Bread makers and slow cookers
Aldi have them for £40 and £28 respectively.
I’ve thought of both in the past and no idea if these are good prices (3yr warranty tho).
Bread maker: do folk keep using them once the novelty has worn off? Is it any cheaper? I guess you will get high quality bread of your liking.
Slow cooker: benefits are low energy and you just bung food in before you leave for work and come home to a lovely (casserole/stew) type meal?…and can’t burn stuff? Won’t cook pulses/beans I guess?Posted 2 months agomaccruiskeenSubscriber
Good bread makers are good. They are what they are, its not going to be like going to your local artisan baker but good ones make nice loaves quietly and reliably
So-so breadmakers suffer from being noisy and also if they don’t run good programmes then you can get a lot of badly risen loaves.
The STW-fave panasonic bread makers have two advantages over a lot of others – one is the motor and mechanism is almost silent – use the timer for overnight bread making and you won’t be woken up by wailing, grinding motors art 3 in the morning (and I’m not distracted by having it running while I’m working). The other is the programmer takes human error out of the set up. My old kenwood left it for you to decide what ‘tepid’ water was when putting the ingredients in – starting with water that was to cold (or a kitchen that was too cold) meant the dough would rise too slowly and give small heavy loaves. The panasonic starts by doing nothing for half an hour or than bring the contents of the machine up to a starting temperature – water from the tap, butter from the fridge – all warmed through to a set temp before the motor starts – absolutely dependable results.Posted 2 months agojambalayaSubscriber
OP you can burn stuff in a slow cooker if you don’t put in enough liquid but it’s pretty fool proof. Great for sticking on before you go out for a ride / walk and coming back to a lovely hot meal. Breadmaker I’ve never used but I enjoy making loaves from scratch by hand, reality is Indo that rarely as it takes quite a bit of time.
Of the two I’d take the slow cooker, wait for an offer on a rice cooker if you fancy another gadget. I was always very sceptical then I discovered all the locals have one in Singapore – reliable, consistent and keeps rice warm.Posted 2 months agogarage-dwellerSubscriber
Slow cookers are awesome. Put on delicious dish that is best cooked slowly for hours at breakfast time. Clear off out for the day doing fun stuff and arrive home to a delicious hot meal. What not to like?!
We have two. One is a minute maid that’s probably older than me. Well fitting lid, nice low even heat. The other one is some cheap “item” from Argos. It’s ok when it’s loaded up near the top with a massive bit of meat and sauce but it’s really slightly too hot even on low and the lid is a crap fit.
I think what I’m saying is buy the right size and don’t go too budget.
As for bread makers I had one and even the worst loaf it turned out was better than any packet loaves from the local convenience shop. If you have a decent baker nearby who is open whenever you want bread then great but I didn’t. It was lost in a “splitting of the possessions” over a decade ago and much missed. Maybe I should buy one!Posted 2 months agopolyMember
Both have there a place, even a cheap slow cooker though is more likely to be used/effective. I’m intrigued by the aldi bread maker – if it has a custom program for that price it could be very good. Otherwise you will struggle to adapt general recipes.
I doubt many people are using either to save money. They are used either for convenience or because the end result is better than the alternative.
Finally, beware many are family sized – if slow cooking for one you’ll either want to freeze the left overs or find it wasteful. Fresh bread doesn’t last as long as mass produced shop bread. Depending on size of pan you may struggle to eat that much.Posted 2 months agobigblackshedSubscriber
We’ve had bread makers since the late 1990s. Various ones over the years, some better than others. We have a Panasonic now, not one of the all singing ones, and it’s the best one so far. Very consistent and makes a nice loaf. In all that time ours have been used pretty much daily.Posted 2 months agotheotherjonvSubscriber
Slow cooker – definitely. We upgraded recently to a combined slow cooker and pressure cooker, double good. Had some awesome stews, briskets, last week’s chilli con carne using slow cooked brisket was a masterpiece.
Breadmakers – in theory good but we don’t eat enough to make it worthwhile, and if I want fresh bread then quick (you can be eating it in 40 mins) soda bread is my go-to which needs nothing fancy* and tastes great.
* OK, buttermilk but I usually have a pot in in case, and you can do it with milk and bicarb or yogurt if you need to. Google recipes, I use BBC ones.Posted 2 months agosubmarinedMember
We’ve got a cheap slow cooker. It’s ok, but I’m pretty sure it runs too hot, so it dries out the meat a bit of you’re not careful. As far as i can see it’s not thermostatically controlled, it just gives it constant heat at a certain level. I’ve measured it at over 90 degrees on low, which is far too hot. My advice would be to get one that’s thermostatic.
Bread makers? I’m a purist with this one, I’ve never had a loaf made in one that’s anything like a good as a home made loaf, however you can’t deny how much easier it is, and I can’t do fresh bread anything like as early in the day as you can with a bread maker.Posted 2 months ago
If you want to cut out the kneading but then you can just use a food mixer if you’ve already got one.howsyourdad1Subscriber
I don’t really understand the point of slow cookers. The worst time of day for me to prepare any sort of food is in the morning before work(morning rush) etc.
I work from home one day a week if I want to cook casseroles or for example my 6 hour ragu sauce, otherwise there is the weekend or overnight cooking in a normal cast iron pot in the oven or on the hob. What do they actually offer?Posted 2 months agoJasonMember
Our bread maker has been used daily since buying it 5 or 6 years ago (actually it might be longer than that). Fresh bread in the morning, plus it gets used for dough making for posher looking bread, and pizza bases. Ours is a Panasonic and have never tried a cheaper version, but have heard results can be variable between brands – so not sure how good the Aldi option would be.
In comparison our slow cooker gets used once a month.Posted 2 months agoDrJMember
wait for an offer on a rice cooker if you fancy another gadget. I was always very sceptical then I discovered all the locals have one in Singapore – reliable, consistent and keeps rice warm.
This. I can’t cook rice for some reason – it’s simple enough, heaven knows! Bought a small rice cooker, job done. As jamba says (sort of), a billion Chinese can’t be wrong!Posted 2 months agoroneMember
Both great I’m best case scenarios.
Bread is fab with panny and the correct flour. No additives or sugar is great for me.
Flavour is fab.
We use it every other day.
Slow cooker as and when. We have star chef and it’s been around for 10 years.
Juicers however which are much much better than shelf orange juice are a faff.Posted 2 months agopictonroadSubscriber
I don’t really understand the point of slow cookers. The worst time of day for me to prepare any sort of food is in the morning before work(morning rush) etc
Certain cuts of meat really respond to very long low temperatures, nothing else but a slow cooker will give the same easy result every time and cost pence to run. They’re damn cheap to buy too. Ours is 30 yrs old and gets used twice a week.
Great if you’ve got kids too, you can be entertaining the little delights off in the woods whilst dinner takes care of itself. They may of course, not suit your very exact lifestyle but for most ^ I think they’re near enough essential.Posted 2 months agoross980Member
I usually just use our breadmaker for making dough, then I shape it and cook it in the oven for 20 min (buns or pizza bases usually). It’s quicker and much nicer than just leaving it in the breadmaker for a loaf (but more faff obvs). It’s worth having one just for that IMHO. I like to experiment with different flavours/ingredients. I don’t bother with the whole sticking the ingredients in after the second beep nonsense either, just chuck it all in, option 8 and wait 90min.Posted 2 months agowobbliscottMember
We used to have a bread maker. Became a faff. Expensive way to have bread which is only marginally better than decent shop bought stuff and unless you eat a lot of bread you end up chucking alot away because it doesn’t keep for long. Maybe Ross’ method is better, but you still end up with a lot of bread kicking about unless you keep on top of eating it.
Slow cooker is great. We use ours every week, which is an Aldi one. We both work so great for chucking stuff in in the morning and having something ready to eat when we all get back from work and school.Posted 2 months agomudmonsterMember
Bought a Panasonic bread maker primarily to cut out evil Palm oil.
A mate said I’d use it a couple of times an then never use it again. Used it 3 times a week for the last 1 1/2 years. Have made good bread and terrible bread. When I’m not lazy and follow the instructions it tends to come out pretty good.
I’m sure it works out a lot cheaper.Posted 2 months agosubmarinedMember
A cool prove always getting better results and more flavor than a warm one imho. You can’t rush bread.
Also a second one after the first rest. A bread maker just doesn’t do that bit well.
However, complaining about it wasting half the loaf is daft.Posted 2 months ago
Wait for it to cool (you do this a bit before slicing anyways, right, you heathens?) Then slice it and freeze it. Toast it straight from the freezer. Or wrap it on the day you cook it, then ‘refresh’ it in the oven on about 180 for 15 minutes or so the next day. You can do this several times with the same loaf.howsyourdad1Subscriber
@pictonroad I’m aware of some meat benefiting from being cooked slowly. But genuinely, why do it in a slow cooker? Why not the hob or the oven on the lowest setting. The process may not be the same,as easy as you put it.. but the result is still the same no? I do an Osso buco that takes 8 hours , , only once or twice a year admittedly. Appreciate the cost part however. No (slow cooked) beef, I just genuinely don’t know. I’ve also heard that you need to use more spices etc as they can mitigate the flavour somewhat…. so cost is interesting….?
Re kids. That’s what the freezer is for… home made food made in batches ready and waiting, just needs warming through.Posted 2 months agokayla1Subscriber
Our bread maker came from Lidl or Aldi, I can’t remember which, and it makes smashing loaves of bread using a pizza dough recipe. It took a bit of trial and error buggering about with different flours and recipes to get there though.
edit- it’s nice being woken up by the smell of fresh bread too.Posted 2 months ago
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