Product review of the Sunbeam Slow Cooker HP8555 – A caldron for creative cooking

June 21st, 2015

Appliance News Food Preparation Ovens & Cooking Recipes Small Appliances

I was slow to come around to the idea of getting a slow cooker.

But having recently purchased, and started using, the Sunbeam SecretChef HP8555, I have been quickly converted.

Sunbeam Slow Cooker HP8555

My scepticism came from the fact I assumed this type of appliance simply carried out the functions of my oven – and even that it would do laboriously while sat obstructively in my kitchen on my already cluttered worktops.

The Slow and Sear cooker is, however, compact, efficient, and the ultimate time saver, as it can prepare feasts for the week while you sleep.

Food for thought:

It’s pretty easy to get comfortable in a cooking routine.

In a busy working week, I’d often just go to the tried and tested dinners of convenience, which while still providing home-cooked goodness, lacked inspiration or excitement.

But with the Sunbeam HP8555 slow cooker, I have opened my mind to a whole menu of new meals.

Everything including delicious pork, fall-off-the-bone lamb, or tender beef is now available to me thanks to the large capacity cooker.

At 5.5L is is easily big enough to fit large cuts of meat, including shanks, shoulders, and ribs, all of which would not have been on my recipe radar previously.

Sunbeam Slow Cooker HP8555

The browning mode with five heat settings, including sear, means I can prepare meats perfectly before starting the slow cooking process.

I also don’t have to dirty a separate frying pan on the cooktop before adding the meat.
And the combinations of vegetables, sauces and spices means I can create any type of meal for any occasion.

It’s a caldron for creativity, as rather than filling the bowl with scientific measurements of ingredients, I can splash them in care free to infuse a cocktail of flavours to my tastes.

Set and forget:

Once all the prep has been done, and the meats and ingredients have been added, it’s a simple case of flicking a switch and letting the cooker take control.

Two slow cook heat settings allow you to prepare your meals at your chosen speed, while the accurate temperature control provides an even heat.

You can then monitor the progress of the cooking without disrupting anything through the tempered glass lid.

The count down time will cook the food through to the right point, and switch off cooking when desired. The automatic keep warm function then kicks in to maintain the dish at an eating temperature, without over cooking, so it is ready for you as soon as you come in the door.

More for your money:

Once you’ve enjoyed the fresh cooked meal, you can use the left-overs to maintain you throughout the week.

The first time I cooked using the HP8555, I prepared a large cut of pork in a tasty tomato sauce.

I removed the pork and shredded it for a dinner of sliders.

The remaining pork I placed back in the cooking bowl with the sauce and enjoyed the next day with pasta.

And finally I mixed it with couscous and a few extra spices for a Moroccan medley.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to win any Masterchef prizes.

But the ease of taking the base leftovers from the fridge each day, and quickly reheating them, meant I could get wholesome food without waiting a whole lot of time. It also gave me three very different representations of the basic food over three days.

And once all that money and effort has been saved, you can even save time by placing the pan and lid straight in the dishwasher.

All the way from the UK, Kevin is our multicultural offering on the content team. A journalist and video editor, Kevin is our man with a handy cam, charged with interviewing and filming anyone and everything appliance related. His Essex roots provide a quirky, if not always coherent, take on the huge amount of product news, reviews and launches we try to stay across here at Appliances Online. His passion for playing and watching sport is only matched by his desire succeed as one of the first digital content journalists working within the exciting and expanding world of online retail. Kevin's favourite appliance is a Beefeater BBQ as it enables him to fully assimilate into the Aussie lifestyle, but still maybe with a preferred warm beer in hand.

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