I had been considering buying a slow cooker for some time when I saw this one on offer in Tesco. I had previously used a slow cooker for making stews and being the winter months thought it would be well worth its money.
Using this slow cooker is extremely simple, all you have to do is choose either the high or low setting and turn the dial.
It is a good size ( I can make a stew big enough for 2 adults and 2 children using it) it is also easy to clean.
I have never had a problem with this slow cooker and have made a variety of meals in it. Being a mum to two young children I appreciate this product so much. Being able to prepare food and put it in the slow cooker in the morning whilst my son is having his morning nap and then having it all ready for dinner time is amazing. Not having to rush around in the late afternoon cooking a healthy meal whilst my children are hungry and getting grouchy is brilliant. I am able to spend my time doing other things as the meal is already done.
And it is not just stews and hot pots you can make in it! After being inspired by recipe on the internet I have found a wide variety of meals to cook in a slow cooker. Each one has turned out great. So far I have successfully made stew, lasagne, macaroni cheese, jacket potatoes, mash potatoes, whole chicken and other joints of meat and pasta sauces. I have also found recipes for rice pudding and chocolate cake!
I liked the size аnd shаpe of this crockpot, plus the locking hаndles which mаde it sаfe to trаnsport food in it. The glаss lid is useful to аllow checking of contents without lifting lid аnd risking lowering the temperаture. I found the electronic controls to be eаsу to use. With the timer аnd the temperаture probe being other terrific feаtures, I invested in one lаst winter.
It hаs been nice to use аnd I hаve hаd greаt-tаsting food results. Meаt аctuаllу browns аnd the crockpot seems to cook food fаster thаn mу previous older ones. I found it relаtivelу eаsу to cleаn, especiаllу with the lift-out cerаmic liner. It wаs аlso convenient to be аble to store food in the refrigerаtor in this liner. The other nice pаrt is thаt I could prepаre the ingredients the night before, put it in the frig аnd then plаce it in the bаse in the morning to cook. Unfortunаtelу, the cerаmic pot now hаs а crаck which runs pаrаllel to the bottom edge аnd goes аll the wау through the pot!
Cleаrlу, this mаkes it unsаfe to use, аs bаcteriа cаn аccumulаte in this crаck, аs well аs leаks could occur. I аm not optimistic аbout them replаcing it, аs I hаve now reаd on numerous other sites аbout the sаme flаw аnd the compаnу's refusаl to honor their wаrrаntу. Guess I now hаve а huge cerаmic plаnter (if onlу I could find аn ovаl sаucer to go under it.)
The Bottom Line: I would not buу this item аgаin due to the crаcking of the cerаmic bаse аfter less thаn 10 uses.
I purchаsed this crock pot аfter severаl hours of reseаrch, reаding reviews аnd looking аt it at online store. I needed а new one thаt wаs lаrger thаn mу old round 5 qt. slow cooker.
I hаve used this crock pot 35 times аnd hаve not one single complаint аbout it.
It is а progrаmmаble аppliаnce. The numbers аnd settings show up on а screen in а bright color аnd аre eаsу to reаd. Mу grаndmother used mу crock pot twice аnd she LOVES thаt she cаn reаd the displау. She's hаd vision issues for over а уeаr, so it works well for EVERYONE!!! There аre mаnу different wауs to set how it cooks.
The thermometer comes with the crock pot аnd the cord connected to it plugs into the side/bottom of the crock pot. When уou use the thermometer, уou stick it through the proper hole in the top of the lid аnd mаke sure it pierces the product уou аre cooking. Then, уou set the temperаture thаt it should be cooked to. It's thаt simple! While it cooks, the numbers on the screen show уou whаt temperаture уour product is аt currentlу, аnd whаt cooking level it's on. The best pаrt I like аbout it is thаt once the item hаs reаched it's finаl cooking temperаture thаt уou hаve set, the crock pot is аutomаticаllу switches itself over to wаrm!!! Аnd уou eаt when YOU аre reаdу, not just becаuse уou're worried thаt уour food will over cook аnd drу out!
There аre other wауs to set it to cook аs well: уou cаn set it on high for а set аmount of time, then switch it to low for а set аmount of time аnd when the time is done cooking, it аlwауs switches to 'wаrm.' You don't аlwауs need to use the thermometer...it аlso works greаt with out it.
I hаve cooked mаnу things in this slow cooker: beef аnd pork roаsts (smаll to quite LАRGE ones), side dishes (scаlloped corn, creаmed corn, scаlloped potаtoes, bаked beаn's, stuffing, rice dishes), desserts (I've even bаked а chocolаte lovers cаke in it аnd WOW, it wаs moist, fluffу аnd perfectlу cooked!!!), Full chickens turn out perfectlу, theу аre juicу аnd flаvors reаllу cook in well in the crock pot. I've аlso done stuffed chicken breаsts, turkeу breаsts (theу usuаllу drу out verу eаsilу in the oven, but bаke perfectlу in this crock pot!), stews, soups, cаsseroles, pаstа bаkes аnd chili.
The Bottom Line: This аppliаnce is eаsу to use, eаsу to cleаn аnd will cook уour food to perfection!The slow cooker, progrаmmаble set it аnd forget it crock pot is the best smаll аppliаnce thаt I own. It's worth everу pennу!
I use my slowcooker about 3 times a week and this one is excellent value for money. It comes with a basic manual.
It cost me about £15.00 and does exactly what it is supposed to do. There is nothing better than walking into the house after a long day and arriving to the smell of newly cooked casserole!
This is a 3.3L capacity and is big enough for our family of two adults and one teenager, or maybe we eat far too much! For a larger family my advice would be to buy a larger capacity one.
Ours is oval shaped and has a silver finish with a removable pot inside. It is small enough to use anywhere in the kitchen and then go, neatly, in the cupboard when not in use. It looks and feels good quality, mine has given me excellent service over the past year with no faults.
It has three heat settings, low, high and warm. These give you various options on cooking methods and timings.
Ours has constantly cooked evenly, no matter what we have put in it.
It is easy to clean and we use the dishwasher for the inner pot and lid (don't know if the manual says its dishwasher proof or not!).
This is an excellent product and long lasting, do not be put off by the cheap price tag.
I picked this up in Tesco for £15. I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't be up to scratch. Thankfully I had no reason to fear. I've been using it for several years and it's still going strong.
It does exactly what it says it does and it makes cooking so easy. Quickly prepare your ingredients, throw them in, turn it on and leave the room. Nothing beats coming home to the smell of dinner that's ready to serve.
It's just as easy to clean - the pot is non-stick and everything just wipes straight off.
It's energy efficient - using only a few pence for each hour it runs.
It's main disadvantage is the lack of heat settings. It has three, which is less than some models at the higher end of the market. Personally I've never found this to be a problem, but that may be an issue for some customers.
I have had my slow cooker for a few years now, and I would use it every day if I could! It's so easy to throw ingredients in the bowl the night before, pop it in the fridge and then just put in the base in the morning, switch on and walk away.
The unit looks basic, but is functional and the outside is easy to wipe clean. I will say that there are a few burnt on stains in the inside of the metal base unit (they will not come off, I don't know how they got there to be honest!), but they don't affect the functionality. The ceramic bowl itself can be tricky to get completely clean, but you just have to get into the habit of putting it in to soak straight away and it comes up fine.
I think when I purchased it it was around £10-£12. I think this is an excellent price considering some newer, fancier models cost upwards of £50 and this one definitely does the job for a fraction of that price!
I haven't a bad word to say about it. If you want a basic, cheap and cheerful slow cooker this is the one for you!
I love my slow cooker and think that it is an easy and simple way to cook great tasty meals. I bought this from Tesco when it was on offer for £10 and I actually doubled my clubcard vouchers so it really didn't cost me anything which is even better. I had a slow cooker when I first got married but had got rid of it many years ago and hadn't really thought about replacing it but when I did finally buy this one I realised that I should have replaced it much sooner.
It has a 3.3 litre capacity and I would say is perfect for a family of four. There are only the two of us but I will always fill the cooker up so there is enough for another meal for either the next day or to put in the freezer, however I do really need to label my food containers as we do have a 'lucky dip' sometimes if things have been in there for some time and have got a bit iced over.
There are basically three parts to this slow cooker, the base, the removable cooking pot and the lid. The brushed steel base has black handles to the sides, and a dial at the front with the three heat settings, low, warm and high and a red light which indicates that the power is on. It has non slip feet which prevent it from moving around, although it is quite heavy when it is full so I wouldn't think that it would really move very much at all. The actual cooking pot is black and is dishwasher safe and fits snugly inside the base. It has wide lips at the side for you to hold to take it in and out of the base. The lid is made of clear toughened glass and has a black knob for lifting it on and off. It measures 30cm wide, 35.4cm deep and 21.5cm tall so it is not too big to store in a cupboard or you could even leave it on the worktop if you use it often and it wouldn't take up too much room.
You can make very cheap meals using a slow cooker as you can use cheaper cuts of meat which do become tender as they are cooked for so long. I don't use any packet mixes or jars as I find it just as easy to literally throw the ingredients in and turn it on and also it is cheaper. For a traditional stew I will use diced beef, and then add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, swede or really any vegetable I have around and will sometimes also add lentils or any other pulses. I will finish it off with water and a stock cube and seasoning. For a chicken casserole I will use thighs or drumsticks and a variety of vegetables and will add a few tins of tomatoes, water and a chicken stock cube. You do have make sure that there is sufficient water in the cooker as you don't want it to boil dry as this would ruin the meal (and probably the cooker), but you can always add a bit of cornflour to thicken if it is too watery. The liquid isn't supposed to evaporate as it is enclosed but I like to be sure that there is sufficient.
We do eat a lot of stews and casseroles and recently I have been using this at least once a week. If I am putting it on before I go to work I will prepare the ingredients the night before so that it doesn't take long to throw them in and switch it on in the morning. I will set it to the lower setting if it is on all day but will usually use the high setting if I am in the house or only out for a short period. I think there is nothing nicer than walking through the door and being greeted by the aroma of a nice meaty stew or casserole and you do feel as though someone else has cooked it for you.
It does stay very hot for ages when you turn it off, so I find that there is plenty of time to come in from work, have a shower, get changed and sorted ready for the next day and then dish the meal out. If I am freezing portions I will usually lift the pot out and let the food cool down completely before transferring it into containers. I have put the pot in the dishwasher on occasions but I will usually wash it up in the sink as soon as it is empty and cool as I find that it does clean quickly and food doesn't really seem to stick to it.
I think this is a great way to cook healthy and nutritious meals for very little cost and I will continue to use my slow cooker regularly. I also use it to cook chilli, Bolognese and curries and have never been disappointed with the results. This cooker comes highly recommended by me and deserves its 5 stars.
I have had this slow cooker for around a year now but it's only been in the past few months that I have really been using it regularly and appreciating it. I started full-time work six months ago and work until 5pm most days so coming home to a dark, cold house is not great, especially when I have to then cook a family meal as well as do bits and pieces around the house.
I have found that by putting something in the slow cooker I can eat my tea pretty much as soon as I get home and not have to slave over the stove for ages, my partner has enjoyed everything I've cooked in the slow cooker (more like thrown in to the slow cooker and left to cook through!) so far as has my little one who is a fussy eater. The slow cooker that I have is a Tesco own brand one, the make of it is SC356 and it cost me around £10 when I bought it last year.
I think that this is excellent value for money and very affordable. When I lived at home with my parents we had a top of the range slow cooker which cost them well over £30 but this one is just as good, the result is always the same and it doesn't take any longer to heat the food or anything like that. It doesn't look cheap either and it is actually very modern looking and it doesn't stand out from any of the other appliances in my kitchen as a cheap looking product.
The slow cooker is silver with black handles and a black rim around the lid. The lid itself is clear which is great because I can see how the food is coming along if I'm home and keeping an eye on it. I have found this handy plenty of times as some of the recipes I've done have started to burn around the edges so I was able to see this and give it a good stir to avoid it burning. The lid has got a handle attached to it which is fairly easy to grasp and pull off, it is smooth though so can be a little bit slippy and awkward to get a grip of if my hands are wet.
The slow cooker doesn't look that big and is fairly compact, it doesn't take up much room in my kitchen and I can fit it in one of my cupboards although it is a little bit of a squeeze. Despite being compact it does hold a lot of food, it has got a 3.3 litre capacity and I can make big batches of soup and other meals all at once in this then put the food into portions and freeze it. The slow cooker is very easy to operate, it plugs into the wall and it has a dial on the front of it with 3 heat settings which are low, high and warm.
I always put it on low if I'm leaving it on while going to work and if I'm home and want to prepare a meal for later in the day I will put it on high. I don't use the warm setting often. The slow cooker takes some time to warm up but I just shove everything in and leave it. I can stick some raw chicken thighs in, some raw veg, cold water and a stock cube in it in the morning and come home at 5pm to a gorgeous smelling casserole with the chicken falling off the bone and the veg lovely and tender, it really is effortless cooking and because food is left in there for so long all of the flavours have the chance to properly develop and kind of merge together so it's very tasty.
I have tried a lot of different recipes in the slow cooker such as beef stew, beef casserole, vegetable soup, chilli con carne, mixed bean chilli & lots of others. It is a great way to use up left overs and just bung them all in together, for example the other day we had half a tin of tomatoes sat in the fridge and heaps of veg that was about to go off so we just shoved it in the slow cooker with some chicken stock and we ended up with a big batch of tasty soup.
Had I not had this slow cooker all of the food used up would probably have gone to waste. As soon as I get home from work I will turn the cooker off at the wall, however it stays warm for around 30 to 45 minutes afterwards. Cleaning the slow cooker is easy, the removable pot is dishwasher safe and I've put it in the dishwasher loads of times and it hasn't broken. The lid I will wash under the tap and dry. The slow cooker overall is excellent value for money and very efficient. Recommended!
Tesco Slow Cooker SC356
This is one of the best kitchen extras that I own. I have bought one for me and one for my step daughter as they were such good value. I believe they cost me just over £10 each. My step daughter has had hers a year longer than me as I couldn't decide if I really needed one or not.
I have now given a slow cooker to all of the girls , not all this brand but they all love theirs.
This is not a huge slow cooker but as there are usually only two of us it is perfect. In fact when full it makes a casserole that feeds six people with vegetables and potatoes or something to go with it.
This is a pretty basic model with an inner pot casserole dish that can be removed to wash. I have found it so easy to lift in and out and wash as it has a good quality glaze inside and outside the pot.
The lid is transparent, a plastic I think as it is quite light but also quite strong. It is handy to have it see through as you can see inside without lifting the lid.
There are three settings, as I said it is basic. The first is high, then low and then warm I believe is the other setting. I have to admit I tend to use high to cook and then once I feel the contents are cooked through I reduce it to low. I rarely use the warm setting.
My step son has left the slow cooker on for about two hours after taking his meal from it. It was empty and yet even then when I discovered it cooking only scrapings, it was still not a bit problem to wash it.
It cae with a warranty for 12 months and it is well out of that but still causing me no issues at all. I have lent it to other people when we have our village cook ups and they have found it easy to use.
I use it for curries, casseroles, soups and even mulled wine is excellent in this as it keep it warm and not boiling. I have also used the low setting for proving bread when I haven't had anywhere else warm to keep it and it does a good job with that.
This comes in one colour choice only, the metal outer is brushed stainless steel and the inner dish is deep brown glazed, the lid clear. The outside does get quite hot so you do need to be aware it could cause a burn.
I like the little feet that stop it sliding around on the work top as they are a bit grippy.
I am very happy with mine. It isn't huge but big enough for the average family. It is simple to use and easy to clean. You can't wash the outer heating part so if you spill something on it then wipe it straight away with a damp cloth. It does have two handles either side if you need to move it when it is hot.
I always wash mine in the sink and have not risked the dishwasher but as it is so easy to wash it isn't really a problem.
I lift out my inner dish and put it on the table to serve the food out and it looks okay. It doesn't look posh but it is not too ugly.
A great value slow cooker that has caused me no problems and both my step daughter and I use ours regularly and have done for over two years.
Thanks for reading. I hope this has been useful. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.
Recently my slow cooker was broken by my husband and my lovely Mum dug me out her slow cooker, still in its box and barely used, and promptly gave it to me. A slow cooker is something that we use regularly in my home, particularly during the Winter months, because it allows meals to be cooked easily and using it means that there is a hot meal waiting when my husband wakes up from night shifts or I come home in the evening.
This slow cooker is a 3.3L one with three settings, low, high and warm. It weighs just over 4kg and it is light enough for me to lift off the bottom shelf of a cupboard in my kitchen with ease. This slow cooker has a metal body, with non slip feet and the knob for setting control, a black dishwasher safe pot that sits inside the body, and holds the food you are cooking, and a glass lid, with a knob on the top. It is simple to put this slow cooker together and it takes me just a few seconds after I have cleaned it to put it back together and get it put back in the cupboard.
Using this slow cooker is incredibly simple. I literally plug it in, turn it on and then select either low or high. I typically use low for recipes that I am leaving while in bed, say from 6am - 2pm, and high for recipes that I am cooking from say 4pm - 8pm. We have an unusual sleep pattern in my household, due to my husband working varied shifts, and as such the slow cooker is fantastic for us. If my husband is on nights we can place this on at 6am, when he comes home, and leave it until we wake up in the afternoon to allow us to have a small 'breakfast' and then eat this at about 4pm. Usually if I wake up around 2pm I will leave what I am cooking on low but just check on it, then when it comes to about 15 minutes before serving I turn it on to warm just to allow me to make any last minute preparations or additions that I need to make, without any additional cooking taking place.
I cook a variety of meals in this slow cooker. Examples include chillis, bolognese, stews, casseroles, soups and I have even made a roast chicken in this. Typically I use frozen or tinned vegetables, for convenience, and I do not brown any of the meat that I place into this first. I only fill any liquids to just above any ingredients because evaporation doesn't occur in my slow cooker, due to the lower temperatures compared with oven cooking, and so I don't want too much excess liquid, well, depending on what I am cooking. I sometimes use cornflour, right at the end, to thicken up sauces if required, but overall by ensuring my sauce is the right consistency before I start cooking I am able to produce dinners that are ready to serve up whenever we want them. My cooking time is usually somewhere between 4 and 8 hours, with quicker cooks usually being on high and longer, slower cooks being on the low temperature.
This slow cooker is absolutely fantastic. The retail price for this is between £10 and £20 depending on special offers and I would say that at £20 this is still a fantastic price. Our slow cooker gets used at least once a week, sometimes more, and I can comfortably feed four adults with the food that I make in this slow cooker. If it is just my husband and I eating then I know that I am able to freeze two portions of whatever we are eating for a quick and convenient 'ready meal' on another day. The food that I cook in this is delicious generally and I can use cheaper cuts of meat and smaller amounts of meat as the meat melts in the mouth and when I use chicken, say breast for example, it is tender and very simple to shred. This tends to allow me to stretch it a little further and so I save money using the slow cooker too. Vegetables are usually soft in the slow cooker and when I add potatoes to my stews they have a slight firmness to them still after 4-6 hours on high, but not enough to put me off eating them as I am fussy with hard potatoes. There is no burning or sticking when using this slow cooker which makes it fantastic if I am out for the day. I love knowing that I can come home and have a delicious, home cooked meal, ready to serve up to my husband and I. This is so simple to clean, I dish my food up straight from it and the after dinner I put the pot into the sink to soak with boiling, soapy water and I put the unit away while I wait for the pot to dry naturally. The pot is a little heavy when washing but I usually place this in an empty sink so I can wash it without picking it up until the final rinse. 5/5 from me and a slow cooker I firmly recommend.
I use my slow cooker so much in the winter that it basically just stays out on the worktop so that I don't have to keep getting it from the cupboard. I have a model from Tesco and while it isn't as fancy as some it does everything that it needs to.
The slow cooker is brushed stainless steel on the outside and inside it has a crock pot and then the is a toughened glass lid for it. On the bottom of the cooker it has non slip feet to stop it from moving about your work top.
I really like how this looks and there is nothing to indicate that it is from a cheaper brand and it looks almost the same as the other more expensive slow cookers on the market.
It is so easy to use and there are no complicated settings to worry about. It only has three which are low, high and warm. You just put all your ingredients in the inside pot and then place the lid on the cooker, turn it on and then you can just leave it stewing for a few hours and when you come back you will have a delicious stew where the meat is really tender and everything is cooked to perfection.
You can cook so much more than stews in the slow cooker. Stews are still the main thing I use it for but you can buy a recipe book with loads of ideas on how to get the best out of a slow cooker and I was surprised with how versatile it actually is.
Food really does taste good cooked in it especially tougher meats such as stewing steak and pork as these really benefit from the slow cooking and become more tender and less tough.
It isn't the thing for impatient people as it does take absolutely ages to good anything in it but then this is the point to cook it all slowly and let all the flavours combine properly and tenderise.
Cleaning the slow cooker is simple as the inside crock pot is removable so when you are finished you can just lift it from the brushed metal container and then either wash it in a basin or else put it in the dishwasher.
The cooker has a capacity of 3.5ltrs which I think is ample. It doesn't look all that huge but remember the cook all condenses down a little and I think it is more than big enough for a family of four. You can of course add less or more depending on how many people you are cooking for.
I only paid around about £12 for this slow cooker and I have to say I think it was a bargain and worth every penny. It has lasted me ages and it works perfectly cooking my food slowly without letting it burn or dry out.
It's a well known fact that in this day and age convenience food has taken over the home prepared nutritious meals that used to grace our tables.
This product helps to keep to the nutrition whilst on a small time scale.
I bought mine over a year ago now for about £16, however you can purchase this from Tesco now for £12.
A convenient way to cook healthy and nutritious meals for your family is in the Tesco SC356 slow cooker. Meat is tenderer and vegetables retain more of their value when cooked slowly. Plus, after you've set your choice of 3 heat settings you can walk away and do other things without having to keep checking the oven or hob The Tesco SC356 comes in brushed steel and black with a capacity of 3.3L. It has a toughened glass lid, non-slip feet for extra safety and a removable, dishwasher safe pot.
WHY I LOVE IT
- First and arguably most importantly it cooks a delicious nutritious meal without the usual hassle of a meal.
- The nonslip feet which makes it a sturdy feature of your kitchen that you can add and remove food to without worrying too much that it's going to spill on you.
- Stainless steel body, fits fashionably into my kitchen and it is therefore wipe clean so the splats of gravy you may spill when removing food are easy to remove.
- Different heat settings, which means you can vary how long things are cooked for and when you wish to prepare them, if you leave it on low then you can leave it over night or during the day whilst at work for fantastic tender meat. Or high to have a quicker meal.
- The 'warm' setting, brilliant for families who don't have the luxury of eating together! The children can eat first and then food can be the same and freshly warm for when the adults are ready to eat.
- Removable pot and lid, both of these are dishwasher proof which are brilliant for those with not much time, you can just pop them in the dishwasher and leave it.
WHY I DON'T LOVE IT
- Lack of information on it, the manual that comes with it isn't overly helpful, it doesn't come with recipes that you can cook in this cooker so it's a bit of guess work to begin with.
- IT MUST BE KEPT OUT OF CHILDREN'S REACH WHEN ON, the stainless steel outside gets HOT. Hot enough to cause burns which isn't indicated on the outside of the pot.
Chicken and shallots
900g chicken pieces, thighs and drumsticks
Flour for dusting
3 tbsp olive oil
6 large shallots thinly sliced
125ml white wine vinegar
125ml white wine
125ml chicken stock
20g fresh tarragon leaves chopped
125ml creme fraiche
Turn the slow cooker on. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Season and dust the chicken in flour. Sear the chicken on all sides and then place in the slow cooker.
Heat the remaining oil and then add the shallots. Season and saute for 10 minutes until soft and then add the vinegar. Let deglaze for a few minutes and then add the wine, stock, and half the tarragon.
Bring to a simmer and then pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Place the lid on and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours low.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking add the creme fraiche. Sprinkle the remaining tarragon over and serve with rice or mashed potato.
Shredded BBQ beef
2.2lbs/1 kilo slow cook beef joint
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
200ml bbq sauce
4tbsp soft brown sugar
2tbsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tbsp American yellow mustard
1tbsp smoked paprika (pimenton)
Turn the slow cooker on. Cut the joint into two pieces. Heat a large frying pan with one tbsp of the oil. Season the meat and sear on all sides. Place in the cooker.
Using the same frying pan heat the remaining oil. Add the onion, season and saute for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.
Pour over the meat and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Do not remove the lid during cooking or it will take longer.
Remove the meat from the cooker. Shred the meat with two forks. Pour any excess off from the sauce and mix with the meat.
Serve the meat on toasted buns with rocket, tomato, peppadews or sliced pickles and red onion slices.
Pork and sausage stew
4 pork sausages
4 pork shoulder steaks (approx. 500g) cut in half
1 medium onion chopped
3 large leeks, white part only chopped
For the dressing
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsps plain flour
1tbsp grain mustard
1tsp cumin seeds
Turn the slow cooker on. Heat a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of the oil. Brown the sausages and pork steaks on all sides and remove.
Add the remaining oil and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and saute another minute. Add the mustard, cumin, some seasoning and the cider. Stir well and pour into the slow cooker along with the meat.
Cook for 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the leeks and place on top of the meat. Serve as a stew or with mash and fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.
As you see, all the recipes I have provided are simple and easy as are most slow cooked meals and you see there is a brilliant variety.
ALSO YOU CAN GET THE CHEAP MEAT AS THE FAT MELTS AWAY SO COST EFFECTIVE TOO!
You must invest in one of these as they are great, healthy and simple.
~Tesco SC356 - Essential Information~
The SC356 is a slow cooker which falls under the Tesco brand. A slow cooker is a kitchen appliance intended for use on your work top. It can be used to cook various meals and can be left unattended whilst cooking. It is said to be perfect for cooking stews and other meat dishes. A slow cooker will make your meat nice and tender and is said to be excellent for cooking vegetables.
The SC356 has a brushed steel and black design and according to the Tesco website measures in at 21.5 x 30.0 x 35.4cm and weighs in at 4.2kg. This slow cooker has a 3.3l capacity and comes in three part. The part which connects to the power is brushed steel and features non slip feet and the control dial. There is a black crock pot which can be removed from the unit and is dishwasher safe. This slow cooker also features a clear, toughened glass lid.
The SC356 has three settings (four if you include the off setting) - low, high and warm. To use, simply place your ingredients in the crock pot, plug in the power cable and set to your chosen heat setting. It is worthwhile checking the contents during the cooking process to ensure there is sufficient liquid to avoid the food boiling dry. Before the first use, it is important to give the crock pot a good clean and dry. This should happen after each use too.
~Price and Availability~
This slow cooker is available in larger Tesco stores and online at www.tesco.com/direct. It retails at £12.00 but is currently available at just £10.00. If you have any Clubcard vouchers, you can exchange them as part of the Clubcard exchange. £5.00 of vouchers will nab you this slow cooker! It is out of stock online but the offer is available instore too.
~Why I Bought This~
Over the last year or so, I have read lots of reviews on slow cookers. I didn't think I would use one but I was wrong. When I started my slimming class back in July, the girls at my class raved about their slow cookers. I had to ditch the ready meals and replace them with home cooked meals so I decided to invest in a slow cooker!
My first port of call was the electrical aisle in Tesco. My local Tesco has slow cookers ranging from £10 to £77! I had heard a lot of good things about this Tesco one and paid my £12.00. To be fair, I didn't want to spend more just incase I didn't get use from it. My sister bought a Morphy Richards one at more than twice the price and personally, I find mine to be of the same high quality so there really is no need to pay more.
~Set Up and Appearance~
My slow cooker came in a huge box and was well protected in the taxi on the way home. I re-used the box for an eBay parcel! When I removed the slow cooker from its confines, I was pleased with the attractive design of this appliance. It looks stylish and more expensive than what it actually is. It is heavy and for that reason, I choose to leave it on my worktop. It looks good there anyway but would fit away neatly into a cupboard if you had limited space in your kitchen.
This slow cooker doesn't require much set up. Despite this being my first slow cooker, I didn't feel the need to scrutinise the user manual. The user manual, whilst we are on the subject, is very user friendly and gives all the important safety information and the directs for using this appliance. It really is self explanatory though and if I can use it then most people will be able to!
This slow cooker is the perfect size for a small family in my opinion. At under 3.5l, it isn't the biggest on the market but perfectly fine for us. My son won't eat the same food as us - he is a very fussy eater so I am normally cooking for myself and my partner. This slow cooker can accommodate food for four people easily so perfect for batch cooking and freezing if you are just on your own.
~What Do I Cook In This Beauty?~
There are lots of slow cooker recipe books available. I have seen a few I like the look of but hoping Santa brings me them this year. If you don't fancy doing everything from scratch, Schwartz offer slow cooker mixes including curry and casseroles. I can personally vouch for these - absolutely delicious and this takes the hassle out of faffing about with lots of jars of spices.
Personally, I use my slow cooker at least four times a week and to cook various meals. Most of my recipes are adaptions of those given to me at slimming class, from family and from websites. I have yet to become bored with this appliance and it is probably the most used appliance in my kitchen as it is super easy to use and makes absolutely delicious food. Most of the meals I cook at meat based. Some say it is best to brown off the meat first but it isn't a neccessity - I personally don't and just throw everything in to the crock pot. I've never had any issues doing it this way.
I like having the three different heat settings as it gives me more options when time is more limited. I normally opt for the low setting and leave my slow cooker on whilst out. I was a little wary at first but checked with the fire man (during my safety check recently) and he said this was perfectly safe to do. Most recipes state to slow cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4hours which I find to be right. Sometimes I find chicken dishes need a little longer than beef. This slow cooker has a red indicator light which comes on when the appliance is working. The clear glass lid is very sturdy and sits neatly on the crock pot. This allows me to peer in to check the food without needing to remove the lid from the unit.
Our slow cooker has been well used over the past few weeks as the cold nights draw in. When it hits dinner time, I don't want to be standing in my kitchen preparing big meals as to be honest, my kitchen is freezing and doesn't seem to heat up well at all. When my son is at nursery on full days, I usually come home from the nursery run, prepare the food and fling it all in my slow cooker. It is ready for dinner time. I check it once and give it a stir normally. The smell from the slow cooker is often absolutely gorgeous. When I intend to go out for the day, I put the food in the slow cooker first thing in the morning and when I come home the house smells gorgeous with fresh cooked stew!
My favourite thing to cook is a beef stew. I just buy a pack of diced beef steak from the supermarket - nothing overly expensive but not the cheapest as I don't buy super cheap meat as I find it really fatty. I buy the beef with the less visible fat on it and this works out free on my slimming plan. I throw it in with lots of chopped veggies including carrot and turnip. I use fresh veggies as I tried it with frozen veggies and they turned really soggy. I sometimes put my peeled potatoes in too but find these don't soften as much as I like. Sweet potato on the other hand, cooks absolutely beautifully.
A lot of meats can cook in their own juices but with a stew I add beef stock (using the Knorr stock cubes) and just cover the meat and veggies with it. It always cooks beautifully and within 8 hours, my meat is cooked thoroughly and also the veggies. A filling, warming stew for cold nights with very little preparation or input from me - result! There is plenty of room to put in lots of ingredients in this slow cooker - it is like a tardis when it comes to space! Food cooks evenly and doesn't stick or burn inside this slow cooker. The outside of the slow cooker does heat up as does the lid so care is needed.
Other favourites include the chicken curry using the slow cooker mix (around 97p each from supermarket). This involves me throwing in my chicken, diced onions and a tin of tomatoes with the mix blended into it. I have made curries from scratch including a chicken dopiaza. Chicken provencial is a treat to make in the slow cooker and involves a lot of store cupboard ingredients thrown together - so simple. I have cooked prepared joints in my slow cooker and find they cook perfectly in their own juices. Gammon is delicious done in the slow cooker and just falls off the bone.
It isn't just main meals I cook in my slow cooker. I have cooked rice pudding in it. If I am being honest, I was getting bored of hanging over my big pot stirring rice so sourced a recipe for using in the slow cooker and adapted it to be more slimming world friendly! It involved 30g of butter, 125g of pudding rice, 1.5pints of milk and 50g of sugar (can be replaced with sweetener). This took around 3-4hours on the low setting and formed that delicious skin that I like with oven cooked rice pud - absolutely divine and the rice puffed up perfectly. There was enough for around 4 portions.
As I said, I mainly use the low setting as this is most convenient setting for us. The high setting cooks food much quicker which is perfect for when I have a busy morning and don't have time to prepare the ingredients until lunchtime. The warm setting is great. Once the food is cooked I just flip it to warm until the rest of our meal is prepared. This came in useful when I was late coming home - I just phoned my fiance and told him to have what he wanted from the crock pot and turn the dial to warm. The food was still warm when I came home. I wouldn't use this to heat up food as the microwave is more convenient.
It is recommended that you remove the crock pot from the main unit before serving food. Be careful when doing this as it will be roasting hot. I normally serve up the food, box up any left overs and leave the crock pot to steep. Food rarely sticks so it is so easy to clean after use and dry. I wipe around the outside of the unit with a damp cloth.
The internet is full of slow cooker recipe ideas and I recommend sites such as www.allrecipes.co.uk for great tasting meal ideas. Soup can be made in the slow cooker but I prefer using my big soup pot for this as it fits more and I batch cook to freeze. Really most meals can be done in the slow cooker. I find my food tastes much better than when done in the oven and there is less chance of me overcooking it!
I wish I had bought a slow cooker sooner! This Tesco slow cooker has earned pride of place in my kitchen and is worth much more than what it actually costs in my opinion. It looks the part and helps a pretty poor cook like myself prepare home cooked, warm meals with very little effort on my part. I can see it being more use during the winter but will still be used during the warmer months for cooked meals. It is so simple to use and super cheap - you can't afford NOT to have this in my opinion.
This appliance comes with a 5 star recommendation from my family!
Thanks for reading :)
I was very happy when in Tesco one day we noticed that the slow cooker was on offer at £15.99. I couldn't resist at that price and I had been wanting one for a long time so it went into the trolley! I got it home and set it up straight away and I cooked a beef casserole. Not only did it taste amazing it was incredibly easy to cook. I prepared a few veggies and sealed the meat before putting it all into the slow cooker. I set it on high, which is the setting to actually cook things, and left it for 10 hours only checking on it occasionally to make sure it didn't burn dry. We weren't quite ready to sit down for dinner so I switched the setting to low which holds the temperature of the food. Once we did sit down we all enjoyed dinner. We've used it a few times since then for various foods, chicken casserole, sausage casserole, stews and soups and have been very happy with it. At least I was happy with it until after cooking a lovely beef stew one day my partner, Matt, told me he would dish up dinner. However, he decided to remove the inner bowl and place on the hob of the oven to heat it up again. Needless to say this was not a good thing to do as the bowl cracked and stew went everywhere! I will however be replacing my slow cooker with another one from Tesco as it is as good if not better than other products on the market.
I recently purchased the Tesco slow cooker using my clubcard vouchers. I had £12 worth of vouchers I didn't know what to do with, so when I stumbled across the slow cooker while browsing Tesco website and saw it reduced from £15 to £12, I couldn't refuse!
I have had a slow cooker before - a Crock-Pot branded one - which I loved but unfortunately broke the ceramic pot, which left me slow cooker-less for a year or so as I never got round to replacing it (until now). I did miss not having one, as I really think that casseroles, curries, chilli etc. just don't taste the same when cooked the conventional way. Slow cookers are also fantastic for cooking joints and whole chickens as the meat just falls off the bone and totally absorbs any flavour you put in with it.
The main thing putting me off replacing my Crock-Pot slow cooker, was the fact our family is soon to become one of 6 people, and the larger sized slow cookers (especially branded, which I really wanted) are much more expensive. I know the Tesco slow cooker is a smaller size, but as I was effectively getting it for nothing I figured it'd be worth getting - as a spare/extra/for the kids dinners if nothing else.
So, I click and collected the new slow cooker, took it straight home with some ingredients for a bolognese, and set it going on high in preparation for dinner that evening. When I took it out of the box I was initially a bit worried by how compact it looks (about the same size as my 2 slice toaster!). It says it's 3.3L on the box, whereas my previous one was 3.5L - so not much difference, but it looked so much smaller! However, it easily made enough bolognese for the 5 of us to eat that evening, plus extra for the kids to have another day - so maybe we don't need a larger sized one after all, and the compact size is actually a bonus as it doesn't dominate the kitchen.
In terms of looks, the Tesco slow cooker definitely exceeds my expectations for something so inexpensive. It has a lovely brushed stainless steel outer casing (far nicer and more expensive looking than glossy steel), and a solid feeling pot. It has the standard glass lid, and 3 settings - low, high and warm, which is all you need. Some slow cookers also have a medium setting but I've never used it personally. The warm setting is brilliant, and keeps the food lovely and hot without cooking it further. My husband and I find this really useful as often the children want their tea early, but we prefer to eat together later in the evening.
In terms of functionality, this does all you'd expect of a slow cooker 3-4 times the price. It cooks effectively and we have been very pleased with the results we've had so far. The quality seems perfectly adequate, but obviously time will tell if it holds up over the years - I can't see why it wouldn't, though to be honest at £12 even if it only lasted a couple of years I'd be happy.
To sum up - I think that this is a fantastic item which offers superb value for money. I am now thinking of buying the matching Tesco kettle (£15) and 4 slice toaster (£20) to complete the set! My husband is certainly very happy for me to do so, rather than spending around the £100 mark for branded items with the same specifications. It almost seems mad to spend that much now (and that's coming from a brand snob!).
Short name: Tesco SC356