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I had never used a slow cooker before so was a bit nervous about leaving it on while we were out but now I have done this a lot I feel much more relaxed about it and use my slow cooker several times most weeks.
My slow cooker was bought in Asda and cost £25, which I think is a good price for it.
The cooker has a capacity of 6.5 litres with a 4.5 litre working capacity and will serve 8 to 10 people.
The instruction booklet is very easy to read. It is self explanatory without the instructions but they may be handy for younger people who have never cooked before.
There is a section in the instruction book telling you foods which are suitable for slow cooking and how to cook them.
The book gives advice on washing it, and warns you not to immerse the base unit in water as it is electric.
The cooker is easy to set up. The base unit has the plug attached and the dial on the front to set the temperature you want. There is then the actual cooking pot which sits easily into the base. The top of the cooking pot overlaps the edge of the base slightly to make it easy to lift in and out. and the glass lid then sits nicely on top. I had no problems setting the whole thing up. The length of cord with the plug is quite short so I did need to move my kitchen around a little to make sure it is beside the socket as it didn't stretch very far, but didn't really find this a hassle to do.
When cooking, once all your ingredients are in the cooking pot, you simply turn the dial to low, medium or high depending on how slow you want it to cook. As a general guide you would cook on low for 8-10 hours, medium for 6-8 hours and high for 5-6 hours. it also advises not to lift the lid too often and to add 10 minutes of cooking time for each time you have removed the lid as it lets out the heat.
The food always starts to smell lovely after only being in the cooker a short time and can make you want your dinner at breakfast time. I like the fact that you can see in the glass lid if you want to have a check at the meal without having to lift the lid.
After the food is ready the cooking pot is very easy to lift out.
Cleaning is easy, with the lid and cooking pot being washed in hot soapy water. They are also dishwasher safe. The main unit can just be wiped down with a damp cloth.
I am extremely pleased with my slow cooker. It has encouraged me to try out different meals.
The cooker will be great in winter, making soups, stews etc with minimal effort.
The Morphy Richards Slow Cooker I am reviewing today is the 3.5 litre stainless steel version. It' priced at £29.99.
The idea of the slow cooker is awesome, just chuck ingredients in and leave to cook overnight or while you're at work or whatever, so it's ready when you want it rather than having to cook when you really can't be bothered.
This slow cooker looks great, the stainless steel is shiny and looks expensive. It doesn't take up loads of space on the kitchen worktop. The only thing is that the cable is a bit shorter than I'd like, and it means I'm quite limited to where I can put it.
The cooker is so easy to use it really is foolproof. All you do is put your ingredients in and then choose your heat setting, of which there are only 3, and leave it to cook. On the low heat setting it can be left for 10-12 hours, on the medium for 8-10 hours and on high for 7-8 hours, meaning you really can just set it off, go to work, and come back to a lovely dinner.
The lid is made of quite heavy glass, and the actual pot is heavy black ceramic. The pot part is removeable and dishwasher safe which means it's very easy to clean after use. The rest of the unit just needs a quick wipe over and that's it, although because it's stainless steel you can end up with a lot of fingerprints and smears if you don't clean it correctly. You also need to be careful when touching the lid as steam can escape from around the outside and it's easy to burn your fingers.
I mainly use this for making stews, usually by simply throwing in whatever ingredients I fancy and adding some stock, and they always turn out great. You need to make sure you add enough liquid or it will boil down and end up with your ingredients burnt onto the bottom. I've also used it for cooking meats and I've loved the way they turn out when using this, it's always so tender and nice compared to oven roasting. There are so many slow cooker recipes around these days that you really are spoilt for choice. You can even cook desserts in it, though I haven't tried any of these yet.
I have had this slow cooker over 2 years now and haven't encountered any issues with it, it works just as perfectly now as it did when I first started using it.
Definitely. This is a great slow cooker which works brilliantly and is excellent value for money in my opinion.
I LOVE THIS PRODUCT.
Before having a slow cooker, I didn't understand the concept. I was given this as a gift, and after seeing how much time I can save, I will never cook conventionally again.
This has a large capacity so it makes preparing for a family very easy and quick.
I was a little wary about leaving an appliance on while there was noone in the house; but I have left this for 10 hours before and had no problems. I feel completely safe with this.
There are three settings on this model, depending on the length of time required.
The design is perfect and doesn't take up too much room in my small kitchen.
I would say that it dries food out a little, but that is probably to be expected.
The price is amazing for something which really does improve your day. I don't think I could do without it now. I have even started to give this out as a defualt wedding gift to people.
The instruction manual is so concise and gives some really good tips.
I love my slow cooker. It's like having someone to cook for me. The amount of effort involved in creating a meal is minimal. I throw in some raw ingredients in the morning, and when I come home it's transformed into a meal. I've realised that browning onions and meat is completely unnecessary and makes very little difference to the final dish.
This cooker is perfect. It's simple, has three settings (low, medium, high) and a decent capacity. Plug it in, select the heat setting and you're done.
Low is perfect for stews and slow, long cooking. If you work you can leave it for 8-10 hours without any fear of it burning or drying out, as it won't boil. Cheap cuts of meat can be slow cooked on low to get the best texture and flavour out of them.
Medium is hotter so food does in less time but it can still be used for stews etc, it's handy when you only have a few hours rather than the whole day. The high setting is a simmer, so good for leaving the lid off and reducing the liquid in a dish; or just standard cooking on a higher heat, without the hassle of standing over a saucepan. Nothing boils over.
I use mine for curries, stews, tagines, fish steamed over vegetables, lasagne... many dishes can be adapted for slow cooking. It's also great for things like infusing vinegar for pickles, or making brine. It encourages you to make things from scratch rather than using ready meals, as cooking veg, meat and fish is so easy.
Great value too, usually somewhere around the £20 mark but look around for offers.
THE SLOW COOKER
The Morphy Richard slow cooker is made up of the outer pot which is stainless steel, the ceramic pot and glass lid.
On the front of the slow cooker there is a panel with four settings; low, medium, high and off. There is a red light which indicates when the cooker is in use (great tool to ensure you have not only chosen your setting but switched it on at the plug socket). The cooker comes with instructions and a small recipe book. The ceramic pot is on the heavy side so do be careful when lifting and moving it. The outer stainless steel front is easy to clean.
I find the slow cooker a must in a busy household. There are never enough hours in the day between, looking after my two young boys, working, keeping house and all the activities we do. My husband likes to come in from work to be greeted by us and tea on the table. Time can get away from the most organised person before you know it and I find the slow cooker a great way to make a hassle free meal without having to stand by the cooker for hours.
I can spend just 15 minutes preparing all my ingredients in a morning, than I can just pop everything in with some liquid switch on and that's me done and I know a yummy tea will be ready without any hassle. You can cook just about anything in a slow cooker from spaghetti bolognaise, chilli, stews, casseroles, full cooked breakfast, soups, full chicken and joints of meat to all the sweet treats we enjoy like cakes and puddings.
I do not only use mine during the day but I will use overnight so we can have a hearty cooked breakfast in the morning or a tasty soup ready for lunch.
With most recipes I will put all my ingredients in raw but with beef I do tend to seal in a pan first but I think this is a personal choice, as the cooker will look it even if not sealed.
The cooker itself is a good size and adequately feeds our family of four with leftovers to freeze for another day.
I also find the cooker a great tool for entertaining as you can prepare in advance so you are not spending all your time away from your guests hiding in the kitchen preparing the meal.
It is one pot so make the washing up nice and easy, I would say allow the pot to cool before trying to wash.
I personally feel a slow cooker is a must have kitchen appliance for any household. It is quick and easy to use, you can cook most things and the washing up is a breeze.
I received this Morphy Richards Slow Cooker as a gift, however it is still widely available to purchase from most well-known high street stores as well as online. Amazon are currently selling this slow cooker for £24.99, as are Argos who usually sell it for £29.99 but have reduced it during the sale. Debenhams were selling it for £35, but are now selling the slow cooker for £25. Morphy Richards are selling the appliance on their website for £29.99 (http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk).
* 163 watts.
* Capacity 3.5 litres.
* Aluminium bowl.
* 3 heat settings.
* Auto shut-off.
* Cool touch body.
* Toughened glass lid.
* Manufacturer's 2 year guarantee.
The Morphy Richards Slow Cooker has red coloured finish. It consists of an aluminium cooking pan that is non stick, shatter proof, and has a capacity of 3.5l. The lid is made from transparent glass and fits on to the surface of the cooker and also has a black plastic knob handle on top of the glass lid. There are black plastic handles also on both sides of the body of the cooker and 4 black grip feet positioned underneath. The cooker has a black coloured dial that controls the power and temperature settings. The temperature options range from Low, medium and high. The slow cooker looks very stylish and modern and appears a lot more expensive that it actually is.
The Slow cooker is surprisingly lightweight, which I did not expect due to the aluminium pan and the large sized lid. This makes it very easy to move around the kitchen, and especially if you want to transport the pan to the dining table for serving or the sink for a wash. The design is also very stylish and matches our kitchen colour scheme excellently, which isn't something I particularly looked for but it is great bonus!
The 3.5 L capacity is more than large enough for our small family of two, and it is also large enough to cook larger meals for bigger families. For example I made a nice tomato chicken dish using this slow cooker for us and our visiting relatives, and was able to cook a large amount to feed at least 5-6 people. The grips underneath the slow cooker works great in ensuring the appliance stays in place well and I find it to be quite sturdy. An excellent feature of the slow cooker is its removable inner dish, which makes cooking a full dish a lot easier, for example I can cook mince/fish first and then place it back into the slow cooker to add the remaining ingredients such as vegetables etc. The aluminium dish inside the cooker is easy to remove as it is lightweight and has outer frame which allows me to easily grip onto the frame and pull the dish out.
The appliance is easy to operate, simply switch the slow cooker on and choose from the three cooking settings: Low, High, medium. It depends on what you are cooking and the instruction manual provides a guide on how long each settings would take to cook, which is around 2-7 hours. For example whenever I make a meat stew I tend to have set to the high settings and the dish would be fully cooked within 5 hours. It is really easy to use, and is great time saver in the kitchen if you have other things to do, so you can just pop everything in the dish and leave it to cook while you carry on with our other tasks. You can even by ready mixed spices so you just need to pop the mixture in with your contents and leave to cook. When the slow cooker is on, it hardly makes any noise which is great, and instead makes a very quite bubbling sound.
A slow cooker is a very versatile cooking appliance, I can cook curry's, casseroles, rice dishes and soups in this single slow cooker, and makes it well worth the money as all dishes have turned out great and fully cooked.
The Slow cooker is very simple to clean thanks to the removable inner dish, which is also dishwasher proof. I find that it is quick and easy to wash it by hand, so I usually don't bother putting it in the dishwasher, a quick scrub with a sponge and fairly liquid does the job nicely. The non-stick coating makes the scrubbing so much easier, and hardly takes any time to get rid off any residue in the pan.
This is an excellent slow cooker that enables the cooking of many different dishes and is very easy to operate and clean. The best part is that the price is more than reasonable, costing only £25 for a high quality, durable, long lasting appliance like this is excellent value. I have had mine for a year and it the inner dish still looks as new despite being used a lot. Overall this item gets a full 5/5.
When I moved into my home 5 years ago it quickly became quite clear that I wasn't going to be the next Nigella and be a domestic goddess in the kitchen. For that Christmas my mum asked what I would like for a present so I opted for a slow cooker in the vain hope that i could create some nutritional meals with minimal effort. It can be bought very cheaply brand new for around £40 from Tesco but I'm sure if you research you can get them much cheaper.
=== The basics ===
The slow cooker arrived all packaged up with an instruction booklet which is always handy for the likes of me especially. Mine is a 6.5 litre sized which is more than adequate for my family (family of 4) and often means there is enough left to freeze if I don't intend on being incredibly greedy at that particular meal time.
There is the metal base unit with the long plug cable attached to it. ( Don't you just hate those gadgets that never let you put them where you want them to be because the cable doesn't stretch?! ) Mine is brushed aluminium so it was in keeping with the rest of my appliances.
The ceramic pot then fits into that but it's not a tight fit. The glass lid then places on top of that. The dial on the front is easy to operate with it either being off, high low or medium in that order so be careful when using it to make sure it's actually on the right setting. There is also a red light that comes on when in use which I like. I don't want to get home and then realise that I hadn't actually switched it on!
I like that it is fits in with the rest of my kitchen as I leave it out on the worktop all the time. The front base unit is very easy to clean if things get splashed up onto it so it looks brand new still.
=== Instruction Booklet ===
Inside it gives a little bit of safety advice like not touching the outer enclosure during use of before it has cooled and using oven gloves when removing lid or the ceramic pot. I like that it gives clear instruction of how it works and then a few "do's an do not's for the ceramic pot". There is also a cooking guide and a table to give the equivalent cooking times for the low, medium and high settings.
Recipes are also included in the book and I have tried a few out. There are also numerous slow cooking recipes on the internet and a particular favourite site of mine is a Facebook group called Slow Cooker Saddo's as it is 'real' people giving recipes and how they worked out with lots of hints and tips.
=== Use ===
I love to use my slow cooker during the winter as there is nothing better than walking through the door and smelling a hearty meal all ready and waiting to be eaten. I get the meal ready in the morning and then put it on low for the time I am out so a stew, for example, I would leave cooking for about 8-9 hours. This creates an amazing succulent stew and means that i can use a cheaper cut of meat.
I have also created lovely snacks and puddings in my slow cooker. Nutella swirls was a particular favourite and took just 2 hours.
Jacket potatoes were also made recently and although it cooked them to be lovely and fluffy, I would still use my oven to crisp up the skins next time as obviously the slow cooker doesn't brown things. Possibly a downside for some people. It's all about finding out what works for you.
=== Eek! Washing up ===
I love that it is just one pot to wash up and because it is ceramic it is incredibly easy to clean with just normal washing up liquid. Make sure you allow the pot to cool before washing up and also don't subject it to an extreme change in temperature else you could crack it. Mine has lasted 5 years so far and no signs of wear. It is quite heavy to lift so be careful when moving it around as, when wet, it will make it more prone to be dropped.
=== Final thoughts ===
I absolutely love my slow cooker and it is an item that gets lots of use rather than becoming one of those fad gadgets that gets put to the back of the cupboard. I strongly urge you to get one if you can as it creates a variety of meals and will save you time and money.
Our best friends bought us a slow cooker as a wedding present as they know we don't have a lot of time for cooking. My husband and I both work full time and sometimes I don't get home from work until 6:30. After a long day, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour or more cooking dinner.
I've never used a slow cooker before but after getting the Morphy Richards Oval Slow Cooker out of the box, I was quite excited to see how easy everything seemed. The slow cooker comes with a little instruction booklet which tells you how to assemble the cooker, how to use it, how to clean and care for it as well as giving some recipes. Having some recipes included in the booklet was extremely useful, especially for those like me who didn't really know where to start. The booklet also gives the recipes for 3.5 litre cookers and 6.5 litre cookers.
The slow cooker comes in three parts. It has the base unit, a cooking pot and a glass lid. The cooking pot fits inside the base unit and hangs slightly over the edge which makes it easy to remove. The glass lid then fits nicely on top of the base unit with the cooking pot inside. The slow cooker plugs in at the wall and then has four different heat options on a dial on the front of the cooker. You can either choose from off, high, low or medium. The instructions explain that the heat you choose will affect how long your food takes to cook. If something takes 8-10 hours on slow it will take 6-8 on medium or 5-6 on high.
The first thing we ever cooked in this slow cooker was a beef stew, something I had never made before. After chopping up carrots and potatoes, I added about half a litre of water with beef stock cubes. I turned the slow cooker to low and waited for it to heat up a little bit. Then, I browned my beef and threw it into the mix. The slow cooker only took a couple of minutes to warm up although as I had it on low, the water inside didn't bubble. After only 30 minutes or slow, the smell from the stew cooking filled my kitchen. I left my stew cooking overnight so that I could put it into tubs the next morning ready to freeze.
I did check on the stew a couple of times during the cooking time because I wasn't sure about the thickness of the stew. I did need to add in some gravy granules and some thickening agent as it was far too watery the first couple of times that I checked it. It is advised that you don't remove the lid too often during cooking as the slow cooker will lose heat and you'll need to add on another 10 minutes of cooking for each time you remove the lid.
After leaving the stew cooking for about 10 hours, it was perfect. I had chopped the carrots and potatoes into quite large chunks but the gravy had soaked into them really well and they were cooked wonderfully. The meat was also fabulous as it fell to pieces in the cooker which was exactly how I wanted it. Using the slow cooker has become a bit of a life saver in our home and it has also allowed us to cook new meals. I would be more than happy to leave this cooking away while we were at work so that dinner was ready when we got home.
Cleaning the slow cooker is really easy too. After letting the cooking pot cool down, you can remove it and just wash with a little soapy water. Nothing really sticks to the pot as a large amount of my stew was water based. It was nice to not have to scrub anything or take ages cleaning the pot. After that, it all fits back together and sits on the side waiting to be used again.
As this was a gift, I don't know exactly how much it cost and I don't want to look it up either. However, I have seen slow cookers available for about £20 which is a real bargain for what you can use them for and how easy they make cooking.
Before I purchased this slow cooker I thought all slow cookers were the same and the cheapest would always done just fine but this one has changed my mind about slow cookers.
I found whilst browsing online for red small appliances to match the kettle/toaster/microwave that I already have, it was on offer for around £25 and although the slow cooker I had was working just fine it was a tad battered and well used so I decided to give this one a go.
It's a 3.5 litre cooker which I find the perfect size for 2 adults and a child, the slow cooker has 3 different heat settings, high, medium and low, I'd only ever had a slow cooker that had high and low before but now I find I actually purse the medium setting most regularly, it also has an automatic shut off function.
Now my favourite part about this slow cooker is that the cooking pot is a non stick pan that can be used in the hob or in the oven, regular slow cookers have a ceramic pot which cannot be used in this way. This means you can brown your meat on the hob, slow cook the food and then finish in the oven all the same pot!
With the outer red brushed steel this is the most stylish slow cooker I've come across and looks great left out on the side so I don't have to find space in the cupboard for it when I'm finished using it!
I was given this slow cooker as a gift when I moved into my first flat a few months ago. It has been sat in the box in the cupboard for months but decided I'd give it ago last week to make a stew :)
Bit of general info about the product:
The slow cooker allows you to create a range of meals with the added benefit of being able to sear the meat in the same pan. It is lightweight, non-stick coated aluminum pot which is durable and dishwasher safe so cleaning up afterwards is easy. The slow cooker does come with an instruction booklet that contains over 25 recipes which is a great start if your not sure what to make in it.
3.5l capacity, serving 3-4 people
Sear, stew or slow cook in the same pot
Lightweight and durable, dishawasher-safe aluminium cooking pot
Low, medium and high cooking settings
Transparent, toughened glass lid for monintoring cooking
The slower cooker has low, medium and high settings so depending on how long you want to leave it cooking for is up to you. I put my beef and water (little bit of stock) in for 2 hours on medium to soften it and then added all the veg and left it on low for around 6 hours. I was out for most of the day and was wary about leaving it on with nobody in the house but family had said it was completely safe to do so. When I came home I added a bit of gravy and found through looking in the instruction booklet that you could put the inside bowl onto the hob. I did this to help thicken the sauce which was great as the slow cooker didn't really do this.
Another plus side is if you have made to much simply leave it in the slow cooker and just switch it back on the next day for an hour to re-heat through.
It is quite heavy so I found it is easier to add water and washing up liquid into the inside bowl to clean it while it is on the cupboard side rather than putting it into the sink.
It is great to leave on through the day if you want to cook a meal that will be ready when you get home from work etc however if I was home I would still use the old fashioned method of cooking it for an hour in a big pot on the hob as its much quicker. The taste of the stew was the same as normal just needed that extra 10 mins on the hob to thicken up.
I asked my Husband for a slow cooker for Christmas because we have a 20 month old boy and a newborn baby, so I wanted to be able to cook proper meals but for a while I had no time to cook. For about 3 months my poor Husband was living off ready meals and frozen food as from the time I was heavily pregnant until a couple of months after the baby was born I neither had the time, energy or motivation to cook a decent meal.
I know a couple of people who had slow cookers who both said they were time saving and easy to use, so I asked for the Morphy Richards slow cooker (in red to match our other Morphy Richards appliances).
The cooker has a 3.5 litre capacity, and a removable dish which allows you to sear/fry certain foods before you add the dish and other ingredients in to the slow cooker unit. For example last night I made a bolognese so I browned the mince first in the dish and added some onions, I then transferred the dish in to the slow cooker unit and added the other ingredients and left to cook!
The unit has slow, medium or fast settings allowing you cook things from between 2-8 hours depending on what you are cooking.
Before deciding I wanted this cooker I wasn't really sure if I would be able to find enough different recipes to cook, I thought it might be limited to stew and casseroles. But I have not only found a great website with hundreds of recipes but to save even more time you can buy packet mixes for slow cookers which usually combine all the seasoning etc that you need and you just need to add the meat and vegetables.
The cooker looks very smart, it is lightweight and really easy to clean as the dish can just be put in the dishwasher. It is completely silent when switched on and produces a wonderful smell when cooking. I nipped out yesterday afternoon and left the cooker on, the moment I walked in the door the smell of the food cooking was delicious.
Contrary to popular belief you really can cook all sorts in a slow cooker and it is by no means limited to stews and casseroles, you can makes soups, curries, risotto and even puddings in it.
My Husband paid £25 for this from Debenhams which is a very good price. The quality is very good, it looks great in the kitchen and works very well and has cooked us some lovely meals. The time it saves is well worth it, and the size of it means you can cook alot in one go so you can get many meals from it and even freeze any leftover.
One of the most invaluable items in my kitchen is one of the most simple really.
I couldn't do all the things I do in a day without my slow cooker. I work full time and try to make sure that we have a proper meal each evening, it is too easy to slip into the habits of eating junk food, just because it only takes half an hour from freezer to plate.
I am on my second slow cooker in about twelve years, so value for money they are brilliant.
Again, as in so many of my other reviews and my kitchen stands testament to this, I do not see the point in spending a great deal of money on brand named goods, but on this occasion I hit lucky and managed to buy a Morphy Richards Slow Cooker in the sales.
Two years ago I paid £25 for the 48710 3.5 litre Stainless Steel Slow Cooker. I use it a couple times a week and it really is still as good as new.
This model is advertised on the Argos web site today (February 2013) at a reduced price of £24.99, instead of £30 - a total bargain I would say.
As models go, this one is probably quite a basic one - One dial on the front of the cooker, Off, Low, Medium and High
The Cooker's lid is glass, which is perfect, so you do not need to open the cooker to see how things are progressing.
I have to say that the smells that come from the cooker once it starts to cook are absolutely amazing, and it is so hard to actually drum it into you head at 11am that you will not be eating anything cooked from it until around 5pm!
The lid is made of a toughened safety glass, the outer body of the machine is cool to touch and the 3.5 litre, ceramic, cooking bowl is totally dishwasher and washing up proof.
It has non slip feet, so sits on the kitchen worktop safely and also comes with a manufacturers 2 year guarantee.
As a rule I do prefer my kitchen gadget s to be white as I think they are easier to keep clean and to keep looking fresh. This model however has a stainless steel outer case and I have to admit that a good wipe on the outside with a hot soapy cloth regularly has kept it looking spot on.
I don't just cook casseroles in my slow cooker, although popping chopped stewing steak, potatoes and other root vegetables, with stock is probably my most commonly cooked meal. I also use it for lesser periods of time too. For example when I go to Tesco or Sainsbury's to do my food shopping on a Friday afternoon, I often pick up some hot chicken from the deli counter for my hubby, either a whole chicken, or maybe some wings and drumsticks. Rather than put them in the fridge for when he gets home later, I tend to turn the Slow Cooker onto a low setting and put them in there, keeping them warm for him for later.
I don't know how I went for so long without a slow cooker! I'd had a desire for one for a while but couldn't bring myself to spend the money when it wasn't really a necessity. Then, however, my lovely godparents bought us one as an early Christmas present last autumn so we'd be able to make the most of it, telling us "it really will make your life so much easier".
As we were with them when they bought it for us I sneaked a peak at the shelf price and from memory it was £34.99, for the black 3.5litre capacity, from Dunelm Mill. I know I didn't buy it, but it was definitely worth the price tag, although I know you can buy cheaper ones. It came boxed with the usual instructions, but I can't really comment on those as I tend to leave that part of things to my husband and would rather just wade in feet first and see what happens myself! Especially in this case, with there only being one know with four options, I didn't think it could be all that difficult to use, and I was right!
It really has made my life easier, as well as making it much more relaxed and manageable. Instead of coming home and having to get dinner ready, we now walk in the door and say "hmmmm, that smells good!" Although it doesn't cut down on your overall cooking time, it does make managing your time easier as I tend to put everything together in the ceramic pot the night before, then put it all on "low" for however long we're at work (usually at least 9 hours). Particularly in the winter, it really does make a difference coming home to a hot dinner ready and waiting for you instead of having to get your motivation up to cook something from scratch!
I like the clean, simple design of it (important as it's now on full view on the counter as it gets too much use to bother putting it away, taking pride of place next to the food processor - further review to follow!). And I also like how it doesn't have lots of dials and knobs on it, just one know that you turn to low, medium, high or off...simples! The ceramic pot and it's glass lid are very easy to clean with hot, soapy water and the base unit itself wipes clean with a damp cloth.
Since we got it last autumn it has been used at least once a week and whilst I started off quite boring and unadventurous with things like chilli (several times), shepherds pie, sausage casserole, chicken curry, vegetable soup and lentil bolognaise, I've now amassed a mini-collection of slow cooker cookbooks and have ventured out into other recipes more recently. Mexican bean chowder, biryani and kedgeree have all been tried and tested and all of them have turned out great (apart from the curry but that was my own fault!) and it is really lovely to come home and have dinner waiting for you.
It has also worked out to be a very economical way of cooking for us as a £3.50 packet of mince paired with some veg, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans will make 8 portions for us, so we can fill our freezer at the same time.
Over all it's nice and easy to use, easy to clean and cooks great meals for you.
PS MY mum has managed nearly 60 years without one but since hearing about mine and how much I use it, has also since purchased one!
Our slowcooker has been an absolute life saver recently. I work 9-5 but with training for the marathon, playing netball and generally having a social life it isn't always easy to co-ordinate cooking for my partner (who works a 24/7 shift pattern) and myself. At Christmas we were given a voucher for House of Fraser and during the sale we picked up the Morphy Richards Accents Red Slow Cooker.
With a 3.5l capacity, this is more than adequate for the two of us, in fact the manufacturer recommends that this is suitable for 3-4 people (they haven't seen me after a run!) The cooker came with a handy but basic recipe guide to get you started if you've never used a slow cooker before and gives you an idea of the setting you need to use for cooking a whole variety of soups, stews, casseroles and basic curries. After a quick read you get the gist and this has soon been relegated to that drawer in the kitchen.
The slowcooker we chose as mentioned above is red and I was pleasantly surprised as the outer is a deep red brushed metal so it isn't a garish and "post box" red as I thought it would be. There are 3 main parts to the cooker. The lid which has a plastic handle to reduce the potential for injury when lifting off and the glass is also toughened as you would expect to help prevent shattering due to exposure to hot/cold or accidental dropping. The inner pot is ceramic and removable so it can be used as a "one pot" style serving dish to minimise on the washing up - bonus!Both the lid and inner dish are dishwasher safe. Finally the outer element and casing. Keeping things simple, there is a centralised control with 3 heat settings (low, medium and high) in addition to the off setting which are all located around a dial.
The cooker comes with a 2 year manufacturers guarantee but I can't forsee us ever needing to use this.
In the sale at House of Fraser we paid £25 for our slow cooker and this was reduced from £50 at the time. There are so many versions in the Morphy richards range that you can easily pick one up full price for about £20 in places like Argos and larger out of town supermarkets and in an assortment of sizes suitable for one person up.
I've only started to use my slow cooker this year but it is so versatile that I now make simple things such as bolognese sauce on a low heat while I'm at work and add the pasta when I get in from work and I get adventurous and make curries on a medium heat whilst at work which I never would have dared to before!
To anyone who doesn't have a slowcooker but who is thinking about it, I strongly recommend it. The amount of time I have saved with cooking, washing dishes and preparing food is well worth the initial outlay!
I recently bought something that I swore I would never buy as I meant I was turning into my mother, gosh, shock, horror!! I bought a slow cooker. My mum used one of these for years when we were kids and always made fabulous casseroles and I always loved her home cooking that she did for us so when I found that my day was getting away from me with a toddler, dog, husband and one on the way I decided to find a different way to make dinners and I thought back to my mums slow cooler. Back in the day this seemed very complicated and hard to use so I wanted a really simple one and was pleased to find that they have matured over the years to easy to use machine.
It was with a heavy heart then that I made a trip to Comet to buy one of these as I hate to admit I'm getting older and sensible, anyway... I settled upon a Morphy Richards one which cost me about £25 which I did not think was too bad.
The machine itself lives in the cupboard so I don't need to worry about what it looks like but it is a nice rounded looking stainless steel machine. It has two small handles, one on each side which makes moving the machine really easy and it sits on some plastic feet so you do not need to worry about it getting too hot on your worktop. It also has a see through lid with a knob handle in the middle so you can lift it off easily. I like that the lid is see-trhough so I can check on my masterpiece without having to remove the lid and possibly upset the cooking temperature.
The slow cooker is amazingly easy to use. You just cut up your meat, vegetables and even potatoes and pop it all in the cooker, turn it on and then you are done. The machine is simple as there is a turner on the front which allows you to select either high, medium or low cooking as well as being able to turn the machine to the off position. There is a red light that comes on when the machine is switched on. Now, if you are going out for a long day you want to select the low cooking option as this will give you about 8 hours of cooking so you can put it on in the morning and it will be ready when you come home. If you don't get around to sorting out dinner until a bit later then medium will cook your food in about 4 hours, still a great idea if you chop up all your ingredients whilst your little one is taking a nap and then it is ready when you are.
Unlike leaving a pan of food on to boil or having to set your oven you can set this to on and go out and not have to worry about it at all which I love, it really is stress free cooking. Also, the results are amazing. The meat that comes out of my slow cooker is so tender and so juicy, the best way to cook meat in my opinion and always good, no matter what cut or price of meat you buy. It holds a capacity of 6.5 litres so definitely enough for the whole family and nice as I usually have some left over so will freeze it for a dinner another day.
A great way to cook healthy casseroles.