Mike is road testing the Crock-Pot Express Multicooker – How will it handle? What’s its top speed? Is it roomy enough for a family of four and can you get your golf clubs in it?
My mother had an old banger of a pressure cooker, which I can only associate with the whiff of gooseberries from the tree in our garden being made into an endless supply of chutney none of us kids could stand. How times have changed.
If her pressure cooker was the high-tech motor of its day, this is a modern multi-purpose sports utility with 4X ways to cook.
An integral heating element means you can brown then slow cook or pressure cook, and in addition you can steam, cook rice or use the warming mode to just keep food ticking over. I can’t wait to take her for a spin
The road tests:
My first culinary journey is a trip to Bolognaise. Usually I’d simmer and stir for hours but after I’ve sautÃƒÂ©ed the holy trinity of onion, celery and garlic, I brown the meat, add tomatoes, lock the lid, wind up the pressure and relax with the formula 1 highlights for half an hour, before waking up to a tender meaty treat for all the family.
Like a man with a new Lambo on the driveway, I look for any excuse to go on the next joyride. A whole chicken? Nought to falling off the bone and more moist than Mary Berry’s cupcakes in 30 min.
Fancy a quick ham? A half hour jaunt. Brown rice with turmeric for Kedgeree in 20 mins flat and kept warm as the other ingredients are added. SautÃƒÂ© onion and add Arborio rice, press cook in under 10, then chuck back in some of the ham and add peas for a delicious risotto without all the stirring.
It can handle anything you throw at it. The usual long haul of Puy lentils goes in unsoaked and are ready in under an hour. This machine is so fast it’s like time travel.
What else can I test? Time for a Sunday afternoon gentle low speed slow cooking excursion, the perfect excuse to put my feet up for several episodes of Top Gear before waking up to the timer beep and pulled pork emerges ready for shredding while its juices and bbq sauce are combined and fast heated to reduce.
Over 6000cc of nonstick dishwasher-safe removable inner pot is powered by a 1000 watt electric heating element.
The dashboard has simple digital controls with delay timer facility and eight one-touch programmes, but you can shift to manual options for full control.
The countdown timer gives excellent visibility and good safety features mean the super-safe airtight lid stays locked under pressure and can only be removed after its head of steam has been released. Overall it cooks up to 70% faster, saving time when in a hurry and the 12 in1 multi-cooker can Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, Steam, Saute and more, so you can easily prepare any recipe on the menu, using one convenient appliance.
The Crock-pot Express multi-cooker delivers the performance, refinement and quality you’d expect of a premium kitchen gizmo.
It’s lovely inside, the interior is finished with a large capacity non-stick bowl and can make enough food for eight hungry adults Ã¢â‚¬â€œ plenty of leg room be it duck or lamb – and apart from the usual features you’d expect it comes with all the accessories you need – including steam rack and stirring spoon as standard.
The only downside is the amount of kitchen work surface it takes up – you might need a garage to park it in when not in use.
I search up further food destinations and discover a thriving on-line Crock-Pot owners community brimming with ideas and tips.
I wonder if it would get me to fondue?
Crock-Pot CSC051 Express Pressure and Slow Cooker, 5.6L, Silver
Priced around £89.00Available fromCrock-Pot UK