This topic is for feedback on Mumsnet product tests. If you'd like test a product on Mumsnet please mail insight@mumsnet.com.

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

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Nov-12 15:47:49

The team at Philips HomeCooker say "We'd like to thank you for all your invaluable feedback on the HomeCooker and Cutting Tower. We thought you might like to know that there are lots more recipes for the HomeCooker at All Recipes. allrecipes.co.uk/recipes/searchresults.aspx?text=homecooker

We're hope you continue to enjoy using 'Jamie' in your homes. Thanks again".

Thanks to all from MNHQ too!

ClaireDeTamble Mon 19-Nov-12 20:44:06

Apologies for the late post - things have been rather hectic in the DeTamble household recently....

How often have you used your HomeCooker?

Not very often I'm afraid - maybe once or twice a week and not every week - it just doesn't seem to fit our style of cooking - which is quick and simple.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?

We've done the Risotto, the breakfast, a spag bol, a couple of soups and some pasta sauces. I want to try the porridge and someone up the thread said they'd done fudge, so I wouldn't mind giving that a go and I haven't had chance to try the steamer yet.

As others have also said, I would prefer to see some onepot, chuck it all in and let it go recipes.

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?

The stirrier.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?

Not really - perhaps it is because I haven't got used to it to the point I can just chuck the stuff in it - I keep having to check the recipe - unlike others I also don't like being tied to the timer and everything seems to take so much longer to cook - the spag bol came in at over two hours with a lot of too-ing and fro-ing for the timer - I can knock a spag bol up in 20 minutes on the hob.

Our cooking tends to be a lot more spontaneous, whereas if I want to use the homecooker, I have to make sure that I have planned it in advance and leave enough time for prep and cooking - I can't throw something together in 20 minutes using it.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?

I would, if I knew they did the kind of cooking and had the kind of lifestyle it would suit. However, I agree with others who have said that it is very much a luxury product.

Ann - I did take some pics on my phone, but it has decided to have a hissy fit and deleted them and is refusing to take any more - if I can get it to work I'll try and send them to you.

civilfawlty Mon 19-Nov-12 10:38:17

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
I use it three to four times a week. I would use it more, but I bulk cook and use each dish twice.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
Soups, pasta sauces, risotto, casseroles.

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
The stirring mechanism, and the LOUD timer.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
The stirring mechanism is genuinely a work of genius. I have a very active baby, and without this, creating anything which involves stirring/ attention is just a nightmare. I love being able to set the timer and not worry about the food burning.

It's worth noting that I haven't used the steamer at all, and the cutting tower just isn't up to scratch. I have just been grating and chopping by hand. It's a shame to have such a robust piece of kit undermined by such a weak element.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
I would in theory. It is hugely useful. But I'm not at all sure I would have chosen to spend a lot of money on it. It really is a seriously luxurious item.

Reggiee Tue 06-Nov-12 21:59:13

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
About four times a week.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
Popular dishes include the potatoes, risotto, casseroles and ragu. Have done a few dishes where I have cooked the meat then added veggies and stock/sauce and leaving it.
(To the person who hadn't quite got the potatoes right, I would recommend adding lots of oil and cooking time slightly less than the book gives)

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
Definitely its usp - the stirer. Great to leave the dish stirring itself for longer periods of time and not worry about burning the meal.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
It certainly is easier to set a dish going, then head off for a while leaving it to cook. Certainly couldn't do that with a pan on the hob! Would love to purchase an additional 'pan' so I can throw the dirty one in the dishwasher and have a spare to use the next mealtime rather than have to wash up. Would also love to see more parent friendly receipes. Jamie's cookbook had some wonderful recipes in, but they weren't straightforward and didn't particularly save time. Haven't yet used the steamer or rice cooker.
I have made dishes in the pot for the kids to have after school, then turn it onto a lower heat for dh and I to finish off once the kids have gone to bed later in the day. This saves cooking two different meals.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
Yes, particularly if they were the sort who experimented with food/cooking. I would miss it if I didn't have it! Defintely no to the chopping tower though. I have still not got my head around that.

Halfling Sun 04-Nov-12 19:35:29

How often have you used your HomeCooker?

I use it 2-3 times a week on an average. I would like to use it more often but when I am in a rush, it doesn't occur to me to use it.

I think that a wider range of everyday recipes, a chart giving indicative temperatures & cooking time for different meats, vegetables etc. in the booklet would have helped to incorporate the HomeCooker more in everyday cooking. More vegetarian recipes would have helped also.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?

I have cooked risotto, curries, steamed dumpling, steamed vegetables, rosemary potatoes, pasta, sauces and ratatouille.

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?

The stirrer attachment is fantastic and helps in making a great curry sauces, risottos etc.

I am not so impressed by the steamer attachment.

I am ashamed to admit that I haven't used the cutting tower yet. But I will soon and post the review asap.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?

It helps me making restuarant quality food with minimum effort. It is especially useful when I am making multiple dishes for a dinner party as the homecooker doesn't demand much attention.

It is very easy to clean as well.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?

It is a great kitchen gadget but I think that it is quite expensive. If it was around £150, I think I would have no hesitation in recommending, as I am very happy with the overall product.

urbanturban Fri 02-Nov-12 13:48:36

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
At least 3 times a week - a couple of the recipes have become family favourites now (Hungarian Goulash, Butternut Squash Risotto and the French Onion soup). We have yet to expand into recipes beyond those in the accompanying book but I'm sure it wont't be too long before we do!

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
As above, plus the minestrone soup, and the cauliflower cheese..........it's a pleasure to use and SO easy to clean!

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
DEFINITELY the 'self stir' and timer options. Had DC3 (a boy) on 24 September, and with two DDs aged 4.8 and 2.5, these options have been a lifesaver. It's so easy to eat quick meals with a newborn, but these can sometimes be the easy option but unhealthy, but we've found that the HomeCooker has indeed meant we could put something on to cook, forget about it (and then play with the kids/feed them/bath them/referee arguments grin) and then have a healthy snack/meal waiting for us.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
As above - quick, easy, HEALTHY and TASTY meals but with minimal effort from us - with 3DC under 5 this has been fantastic !!!

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
Definitely - of course it's quite pricey but I believe it's well worth the investment........as with my last lot of feedback however, I WOULDN'T be recommending the cutting tower.

Fiveisenough Fri 26-Oct-12 16:01:27

That's my next job!!!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Oct-12 11:38:38

hi - pls do fiveisenough!

Also - please do add a review here if you're yet to do so thanks

Fiveisenough Thu 25-Oct-12 23:29:12

Sorry for the delay in answering the next round of questions.

How often have you used your Home Cooker?
I have used on average 2-3 times a week.

What have you cooked in your home cooker?
Stews, Soup, Steamed fish and veg, fudge and risotto

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
The huge range of temperatures you can cook at make it very versatile and I like the stirrer, the timer is good but a little limiting due to the maximum time constrictions.

Would you say the HomeCooker has mad your life easier? If so how?
Yes, but not in the way I had hoped it would. It is great for stews, the breakfast was good. I would have liked more quick and easy 'one pot' recipes as I am not the most imaginative of cooks. And I think that whilst the book which comes with it is lovely its not very family friendly food
As a working parent I was hoping for more quick and easy thinks to cook which were a book with ideas like that to come with it it would be more appealing. This has meant that the majority of meals have been coked more at the weekend when I have had more time.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
Its expensive so needs to be a considered purchase. If there were better recipe ides with it then I would, but. I have to consider how I would feel if it were my money I had spent on it and I think I would be a little disappointed had I paid for this.
The biggest changes I would be would be to make the main pan either non stick or from an anodised material as when getting used to the temperature settings I had to spend a few goes scrubbing here things had burnt on the bottom. I also wish it were possible to set the timer for longer so the unit could double as an excellent slow cooker which it is as it can be used at very low temperature but you do have to keep re-starting the unit after its maximum time.

All in all my recommendation probably depends on the kind of cooking you like to do.

I shall email my photos in as soon as I can. Do I just email them to Ann?

cather Wed 24-Oct-12 22:39:08

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
I have been using it about twice a week.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
A lot of soups and curries

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
The stirring action is great as I can just leave it stirring itself and it definitely saves me time.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
Whist the chopping tower could be improved I have found my self using it quite a bit as it is great for chopping veg for soups and coleslaw. As long as you hold a pan underneath the spout it works but it does have a tendency to chop carrots sideways, this doesn't matter for soup though. It is more compact than my food processor and I can leave it on the worksurface which means I use it more. The chopping tower has made soup making so easy as I don't have to spend ages chopping the veg by hand.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
I would recommend it as it is a great machine and saves me a lot of time

sarahbanshee Tue 23-Oct-12 23:42:25

No, a timer plug doesn't seem to work as you have to turn the Jamie on by pressing the 'play' button once it is switched on at the wall - don't think you can avoid doing this manually.

amistillsexy Tue 23-Oct-12 20:52:58

We use a timer plug for our coffee machine, sunshine. The sort you'd use to turn lights on and off when you're on holiday. Would that work for the Jamie?

Sunshinenow Tue 23-Oct-12 07:22:36

Hello Philips.

Hope you don't mind me adding my comments. I am not a tester, but a potential purchaser. I have followed this thread and checked out some online reviews.

What would persuade me to buy this product. Well I am very interested but the stirrer would not be enough on its own.

What would make me buy it today would be a 'delay start' feature. As simple as your existing buttons - an option to delay the start of cooking by upto 12 hours (so a button keep depressed for increments of minutes and pulse for increments of hours).

Then I could set food up for when i have time, eg night before for porridge, morning for stew and it be ready for when I get in from work.

If it had this feature I would buy today. I have a timer on my induction hob and oven so would need something else to justify another gadget. A delay would definitely do it.

Your hopefully smile

SpatchcockedShitzu Tue 23-Oct-12 00:39:13

(Hazel, under a cake-inspired NC)

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
- 3-4 times a week. It's averaging out at 2x lunches, and 2x dinners.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
- Lunches - A LOT of soup. I love soup, and it's really soup weather now. Also: stews, the potatoes, dahl, curries, 'bolognese-esque' sauce. Risotto. Braised red cabbage. PLus I've experimented with chutnies, granola etc.

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
- Def the stirrer. This is the key point of difference for me, and is really why I use it - to make dishes that need a bit of attention without being chained to the cooker, stirring.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
- It has. It has meant that I can a) easily make fresh, healthy soups when I'm working from home, without stopping working. Or I can cook when I'm buzzing about, without really staying in the kitchen, watching the pots intently. So, it's freed me up, basically.
It has made me try to think up more recipes, dishes that can be cooked easily in it. Has anyone else looked at the Philips HC website? THey've added in a few more recipes now, not Jamie ones but some from what looks like a corporate cook, and others from randoms.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
- I'd recommend the HC: it's a good tool if you're quite busy, or lazy in the kitchen. I'm quite often both. It's not revolutionary, but it's jolly useful. I'd recommend it for its stirring function, not really for the pasta basket (I used it but found it no easier than cooking it on the stove).
I'd really not recommend the cutting tower. You can buy MUCH better food processors for <£100. In fact if I were Philips I'd withdraw the tower and improve it.

sarahbanshee Mon 22-Oct-12 22:16:02

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
- 2-3 times a week

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
- risotto, rice pudding, chicken curry, dhal, soup, chilli. Have also used it as a steamer for vegetables. Still haven't cooked pasta in it!

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
- I like the stirring attachment which really does enable you to walk away and do other things. It has made risotto a more frequent weeknight supper in our house. I have completely abandoned the cutting tower as I got utterly fed up with it, it really doesn't work that well.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
- Yes. It has added another option for making dinner; it makes one pot meals easier, particularly things like risotto where it does need attention and stirring; and it saves energy I reckon in comparison to having the gas hob on.

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
- Tentatively, and probably not at the current retail price. A friend asked me if it was better than a slow cooker and I said that I didn't think I could justify both but that I wasn't sure which was better. I do wish the Jamie had a longer timer so it could operate like a slow cooker, or that there was some way to set a delay timer so that I could use it while I am out (about to go back to work after mat leave and this is v much on my mind!) I do think it is good and if I could master the steamer and pasta cooker I would be pleased with those options as well, but I am not sure it justifies the price. I would certainly not recommend the cutting tower which would be money down the drain, I would tell people to get a proper food processor or else not to bother.

mummypigof3 Mon 22-Oct-12 19:44:51

how often- I have used this? up 3 times a week.
I have made stew, ragu, roast potatoes
most benefit- has to be the timer and stirer so you can walk away and do other things in the kitchen without worrying.
I think it could make my life easier if I used it a bit more and started increasing my repertoire for one pot dishes. I have already made batches if the ragu and freezed it off.
I would recommend it to a friend but I would say that you can manage without the chopping tower.

Babieseverywhere Thu 18-Oct-12 13:30:49

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
2/3 times a week.
-------------------------------------------------------------
What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
Rissotto, Spag Bol, Crispy Potatoes, breakfasts, garlic mushrooms, stir fry, pasta, steamed veg, onion soup. Loads of things. smile
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What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
The timer and stirring arm which helps prevent food burning. Still wish the timer had the option of being used for several hours, as I could use slow cooker recipes in it. That said I wonder if the stirring arm could cope with that much use ?
-------------------------------------------------------------
Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
When I am on my own with all four children and need to cook tea, the homecooker allows me to pop out of the kitchen to go nip to the bathroom or start supervising homework, without panicking about leaving something on the hob.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
Yes, as the main pot for light frying and sauce based meals.

I wouldn't recommend the pasta/rice bit or steamer, far too much hassle than using my existing pan/steamer.

Neither would I recommend the cutting tower, much easier to cut by hand than use the tower and wash out all the bits.
-------------------------------------------------------------

libelulle Thu 18-Oct-12 12:43:02

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
I probably use it three or four times a week. The cutting tower I have stopped using altogether, it is not fit for purpose imo.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
I've done various stews and soups, the jamie risotto recipe and the granola, and recently have taken to braising veggies in it with oil and garlic, which works fantastically.

Still haven't mastered the rosemary potatoes though - would appreciate more advice from those who've made them a staple! I think Phillips has badly miscalculated with the recipe book. There are some nice recipes in there (not surprising since I think they are just adaptations of recipes in other Jamie cookery books) but they are both extremely fiddly and badly tested - the temperature settings are way out. There was so much scope for a great recipe book specifically optimised for the homecooker - this one really wasn't it.

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?

I really like the stirring attachment and also the fact you can set the temperature - great for stews and low-temperature poaching, and it also goes high enough to fry stuff at high temperature.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?

It set in motion my confidence in getting a proper meal prepared for my children in time for 6pm, that we can all eat together as a family. I use it regularly and I love the fact you can leave it more or less to its own devices. I often use it just an additional cooker ring that I don't need to stir, viz the braised veg bit above. One minor annoyance is that it does steam up my kitchen cupboards since it's not under the extractor fan!

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?

I certainly use it a lot, and it is an excellent kitchen gadget. But I'm not sure it quite justifies the enormous price tag; neither is it going to be the magic answer to all your kitchen woes. For me to recommend a 250 quid item to a friend, it would have to be properly life-changing, and this doesn't quite qualify. Having said that, you'd have to wrestle me to the kitchen floor and conk me on the head before I'd part with it, so maybe that's the alternative answer to the question!

EddieVeddersfoxymop Thu 18-Oct-12 10:53:24

How often have you used your HomeCooker?
Once, maybe twice a week or so.

What have you cooked in your HomeCooker?
We have done the risotto, and my own variations of it a couple of times. The rosemary potatoes have become a firm favourite and also the pan breakfast. To be honest though, I feel stuck in a rut with it. I'm vegetarian, and most of the recipes are for the carnivores!! I'm struggling to know what to cook in it now, and all the recipes that could be adapted for veggies are so involved that the effort required means I can't be bothered some of the time blush. I would really like to see a book of simpler, one pot and vegetarian meals.

What element of the HomeCooker would you say offers the most benefit?
I like the timer/stirring part....means I can crack on with the dishes, or DDs homework while it cooks away. Once I'd used it a couple of times and "trusted" it, I felt able to walk away and leave it.

Would you say the HomeCooker made your life easier? If so, how?
On the fence about this one. It saved our <veggie> bacon the other day when the element in our oven went kaaaablammo - meant we could still cook a nice meal without resorting to the microwave <bleurgh>. The recipes are so fiddly that there is no time saving really - and as I mentioned earlier I now feel stuck as to what I can cook in it. Could the website/facebook page perhaps do a new recipe a week or something <and make some veggie please>?

Would you recommend the HomeCooker to a friend?
Yes....but only rich friends as right now I feel like its an expensive risotto cooker! The cooker would be fantastic with simpler, one pot recipes - and that would make me more likely to recommend it as a time saver rather than a swish gadget. Not impressed with the chopping tower though, would probably tell folk not to bother with that as its easier to just do it by hand.

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.

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

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.

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

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 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!

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