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Sainsbury's 123677151 4.5 litre Slow Cooker

Strange instructions in the manual for this slow cooker led us to test it out carefully. Unusual maximum capacities, inability to cook curries on a low setting had us concerned. How does this slow cooker perform?

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 Sainsbury's 123677151 4.5 lire slow cooker exterior
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CONSTRUCTION AND LOOKS

The Sainsbury's 123677151 4.5 litre slow cooker is finished in brushed stainless steel with black plastic controls and handles. The cooking pot is black ceramic, fairly standard for a slow cooker of this type. using the slow cooker gives the impression that it is well made and built to last.

The rubber feet provide a stable base that stands 2cm or so above the surface. The handles on the main unit remain cool even at the high setting although the handles on the pot are hot to touch.

As far as looks go it's not out of place in most kitchen settings. The front dial is possibly rather bland and chunky looking but it is a practical size and clear to read.

The cooking pot is plain black and proportionally rather high compared to other slow cookers but it's fine for serving direct to a table with a heat protector cover.

 Sainsburys 123677151 control panel

SIZES AND CAPACITIES

We were intrigued when we read the instruction manual because it says "this slow cooker has a total volume of 4.5 litres including the lid capacity .....". So it would appear that the actual capacity is slightly less than 4.5 litres when the bulge in the lid is not taken into account. The manual also states that "... leave a minimum of 0.5cm between the rim where the lid sits and the top of the liquid." - that seems very, very full up as far as we are concerned for the sake of safety and ability to move the unit.

The cooker bowl weighs 3kg which is average. We could find no dimensions for the unit anywhere so we measured it as approximately H:230 mm W:365 mm D:282. Energy consumption is from 175W to 190W depending on the setting selected which is good for a slow cooker of this size. The length of the electric lead is 90cm / 3 foot which is long enough in most circumstances.
 Sainsburys 123677151 cooking bowl

COOKING PERFORMANCE

We tested out the cooking performance first by cooking a lamb stew for 2 hours on high and then 4½ hours on low. Both the vegetables and the meat were cooked very well and we found no fault with the slow cooker on this practical test other than it cooked slightly faster than the average.

Then we did our standard test of filling the slow cooker two thirds full with water (lid on) and turning it to the low setting. It reached it's maximum temperature on low of 84°C after 2 hours 45 minutes and on high the maximum temperature was 94°C. This is 4 or 5 degrees higher than average (for both high and low settings) and it reached that temperature slightly quicker than normal. This is backed up by our practical cooking test above. So, if you decide to buy the Sainsbury's 123677151 4.5 litre slow cooker then expect it to cook quicker than the average. On the keep warm setting the temperature was 78°C which again is a few degrees higher than required. See our page on food temperatures and slow cookers here.

FEATURES

The slow cooker has three settings, high, low and keep warm. When a setting has been selected a red light on the control panel indicates which it is. Pressing another button controls how long (in 30 minute intervals) cooking will take. When that time has passed the cooker allows another 10 minutes before automatically entering keep warm mode. A timer at the front of the slow cooker shows how much cooking time is left.

Both the lid and cooking pot need to be washed by hand, neither is dishwasher safe. The exterior of the unit is easily cleaned with a cloth.

The retailer's website can be found here. Note that the manufacturers website states that the bowl and glass lid are dishwasher safe bit the instruction manual says they must be washed by hand. The instruction manual is basic and provides no suggested recipes. The manual suggests filling the cooking bowl with liquids and solids when it is outside of the main metal housing. When full, the pot should be lifted into the metal housing - this is a practice which seems unnecessarily complicated and liable to spillage.

OTHER REVIEW OPINIONS

We found no other reviews for this slow cooker.

SUMMING UP

Low setting cooking 3 star rating for low setting cooking
High setting cooking 3 star rating for high setting cooking
Keep warm 3 star rating for keep warm setting
How easy to use 4.5 star rating for ease of use
Setting up 4.5 star rating for ease of setting up
Cleaning 3 star rating for ease of cleaning
Build quality Four star rating for build quality
Value for money 3.5 star rating for value for money
Overall rating 3.5 star rating for overall performance

1 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE 2 star rating
2 star rating
13 October 2014
From: Not Given
Bought this slow cooker a month ago, have cooked in it three times using both the high setting and the low. On each occasion although the food was cooked well we had an awful ceramic taste with each dish. Leaving us very dissatisfied with this product and have had to take it back.
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Copyright 2006 - 17 David Marks. All rights reserved.