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Philips Jamie Oliver HomeCooker Product Test Feedback thread: Now with 2nd feedback questions

(69 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Sep-12 11:59:35

This thread is for the 15 MNers who are putting the new Philips Jamie Oliver HomeCooker through its paces.

Philips say "Enabling you to prepare homemade meals even on your busiest days, the HomeCooker has been specially designed to achieve authentic home cooking with ease. It can chop, stir, steam and sauté and be left cooking unattended".

As Jamie Oliver explains: "We all know it can be a struggle to get fresh, homemade food on the table every day, especially for busy parents who have to juggle so much. It's often a real tradeoff between spending time with the family and getting fresh food on the table. The beauty of the Philips HomeCooker is that it removes this dilemma - you can now do both! Whether you're a beginner cook or a more experienced chef, the HomeCooker takes the pressure off in the kitchen. Because it stirs itself you don't have to stand over a stove but you can still invest all that love and creativity into your meal."

For more information please see www.philips.co.uk/e/homecooker/home.html

We're asking testers to add feedback at least twice to this thread - first impressions and then we will add some more questions after you've been trying the product for a bit.

~ Please share your first impressions overall of the HomeCooker? Was it what you expected? How did you find making the risotto recipe? Did it save you time in the kitchen?
~ What about the size? How does it compare to other appliances you may have?
~ Instructions - easy to follow? Anything you didn't understand
~ And what was the first thing you tried in it? How did it go? Anything you'd change for next time?

Any other comments?

If you're not a tester please do feel free to post any questions to testers on this thread and they or Philips will answer them

Thanks

MNHQ

Babieseverywhere Sun 30-Sep-12 12:16:02

We are going to be trying the risotto again the Butternut one, as it is lovely smile

I have also tried doing scrambled eggs in the cooker which worked and left the same amount of egg covering the bottom as using my normal pan, so no extra work IYSWIM.

I also cooked mushroom in olive oil and garlic. Cut up really chunky, by hand. Served on a piece of wholemeal toast for breakfast. It cooked whilst I ran around getting children dressed smile Feel bad about not using the tower for the mushroom, but not worth using and cleaning for such a small amount of chopping.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Sun 30-Sep-12 16:45:57

We tried the pan breakfast today......hmmm. Not sure about this one. The mushrooms and tomatoes were marvellous.......until we added the eggs. We had turned the temp down to 175 as the recipes suggestion of 250 just seemed too high. Should add here that I am vegetarian so DH and DD cooked their bacon etc in a separate pan.

When we added the eggs, it wasn't hot enough to flash the whites off right away, so the uncooked egg ran all over the pan and we ended up with the toms and mushrooms embedded in the egg white confused. To be fair, that is my mistake in turning the heat down.......

I cranked it back up to 250 when I realised what was happening, but we then ended up with a hugely burnt black pan again........poor DH had to scrape away at it for ages, which I wouldn't manage terribly well due to problems with my hands.

I think if I were to do this recipe again I might actually follow it and use 250 as my temperature but shorten the cooking times. Might stop me serving up glorified omelette......grin

Does everyone else's homecooker make a whirring, whining noise when it's running? I don't recall hearing it when I first used the machine, but it's definitely there now. Sounds a little like a fan running??

ChristmasKate Sun 30-Sep-12 17:11:50

Eddie mine makes a low whirring cooking noise and always has.

I'm making the minestrone soup again for today's lunch, tower worked well and was a defiante time saver.

Also doing onion soup and the breakfast one this week as well as chicken casserole so it's a busy week for Jamie in this house!

EddieVeddersfoxymop Sun 30-Sep-12 17:19:52

Thanks for that....was getting worried I had broken Jamie!!

libelulle Sun 30-Sep-12 20:08:33

a thumbs up for the granola too. Modified the recipe quite a bit in terms of ingredients, but for once the times/temps in the book seemed to work pretty well! Also tried a couple more stews with great success. It is rapidly earning itself permanent counter space.

The cutting tower, on the other hand, is still in my bad books. It just doesn't do the job it is meant to do, which makes me a bit cross really - why release a product which blatantly doesn't do the job it is supposed to do?!

Halfling Sun 30-Sep-12 22:48:40

HOME COOKER FEEDBACK
Will post reviews of the Cutting Tower in the next couple of days

~ Please share your first impressions overall of the HomeCooker? Was it what you expected?

The first impressions of the home cooker are very favourable. The packaging is appealing. The cooker looks sturdy and well made. The controls are easy and intutive.

How did you find making the risotto recipe? Did it save you time in the kitchen?

The broad beans and asparagus risotto recipe was easy enough. What I found difficult was to trust the cooker enough to step away and not fiddle with the process. Maybe it was because I was using the cooker for the first time. On the whole, I think it saves substantial time spent standing at the cooker.

~ What about the size? How does it compare to other appliances you may have?

I have a very tiny kitchen counter and own a rather large number of appliances. I will have to use the cooker extensively before it can prove worthy of a permanent counter space.

In my opinion the size of the cooker is just appropriate and it compares favourably to other appliances, given the multi tasking it is capable of. It also stacks up neatly.

~ Instructions - easy to follow? Anything you didn't understand

The intructions were easy. And the range of recipes in the booklet is quite interesting.

~ And what was the first thing you tried in it? How did it go? Anything you'd change for next time?

The broad beans and asparagus risotto recipe is the first I tried, and it turned out to be truly delicious and of restaurant quality. I am most impressed. The best part was not having to bother about temperature control, stirring and the rice sticking to the pan base.

The recipe worked perfectly for me so I will not change anything in it.

Other comments

What I am struggling at the moment is how to incorporate the cooker more into my everyday cooking. Maybe once I have tried enough recipes from the booklet, I will be able to figure out the cooking times and temperatures for the food I cook on an everyday basis.

I will be back with more feed back once I have tried more recipes.

Halfling Mon 01-Oct-12 16:29:34

Used the Home Cooker to make Anjum Anand's recipe for Chickpea Curry for lunch today. Turned out really well. I think the home cooker is really suited for making curries.

It was really easy to make the basic onion-tomatoes curry base as the cooker heated and stirred at a uniform temperature which gave a lovely creamy consistency.

ClaireDeTamble Mon 01-Oct-12 22:53:34

Finally got round to using the home cooker for the first time this weekend, so here are my initial thoughts:

Please share your first impressions overall of the HomeCooker? Was it what you expected?

The homecooker appears to be very well made and looks quite good in the kitchen. The controls are easy and intuitive (although I did have a bit of a duh! moment when I couldn't work out why it wasn't stirring before I realised I needed to press 'play' or set the timer!). The cutting tower I am less impressed with - I understand it has been designed to feed straight into the cooker, but it is bulky and oversized for what it is.

How did you find making the risotto recipe? Did it save you time in the kitchen?

As others have said, there was so much faffing around with the squash and pancetta that it didn't save huge amounts of time, but there was about 20 minutes where I didn't have to do anything other than let it cook which gave me time to tidy the kitchen up and sort out a load of washing.

I also had issues with the cutting tower not cutting the onion and celery properly.

What about the size? How does it compare to other appliances you may have?

It's a little on the large size - taller than my slow cooker but about the same width.

Instructions - easy to follow? Anything you didn't understand

The instructions are easy enough to understand. I'd like to see some more simple recipes that haven't been quite so Jamie-fied (I love his food but his recipes can be somewhat over involved when you just want to cook a quick, simple tea.) - some basics like mac cheese, spag bol etc would be good.

And what was the first thing you tried in it? How did it go? Anything you'd change for next time?

First thing I tried was the risotto. It was fine - a bit stodgy, so I might add a touch more stock or turn the temperature down a bit. We've also made the breakfast which was lovely, although again, the temperature probably needs to be reduced after the eggs have been added.

Any other comments?

Like the poster above, I am struggling to work out how I am going to incorporate the cooker into everyday use. While I can see it could be very useful for some, I am not sure yet it is useful for the sort of food that we cook on a daily basis.

I am sure however, that it would save me more time if I didn't stand and watch it stirring grin

It's a great little gadget and I am hoping it will become a useful one in our kitchen rather than one that ends up in the back of the cupboard, although I am reserving judgement until I have tried a few more recipes.

civilfawlty Tue 02-Oct-12 11:45:10

Actually, having entered, I was starting to dread the arrival of the cooker - my husband was very grumpy about another piece of kit in the kitchen. And the box was enormous! But actually, it isn't vast, so that it can sit on the counter in the week, and in a cupboard at the weekend (more on this later). It is a robust piece of kit, and the brushed steel is attractive.

I entered because I absolutely love cooking but, since having my ds (8mo) I have really struggled to make home cooked supper for him and my dd (9) because supper prep time really does coincide with the witching hour in our house.

The first thing I cooked was a simple chicken and pea risotto (I didnt receive my ingredients, so I just picked something the kids love). I just adapted the recipe in the book, following the timings and so forth. In reverse order, the risotto was absolutely delicious, and both children guzzled it up. It was really great to produce something and have been able to roll around on the floor with the baby and supervise homework.

I used the cutting tower, as instructed, and I suppose this was the piece of kit which felt unneccessary in that particular context - the washing up versus time saved chopping ratio felt wrong. But - I am pretty quick at prep and I guess if someone found this harder it might have been more useful. Also, risotto for four doesn't involve much chopping. But I can imagine using it far more when catering for greater numbers.

I decided to ignore the technical instructions and see what happened... it was pretty intuitive and made good sense.

It does take up some space on the side, but I really have found it earns its place on the counter: I've made two casseroles, a pasta sauce, and a soup so far. At the weekend, when I have more time, I just popped it away. I don't have any other appliances, but I know plenty of people who have a kitchen aid or kenwood on the side, but use them very rarely, which makes me think there could be a space for this in other homes.

I really love it - I feel like I'm feeding my family nutritious food again, which is an enormous relief to me.

ChristmasKate Thu 04-Oct-12 11:40:21

I'm experimenting, feel free to tell me I'm Barmy.

I have 2 packs of frozen lamb mince that I have chucked in Jamie with a little oil on 90, no stirrer of course.

I'm going to see if it defrosts quicker than leaving on the side open all day or even worse defrosted in the microwave.

I'm full of night nurse so probably not the best judge of judgement today But I will let you know either way.

libelulle Sat 06-Oct-12 12:09:32

How did you get on Kate?

ChristmasKate Sat 06-Oct-12 13:47:06

Sorry, completely forgot to update!

It worked well and tasted really nice although as lamb mince is very fatty I did have to drain and then skim lots of fat off.

I left it on 70 for the afternoon and even remembered to video using the tower - who do we send the videos to?

Using the smaller blade on the tower was a bit of a disaster because everything gets clogged up although I did manage to get courgette and mushrooms in there which is something most of the family refuse to eat but they went undetected!

The lamb mince defrosted easily in Jamie and as it was cooked low and long it was soft and a lot tastier than beef.

ChristmasKate Thu 11-Oct-12 21:16:24

It's all gone a bit quiet on the Jamie front, are we due any challenges or emails that I have missed?

Vies till not received the risotto shopping voucher, has my pre christams nam change caused a confusion?

Jamie is still working hard here and producing some lovely soups etc....

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 11-Oct-12 23:23:22

It has all gone quiet, hasn't it? In the application thread, didn't it say that we had to post pics? I've been photographing my food, but it's making me feel like an eejit!

So - I AM liking my Jamie, very much so, for lunchtime soups on days I'm at home. Brown some onions then bung in the rest of the ingreds and stock and cook for a bit (scientific). Perfect as I get fresh, wholesome food with the min of intervention.

I'm also loving it for curries, stews etc, in the evening. It just means that I can wander about and do a few things at once rather than be chained to the stove, stirring. Or more likely, it means that I don't forget to do so and come back to find I should have stirred earlier and now my food is all burnt/stuck.

I've also tried the granola, which was ok but not wow. But very, very easy. Plus the red pepper/chilli chutney - but like the B/nut risotto, any recipe that requires 40 mins in the oven before being Jamie-d rather seems to defeat the object. I freestyled a tomato and chilli chutney, which was nice.

I've not yet tried steaming or pasta yet - has anyone else? Must do so, I think...

Still not impressed by the slicer. Thick slicing onions is ok, anything else is pretty poor, IMHO.

civilfawlty Fri 12-Oct-12 09:28:46

I never received my voucher or food either. Wondered if something had happened...?

I made a veeeery nice Ragu yesterday. My Dd said it was because I was Jamie-ing it. It was MY cooking, dammit!

Green curry later...

cather Fri 12-Oct-12 12:47:03

I've made lots of soup and it's great for curries as I can just leave it to cook.

ChristmasKate Sat 13-Oct-12 10:46:44

Wow my spelling is diabolical in my last post, it really is true that posting on an iPhone is trickier than on an iPad blush

I did call and speak to Mary but haven't heard anything after that....

Reggiee Sat 13-Oct-12 20:06:43

Three weeks in and I'm still using the HomeCooker quite a bit. Favourites in the Reggiee house are the potatoes (been doing these at least three times a week, but without the rosemary and cook slightly less time than the recipe); risotto (very easy and tasty); and bolognaise which is definitely tastier (and easier) than my usual pan fried one.

Still haven't tried cooking pasta or steaming. Have done the granola once which was fab. Didn't last long though as both dh and I kept picking at it thoughout the day rather than leaving it for breakfast.

Would love to hear your curry/thai recipes if anyone has the time to bung one on the thread (don't need to put weights - just ideas would be fab thanks).

I've added a few pictures (I think). The first time I used it to make risotto (lid on, but since have made it without the lid); the granola cooling; and two picturs of the cutting tower. Still not happy with the cutting tower. I generally wouldn't have the energy to bother cutting things up so fine by hand, so if I needed to hide veggies it might be useful. Being blessed with kids who love their veggies I don't need to do this. Another picture shows the amount of pepper still left in the cutting tower at the end. Washing this up is a pain (and I broke my nail getting the blade off).

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Oct-12 17:03:53

hi - we'll be adding some more feedback this week I think.
Do email me any pictures you've taken...would love to see them (they may be used on philips pages/ facebook etc)

ChristmasKate Tue 16-Oct-12 19:39:13

I'm sorry to report that Jamie isn't working in this house. sad

We cooked the crispy cauli recipe last night and have gone to use it again tonight and it has stopped stirring, dinner is caked to the bottom of the pan because I switched it on and walked away.

We have unplugged it now to let it cool down and try again although it had only been on for 15 minutes and I even had the instructions out to check I hadn't forgotten how to use it since last night!

libelulle Tue 16-Oct-12 21:25:32

oh no XmasKate, how gutting!

I have to admit that though mine is working fine, and it looks solidly built, I do have my worries about its longevity - partly because if you use it regularly, over a year, say, the motor will spend many 100s of hours working continuously, unlike say a food processor. That's quite a tall order, mechanically speaking! Time will tell I guess.

As for the cutting tower, the less said the better!

ChristmasKate Tue 16-Oct-12 21:37:23

I thought the same lib but as it is so costly I assumed it was built for using 4 times a week, can't think when it was delivered... Maybe a month ago?

I'm getting on well with the cutting tower and the cauli recipe requires the pasta tray so I've been using the attachments but I've tried it again just now and it really isn't working, just making a whirring noise that was spoken about up thread.

I'm gutted, I have more photos of me and Jamie than I do of my own children sad

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 17-Oct-12 10:36:41

ChristmasKate - drop me an email and I will get the team to look into this for you.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 17-Oct-12 10:37:40

OK here are the second lot of questions from Philips

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?

We'd love to see some photos - please do email me with them

thanks

MadameOvary Wed 17-Oct-12 17:00:07

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
I use it about three times a week

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
Risotto, soups and porridge

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
The timer and stirring action. This is the feature that really does feel like an extra pair of hands

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
Yes, but only once I got to grips with the controls and if I use dishes which dont require extra preparation of ingredients such as pre-roasting. Once you know which is the correct temperature for frying, sauteeing etc, you just set the timer and leave it. And it gently reminds you when time is up by beeping until you return to it!

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
Yes I absolutely would. But not the chopping tower which I feel is flimsy and poorly designed.

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