“ Brand: Breville / „
Slow cookers are a kitchen essential for me as I use them often for making stews, casseroles and other meals at home. I bought this one as a replacement when my last one broke. I liked the look of this one as I already have a fantastic bread maker by Breville so it is a brand I trust and it cost me only £20 from Tesco.
--- The Look ---
This slow cooker looks great and really professional with the polished stainless finish on the outside. On the inside is a black ceramic bowl with a capacity of 3.5 L. On the top is a clear tempered glass lid with a black circular handle in addition to two flat handles either side for lifting. The cooker is quite heavy and bulky so I tend to store mine in large cupboard and only get it out when I need it. Rubber feet underneath stop the cooker from slipping and a large black dial on the front can be used to adjust the cooking settings. Aside from the cooker the box also contains an instruction booklet with a few useful recipes to get you started.
--- Features ---
The main feature is the simple low and high temperature settings. The low setting cooks food very slowly throughout the day, usually for about 4-5 hours on a light simmer, while the higher temperature cooks food faster in about 1 hour. I find the food usually has a better flavour and texture when left for longer on the low setting as it can get a bit overcooked even for a shorter time period on the high heat. There is also an autocook option which is really useful for cooking specific meals as it automatically turns down the heat when needed.
--- Functionality & Usage ---
I mainly make stews and casseroles with sausage or chicken and lots of veg although recently I've also started making curries as well. I have found my slow cooker to be enormously convenient, especially as I am the house a lot. This lets me just throw in the ingredients in the morning and then let it cook so it's ready for when I get home. It is really easy to use by just filling up the pot which is large enough to hold plenty of food for a family (as I'm normally just cooking for one I never fill it over halfway). The sides of the cooker can get a bit hot which might be an issue for someone with children around although the handles are cool-touch and stay cool all the time.
The removable pot inside makes the cooker really easy to clean and you also have the benefit of only having a single pot and lid to clean rather than a series of saucepans and cutlery. The lid is fine to put in the dishwasher which saves a lot of time.
--- Summary ---
This is a really useful appliance and a great quality cooker for the price I paid. It cooks really tasty meals and is something I can trust to leave running while I'm out the house without using massive amounts of electricity. I would definitely recommend.
We are a family of four including two boys with very hearty appetites. We are at a stage in our lives where everything seems just a little more hectic and quite a bit more expensive.
I had read plenty about slow-cookers on money saving, parenting and cooking websites and checked out the reviews on Argos and was overwhelmed by the level of positivity around these little machines.
Here was an appliance that would be economical, time saving and healthy for my family... I decided to give it a try.
As a family of four, we were recommended to buy a 4-5 litre capacity slow cooker, however I wanted a cooker that could accommodate a mountain of food for the purpose of batch cooking and freezing leftovers so I started to look for the largest I could find.
I stumbled upon the 6.5-litre Breville VTP06 Slow Cooker in my local Sainsburys store and to my delight it was labelled as being half price, meaning that I paid a paltry £28. A bargain considering I was willing to pay far more.
The machine itself looks great, just be sure that you have enough room on your kitchen counter top as it was larger than I thought it would be. The appliance consists of a chrome coloured outer shell which has the temperature dial on the front and a crock pot which sits inside the casing.
There are three settings:
* High- For cooking a little more quickly. We use it for the first hour to get the machine to a good temperature quickly.
* Low- Suitable for all day cooking and tougher meats such as beef.
* Keep Warm- Keeps the food at the right temperature until serving.
What I was most impressed with was that the food can be prepared in the morning then left all day to slow cook. This means that dinner is ready as you walk in the door.
Also, the slow cooker is very economical as it uses less energy than an oven and allows you to cook cheaper cuts of meat. Cleaning is simple. Just wait for the crock pot to cool down then take it out and wash.
Recipes we have had great success with include: Roast Chicken, Beef Stew, Chicken Casserole, Whole Leg of Lamb and spare ribs.
Our all-time-favourite was the lamb which we simply sealed before putting in the slow cooker, added a little water and topped with plenty of salt, pepper and mint. Eight hours later our lamb was ready and simply falling off the bone.
I have read on slow cooking websites that it is possible to make puddings in this device and I can't wait to try out rice pudding.
Overall I would say that I am delighted with my purchase. The slow cooker is used at least once a week and we haven't had a meal we've disliked yet. I am sure that if others try it they will be converted too.
When it comes to cooking, I am absolutely terrible at it and in the past I have been very much a convenience food person however since the birth of my daughter, I have tried to cook a lot more food from scratch, particularly at the weekends.
At Christmas, my mum brought me a slow cooker and I d not know how I managed without it before I was use it all the time now.
The one I have is by Breville and it is the VTP066 model. The recommend retail price is around £65, as this was a present, I have been cheeky and asked how much she paid however from a quick search online, I can see that prices vary from as low as £35 to the recommend price so if you are thinking of buying, I would definitely do some research and shop around first.
The cooker is stainless steel, it fits in nicely with my kitchen and due to the amount of times I use it, I tend to leave out on the worktop and it does not look out of place. It measures 41 x 31 x 27 cm which also means it does not take up too much room either. As the cooker is quite heavy (over 3kg), I do not think I would really want to be picking this up and putting it away everyday. It has a 6.5 litre capacity which I find is plenty to feed a family of three, there is quite often a lot left over so I can take some for dinner the next day. Inside the slow cooker is a large ceramic bowl which is completely removable meaning if I wanted to let people help themselves to food rather than plating it up for them, I could just place on the table and let everyone 'dig in'. The ceramic bowl is also dishwasher safe; again, I think this is another great aspect of the slow cooker.
The slow cooker has two heating settings, low and high. Low, meaning it will take longer to cook , this is the one I tend to use the most during the week as I can leave food cooking for around 9 hours, at weekends when I am a little more disorganised, I use the high setting as food tends to cook within hours. I have found that which ever setting I use, the food cooks beautifully, if I make a stew, the meat just falls into pieces in my mouth as is really tender.
I have found that using the cooker as given us all a more healthy eating style, my daughter eats loads more vegetables when they are cooked in the slow cooker and mixed in with something than she does if they are separate on her plate.
What I love about this product, is I can spend about 10 minutes at night preparing the ingredients, I then put them in ceramic bowl and place it in the fridge. In the morning, I put the ceramic bowl into the slow cooker and when I get home from a long days work, my tea is ready.
When I first received, I was a little dubious and thought I would only ever use for making a stew, now I not only cook stews in, but also curry, chilli, casseroles, homemade soup - and even for me, they all taste great!
Overall, I would recommend this cooker; it is reasonably priced and has helped me start to cook 'proper' meals - 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading.
The 6.5-litre Breville VTP06 Slow Cooker is the perfect choice if you want to prepare delicious tasting family meals in advance / With low, high and auto heat settings for slow and even cooking, the Breville VTP06 Slow Cooker features cool-touch handles and a removable ceramic bowl that you can take straight to the table / The tempered glass lid allows you to view your meal as it cooks / Make mouth-watering stews, casseroles and pot roasts with the beautiful stainless steel Breville VTP06 Slow Cooker ! General Information Type Slow cooker Capacity (in litres) 6.5 litres Power 340 watts Functions Programming 3 cooking functions, 2 heat settings Other functions Low setting can be used as keep warm Other Information Dishwasher safe Glass lid only Dimensions (in cm) 41 x 31 x 27 cm / Short name: Breville VTP06 S