intrigued by the delicious smelling ceramic pot on the kitchen counter. Upon investigation I discovered my mother was cooking a large stew for dinner. Upon further investigation I was rather amazed at the capabilities of one of these handy little devices. Convinced by my mother at how fantastic they were I decided to invest in one.
The average price ranged from about £15 - £40 depending on the features you were after. I spotted this in the Argos Value range for just £9.99!
Excited to get home and test it out I splashed out on a book with recipes specifically for a slow cooker. In hindsight, there are hundreds/thousands of these recipes available online for free!
It had very basic packaging that I promptly threw in the loft in case of problems in future (always keep your receipt and packaging in case of any problems in future). The instructions were also pretty basic although they did have a few recipes which I will get to later.
The power cable was quite short (less than 1 metre) which meant I had to rearrange some of the bits in my kitchen so it could be close to a socket. This won't be a problem for most people are most modern kitchen have many sockets along the units for all the appliances and shortcut devices we use in the kitchen nowadays. But please bear it in mind if you have limited space for it as the cable really doesn't give you much flexibility for moving it around.
The outer pot seemed quite thin and poor quality (it's made of a plastic-type material with a heat resistant lining) and I later discovered that when the slow cooker is on the outside gets very hot so please be careful and use oven gloves if you need to move it.
The inner pot is well made and sturdy. It has a reinforced glass lid which also gets too hot when cooking.
It has 3 settings - Low, High and Keep Warm. Low takes 10-12hours and high a more respectable 3-5hours depending on what you are cooking. Keep Warm is self-explanatory and keeps your meal at a nice warm/hot temperature ready to serve. One of the most limiting features of this model is that it has no auto setting. On most slow cookers "Auto" cooks the meal on high for 1 or 2 hours then low for several more hours and then keeps it hot. The lack of the auto feature was what made me go out and buy a slightly better slow cooker.
Another major lacking feature is a power indicator/light! It might seem silly but for me it was rather annoying, you can't tell it's on and working until your food is hot and certainly couldn't tell whether you had switched it on from across the room.
But still, this little pot does what it says and will slowly cook your meal. I find it works best if you choose high for the first 3 hours and then turn it down to low until you are ready to serve. Of course if it's fully cooked and you don't quite need it yet you can choose keep warm but if you are out it will do no harm to leave the meal on low. It won't boil dry due to the low temperature and the lid. A major downside is that you can't throw your meal on in the morning and leave it on low all day and come back to a cooked meal as it never seems to reach a decent temperature and meat never seems to get cooked thoroughly for at least 10hours. I would worry about the fact that the meat is cooked so slowly it might not kill off any bacteria and could cause food poisoning or a tummy upset. But, high reaches a good simmering temperature and will cook meat through in 2 or 3 hours. But since I live far from work I couldn't pop home and turn it down to low at lunchtime it makes this whole slow cooker pretty useless to me and it was quickly relegated to the back of the cupboard.
It also comes with a few recipes in the instruction book which are completely useless as if you use the recommend amounts you will completely overflow the cooker! As one of the smallest slow cookers available it won't fit in a roast chicken or beef joint. It is however a nice size for a couple. A few things I enjoyed making in it are bolognese, sausage casserole, spanish chicken and lentil soup. These are all very cheap and basic recipes with minimal work required. It would take up too much of my review to list the recipes but if you would like me to send them please drop me a message!
On a positive note, I did find this model very easy to clean - wait until it's cool, rinse the inner pot in warm water and wash with your dishes as normal. Rinse in water afterwards and leave to air dry. The outer pot is wipe clean only but doesn't get dirty or messy anyway.
Since upgrading to a more expensive model with better features I have discovered that the old saying is true "You get what you pay for". I wouldn't recommend this to a friend and would advise you to pay slightly more for a much more useful product.
However, please do not let my review put you off Slow Cookers in general - they are fantastic inventions and I couldn't be without one now. I upgraded to a Lloytron 3.5L Stainless Steel Slow Cooker and haven't looked back, it only cost slightly more at £15.99 and there is a world of difference between the Lloytron and the Argos Value models.
I already had a slow cooker in the house but with a 6.5 litre capacity it was far too big for making a meal for the two of us in the house so decided to buy a second one. My first slow cooker was from the Argos cookworks range and is excellent quality so I decided to look in Argos again. The Argos value slow cooker was on sale for a mere £6.49 in their end of season sale so I decided to pick myself up a bargain.
The quality of build is not nearly as good on the value model as the Cookworks slow cooker. The white metallic outer walls of the cooker feel extremely thin and flimsy and I would even be able to dent it with my hands. Having said that; this is an appliance that will not need to be moved around very much so as long as it is stored properly and cared for it will be fine. The walls of the appliance do get hot to the touch during cooking so you need to take care; the flex is pretty short too so the cooker will need to be positioned near to a plug. The inner ceramic crock pot is good quality as is the glass lid.
This slow cooker has three settings which are high and low and keep warm. There is no light to let you know that the cooker is on or any kind of timer so this is a no frills machine. The instructions say that you should be able to cook on low but the low wattage (60w compared to 320w in my 6.5 litre appliance) meant that even after 8 hours my beef chunks were pink in the middle and an onion was still hard so it is probably best to think of low as keep warm.
The high setting does cook foods at a reasonable speed, it probably takes around an hour to bring things to the boil and then it is a very slow and gentle simmer from that point on. I feel happy leaving it on when I am out during the day or overnight when I am sleeping as it never boils dry.
The Argos value slow cooker has a capacity of 1.8 litres which I have found ideal for my small family size. I have used the slow cooker half full too to make meltingly tender beef for just two people so is ideal for singletons or couples.
Although the Argos Value slow cooker is not nearly as sturdy as the more expensive Cookworks model it is still a good buy. I use it to cook stews, chilli, stovies and other meals for two people on a regular basis. It seems to be one of the few small slow cookers out there so if you live in a small household it could be a good investment.
My mum purchased a slow cooker from Asda and went on about how fabulous it was. When I went to purchase one they had none left and after checking the internet I found Argos had one on offer for half price at £6.99.
I decided that this one would do as at the time I wasn't sure whether I would use it too much.
It came packaged in the Argos own range blue box with red writing. There is no option over colour it comes in white. The outiside is light plastic with a silver interior and has a dial which you can have low, high or warm.
The low setting we are told is roughly for 12 hours of cooking and the high for around 3. Warm does what it says on the tin, keeps it warm or slowly warms it up.
Inside the outer casing there is a white pot that fits securely inside. The lid is clear with a silver rim and the cord with the plug is quite short but long enough.
The pot is 2 litres and at first I thought it would be a little small, however after making stovies in there I found that there's enough for 2 adult meals as well as a child which is perfect for me having just me and the little one to cook for.
It's brilliant since I am studying at the moment I can throw something in to cook in the morning and then go out or concentrate on something else and just check on it hours later.
It's also a great idea as it uses a miniscule amount of electricity again being on a budget means this is a god send. It's really easy to clean and if you're lucky enough to have a dishwasher then you can throw it in there and it'll clean it up nicely.
I'm glad my mum persuaded me to get one of these as it's been a brilliant help over the time I've had it. At half price as well it's a brilliant bargain!
When I was looking for kitchen stuff for my new flat (as I had moved out of living with my parents prior to it) I knew I wanted a slow cooker..... cos basically I'm really rather lazy and liked the idea of throwing loads of stuff into a device that basically cooked ingredients for me but I wanted something in white (to match all my other appliances) and it needed to be cheap without having cheap branding on it (that's the snob in me I'm afraid lol). When I spotted this in the Argos catalogue costing a mere £12.00 I felt that it met every single one of my criteria so I ordered it online and went and fetched it!
It came in white box with a photograph of the slow cooker on the front, I was told a bit about the features of it and contact details for Argos were given too. Basic, cheap looking packaging this is and there was an instruction leaflet and recipe book in with the slow cooker which came ready to use and with a plug already fitted on it and it was packaged up to protect it in see-through plastic.
The Slow Cooker Itself:
Well you get a tin sort of white casing which is silver inside with a simple dial on the front of it of good size that you can switch to off, low, high and warm with ease and a crock pot that removes which is white in colour that fits securely into the outer casing. The electric lead on this isn't all that long and it has a toughened glass lid with a white rim to it and with a plastic handle to the centre of it. It's rather small to look at but looks nice and has no branding on it at all so is plain looking.
Its has a power of 90 watts and a capacity of 2 litres and a cool touch body and four none slip feet that are secure and work brilliantly to the bottom of it. It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean cos of the removable inner crock pot.
For a family slow cooker in my opinion this is really far too small but for me and my flatmate its just about big enough and that actually is my only gripe however that is my fault for not considering the size before I bought it as I was a novice at buying kitchen appliances!
This actually turned out though to be one of my best purchases for my home and I use it so much! I cook curries and casseroles in mine by throwing in a load of ingredients (sometimes I do brown things off first but not always) and simply leave it on overnight (there is a small recipe section in the instruction manual if you're a beginner like I was to help you along).
This is a very easy to use slow cooker. If I'm leaving it on all night I choose to heat my ingredients on low, in the day and with less time on my hands I use the high setting or I use high just before serving dishes to really make sure its hot on a plate. If a dish I'm creating looks really cooked I will leave it on warm which is a great setting if you have guests arriving and want to serve when they're ready to eat without your meal getting overcooked and/or dry looking.
For me I work with my eyes with this one, if uncertain how long a dish will need I know that a low setting works over a few hours so you don't need to be Einstein using this and the glass lid is a great feature cos you can keep a good eye on things and the fact that it has a cool body means I can leave it on a worktop to its job without the worry that I or anyone else will touch it and get burned.
Apart from the size of this I have absolutely no gripes with it at all. The crockpot doesn't stain over time even with cooking curries, chilli's and sweet and sours in it at all which did concern me slightly and even with cooking things in it often and for hours upon hours I've found the whole unit to be a breeze to clean and it's not once let me down.
I heartily recommend this budget slow cooker to anyone, especially for someone on their own as it isn't huge to fill or store!
Only available in Argos stores and in one size and colour option