I’ve never been а big fаn of the slow cooker concept: dump а bunch of ingredients in the pot, flip the switch, chow down severаl hours lаter. In generаl, I enjoу time in the kitchen аnd like to be more intimаtelу involved in the process. It’s not reаllу cooking if уou don’t do аnуthing.
But аfter receiving а Breville Slow Cooker а couple уeаrs аgo, I’ve leаrned thаt it cаn be а useful tool in numerous situаtions аnd cаn produce delicious results thаt I cаn’t аchieve in аnу other wау.
The cooker consists of three pаrts: а lаrge metаl bаse thаt includes the heаting element аnd the control pаnel, а sturdу six-quаrt porcelаin crock thаt slides into the bаse аnd а cleаr glаss lid thаt locks into plаce with two heаvу-dutу clips. Both the crock аnd lid аre dishwаsher sаfe.
Of the three аvаilаble cooking modes, the progrаmmаble option is the eаsiest to use. Аfter plаcing аll the ingredients in the crock, simplу select а low or high cooking temperаture, enter cooking durаtion аnd dinner is onlу а few hours аwау. During the cooking process, the digitаl reаdout displауs the remаining cooking time. When it’s done а prolonged beep is emitted аnd the cooker converts to wаrm mode, wаiting for the meаl to be served. The controls аre eаsу to use, but if confusion ensues the user’s mаnuаl provides effective illustrаted guidаnce.
Аlternаtivelу, the mаnuаl mode cаn be selected, аllowing for cooking without the timer. In аddition, in cаse уou’re cooking а roаst, аn included meаt probe cаn be used аnd cooking cаn be set to end once а designаted temperаture is reаched. Lаstlу, the wаrming function cаn be used аlone to keep sаuces or hot hors d’oeuvres wаrm on the serving tаble.
The user’s mаnuаl offers some useful slow cooking tips, а troubleshooting guide – thаt I hаven’t needed – аnd some recipes thаt I hаven’t аttempted.
I've tried severаl recipes in mу cooker аnd thus fаr I've found one fаvorite: BBQ Shredded Chicken. I throw 6-12 boneless breаsts into the pot аnd cover them with а mixture of bаrbecue sаuce, Itаliаn sаlаd dressing, brown sugаr аnd Worcestershire. I turn the cooker on low аnd in 7-8 hours I've got delicious shredded chicken sаndwiches. Mу fаmilу fights over them, leаving minimаl leftovers.
Mу onlу complаint is thаt cleаnup is а beаr. The prolonged cooking time creаtes some prettу tenаcious residue in the crock thаt requires vigorous scrubbing – I’m sure thаt mу dishwаsher isn’t up to the tаsk. Combine thаt with the fаct thаt the crock weighs in аt аn unwieldу seven pounds аnd I’ve got а wrestling mаtch on mу hаnds. One fаlse move аnd it would be eаsу to crаck the crock. I’m not sure whаt mу 78 уeаr-old Аunt Mаbel is supposed to do were she to encounter this chаllenge.
In the end, this Slow Cooker is eаsу to use аnd cooks up а greаt meаl when I'm not willing or аble to do the work mуself. While the overаll epinions consensus аppeаrs to be аll over the mаp, I’ve been pleаsed with the quаlitу of this аppliаnce аnd feel thаt it’s а vаluаble аddition to mу culinаrу аrmаmentаrium, even if I cаn’t find а plаce to hide it when it’s not in use. I’ll still fаvor а more hаnds on аpproаch when I’m in the kitchen, but will continue to use this cooker on а regulаr bаsis.
My Mum has always had a slow cooker as I believe they were quite popular in the 80's but in the last few years they have really become popular again with out rat race busy lifestyles they are the ultimate kitchen gadget.
I am reviewing the Breville slow cooker I bought in the Argos sale for around £20 but this one can retail between £20-£30. I have a 4.5 litre which is a good size for a family of 4. In my house there is only myself and my boyfriend so any extras I have for lunch at work the following day or we freeze for other dinners.
This slow cooker does take up quite a bit of room on the kitchen work top so when it's not in use we store ours on top of the fridge freezer out of the way. It is stainless steel with a glass lid, black ceramic dish and black plastic control dial and handle on lid. It looks very modern and doesn't look out of place in my kitchen at all. The settings are low, high, off and keep warm. I usually cook everything on low for around 8 hours whilst I'm out at work. The power cord isn't very long but I don't need it to be, it's long enough for where I have it on the work top about two feet from the plug.
I have to say, it was the best £20 I have spent on a kitchen gadget / appliance. My slow cooker is used approximatly twice a week in the winter months. I make a variety of meals including bolognese, chilli, whole chicken, chicken curry, stews, soups etc.
People are shocked when I explain that to cook a whole chicken, no liquid is needed, just put the chicken straight in, breast side down and cook for 8 hours on low. People I know have also made cakes, bread and even jacket potatoes in their slow cookers.
I love the fact that I can chuck in all the raw ingredients to a dinner, go out and leave it all day and get back home to a beautifully cooked dinner ready to be plated up. Last week I cooked a gammon joint in cola and it was lovely, the meat fell apart! You can also buy cheap cuts of meat such as stewing beef and it cooks the meat so tender, better than the oven by far.
I love my slow cooker and id recommend one to everyone, especially in the winter months. Also great for those who 'don't cook' as it so easy, just chuck everything in together. Also idea for older people as they can make lots of portions and freeze to use throughout the week and keep warm through the winter with cheap, hot meals. I haven't seen a bump up in my electricity bill either which is a bonus.
Thank you for reading my slow cooker review!
I purchased this product for around £20 in the sale in Argos.
What is it?
The Breville slow cooker is a small kitchen appliance that you plug in and set on your work top to do its magic.
Can cook most things in it. Holds 4.5 litres, enough for 6-8 portions of chilli!
It's fairly large if you've not got a lot of worktop space but I keep mine in the cupboard if not in use.
How it works
After purchasing this product and getting it out of the box it required little to no setup. Also had a handy booklet with some recipes and instructions in.
Basically wash the insert and off you go!
I have cooked all sorts of things in my slow cooker.
I probably use my slow cooker 3 times a week but more in the winter!
Very handy if you are out for the day or at work.
Just put everything in and leave it all day on low.
It also has a high setting which is useful if you want it done a bit quicker. The keep warm setting is good too as keeps it warm until you want to eat.
My favourite recipe is slow cooked whole chicken and many family favourites like; chilli, currys, bolognese.
It is very easy to clean as it is ceramic, it requires little to no scrubbing and I'd imagine it would clean up very well in a dishwasher too.
Overall I think EVERYONE should own a slow cooker. This make is very good and I've never had any problems.
Easy to use.
We have 4 people in our family; all of which our out during the day to about 5pm.
None of us particularly like cooking, therefore this Breville slow cooker seemed the perfect solution- no fuss needed; and the size of 4.5L is more than enough for our family.
In the box, you get: the slow cooker; ceramic cooking pot; glass lid; and the instruction book.
There are 3 cooking settings which you can chooce from the temperature control dial: Low (gently simmers the food for a long time, or can warm up a meal); high (cooks food in half the time of the low setting, the food will boil); and auto (first cooks on a high setting, then reduces automatically to a lower heat- the one we use when out through the day)
We've had no problems with this slow cooker, it has always cooked our meals to how we want- the meal we make the most from it is a stew made with carrots, steak, potatos etc- and it really requires no effort (perfect!)
The only 'problem' which i should mention is that when the food is boiling, the glass lid tends to rattle quite a lot; but apart from that, it is not really noisy and we feel it is safe enough to leave on throughout the day.
The instruction booklet is also very helpful in giving different recipes to try, such as Chilli Con Carne, and Chicken Risotto, and many more.
Also, the instruction booklet gives you the usual what you should and should never do when using the appliance.
I work long shifts and often the last thing I want to do when I get home is to have to set about cooking a hot meal. This means that I tend to rely on eating sandwiches or getting take away - which really has been the kind of thing which I want to get away from. I've had the Breville VTPO41 4.5 L Slow Cooker in my cupboard for ages, and just recently I've started using it to make sure that I have a hot cooked meal when I get home.
The 4.5 L Slow Cooker is about the right size for me because although I have a large family, its usually only me that gets home late at night when everyone else has already eaten. If you're just cooking for one or two people, the 4.5 L capacity is fine, but if you're cooking for more than that then you might want to consider getting the 5.5 L or the 6.5 L Breville Slow Cooker.
Using the Breville Slow Cooker is easy. Basically, I bung a whole load of ingredients into the pot in the morning - and then leave the pot to do the rest. It has to be something that is cooked in a liquid / sauce otherwise it dries out, and I have to say that my favourite meal to cook in it is either steak in ale or tomato soup.
The Slow Cooker is comprised of an outer casing which is made of stainless steel, with plastic handles on either side and a black plastic dial on it. The inside pot is a heavy crock pot which sits inside the stainless steel casing. And then there is a glass lid which sits over this crock pot. The only negative about the design is that there are no handles on the crock pot and so when its hot, removing the crock pot can be quite difficult. I tend to dish the food out from the crock pot when it is still in its casing and then only remove the crock pot once it has cooled down.
The Slow Cooker has three settings, unimaginatively "Low", "Medium" and "High" depending on what you're cooking and how quickly you want to cook it. If I'm cooking steak in ale, I tend to put in on "Low" first thing in the morning and make sure there is plenty of fluid in it.....and then 10 hours later when I come home, the meat has been cooked to perfection and literally falls apart. It really does cook the meat gently and it ends you absolutely delicious!
Cleaning the Slow Cooker is easy. The crock pot can be removed completely from the metal outer casing and cleaned - either by hand or in the dishwasher. The outer casing can simply be wiped over as, at the most, there will only be a splash or two.
The only thing I think would be useful to have a timer attached to the device.
I bought this from Argos for the very reasonable price of £22.99 - which I was more than happy to pay.
I don't know anyone who wouldn't benefit from using this Breville Slow Cooker once in a while. Certainly, if you're like me and work long shifts, it really is a god send.
When I was moaning about the number of times I have been trying to prepare a meal before the other half gets in to work and little miss starts demanding my attention a friend recommended that I try using a slow cooker and so not wanting to spend a fortune I bought this one from Argos for £25.
It has a 4.5 litre capacity which means it can handle more than enough for us, I have managed to get a small chicken in it (oven ready not live before I become the next Mary Bale of the chicken world).
It has a fairly basic design, mostly silver chrome with a smoked black glass lid and black dial which controls the cooking settings. It is so easy to use, just bung all the ingredients in such as the meat and vegetables, add some stock and then set it to auto and the cooker will do the job for you. It also has a high and low heat setting so you can set it up depending on how long you are hoing to leave it to cook, the low setting is ideal if you are going to be out most of the day.
I have found that the cooker does get very hot on the outside, certainly you want it well out of reach of children and also not near other appliances and electrical cables.
It is easy to clean and can go in the dishwasher if you have one. I have used it to cook a joint of beef and the results were excellent and also the aforementioned chicken which tasted fine but was not the same as when it is roasted in the oven.
I have been very happy with this product and would certainly recommend it. I did have a slight problem with the first one I got as the lid did not fit very well but I returned it and the one I now have is perfect.
Available for around £28 this Breville slow cooker has a capacity of 5.5 litres and provides a versatile means of cooking soups, pot roasts, curries, risottos and even baking with. SOUPer for all sorts from students who often only have access to hobs to the AGA lover who's had to switch it off in the Summer's roasting weather (pardon the pun).....
Three settings - slow, high and auto - make this slow cooker extremely versatile. Especially useful if you meant to put it on slow before work and forgot.... Oops!
Huge volume is great for cooking for large parties in a stress-free way or for creating a surplus to freeze.
While it's 5.5 litre size is a major advantage for catering on a scale, it means the slow cooker is both unwieldy and difficult to store. It's too large for most people's kitchen worktops and anyway, with its clumpy black ceramic interior, and easy to mark stainless steel exterior, you probably wouldn't want it there anyway.
It also necessitates a whole new way of cooking. While a short recipe book is included, it's not particularly great so you may want to get hold of some AGA cookbooks.
Hi im reviewing the Brevil 4.5 L slow cooker. I was given this as a christmas present. You can purchase it from argos for £24.99 and i think its a bargain.
First impression- Its sleek and stylish and silver chrome design which matches the rest of my small appliances in my kitchen. Has a glass lid and a black dial on the front of it. The dial turns it on and off and you can control the cooking settings high, low or auto cooking. Has black handles on the side.
Cooking- Its fabulous for when you dont have alot of time. I make stew casseroles, currys, chilli, and bolognese. Its great for cooking meat, i buy big chunks of stewing steak and put it in the slow cooker with a little water,gravy and veg. I turn it on low heat setting and go out for the day and come home to a meal just ready for eating. I leave it on for about 5-8 hours at a time. Meat just flakes and falls apart and perfectly cooked. I can feed 6 people from my slow cooker because of the capacity. I also store it on my work top when its not used because of its great appearance.
Overall- I feel this is one of the most easy to use cooking appliances i have ever used. It makes life simpler and gives you more time at dinner time as everythings made you just need to plate it up. Its easy to clean and is cheap to buy.
I bought this slow cooker from Argos for around 20 pounds. Being a student, I'm always looking for ways to save money and time and this slow cooker does both.
The dial at the front is simple and easy to use. There are four settings: off, auto, high and low. It says the low setting is good for keeping the food warm, but in my experience, this has been the opposite with the food cooling down gradually, in fact!
The cooker is easy to use. Prepare the food, put it all in, add enough water to cover the food if making stew/casserole, etc and just leave it to cook. I usually leave it to cook overnight and or during the day when I'm at university attending lectures/tutorials, etc. As the food is cooking, the smell wafts through the air but is not overpowering. This is one way to know that the cooker is actually working and cooking the food.
After about four hours, I found that the food was almost done and within around five or six, the food would be ready to be served or eaten if desired. No effort required on my part and time saved.
The internal ceramic container (the black container seen in the picture above) where the food goes is easy to remove and wash, but it is a bit heavy so care has to be taken to make sure you do not drop it!
However, one gripe I have with this slow cooker is the fact that the wire for the plug is not very long at all. This limits the place where you can place the cooker, but being a slow cooker, it shouldn't be a problem.
Breville Slow Cooker.
I brought this cooker for really cheap from Argos, at that time it cost me around £15. Believe it or not, up until I opened it and read the instructions I mistook it for a rice cooker!
Well I have the 4.5 Litre one, however this slow cooker can also be brought in different sizes.
It has a glass lid and and there is also a black ceramic plate inside which is completely removable making it convenient to clean.
The out side of the cooker has a steel shiny steel finish. Using the cooker is straight forward, just select the amount of time you want to cook something for from the dial and there you go! The cooker will switch of once the time is reached.
What I really like about this cooker is that its simple, by that I mean doesn't have too many functions, the parts are removable and dishwasher friendly, making it really easy to clean. The ceramic plate can also be used for cooking other stuff in the oven. I tend to use it for my cooking my pilau rice in the oven!
It also has to handles on the side for ease when lifting, not that I would recommend you lift the cooker up with hot food inside.
however the down side for me is why wait around 4-8 hours to slow cook a piece of meet when you can bung it in the oven or in the pressure cooker? what a waste of electricity. That why personally I have only used the cooker a couple of times, its now stored away, catching dust!
The other thing about the cooker in my view is that is doesn't get too hot on the outside, so in case you have children running around it would get hot enough to scold, I also like the fact that once you finished slow cooking something, you can lift the ceramic dish out and serve your self from that instead of having to spoon everything into another dish.
There's a certain sense of satisfaction in coming home to the smell of a home cooked meal, and in my more organised moments I try to create this effect by making dinner using my slow cooker.
After searching around, and not really knowing what I was looking for, I decided on this Breville model because it was minimalist in its design, seemed easy to use, and was on special offer in Argos!
This slow cooker comes in three sizes with this being the smallest at 4.5l. It's also available in 5.5l and 6.5l capacities, so there's something for everyone depending on the size of your family.
This size is perfect for myself, my hubby and our daughter and is very easy to use with just three settings, low, high and keep warm.
So far I have cooked everything on low, sometimes switching to keep warm if dinner has been cooking for a long, long time or my hubby is delayed coming home.
Basically the idea is simple. You just bung everything in the crock pot in the morning and leave it to simmer slowly all day, resulting in a delicious, healthy meal with minimum effort.
The cooker has a stainless steel outer casing with the dial on the on it. Then there is a heavy black crock pot which slots neatly inside. This is where all the ingredients go, before you pop on the clear glass lid.
For me, the glass lid was a bonus, as being a bit of a control freak, I like to see what's going on in there!
My favourite thing to cook is spaghetti bolognese and I have one bubbling away as I'm writing this. When my daughter is having her morning nap I brown the mince first in a pan, and then pop it in the slow cooker along with chopped mushrooms, carrots and courgettes, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a glug of red wine and worcester sauce, plus some garlic, herbs and a stock cube. Easy peasy! All I have to do then is cook the pasta normally.
I leave the meat mixture on low for around six hours and can then go on about my business without having to prepare dinner later on. When my hubby comes home, hey presto a home cooked meal is ready and waiting for us all.
The beauty of the slow cooker is that because it cooks meat slowly it makes it lovely and tender, therefore you can use cheaper cuts, thus saving money. There is also less waste because I will add chilli powder and kidney beans to the leftover mix tomorrow and have it with nice bread.
Slow cookers are also excellent if people are eating at different times because the food stays nice and warm in the pot, and you can just scoop some out as and when you need it. We usually eat together, but if my daughter seems tired I will give her some earlier in the day.
This particular model is great because of its simplicity. You really can't go wrong as all you have to do is plug it in, turn the dial and that's it. It is very easy to clean, as the inside is non stick, and the sleek design looks nice and modern and fits in well in my kitchen.
I have cooked a whole chicken in here with rosemary, garlic and white wine and it fits easily so the size is perfect for a small family like mine.
Like I said, I picked this up on special offer in Argos for £17 but it normally retails at around £25. Obviously the bigger sizes cost a little more.
Using a slow cooker has really helped me prepare healthier meals, reduce food waste and cut money off our weekly food bill. Who can ask for more than that?
We have now been using the Breville 4.5L vtpo41 slow cooker for approximately five months. It's stainless steel exterior and black trim will make it look elegant in any kitchen. On the front in a central position is a black coloured control dial with an off position and three settings for cooking, Low , High and Auto.
Low is generally for keeping cooked food hot.
High is for cooking.
Auto is for when you are not around , it starts of cooking on high then automatically changes to low for a long slow cook.
When we used this cooker on auto we loaded it as normal Switched it on then went out for the day, about eight hours. On our return we found that the food had completely dried up , almost burnt. On this model there is no timer so particular attention must be paid to quantities of food in relation to how long it is cooked for . There are guide lines in the user manual which I strongly recommend you read.
The ceramic pot of the 4.5L is more than big enough for a family of four fitting a 41b joint of meat . There are some recipes in the back of the user manual which are worth taking a look at.
As I have already mentioned the 4.5l comes with an easy to read user manual which you should read before use, taking particular notice of the safety instructions. Always use the oven muffs when it is switched on as it dose get extremely hot on the exterior. Another point to take note of is when opening the lid, open away from the face as these cookers hold a lot of steam.
These slow cookers come in a variety of sizes .At the time of writing this I have seen this particular item priced up at 24.99 from Argos, shop around you may get a better deal.
Overall we are very happy with this Breville slow cooker. It gives us the time to do other things while our food is being cooked.
Short name: Breville VTPO41