* Prices may differ from that shown
There really is nothing quite like returning home from a day out walking in the cold, to a ready prepared, hearty hot meal - ready and waiting to go, and that is why I recommend that anyone fond of the outdoor pursuits purchases a slow cooker. This one, when used at capacity will make between 4 and 6 servings (depending on how hungry you are).
Easy - before you head out, put in stewing steak, veg (carrots, potatoes, leek, onion, parsnip, sweede - you can even buy stew packs of ready chopped veg to save time!) and pour in a bottle of Ale. Switch on, leave for your day out hiking, and return home to a hearty hot stew ready to eat (delicious with crusty bread!).
Or, for something a bit more spicy - add chicken, chorizo, chilli, peppers, onions, white wine and mixed beans (soaked overnight if bought dry, or drained if bought tinned) and eat with rice or warm pitta bread.
This slowcooker can be cleaned in your dishwasher, so not only is cooking a doddle, but cleaning is too! If you don't have a dishwasher - it's not too hard to wash the removable crock pot in the sink - but can take some effort to hold up to scub if it doesn't fit in the sink. Of course, don't go putting the whole device in water or the dishwasher! Just the removable pot!
It's fantastic for cooking for groups, and keeps your food warm, ready for if anyone fancies seconds! Cook big batches and freeze portions, for stress free healthy eating night after night!
Your food won't burn or boil over - no stove watching required! Stick the ingredients in, and leave it until you're ready to eat (althouh remember it'll need a few hours to cook at least!).
I had been thinking about investing in a slow cooker as everyone I knew seemed to have one and the amount of praise I had heard about them made me curious as to what all the fuss was about, being a busy single mum of two and a full time career I was known to often have the odd moan and grumble with regards to how hard it was to juggle everything into the daily routine and how there was never enough hours in the day to do everything that needed to be done.
I wanted to try make some changes that meant I was able to provide my family with wholesome, tasty, healthy, and homemade dishes at least once a day instead of the convenience foods I had become accustomed to with not having enough time to provide them with healthy nutritious meals made from scratch, I had relied heavily on processed foods, microwave meals, fast foods and take away food, this concerned me due to their much publicised connections to various health related issues but I had never had the time to prepare, make and serve evening meals from scratch every day, evenings are quite often pretty hectic for us and we are sometimes lucky to be seated for our evening meals before 8pm!
A slow cooker seemed to be the answer to my prayers as a product that promised to make my life easier , that was easy to use and provided my family with lovely nutritious evening meals on a daily basis that was not too time consuming and was reliable.
I came across this Morphy Richards 6.5 litre Oval Slow Cooker from Argos priced at a reasonable £34.99.
*Oval Shaped Ceramic Pot
*6.5 Litre Capacity
*Removable Ceramic Pot
*Heavy Toughened Transparent Glass Lid
*Cool to Touch Stainless Steel Body
*Three easy Heat Settings
Low 6-12 Hours
Medium 4-10 Hours
High 3-8 Hours
2 year Warranty
==WHAT I LIKED==
This was my first slow cooker and my first impressions were that it was huge, much bigger than I expected it to be and quite heavy too, I thought it looked big enough to easily feed a family of 8+.
I liked the size and oval shape of the ceramic pot because it made it ideal for slow cooking joints of meat, and this also makes it ideal to be taken straight to the table after cooking for ease of serving.
I like that the product is quite weighty, strong and sturdy with rubber non slip feet, the last thing you need when using hot cooking products is for it to be sliding all over the kitchen work tops and spilling hot liquids that could burn.
I think the heavy toughened transparent lid is ideal for allowing you to see your food whilst it is cooking without having to take off the lid and loosing the heat it needs to cook thoroughly .
I thought it was easy to open and very easy to set up, it was as simple as just removing the packaging and placing the ceramic pot inside the stainless steel body, then you're ready to go, easy!
The instruction manual and booklet guide is a nice informative easy to understand read and has some very useful do's and don'ts, hints and tips and also includes some really easy excellent tasty recipes to gently ease you into slow cooking and get you off to a good start, I found these recipes a godsend during the first few uses as I did find it a little odd to be honest at first, getting used to the recommended order of putting different types of ingredients in and what food groups required a littlle more preparation before leaving to slow cook.
There is nothing quite like coming home to the delicious smell of welcoming home cooked and ready to be served hot food, I love it.
We made a chicken stew this weekend and we got a massive and impressive 10 servings out of it and having used my slow cooker almost every day since I bought it back in October 2011 i have found that this is typical of the actual amount of servings you get from each meal cooked in the slow cooker due to its large size, although this is obviously dependant on what is cooked and the quantity of ingredients used.
We also often cook whole chickens for a Sunday roast lunch in the slow cooker and this is useful because it leaves the oven free for all the other trimmings which is usually either crammed in or cooked in relays due to not having enough space for everything to be ready at the same time.
I have noticed that you do not need to add as much liquid as it suggests when cooking meats, as the meats produce their own juices during cooking which can add to the overall flavour and results.
I have easily and effortlessly cooked beef joints, legs of lamb, gammon, chicken and fish in this cooker and the results are always the same, perfectly cooked meat that falls off the bone and is so juicy and tender it melts in the mouth.
Also makes perfect casseroles, chillies, stews, soups, curries and a loads of other recipes you never thought you would be able to make in a slow cooker, there is also a fantastic range of desserts which can also be made in this, our favourite is rice pudding, we even did a homemade porridge over Christmas that was left over night to cook and was just delicious, the possibilities are endless and experimenting is easy once you have got the hang of using it.
==MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS==
Well it is certainly the best kitchen item I have purchased in years, an excellent buy, and one which I know has made a considerable transformation to my family's evenings as I am no longer a slave to the kitchen.
I prepare evening meals every morning at the same time as I am preparing breakfast, it is always quick and easy to do and buying a few good slow cooker recipe books has helped me to never run out of yummy ideas for meals.
Having a slow cooker benefits my family a great deal as far as time and routine are concerned, there is always extra portions left over that I put in freezer bags and freeze, making yet another quick and easy homemade meal that is ready to eat within short notice and in times of time constraints.
I honestly do not know how I coped before having this slow cooker and I often kick myself for not buying one sooner, it has made my life so much easier and has added around an hour and half to my time of an evening, it also allows weekends to be more enjoyable by freeing up more quality family time, we just bung a casserole or a chilli into the pot in a morning then we go about our family activities and come home to the wonderful smell of a dish ready to be served, the house smells like I have had an invisible chief slaving away in my kitchen all day who has also done all the washing up due to there being no mess in sight.
A stress free meal. Perfect!
I will say though that I have noticed a fib in the list of promised advantages, it states that this product, and I quote has 'a cool to touch body' which I have found to be a porky pie!
The stainless steel outer body does in fact get quite hot to touch and could burn if you were not careful, apart from that I have found everything with this slow cooker to be just as it promises to be and I am overall very pleased with my purchase, in my opinion it is well worth the £34.99 price tag as a mid-ranged product the quality is outstanding, the cooker itself looks very attractive and stylish, and if I were to work out how much cheaper it has been to prepare cook and serve homemade meals from scratch by using this product then I am sure it would have already paid for itself due to the lower costs compared to the costs of my previous reliance on convenience and fast foods.
==WOULD I RECOMMEND==
Yes, definitely, it is a valuable and versatile asset for any family which is convenient, durable, easy to use and a god send for those who find the cooking chores a bit of a daily battle for time as I did.
I am guessing that most households already have one of these by now but for the ones that don't I would highly recommend to try this slow cooker and you will not be disappointed with the positive impact such a simple kitchen addition will have on your family's daily routine and how easy and simple it is to provide healthy homemade daily meals with minimal effort .
It is worth mentioning that when cooking meat I would recommend to use the highest setting for the best results of juicy and succulent meat every time with no exceptions.
When cooking meat joints don't add too much liquid because the meat produces a lot of its own juices.
I also recommend that when cooking a chicken or indeed any other meat or joint that has a high content of fat, to use an up-turned heat proof plate which is placed in the bottom of the pot for the seasoned chicken or joint to sit on, this way it does not sit in the fat whilst cooking, there is so much room in this cooker that there is no problem doing this.
I have rated this Morphy Richards Slow Cooker an excellent 5 out of 5
Thank you for Reading
My reviews appear on both DooYoo and Ciao
Morphy Richards 48718 6.5L Slow Cooker / The Morphy Richards 48718 6.5L Slow Cooker is ideal for cooking flavour filled curries warming soups and casseroles / As this model is dishwasher safe the cleaning up is easy too! Toughened glass lid Brused stainless steel finish Removable crock pot 6.5 Litre Capacity Cool touch handles 3 heat settings Dishwasher proof 350 watts / Short name: Morphy Richards 48718