* Prices may differ from that shown
===Down through the ages===
My family, like many others, are firm believers in hand-me-downs. My younger brother regularly gets bags of old clothes from me when my wardrobe needs weeding out due to either buying too many clothes or from getting too fat/thin for what I have in there. Since my older brother lives in Cyprus and my younger brother lives at home I usually get first refusal on any of the old household items when my parents want to get an upgrade. That's how I came to have my first slow cooker a year ago. My Mum and Dad had this for as long as I remember and when my Dad got remarried, the slow cooker got re-homed as the new wife didn't like old things. Or my Dad as it turns out. This slow cooker was a bright orange 25 year old contraption with broken LED's and frayed wiring that always left me in a bit of a panic if I wanted to go out and leave it running. Allan didn't get told this until we got some vouchers for Debenhams for our engagement. He promptly panicked about all the times I'd cooked with the old one. As soon as Debenhams had a bit of a sale on, off we popped and got ourselves a brand spanking new Morphy Richards slow cooker to match the rest of the kitchen equipment.
===Morphy and Richards===
Morphy Richards are a big name in appliances as far as I've been brought up to believe. My parents always drooled in awe at their products and got a little snooty any time they decided they could afford a Morphy Richards kettle (I don't know why, but it always WAS a kettle!). They are a leading manufacturer of electrical goods and were founded in 1936 by Donal Murphy and Charles Richards, who helped out during the war by manufacturing bits and bobs for aircrafts. It merged with a company in my hometown of Dundee in 1947 which is possibly why it's considered a big name around here. They invented the first pop-up toaster too though that was with the help of Russell of Russell Hobbs before they formed their new rival company. Both Russell and Hobbs worked for Morphy Richards before going their separate ways to form their new company. Since then Morphy Richards have merged with tonnes of other big names like Hotpoint and Dimplex.
If you want to contact Morphy Richards, the normal options are available. Their website (http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk) has a "contact us" form that you can use to send them a quick message. They also have a telephone number you can ring them on (0844 871 0960) which is open Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm and 4.40pm on a Friday
They have an address you can write to as follows:
This slow cooker instantly puts my 25 year old monstrosity to shame. I swapped the clunky square orange thing for this sleek oval 3.5 litre slow cooker. A few things (other than the sale) drew us to this slow cooker. The design was pretty similar to everything else we could see. Most places tend to throw out the same styles depending on what looks good at the time. The main difference, however, was the quality. We played around with a couple of display slow cookers in store and noticed that the dial on the front of the cheaper versions felt like it was going to snap off. In one case, it actually did come off in our hands. The Morphy Richards version, rather than having a dial that looked and felt like an afterthought, had a very secure feeling dial. It is set into a black plastic backing that has the settings printed on it with a little LED to show when it is on. You can get these slow cookers in three colours: Silver, Black and Metallic Red. Being that all of our kitchen items are Metallic Red, that's the colour we went for. It really is a sexy colour. It almost goes black in the bits that are in shadow. Even better, it matches exactly the metallic red of the BHS essentials range that we got our kettle from and the Russell Hobbs range that we got our toaster from!
There are two handles on the side of the slow cooker so you can pick it up and move it around while it's on without burning your hands. Inside the main body of the cooker is a removable basin that basically lines the inside of the slow cooker. This is made from a black, lightweight, non stick metal and it's where you'll be putting your food to cook. The basin has two handles, one on each side that sit about half an inch above the rim of the slow cooker so you can get it out easily. The whole unit is incredibly light, especially in comparison to my old slow cooker that had a ceramic dish inside it with a thick glass lid. The lid on this one is much more modern and fits into the top of the basin perfectly with a black handle in the middle of it making it easy to lift the lid off even when the slow cooker is on. My last one had a glass handle which got very hot which wasn't very useful.
There are four settings on the cooker. Turning your dial you'll feel it click firmly into place on each one as you pass. The first setting on the far left of the dial is the "Off" position. It then goes from "high" to "low" and then "medium" on the far right. Obviously the lower the setting the longer it takes to cook things. I tend to give everything I do from stews to roast beef joints about 8 hours on "low" and they turn out fantastically.
The non-stick basin is normally the only part of the cooker that needs a clean unless you've accidentally dripped something on to the body by accident. The basin is dishwasher safe if you have one, but it is also incredibly dishwater friendly. Even sauce that's been at the edges of your dish which generally bakes on very slightly comes off with a gentle rub from a normal dish sponge. It's so quick and easy to clean it's ridiculous. I love it!
===Any bad points?===
The only slight downside I've found on this slow cooker is that the handles of the metal dish almost hide the handles on the side of the body when you stand above it, which means that my hands automatically go for them rather than the handles on the body when I need to move it. Thankfully they aren't hot enough to leave any marks (assuming you have the normal human reaction of jumping back and swearing at it) but it is hot enough to illicit a reaction.
If you have a look in the box you'll find the instruction booklet which will give you lots of little tips on how to get the best out of your slow cooker. You'll even find some slow cooker recipes in there so, for once, the instruction booklet really is worth the read!
===On the up and up===
If you don't own a slow cooker you might wonder why on earth you would want to. Personally I love Greek food and a lot of that is slow cooked so I jump at the chance to use my slow cooker to rustle up some Lamb Kleftico or Beef Stifado. (If you've never had them, give them a bash, they are fab.
Next on my list of awesome things a slow cooker does is that it makes any meat you cook in it ridiculously tender. Even the cheapest rubberiest cut of meat, when slow cooked, tends to come out succulent and mouth-wateringly perfect. There is nothing nicer than a bit of meat falling apart in your mouth. Throw in that I have an incredibly picky fiancé when it comes to meat and I'm sold. He won't touch it if it's even remotely chewy. Even meat I've thought was incredibly tender was rejected by his chompers. Slow cooking tends to solve that completely. That also means that if you're having trouble with chewing or mouth related issues, it might be a good idea to slow cook something so your mouth gets a bit of a break!
The main thing that gets people slow cooking is the sheer amount of time it saves. You can usually just shove everything in the slow cooker and turn it on. You can then go about your daily duties without having to check on it much if at all. That can free up so much time and also mean that you have a fully cooked meal waiting on you when you get home. I do still like to be in the house when it's on, especially if I'm doing a roast so I can baste it (it's moist enough without doing that, but it's even nicer if you do) but you don't need to if you don't have the time, or if you want to leave it cooking while you are at work. It's near on impossible to burn anything in the things as they keep all the moisture in and cook on too low a heat for it to burn. Shove it on high and leave it for two days and you might risk it, but it's really difficult to do otherwise.
===On the down low===
There aren't really any health benefits of slow cooking. In fact, as far as I can tell, there are a couple of health downsides to slow cooking, in that it can kill vitamins in vegetables if you don't blanch the veg first (dip them in boiling water for about a few minutes and this will solve the problem). If you cook dishes for too long it can also take the flavour right out of some foods so make sure you have a rough idea of how long something should be cooked for. Generally browning your meat and onions (if your recipe has them) will save the flavour in your dish. You should also be careful if you are cooking beans from scratch. Some beans (like red kidney beans) have poisons that are only broken down when they are boiled. The slow cooker won't break them down as it doesn't get hot enough so make sure you boil anything like that first of all. Also make sure if you aren't throwing all your ingredients in at the same time that you give everything enough time to cook.
We got a bit of a bargain and picked this up for £25 when it was on sale. Usually it's between £30 and £40. Morphy Richards website sells it at £34.99 which is rather too steep for my liking. Given the quality of the cooker, however, I'd say that it's probably quite a fair price. I'm still glad I got it for less though.
===A quick recipe===
Lamb Kelftico is what I got excited about eating when I got my slow cooker and it was the first thing I made with the new one too. It came out perfectly so I was over the moon. The recipe can be made with beef, rabbit and chicken too but Lamb is by far the best. You will need:
About 600g of diced lamb
1 lemon or a large squirt of lemon juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano or a few chopped up fresh leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 large onion
2 large potatoes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
4 lamb stock cubes
4 cloves of garlic
1 block feta cheese
Chop up all your herbs, mash your garlic and peel and dice the potatoes and onion. Mix the stock cubes up with a tiny amount of hot water. You don't need much as a slow cooker keeps all the moisture in.
Very slightly brown your lamb and onions and then throw everything in the slow cooker (apart from the cheese) and give it a quick stir then pop it on low for 8 hours. I usually give it a stir after a couple of hours just to make sure its all mixed through, but you can leave it all day without touching it. When its ready you can either stir the feta through it for ten minutes before it's served or you can serve it with chunks/ shavings of feta over the top (I prefer chunks of feta). This meal goes brilliantly with some crusty bread and Tzatziki dip and should serve between four to six people (depending on how much you want to give everyone!)
The cooker looks fantastic, it frees up my time for doing other things and it lets me come home to a gorgeous roast dinner without having to worry about it burning. It matches my other kitchen appliances perfectly. The only things I could think to mark it down on would be the handles of the metal basin being too easy to touch and the price. If they can put it on sale at £25 then the full price of £34.99 seems rather inflated. I'll take a star off for that leaving us with four out of five stars for this generally quite fantastic little device.
I love this piece of kit! This has been my best kitchen investment to date (not just because it matches all of the other red accessories in my kitchen).
This slow cooker is easy to use, easy to clean and looks great. It is so easy to use, even the other half can manage it! The inner pot comes out for easy cleaning or for serving up on the table (although don't forget to use a oven gloves and a heat pad). It can be a little bit heavy when full so be careful!
You literally chop your veg, brown your meat and chuck it in with some stock (and a cheeky splash of red wine) first thing in the morning and voila, dinner is ready hot and tasty that evening! I mostly use mine for stews and casseroles but my Mum uses hers for things like pork loins and chillis. The instructions do come with some recipe ideas but I would definitely recommend investing in a slow cooker cookery book to get the most out of it.
My only criticism is that it is a tad small, I can happily do dinner for two or three of us but it's a bit of a squash to get enough for four in there.
The Morphy Richards Slow Cooker is a definite must have in the home! Great for cooking stews, broths, curries, chillies and for cooking joints which I personally think tastes better and is more tender than when roasted in the oven!
It's also very handy because you can turn it on at what ever temperature setting you like whether it's low, medium or high and you can go off out or you can leave it on over night to cook slowly which will be a lovely dinner for the next day!
It has an amazing 3.5 litre capacity, 3 temperature settings, an easy clean removable ceramic pot and a fully insulated glass lid ideal for easy viewing!
Its a fantastic tool for in the kitchen and for making your favourite curries, chillies, meat joints, soups, stews or broths!
What made me buy this product?
The reason I purchased this wonderful product was because of it's translucent red colour, weight, size, capacity and it's design! I think the temperature control dial is a great way of being able to just switch to low, medium or high! The thing I really don't get about this product is that the temperature control starts from high then to low then to medium! What's that supposed to be? Shouldn't it be high, medium and low or low, medium high?
Where can I purchase this fantastic product from?
I buy most of my things online now as it's easier. I got it for a great price and it was brand new but you can buy these from all sorts of electrical appliance stores. ASDA is a great place for Morphy Richards stock and they sell the slow cooker for £30.00! Sainsbury's are selling this product for £34.99!
So it's clear, the stunning Morphy Richards Slow Cooker is definitely recommended for in the kitchen and for cooking different soups, stews, broths, curries, chillies and meat joints!
Ever since I bought my own house about 9 years ago, my mum has been trying to buy me a slow cooker. Determined not to turn into my mum in my twenties, I always resisted and always suggested an alternative present for her to buy me, however, about 6 months ago I think she cottoned on to what I was doing and simply called me up one day and said she'd bought me one. Trying to redeem herself she informed me it was red to match my tiles in the kitchen! For about 1 month I didn't use it, however I felt bad when she kept asking me if I'd used it and I hadn't and so I decided to chuck a casserole together and see how it went. Oh my! I wish I had listened to her all those years ago! I now use it at least once a week, sometimes two or three times. It just goes to show that mother does know best!!
The model she bought for us was the Morphy Richards 48728 which is a translucent red slow cooker and is oval shaped (as almost all of them are). It is the simplest thing in my kitchen to use and I love how you can prepare a meal on a morning before work, switch it on and forget about it and come home to a tasty, delicious and healthy meal. I was dubious the first time I used it, that you could leave a kitchen appliance on all day, leave the house and still come home to a fire free home! But... it's true!!
A slow cooker is perfect for people on the go and when you have a busy day ahead of you. On Sunday we took a trip to the Lake District and knowing we wouldn't be home till late and trying to avoid grabbing a take away on the way home, I prepared my beef and vegetables on Saturday evening with a cube of oxo, put them in the glass dish (which can be removed from the main body of the cooker) and stored it in the fridge overnight. I simply placed it in the slow cooker before we left on Sunday morning and turned it on a low setting and came home to a succulent and tasty meal where the meat simply falls apart in your mouth. Heaven! One thing I have found is that the water doesn't ever seem to reduce and thicken dramatically and for a casserole I often put gravy granules in half an hour before I serve which thickens it up and makes it extra tasty.
The slow cooker isn't solely for casseroles, but can be used for chilli's, curries and other dishes. Another favourite of ours is chicken in stock which I leave in all day and then use the stock to make a pepper corn sauce which we then have with veg (and the odd chip!). You can fill the cooker right to the top and this will easily feed a family of four, however if you are cooking for a large group of people, you will struggle with the 3.5 litre capacity.
The 3 different settings (low, medium and high), means you can cook a meal as quickly or as slow as you like, however I think this kind of defeats the idea of a Slow cooker and I always prepare my meals on a morning and use a low setting. It could be used to reheat the dish through if you have turned it off in the afternoon and want to reheat before serving.
As I mentioned earlier, the pot is removable which makes it really easy to clean, and can also be placed in the centre of a table (with a couple of mats underneath!) so it can be used to serve from as well. The pot is also dishwasher safe.
The tough insulated glass lid means it can reach high temperatures without a worry of cracking, and you can see the dish inside the pot without having to remove the lid.
A fantastic product and for £34.99 RRP should be a must in every kitchen.
With the Accents 48728 Slow Cooker by Morphy Richards, you can enjoy delicious freshly cooked meals everyday without spending hours in the kitchen / This stylish red slow cooker will save you time in your busy daily routine by cooking safely while you're out or at work / Featuring cool-touch handles, an insulated glass lid, non-slip feet and 3 heat settings, you simply add your ingredients and the Accents 48728 Slow Cooker will do the rest / The generous 3.5-litre capacity makes it suitable for large families and the removable ceramic pot is dishwasher-safe, so it's easy to clean too! Enjoy healthy, tasty, convenient meals with the Morphy Richards Accents 48728 Slow Cooker / without being tied to the kitchen! General Information Type Slow cooker Capacity (in litres) 3.5 litres Power 170 W Functions Programming 3 settings: low, medium, high Light indicator Power indicator Other Information Dishwasher safe Ceramic pot only / Short name: Morphy Richards 48728