“ Small Kitchen Electrical „
Whilst now isn't really the appropriate time to be writing a review on a slow cooker, particularly as we're in the middle of a heat wave, I thought I'd advise you of my experience so you can consider purchasing one in readiness for our good old British cold winter months!
The slow cooker I'm reviewing is Rosemary Conley's enerGi, which is manufactured by Catalyst Home Products Ltd. The cooker was a real bargain for me as I purchased it two years ago from the "bargain bin" in our local Tesco Extra for the ridiculously low price of just £9.99!
I'd been pondering for years on whether to purchase a slow cooker, particularly as I used to be one of those people who would buy gadgets and use them for a short time before storing at the back of a cupboard, then eventually selling at a car boot sale or ebay!! However, on this occasion, my decision was a wise move, as the cooker has been a huge benefit by providing my husband and myself with some extremely nutritious meals.
There were a number of reasons why I had wanted a slow cooker; one of which was convenience and the other to be able to bring out the full flavour in my meals. Slow cooking is well known for enabling your food to taste better, particularly due to it being cooked at a low temperature.
The 6 kg oval cooker is considerably appealing to the eye as whilst not basic, it is fairly simple with its' white appearance, together with its' attractive looking lime green base and matching easy to grip handles situated either side. There is a good length power lead, which is situated at the rear of the cooker.
Located underneath the cooker are three cute little feet, which allow the cooker to stand at 17cm high, 29cm depth and 37cm wide. The actual cooker itself is manufactured from a toughened metal and there is a green dial in the lower centre where we are provided with four settings, namely off, low, high and auto.
Whilst there are varied cooking times dependent on the food you are cooking, the low setting is to enable you to cook your food throughout the day with the high setting to enable you to cook at double that of the low speed, should you require your food a little quicker.
The auto setting initially cooks on high until it reaches a sufficient temperature, then will automatically switch to the low setting for the remainder of the cooking time. There is an area located above the dial, which illuminates when the cooker is in operation.
The upper rim of the cooker is manufactured from strong china, as is the 4-litre removable dishwasher safe crock-pot which fits neatly inside. The toughened "cook and look" glass lid measures 24cm in depth and 30cm in width and has an easy grip lime green handle, which needs to be held with an oven glove when the cooker is in operation.
During the winter months, I frequently use my slow cooker and carry out the preparations the evening before. In order to seal the meat juices, I chop the pieces of meat and lightly brown in a frying pan. The meat can then be placed in the crock-pot, together with your prepared vegetables and stock and stored in the fridge until the next morning.
As the food is cooked over a long period of approximately 6 - 10 hours, in the morning I simply return the crock-pot to the cooker and select the desired cooking temperature.
As slow cooking takes place at temperatures lower than boiling point, there is very little steam or evaporation. Consequently, neither the crock-pot nor food will burn, so your meal will not require regular stirring.
There is no need to worry about overcooking your food, as this is not possible as very little moisture will boil away during the slow cooking process. However, I would state that as with all slow cookers, each time you lift the lid you are releasing moisture, so it's advisable to keep this to a minimum.
The slow cooker is silent when in operation and you can't even hear the sound of a gentle hum, which pleasantly surprised me. Whilst the crock-pot is extremely sturdy, it should never be placed on the cooker hob. Care needs to be taken when washing the crock-pot, particularly as it can damage if plunged into cold water.
When I initially purchased the slow cooker I felt somewhat anxious with it operating whilst I was not at home. However, I need not have worried, as slow cooking is extremely safe and I have been cooking by this method for the past two years.
The slow cooker is ideal for a variety of menus, such as casseroles, soups, curries and hot pots. I'm sure you will agree with me when I say there is nothing more comforting than arriving home on a cold winter's day to be beckoned by the smell of your gorgeous meal, which is ready and waiting for you.
Whilst I don't want to discuss lengthy recipes in this review, particularly as this is to discuss the slow cooker, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the cooking process, let me give you an example of how convenient it is to use:-
For chicken and leek casserole - use chopped bacon, onions, garlic, carrots, leeks, skinless chicken pieces, tomatoes, chicken stock, cornflour, pinch of thyme.
Fry bacon in a pan and add onions, garlic, carrots and leeks. When browned, placed in the crock-pot. Brown chicken pieces and place on top of vegetables. Heat tomatoes in a saucepan, add cornflour paste and thyme and bring to the boil. Pour over chicken and switch slow cooker dial to low and cook for 6-8 hours. Add salt and pepper once cooked. Easy!!
Imagine - you've had an extremely stressful day at work or fetching the children from school and all you want to do is kick off your shoes and relax. You place your key in the front door and are greeted with the delicious aroma of a beef casserole or a chicken curry!
Back to reality now - My meals have always cooked to perfection and the meat is divine as it simply melts in my mouth. I couldn't believe how tender it had become just by placing it in this fantastic little cooker. Consequently, you don't need to buy expensive pieces of meat, as the cooker will tenderise even the cheapest of joints.
I have trawled the internet to find a retailer who sells the Rosemary Conley enerGi slow cooker and for some unknown reason, they are extremely hard to locate.
However, Amazon normally sell them, but they are currently out of stock. I doubt if you will be as lucky as me and find one for the bargain price of £9.99, as they tend to retail for around the £30 mark. However, they are frequently for sale on ebay as either brand new or second hand.
I would most definitely recommend this slow cooker and therefore, it gets a well deserved 5 out of 5 dooyoo stars from me.
I hope you found my review useful and would thank you for reading.
Rosemary Conley slow cooker
With the onset of the cold weather, I decided it was time to have another slow cooker. Its something which does tend to make life a lot easier- put all the ingredients in the slow cooker as I leave for work and when we get back in the evening, dinner is ready.
The slow cooker is advertised as being one of Rosemary Conleys essentials for a healthier life.
Inside the box is the slow cooker (obviously), a calorie and fat counted cookery leaflet, and a cooking rack for fat free roasting.
The recipes include dishes such as soups, curries and casseroles and gives information on how to use the cooker, including timings for general everyday cooking. The leaflet also gives information on how to use the roasting rack.
The slow cooker itself has a 3.8 litre capacity, and is a high white dish with a grey knob indicating heat settings. This bowl can be lifted on and off the electric part of the implement, and is dishwasher safe and stain resistant. The heat setting dial on the front has off, low, high and keep warm settings, and when the cooker is switched on, this fact is indicated by a red light. Obviously, the higher the setting, the lower the cooking time, but generally for a normal casserole type meal, my time out of the house for a day at work is about right.
~~Price and Availability~~
I bought this in a local shop for £12.99, although the RRP seems to be £18.99. However, as with most things, there will always be special offers and sales.
~~Other Items in the range~~
*Wide feed juicer
*Health Grill with removable plates.
~~For more information ~~
Its worth checking out www.rosemary-conley.co.uk . The website has recipe and cooking information.
~~What I think of it~~
I like slow cookers because anything which makes my life easier is a good thing, and will be appreciated. I tend to chop up the veg the night before and in the morning add meat and stock for a meal I can serve quickly in the evening.
This slow cooker isnt the largest I have owned, but I find the size big enough for 3 or 4 people. At this size, it means that even when full, its not too heavy to carry.
The dish itself really is stain (or seems to be so far), and even if washing by hand is easy to clean, and doesnt take a lot of scrubbing. The lid of the slow cooker is glass with a lift off handle. The see through lid means that the food can be seen, so should there be any drying out of the dish (unlikely), its possible to add more liquid. The lid is also designed so that liquid doesnt spill out when the crackpot is being carried.
The fact that there are 3 heat settings means that I can set it on low for work day cooking, but if I put it on the high setting, dishes will usually cook in about 4 hours- just right for a weekend afternoon out and coming home to a hot meal. I like the keep warm setting so that when food has been served any food left in the pot can be kept warm- anyone wanting a second helping can have it nice and warm just like the first serving.
The slow cooker comes with a one year guarantee, and provided you use it according to the instructions, any faults will be repaired.
All in all, for anyone who likes to cook easy dishes, this is a useful addition to the kitchen, being easy to use and reasonably priced.
Thanks for reading.
3.8 litre capacity / Dishwasher safe and stain resistant / Low, high and keep warm settings.