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A slow cooker is a must have gadget in our household as with both of us working it allows us to come home to a lovely cooked meal. When our old slow cooker broke we decided to invest in a new and larger model anticipating the larger capacity would be useful over the coming years as our family grew. Capacity **************** The capacity of 5.5 litres is a bit on the larger size for just two adults so I do tend to double up the amount I am cooking so that we can reheat the casserole the next day or freeze some for the another day. What I will say about the capacity is it is large enough to actually braise several lamb shanks or a shoulder of lamb easily and the results produced have been lovely and tender. Heating ************** The cooker has 300 watts of power and 3 settings of low, high and auto. I actually find the cooker to be very powerful much more so than my previous slow cooker and have found the high to be superfluous to our needs as this tends to mean the liquid boils rather than simmers and this has led to the food being burnt. Equally using the auto setting means it starts on high and then reduces to low after 3 hours so it is again to powerful to be of much use to us when we are turning it on at 8 am to return about 6pm 10 hours later as this has actually resulted in the edges burning significantly. However the low setting seems to suit our needs and cooks the meat and contents at a simmer that results in lovely tender meat even when cooking joints. There are occasions it does result in some catching and burning at the sides but this tends to be if I am using only small amounts of food and you do really need to fill the dish about half full to ensure that there is no catching and a good amount of liquid in the casserole. So despite being advertised as having many functions I find that we use on the one. Cleaning ********* I was slightly disappointed in this in that when I initially read about the cooker it claimed to be dishwasher safe. However this is misleading as the manual reports that only the lid can be put in the dishwasher. So this does tend to mean a bit of a soak to get rid of crusty bits however none of these have stained or remained and with a non-stick score have always come off in the wash The look *********** The bowl is removable to serve at the table and it does look lovely with its sleek black lines. Equally the whole cooker with black and stainless steel looks very pleasing to the eye. Overall ************* There is a lot to recommend with this cooker it has a great capacity meaning it is useful for family and can cook a joint very easily. However the high setting is just too powerful in my opinion and really you only need the low setting if leaving this all day to cook. At around £35 it is not a cheap buy we got it on a half price offer for £17.50 which I think is a more reasonable price given the lack of use we get from all the settings. I am giving it 3 stars for it due to the value for money at full price given the lack of use of some of the options.
Breville ITP138 Slow Cooker 5.5 Litre / Stainless Steel / Short name: Breville ITP138