The weather’s turning, we’re packing bikinis away and it’s time to hunker down with some serious comfort eating now that winter is on its way. For most of us, that means tucking into a slow cooked stew, or a delicious bit of lamb that’s been simmering away for hours on end.
But if you’re like me, that kind of cooking is usually reserved for the odd weekend (or cheeky weekday with the fear of coming home from work to a slow cooker stew explosion all over the kitchen).
Truth be told, I love cooking but don’t have many kitchen gadgets. I flirted briefly with splurging on one of those exy do-it-all gadgets, but my bank balance got the better of me and I decided that a budget food processor and my mum’s battered old slow cooker would have to be enough for now.
So far, I’ve made do, but I’ve always wondered if these fandangled kitchen devices actually do make life easier. So when I was offered the chance to try the Philips Deluxe All-in-One Multi Cooker, I jumped at it.
Claiming to cook up to six times faster and with a slow cooker, pressure cooker and multi-cooker functions including a saute/sear function and sauce thickening, this device is built for time-poor, hearty-food loving folk. Best of all, it comes with a recipe book filled with recipes ranging from soups, stews, curries and even a how-to on making your own yoghurt and ricotta.
The first recipe that caught my eye was an asparagus broad bean risotto. Love risotto but hate mindlessly stirring those little rice grains into starchy deliciousness? Well, what if you could throw everything into a pot, scamper off to watch Bachelor in Paradise, and be chowing down on dinner by the second ad break?
That’s basically what happened with this risotto recipe, despite my concerns the rice wouldn’t be cooked. Following the simple steps, it was as easy as adding all the ingredients into the pot, pressing the ‘risotto’ button and letting the cooker do its thing. While I’d probably tweak the recipe a little to add more flavour, the rice was cooked perfectly – and with zero stirring.
The next thing on my cook list was a Massaman curry. While I’m pretty down with slow cooking, I’ve never properly had the chance to try pressure cooking – and let’s be honest, watching My Kitchen Rules contestants battling to lock those pesky pressurised lids has never looked fun.
But I’m a penny pincher at heart, and have always wanted to buy cheaper cuts of meat to slow cook but never had the time. Starting this curry after I came home from work was a breeze, and saw me using the sear function in the cooker to brown the onions and meat. Just 45 minutes later (and no washing of saucepans required), I had beef that fell apart at the mere sight of a fork coming towards it.
I was already a slow cooker fan and I’m quickly becoming a pressure cooker one too. Having everything in one device makes things a lot easier, especially for people with limited kitchen space for lots of gadgets, and not having to wash endless saucepans and pans is always a bonus.
The downsides? The cooker in all its multi-function – and multi-buttoned – glory is a little intimidating and the instruction booklet requires a little concentration, which will no doubt get easier over time.
The recipes provided are also a little limited, so I’ll be scouting the internet for more. Aside from that, I’m pretty sure this little cooker is going to give me lots of joy this winter.
The Philips Deluxe All-in-One Multi Cooker has an RRP of $349 and is available at all major retailers. Find more info here.
Be tested the Philips Deluxe All-in-One Multi Cooker courtesy of Philips.