ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Breville Slow Cooker Review

Updated on January 31, 2018
sparkleyfinger profile image

Lynsey enjoys cooking and baking at home and loves to share favourite recipes. The easier, the better.

Most of us would love to go back to the days where we came in to our dinners made at the end of a long day at work. For the most-part, this is merely a dream, particularly in today's fast paced, career driven world- the evening meal usually consists of some microwave meal that cooks while we shower before bed. But, it doesn't have to be that way!!! With a slow cooker, even those who live on their own can come home to a well balanced, tasty, home cooked meal.

I recently invested in a Breville VTP183 3.5L slow cooker as a way for myself and my partner to have a tasty mid week dinner, with minimal effort. As i finish work at 8pm, the evenings are precious, so as little time spent cooking as possible is best.

Features

Feature
Benefit
Glass Lid
Can check food without loosing heat
Ceramic Pot
Easy clean, Removable, Even heat distribution
Handles
Portable while cooking
Temperature Control
Changes cooking time/ keep warm function

Safety First

One of the main concerns when we considered buying this device was safety. I have heard of too many electrical fires due to blown fuses from washing machines and other electrical items left on through the night or when the house was empty.

On researching this- via lots of online searching- I found that there were no cases that I could find of a slow cooker causing a fire when it was properly maintained. I also discovered that these cookers were designed to automatically shut off if they overheated, and as a backup, the fuse would break the circuit.

Most of the safety instructions that come with the slow cooker are quite simple, and common sense would instruct you not to do them before anything else- i.e do not submerge in water when connected to electricity- ya think? And obviously, it gets hot. Steam will escape when removing the lid, so be careful!

One thing to keep in mind though, which was a surprise to me, is that you can overfill your cooker. Who knew the top of the pot was not the maximum! When it comes to filling, 2/3 of capacity is plenty. I have found that even putting over this slightly can cause the ingredients to boil over, and trickle down into the metal behind the ceramic pot. This is ok for the odd bit of sauce, but I would hate to try it with a lot of liquid over a day. Stick to the limits!

Also be aware that you do have to alter your recipes in terms of liquid, as the liquid is trapped within the cooker, you only really need to use half the amount specified in the recipe. Also for flavour: avoid using milk or cream, unless added near the end, as these have a tendency to split.

Other than those tiny concerns the slow cooker is safe and easy to use.


Do you think slow cookers are safe?

See results

Pre-cooking

While pre-cooking or browning meat isn't necessary, I would recommend it if you have the time, particularly with mince dishes. With other meat such as chicken or cubed beef, there isn't much difference. When pre-cooking, it gives the meat a better look and feel to when slow cooked alone. Browning the meat seals it and locks in the flavour, which may be lost if slow cooking.

That being said, there are no health risks if you choose not to brown first of all, and any recipes where I have been particularly rushed have turned out absolutely fine! Just be sure to ensure all meat products are thoroughly defrosted before using in the slow cooker to ensure a consistent temperature and even cooking.

Ingredients in, dinner out!
Ingredients in, dinner out!
5 Minute Dinner!
5 Minute Dinner!

Cooking Times Conversion

Recipe Time
Auto Setting
High Setting
15-30 mins
4-6 hrs
1.5-2 hrs
35-45 mins
6-10 hrs
3-4 hrs
50 mins- 3 hrs
8-18 hrs
4-6 hrs
As a general rule- always check that food is piping hot and thoroughly cooked. Times are for use as a guide only, and vary depending on the ingredients and quantities.

Cooking Times

One thing to keep in mind with any slow cooker, is that the food will cook slowly. Do not invest in this if you expect a meal to be ready an hour after you put it on, even though you used the high setting.

Be particularly aware that any vegetables will take particularly long to cook. In particular, starchy veggies such as potatoes will take an age, so be prepared for this!!

Most vegetables should be cut into small bite sized pieces and placed near to the sides and as close to the bottom of the ceramic pot as possible. Any meat can then be placed on top of the vegetables- this has two functions- it cooks the veggies well, while preventing the meat from sticking or burning on the sides of the ceramic cooking pot. Carrots should be peeled and placed where they will be completely covered by liquid. Any frozen vegetables should be thawed before adding to other foods in your slow cooker- I usually pop them in the microwave for a few minutes while I prepare the rest of the food.

Settings

I'm glad to say the Breville slow cooker only had 3 settings, so was super easy to navigate. You change the setting by turning the dial on the front. Settings are as follows:

LOW: Gently simmers the food for an extended period of time. It can also be used as a keep warm function. This setting is perfect for cheaper cuts of red meat.

HIGH: The high setting will cook food in half the time required for the low setting. The food will boil on the high setting and it may be necessary to add extra liquid depending on the recipe and cooking time. Food should be occasionally monitored and stirred to avoid burning at the sides when using the high setting. Use this setting for paler meats such as chicken.

AUTO: The auto setting will first cook on a high temperature and then reduce automatically to a lower heat setting. This setting is ideal for slow cooking meals overnight or when you are away for most of the day.

slow cooked steak pie- delicious!
slow cooked steak pie- delicious!

Best to use for?

I would recommend using this slow cooker for anything that has a stock or a sauce. You can use if for roasting if you like, but I prefer to keep it simple!

Recipes such as soups, stews, pie fillings, casseroles, pot roasts, pulled pork and curries work well in the slow cooker- for an ever growing list of recipes, click here.

Overall Opinion

While the Breville Slow cooker is a small model, I find it fits perfectly with my needs. If I was upsizing my family, I may have to consider another simply because the fact that I can fill up-to 2/3 of the volume maximum means I am not really getting the full potential available. This is something I will look at in future, if need be.

As a slow cooker, it is very easy to use, and the removable ceramic pot makes for easy cleaning- although there are some occasions where a little bit of the food spills under the ceramic pot and leaves a staining on the metal underneath, which you cannot clean fully, so must resort to a damp cloth.

One thing I noticed about this model is that it had a tendency to burn at the back, left side when on the High setting for any length of time- this resulted in me having to open the lid and stir. That being said, it wasn't a massive issue, and the Auto function meant I could go to work, safe in the knowledge that my food wouldn't be burning.

All in all, I think that the Breville slow cooker has definitely bought me back some time in the evenings, and delivers a tasty, wholesome meal, every time. I would absolutely recommend it if you want some good home cooking back in your life, with minimal effort.

4 stars for Breville VTP183 Slow Cooker

© 2014 Lynsey Harte

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sparkleyfinger profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynsey Harte 

      2 years ago from Glasgow

      Hi Indigo, thanks so much for stopping by. I would imagine that the lead content would be minimal, if any, however its not something I know much about, I'm afraid. Im sure you can contact Breville via their website, where they are bound to have the information you are looking for!

    • profile image

      Indigo 

      2 years ago

      Great review, thanks!

      I'm looking for info re lead content in the ceramic glaze used in the bowl of this slow cooker. Do you have any info or know where I might source it? This is very important to me.

      Thanks for your review :-)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)