“ Brand: Asda / Power: 150 Watts / Capacity: 4 Litres / Colour: White „
I bought this slow cooker for around £10 a few years ago when looking for a budget solution as winter was approaching and I wanted to be able to enjoy stews. With little time to prepare and cook due to a full time job, a slow cooker seemed the perfect solution!
The slow cooker has 3 settings; 'low', 'medium' and 'hot' and comes with a glass lid to retain heat whilst allowing you to peer in and look at your dinner cooking!
The crockpot is surprisingly spacey and accommodates a meal for my family of 3 with ease. I love the fact I can chuck ingredients into the pot and go to work, returning home to a house smelling of lovely stew!
I can't fault the quality of the food once its ready to it. Its amazing! You are able to use cheaper cuts of meat due to the tenderisation process the meat goes through throughout the day.
The crockpot is fully removable which means its easy to clean.
I'm struggling to find any disadvantages. I guess the only one I can think of (being picky!) is that you end up smelling your dinner cooking all day which can make you incredibly hungry!
Great little cooker, easy to use , cost £9.99 a few months ago, easy to clean, or sometimes have to soak, or use a scourer for stuck on bits, not really a problem.
I use most days, so far I have cooked beef olives, pork chops, soup and minced beef and chicken supreme and rice pudding to name a few.
The chops turned out very tender and not at all tough, Mostly I brown meat and onions and chuck in with a little oxo cube and water, However, if in a hurry I just chuck it in raw and its always worked out fine,
You dont need a lot of liquid as when the food cooks it seems to create a bit more, maybe its condensation.
I got a lot of recipes off the internet but most stuff you normally eat works good in it. I was going to try a piece of roast beef in it as I heard it makes it really tender and then finish it off under the grill to get a crispy topping.
Rice pudding was delicious, and its somethingl I dont make too often as I dont like putting oven on for just one thing.
Its great if your family all comes in at different times as well, because you can keep it on low and it stays nice and hot for them and doesnt spoil.
I wish I had got one years ago - no more chewy chops or ropey meat for me.
We had been looking into buying a slow cooker for a while but, ike many gadets i woundered just how much i would use ie once i had gotten it home and the novolty had worn off. So i went for the no "Frills" option of the Asda Smart Price HSC20 Slow Cooker. once i brought the slow cooker i looked on the internet for recipes but although there were loads of sites that gave great lists of recipes i thought i would experiment with meals that i knew my family would eat and enjoy. Firstly i opted for Beef Stew, after brown the meat i added it to the slow cooker bowl, along with all our faviote vegatbles. the bowl holds approx 4 litres so i added enough stock to bring it over the other ingredients and about 3/4 of the way full and after putting the lid on left it work slowly cookthe mixture for 8 hours on a medium heat. When i arrived home and was greeted by the gentle smell of stew i was very pleased and only make up some mashed potato and oour dinner was ready. Since then we have had loads of meals from our Asda Smart Price HSC20 Slow Cooker and i would recommend to to all my friends.
As the credit crunch becomes more universally recognised with shops selling everything at almost half price whilst consumers are trying to tie their purse strings, it became the more obvious to me that without a microwave in the rented property I was staying in, I could do worse than to consider a slow cooker. My parents had given me a Sunbeam slow cooker from the 1970's and up until now I only used it once or twice a year, partially because the jobs I did were during the day and strictly never ran over six or seven hours; it died in 2000 when I graduated from music college.
As a teacher however things have drastically changed in my life! In at 730am daily to register with my other colleagues before sitting down and contemplating the first period of the day at a secondary school is never easy - but it certainly helps to talk to other colleagues about certain pupils or simply the latest in a long line of whole school policies. All the while I'm uncertain what I'm going to have for my dinner at the end of the day because I'm always tired and I'm always running around stupid or like a headless chicken wondering what quick meal I can fix just to tie me over. Then at dinner time I can be found pouring over books or papers on one side of the dinner table and whichever hasty meal I've prepared to qualify for dinner I'm tucking into heartily. Therefore over a microwave (which I've now purchased) a slow cooker was definitely something of a saving grace and much more needed since I like a full dinner as opposed to a portion controlled ready meal that tempts me to have another box when the portions are so small!
Therefore after much research I considered Argos or Tesco to have the cheapest on sale but was delighted to find that Asda sell a "smart price," model which is bigger than most slow cooker pots, has a large capacity and four heat settings as well as being white in appearance. Price? A mere £7-47! The height of this model is quite tall measuring around 47cm by width of 53cm making it an ideal model for a large family to consider and weighs around a kilogram thanks to its heavy thick built inner crock pot.
The Smart Price Asda HSC20 slow cooker is quite a large white beast that looks like a massive soup crock pot. Comprising of a metal outer body that is not completely heat proof but warm to the touch and easy to wash down, you'll find an additionally good quality, easy to wash (and dishwasher safe) inner ceramic pot with cool touch handles easy to either lift out or leave in the "oven" to keep the food warm, a toughened clear glass top to inspect the food whilst the lid itself also has a cool touch top handle to complete the feature exercise. However it wasn't until I got this big box home that I realised maybe such a large 4 litre pot is rather too large for one person - but let me tell you of the meals I have prepared recently - the larger capacity is very welcome, even though I can simply half the contents for a smaller meal capable of lasting me for over a couple of days or 2 weeks depending on content when filled to the brim!
The Asda HSC20 comes with a small user manual that is very easy to understand and operate the actual slow cooker. There are three levels of heat available from, low, high and an auto cook program that allows you to simply rely on the oven to cook from the word go, has a red LED light to show its on and by its thermal function will turn the heat down to a low simmer to warm function as the food nears the end of its cooking preparation. Total power watts for this pot however are a mere 150 watts which is one of the lower elements available on this type of budget pot.
In use my Asda slow cooker has been a boon but I must warn that however much this pot can pre-cook casseroles and soup from the word go, the pot can only really handle around 7 to 12 hours of cooking time. Now I work around 12 hours a day at the most, so in lieu of not being around to switch the pot on and relying on the auto function, I've bought a mechanical plug time switch which brings the pot on in the morning whilst I'm at school - and incase you're wondering - ASDA do sell cheap mechanical time switches too!
Generally for the likes of potatoes and vegetables cooked, I've been basking on succulent meat free dishes simply because the moment I get in from home I can either cook the meat straight off and add it to the pot, or separately cook without meat. If I want to add meat then it has to be pre-cooked - slow cookers are great for prolonging the art of cooking but they never have enough power or separated parts to cook raw meat - thus the underlying risk of cross contamination is inevitable if you think you can simply chuck in raw ingredients and hope for the best!
The kinds of dishes I have prepared with my Asda slow cooker however have been meat stews, vegetable stews, some Indian vegetable stews and anything really that can be cooked with a long period such as freshly made soup. Due in part and thanks to its ceramic pot, when meat has been added, I receive a succulent and juicy bite, soft to the palate and depending on the spices or herbs I add (if adding pre-cooked meat don't forget to add in a teaspoon of meat tenderiser for complete flaky and softer textures) a reasonably hot steaming stew that can be transferred straight to the plate. Cooking with vegetables can be trial and error; the first time I cooked vegetables and had left them on for six hours, they were still a bit tough until I consulted the manual to find that I should have either par-boiled or completely boiled the vegetables I had planned to put in the pot. Certainly whilst the idea of a slow cooker is literally to slow cook food produce, it is wiser to slow down your thinking when it comes to what you want to prepare for a meal and in this instance as with most other reviews concerning slow cookers in general, it is wiser to think ahead for recipes rather than last minute off the top of your head ideas! Generally as a guide meat dishes should be cooked for between 6 to 10 hours, 12 hours if its meat only, 6 to 8 hours for vegetables including potatoes and as a compromise 8 or more hours for a vegetable and meat stew or soup. The user manual has handy options to show you how many hours the pot needs to be on for per meal content you are preparing.
To be honest I'm delighted with my new purchase - I never thought for one moment that such as small powered element could produce good looking and tasty food after hours when I'm not at home to witness it. And being white metal bodied it fears no stains when it can be easily wiped down whilst finger marks are easily hidden compared to stainless steel models on the market.
However if there is one final consideration of Asda's slow cooker worth considering its not just the fact that it may come with four stubby rubber feet that keeps it still and stable on a flat surface as well as being heat protected - thanks to its size, my slow cooker is constantly found on my kitchen surface. When it's not in use, it makes a superb bread bin store!
If there is one downside then, apart from its overall size then it is the availability. After owning this pot for 2 weeks I went out to Asda again to get the same pot for a friend only to find that it is constantly out of stock. This is simply not good enough especially on Asda's part if they are willing enough to advertise and promote it on their website; it seems I may not be the only one onto a canny thing with Asda's Smart Price products - but for a global supermarket chain happy to outdo Tesco, they really need to get more of this slow cooker model into their shops rather than constant disappointing "out of stock," banners appearing on their websites. Now if ASDA get their fingers out this model would get a full five star rating! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
Catalogue number: 152-0797
Round shaped slow cooker with removable ceramic inner pot, toughened glass lid to monitor cooking, cool touch handles and 3 settings: low , high and auto / Short name: Asda HSC20