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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Slow Cooker
I have made 3 different stews, stroganoff, chilli, a curry and two types of soup, along with cooking some rice now, so I reckon I've done a thorough road test with it, and I love it. It's a good size, simple to use and does just what it says on the tin. Settings are much more reliable than my other slow cooker (hinari), and a better size so I can make a batch & freeze...
Published on 8 Nov. 2011 by A. Rose

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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 4 in 1 Quick Cooker
I have used this product for a couple of weeks now. I didn't want to race into a review. I like to spend time with a product, try it out a few times, mix up some bolognese, make the rice, test the steamer.
The Breville 4 in 1 is a 4 in 1 product. It does steam, fry, cook and cook rice, but it is most definitely not a slow cooker. It has a metal dish which seems to...
Published on 14 Sept. 2010 by Angel Jem


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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 4 in 1 Quick Cooker, 14 Sept. 2010
By 
Angel Jem "Angel Jem" (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used this product for a couple of weeks now. I didn't want to race into a review. I like to spend time with a product, try it out a few times, mix up some bolognese, make the rice, test the steamer.
The Breville 4 in 1 is a 4 in 1 product. It does steam, fry, cook and cook rice, but it is most definitely not a slow cooker. It has a metal dish which seems to make the heat greater than a slow cooker. I made my family favourite spag bol, using the Breville. In my old slow cooker this takes 6 to 7 hours, ideal for a work day. I've even left it on slow overnight and had no problem. Using the same quantities, but scaled down (this is a smaller cooker than my old family sized pot) the cooker had the bolognese done and ready to eat in 3. Not quite a work day. The sauce was lovely, though, and reheated well. And I made soup for lunch in it, frying the veg first and then adding the water from the kettle, before turning onto slow cook. It had the soup done in 2 hours, soft and good to blend.
Rice cooking went.... well, the first time I used the manual's proportions, 1 to 1 water to rice. It was small, hard and not at all rice as we know it. The second time I used an extra cup of water, better but still not soft enough. The third time I cooked the rice I used 3 pots of rice and 5 pots of water. Success! Rice as we like it.... but it took longer than boiling a kettle and 12 minutes simmering would. You'd have to have an accompanying sauce that was good at sitting waiting. It takes about 30 minutes from switched on to cooked. However, that is 30 minutes when you can go off and leave the cooker to do its work, no sitting nearby or fiddling with lids to release steam. As far as I can tell it cooks rice in the pilau method, so I may well give it a go with the vegetables and spices in one day to see how well that works.
The steamer function I find useful only if you are cooking anything else and need a small portion of veg otherwise it doesn't hold enough for a family of 5 or cook quick enough to be certain of timings. I put some peas in over my rice last time, though, and they cooked perfectly well in the same steam as the rice.
The fry function I can't fault, and this is useful for prepping casseroles in the same pan as you cook. I made a pork casserole and only had this to wash up instead of an extra pan. The same with my bolognese, I browned everything in the cooker.
It is a smaller size than I'm used to, but it does fit enough food for a family of 5. there are no spare to freeze extras though, and that's a draw back. It isn't big enough to roast a chicken, either, which is a shame as slow cooker chicken is lovely and soft.
Appearance wise, it is a good, small beast and fits neatly away into a cupboard. The fry has 2 heat settings and the dials are clear enough. The slow cook only has one setting and that is not slow.
If you are after a multi function and don't need a slow cooker, this pot works well enough. If the main attraction is a slow cooker, then my advice is look elsewhere. I've kept my old slow cooker and I have to say I use both. This is good for steaming and on non-work days when I have 3 hours to cook, but for the original plan of cooking the day away, it has to be my old faithful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Slow Cooker, 8 Nov. 2011
By 
A. Rose (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have made 3 different stews, stroganoff, chilli, a curry and two types of soup, along with cooking some rice now, so I reckon I've done a thorough road test with it, and I love it. It's a good size, simple to use and does just what it says on the tin. Settings are much more reliable than my other slow cooker (hinari), and a better size so I can make a batch & freeze half. It feels a little `lightweight' but looks good and certainly serves its purpose.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not a slow cooker, 15 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Totally agree with the negative reviews regarding the slow cooking function. Bought it thinking this one said 'slow cooker' as compared to the Torino multi-cooker which only said 'stewing'. Both cookers do a very bad job as slow cookers. I'm back to the frying pan for browning and a classic slow cooker.
As someone mentions in another review, there is only one setting for slow cooking. The progressive temperature knob work only in the FRY mode.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, 5 Sept. 2010
By 
Book Addict - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used this slow cooker several times now and found it excellent. It's very easy to use and clean and it's large enough to produce a generous 4 person meal even when only filling it ¾ full as recommended.

The slow cook setting produces wonderfully tender meat that melts in your mouth, and I guarantee there will be plenty of stews and casseroles cooked this winter. I've browned the meat using the fry setting prior to using the slow cooker, but afterwards I've chucked in a variety of vegetables, twisted the dial and wandered away. 6-8 hours later I've got a great dish. My only gripe is that on a couple of occasions food has stuck to the bottom of the bowl and ended up looking slightly burnt, but I think perhaps this may be my fault for not adding enough stock.

The rice and steam sections are as easy to use but for some reason the "stay warm" option is only available when cooking rice. This cooker would have been much better if this option was available on every cooking setting. The user manual is extremely helpful and includes cooking conversion times, some handy cooking tips and a few tasty looking recipes which I intend to try out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cooker, bit tricky to judge, 24 Oct. 2010
By 
Atticman (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have owned a Tefal slow cooker for a few years and really enjoy using it for casseroles, soups, chilli etc. However, it's a bit small for more than 3 or 4 people though, so the Breville Slow Cooker now allows me to have two on the go for dinner parties etc.

The Breville allows you to steam, fry, slow cook and cook rice. Of these, I've so far used the fry and slow cook. The fry function is a great addition, and really works well for browning off your meat, softening onions etc. Its also useful for ratcheting up the heat when you need it. The fry heat level is controllable by the larger dial on the right of the unit. However, you can't really rely on the cooker to bring up cold liquids to boiling, so you need to heat your liquids (stock, tomatoes etc) before adding them, or else it'll take much longer to cook through. Once you have your stew together, you simply click it round to slow cook.

Once cooking, the food seems to continue boiling for quite some time, which can lead you to worry that it will cook dry if left alone. However, it soon calms down and stops simmering so I urge you to resist adding liquid or you'll end up with runny stew. It does this even if you don't use the fry option.

The unit doesn't feel spectacularly well made - the outside is made of flimsy plastic (I dented it just by picking it up), the dials are a bit loose, and the internal pot is thin metal rather than the thick ceramic you usually find. However, this means it is a nice light unit which is easy to move around the kitchen, even if it doesn't inspire confidence.

Definitely a good product, with a few issues which may or may not be a problem for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars time saver, 31 Aug. 2010
By 
Su (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love slow cookers. They are one of the few things that make life a little easier; especially if you know you are going to be out of the house all day and will be too tired to stand and cook a meal in the evening. You simply do your preparation the night before - you can peel and chop your vegetables while sitting watching TV, or you could make a family event out of it and teach your children (or partner) how to cook.

I already have a small (3.5 litre) slow cooker which makes a maximum of 2.5 litres of food which is great for 2 to 4 people, unfortunately, if you have a larger gathering of family/friends then portions must be smaller or you must make a bigger batch in a large pan.

This crock pot is a 4.5 litre volume (giving an approximate 3 to 3.5 litre maximum capacity), which means that you can feed from 6 to 8 people.

In the box you receive:

- base machine
- crock pot
- steam tray
- glass lid
- spatula/serving spoon
- measuring cup
- instruction booklet

The whole machine is very light, the crock pot itself being made of a light, non-stick material, as is the steam tray. The clear, tempered glass lid has a steam vent to stop the build up of pressure within the cooker.

The instruction booklet gives you 6 recipes to try:

- carrot and coriander soup;
- spicy tomato chilli con carne;
- chicken and mushroom casserole in red wine sauce;
- slow cooked lamb with rosemary;
- chilli and sun dried tomato bolognaise; and
- fragrant steamed salmon.

The selection is a little poor considering the possibilities of a machine like this.

Recipes I have used with slow cookers include:

- lamb shanks with barley;
- soups - pea and ham. chicken, mushroom, celery, etc;
- chicken pasta casserole;
- ox tail in sticky beef gravy;
- hotpot;
- chowder; and more.

I had worried when I was making the chicken pasta casserole that the heat of the slow cooker might be too high and curdle the spiced cream sauce (when I turned from the low frying heat to slow cooker the temperature still seemed to be quite high), but it didn't happen and the dish was perfectly cooked when I arrived back.

The rice cooker is great. Breville seem to have ironed out the problem I had with a stand alone rice cooker - there was no sticking or burning of the rice at all.

The steamer is worth its weight in dim sum. I love dim sum and make it quite a lot. My favourites include steamed chicken dumplings, prawn dumplings, steamed duck parcels, char sui pork wraps. The cooker is perfect for making chicken and sweet corn soup at the bottom while steaming some juicy dim sum dumplings at the top.

If there is one thing I do not like about the slow cooker it is the inability to control the temperature on all the settings. With the control panel you only have power over the temperature for frying; you have no say regarding the heat for any of the other settings.

There is no start or finish timer on the cooker, meaning that if you are delayed the slow cooker continues to cook rather than just keeping warm. There is a timer on the rice setting; surely this could have been transferred across to the slow cooker. A starting timer would have been a great assistance. If you know you will only get back in 10 hours and your food will be ready in 6 hours then you really need a 4 hour delay - the only way to accomplish this is to use an external timer or get someone to pop in and turn it on

I have to say that I am finding the multi-use aspect of this slow cooker a great bonus, rather than have to plug in a steamer and a slow cooker, I can cook my main course in the crock pot and steam my vegetables or dumplings in the steam tray above, meaning that I no longer require a multi-plug extension cable on the counter.

Now all I need is a decent blender and a couple of extra hotplates and cooking the Christmas family meal would be sorted.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A poor slow cooker., 23 Sept. 2010
By 
Chris Chalk "Chris" (Croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Now I know this product is a multifunctional device, specialising in rice, steaming and so on but ultimately it is a slow cooker, this is it's vocation in life and it is with this understanding I am reviewing it. There is are other strong reviewers covering the other virtues so ignore mine if that's what you want to see.

As for its ability as a slow cooker...

Not great to be honest, I had visions of a Heston Blumenthal style product, gently cooking food at a constant temperature (or say 110 - 130 degrees) for an agreed amount of time, gently bring the food to a state of readiness not seen in regular oven cooking. What I got was a device that essentially cooked at an high temperature for two hours then kept the food warm for the remainder of the time. It suggested I could cook a beef casserole for 8-15 hours.

Well I couldn't.

Not even close.

After three hours or so it was already overcooked. I cannot overemphasise how hot it must have been cooking the food for this to happen. All in all, thoroughly disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but ...., 6 May 2011
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Bought one last week -- I'm bit of a cooking gadget collector (had 4
slow cookers already). As a multi-cooker it's very good & for entertaining
it would be very useful eg. sear & brown then switch to slow cooking and
comfortably have a nice meal ready in TWO hours. It bubbles away when slow
cooking(medium boil I guess). So unless the production line is variable it's certainly
not suitable to be on all day while you're at work.

Looking at it it's very much a modified rice cooker with the spring loaded thingamagig
at the bottom (have 5 rice cookers already). My slow cooker that gives best results
is a twenty year old Swan with a very heavy white crockpot & equally heavy ceramic
(i.e. non-see-through ) lid. It does a lovely job in 9-14 hours & I know this so
well that there's no need to be able to see through the lid ( heat loss is tiny,
light bulb power consumption). If they still made them I'd buy another -- but then
there'd be 6 ? No 5 really.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not slow enough for me, 20 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never had a slow cooker before, but have always wanted one as I really fancied coming home to a hot meal after a day at work. The one thing that had put me off slow cookers is the fact that you need to fry the meat before adding it to the slow cooker. I was therefore looking forward to trying this slow cooker. I did find the frying function worked very well and I appreciated the time this saved. I was a bit alarmed at how quickly the meal cooked though. As other reviewers have noted this does not cook as slowly as other slow cookers. I was very frustrated that I did not have enough control over the temperature. I wanted a slow cooker that I could put on before I leave for work, but I do not feel I could do that. I worry that the food would overcook especially if I was running late.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If only it had a timer as well ....., 13 Sept. 2010
By 
Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breville VTP053 4-in-1 Multi-functional Slow Cooker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nicely built unit - robust, MUCH lighter than it looks and with a reasonable footprint so not a huge kitchen top hog. In the box you get the unit, a non-stick removable bowl, a steaming tray, a glass lid, a dinky serving spoon and a measure (not totally sure why to be honest) as well as a decent user instruction containing six recipes (two tried - both good).

So, to the four functions:

Rice Cooker: yes it does a decent job. I've never felt the need for a rice cooker in the past - normal boiling seems to do the trick fine for me, but it works as described. I'm not sure I'll use this function terribly much in the future, although I do like the Keep Warm function

Steaming: In some ways again I have always used a simple steamer and pot on the stove. This does offer a little more capacity though which is handy. It works perfectly well as you would expect.

Frying: One of the benefits of this unit is that you can fry (and therefore brown) meat etc before slow cooking. Most recipes call for this. It works after a fashion. I found that the timings in the recipe book (and therefore the most likely to be accurate for this machine) were under by about 50%. It does work, and has the attraction of saving washing up, but because it is electrically powered, you don't have anything like the control you have with a gas hob. I've used it about 75% of the time, but on the others I admit I've tended to fry in a conventional pan and then transfer to the slow cooker. I figure you've got six hours or so to wait for the food to cook, so you've got time to wash up!

Slow Cooking: This works well. It seems to go a bit hyper at the start of the process and you think it will dry the food out, but it settles down to not even a vague bubble after a couple of hours, but the food continues to cook and tastes great.

Pros:
All in one unit is handy
Nice looking unit
Well built
Slow cooking is enjoying a bit of a resurgence and allows you to use cheaper cuts of meat
The non-stick unit is light and, well, non-stick

Cons:
Not dishwasher proof (OK that's a bit of a liberty for me to claim as a con as I don't have a dishwasher)
You need to make recipes for about four to avoid food drying out (so if there's less you, one word - freezer)

Major Con

No timer. I'm often out for way more than the slow cooking time and there is no timer. You can get round this with a timer plug, but wouldn't it have been good to incorporate one in the unit?

Tip
Buy a decent slow cook recipe book first. I've used Complete Slow Cooker but for even more innovative ideas, try Make It Fast, Cook It Slow; you will need to cope with US measures and some US meat cuts and guess at some ingredients, but it's BY FAR the most interesting in terms of range of recipes that I've found.
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