“ One Pot Cooker. Litre capacity: 4,3l. Dishwasher Safe - For easy cleaning. Wraparoung heating element. Non Slip Feet - Won't move when being used „
Winter may be waning but the chill is still in the air and there is little nicer at the end of the day than a slow cooked one pot casserole. My working hours increase considerably at certain times of the year and at these times my slow cooker is a godsend.
**What is it?
A slow cooker is an electrical appliance into which you can load meat and veg and stock of your choice. You leave plugged in all day and it will cook very slowly on a low heat to be ready when you need your evening meal! It's like having a butler!
The Breville MM14 currently costs £39.99 from argos
**What does this model have to offer?
The breville is an attractive oval shaped cooker in stainless steel or white.
It has Low, High and Auto settings which run on 225 watts. The different settings allow cooking at different speeds - the auto function takes about 9 hours whilst the high setting cooks in about 2 hours. The low setting allows you to keep your food ticking over warm - fantastic function as I always find timing a meal the hardest part!
One of the main advantages to this model is its removable crock pot. This means that there is a ceramic oval pot within the outer cover which can be removed to serve and then to wash. It has a handle on either end and though heavy, is attractive enough to place on the dinner table. Some cookers have an integral pot and since the unit cannot be placed into water due to its electrical components, they are difficult to clean.
It has a 3.5 litre capacity which is sufficient for a meal for eight. It is quite possible to put less food in and serve 4 or to save the leftovers as a ready meal for the following day.
The lid is glass with a plastic handle.There are warnings about this becoming hot but usually it is hand hold liftable. The lid is dishwasher suitable, but since the crockpot is not I do tend to hand wash them both. The glass lid allows you to monitor the fluid levels in cooking. Initially this takes a little getting used to and I found I needed a little more fluid than the included recipes suggested to avoid food sticking. Since the whole point is that you do not have to supervise this cooking, however, once you are used to your recipes this takes care of itself.
When opening the lid it is best to lean the lid towards you so that the steam escapes away from you and you avoid scalding.
**What shall I cook?
The cooker comes with a straight forward instruction booklet which includes cooking hints and recipes.
A slow cooker allows you to make a succulent meal from some of the cheaper cuts of meat since then long, steady heat does not dry out meat in the way a high heat can. Browning the meat first seals in extra moisture but you may not feel like on stove cooking before work in the morning and results are good even without the initial sealing.
The unit can also be used for roasting by raising the meat on an upturned saucer and the information booklet gives you ideas about suitable cuts.
Pasta and rice can also be included and my favourite recipe is a chicken risotto from the recipes book included.
This is the third cooker I have owned. My first was a cheap freebie from a catalogue first order. It was one unit and in the end we threw it our as it was too difficult to clean. The second one was this model - stolen (sorry James - I meant borrowed!) by a houseguest of mine following some fab mid winter warmers after long walks! So this is my third. It sits nicely on my kitchen counter and gleams its stainless steel sides invitingly. When in action is slowly releases nourishing smells which permeate the house ready for my arrival home from work.
The slow cooker is guaranteed for one year after purchase and there is an order form included in the booklet should your crock pot or glass lid come a cropper.
So far, all has remained intact and my chickpea and mushroom casserole is bubbling away nicely ready for tonight's tea. There's enough for eight so if you're in the area.....!
Thanks for reading.
I recently purchased this one pot cooker to make preparing evening meals easier and less time consuming having a newborn baby means the days can be unpredictable and I just wasnt getting a meal cooked until late at night.
The beauty of a slow cooker is that you can prepare a nutritious meal in advance, very little preparation time is required as you just throw everything in the pot all at once, switch it on and leave it to cook for hours. It doesnt matter if youre running late as the meal wont spoil if its left. Id never used one before, but now Ive got one I wouldnt be without it. You can cook stews, casseroles, soups, risotto and lots of other nutritious meals in a slow cooker, basically almost anything you would normally cook in the oven.
The Breville 4.3L One Pot Cooker is oval in shape and has a stainless steel exterior with non-slip feet with a removable ceramic cooking pot with glass lid that sits inside. The base has a temperature control dial (with 3 heat settings low/high and auto) with power indicator and there are handles on either side so you can lift the unit easily.
It is attractive enough to sit on the worktop although is quite big and takes up a lot of space in our kitchen.
Ease of Use:
It is remarkably easy to use, you just throw everything in (meat/vegetables and liquid i.e. stock or wine) and turn to low or high. All you need to do is chop your meat and ,ideally, brown it and chop up your veg. The low setting will gently simmer food for around 8-12 hours on a high setting it will take half the time the low setting does as it will boil the meal. The Auto setting will first cook food on the high setting and then automatically reduce to the low setting which is ideal for cooking meals overnight or for the whole day. When the meal is cooked you can life the ceramic cooking pot out of the base and onto the table which means its easy to serve.
A comprehensive instruction booklet is included which gives guidance on how to use a slow cooker and also includes a few basic recipes.
It is very easy to keep clean the ceramic pot is easy to clean in soapy water and the glass lid will go in the dishwasher. The exterior can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
This cooker cost me around £30 at my local supermarket which I feel is good value for money. Another good thing is that slow cookers use very little power compared to ovens and are therefore very economical.
All in all Im very happy with this product and can confidently recommend it to others.
Short name: Breville MM14