Mumsnet Logo
My feed

Our writers test and research products independently. When you buy through a link on our site we may earn a commission but this never affects our product choices.

Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker review 2023

Slow cooking has become a staple for many parents looking for low-fuss, tasty dishes, whether it's for a midweek meal or a feast for entertaining guests. We put the Morphy Richards Sear and Slow Cooker through its paces to see if it really makes meal prep easier for busy families...

By Roanna Day | Last updated May 9, 2023

Morphy Richards Sear and Slow Cooker

Slow cookers, no longer the dusty appliance ignored at the back of the cupboard, are now a modern family staple. In the last few years, the best slow cookers have been getting better and better and are now a popular go-to appliance for foodies.

These cookers have occasionally got a bad reputation for producing bland, watery food. However, slow cookers have now come on so much that adding heat, depth of flavour, laying your spices and browning meat in them is all possible. The result? A method of cooking that is fuss-free and, most importantly, produces truly delicious food.

Much like the best air fryer, a slow cooker's energy efficiency is a selling point, too. In the cost of living crisis, many families are trying to cut down on energy bills, and as a slow cooker uses low heat over a long time, they can be cheaper to run than other cooking methods. 

With so many slow cookers on the market, it can be hard to choose the right one for your family. Morphy Richards is a popular choice for household appliances, so MNHQ put their Sear and Stew Slow Cooker through its paces to test it out. Here's what we thought...

Our verdict at a glance

Morphy Richards slow cooker in use

Price on writing: £69 | Buy now from Amazon

What we like

  • Sear and stew design means you can lock in flavour before slow cooking your meals
  • Dishwasher-safe pan and lid
  • Lightweight, space-efficient design
  • Roomy 6.5-litre pan perfect for batch cooking and large joints 
  • Three temperature settings gives you control over the cooking process 
  • Hinged lid can be pulled off completely for mess-free serving
  • Glass lid so you can keep an eye on your meal

What we don't like

  • This is a manual slow cooker, without pre-set programs
  • There is no ‘keep warm’ setting

Unboxing: first impressions

Morphy Richards slow cooker

If you ever put off unboxing a new appliance, dreading the complexity of the set-up or an overwhelming amount of packaging, then you will rejoice in the simplicity of the Morphy Richards’ Sear and Slow Cooker set-up. 

The slow cooker is safely packaged with a short, simple instruction booklet. On unwrapping the appliance, all you have to do is pull it out of the box and its padding, remove the plastic bags keeping the machine from getting scratched and slot the lid into its hinge (which couldn’t be easier). It’s recommended you give the pot and lid a rinse before you get going but other than that, you’re ready to cook within minutes of opening your new slow cooker. 

The machine looks stylish and simple, the black colour is unobtrusive and will look at home on most countertops. The most noticeable thing on unboxing this slow cooker is how wonderfully roomy the pan is - the 6.5 litre capacity makes for a spacious pot that could happily handle a large joint of meat or a seriously big batch of your favourite cookbook recipe. 

After rinsing the pot and lid, I got straight to cooking, browning off a sofrito on the hob before putting the pot back in the slow cooker and getting on with a bolognese. The machine was so simple and intuitive that I only glanced at the instructions to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

Related: Discover the best food processor, as recommended by Mumsnet users

Cooking in the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker

Cooking in Morphy Richards slow cooker

My first use of the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew was to cook up a large batch of bolognese. The sear and stew functionality came in so helpful. While it’s not the end of the world to have to cook off a sofrito and brown mince in a frying pan before tipping it into the slow cooker, being able to skip that step and instead do it all in one pot was truly joyful. 

I used a classic sofrito mix of celery, carrot and onion and then a combination of beef and pork mince. After adding a liberal amount of seasoning, fresh thyme and rosemary from the garden, some tinned plum tomatoes and vegetable stock, I left the whole lot bubbling away for four hours.

"The result was a thick, flavoursome bolognese that was lapped up by every member of the family - fussy toddler included." 
Bolognese in Morphy Richards slow cooker

The next test of the slow cooker was a little more adventurous. I slow cooked a large joint of bone-in pork shoulder to make the classic Mexican dish of carnitas. Carnitas is a broad term and is cooked differently across Mexico but in essence it describes tender, slow cooked pork that goes on to become a taco filling. 

After adding pork shoulder to the pot, I popped in some roughly chopped onion, a dried ancho chilli, seasoning, some chilli powder and a couple of bay leaves. I then filled the pot with chicken stock (though you could use beer) until the meat was just covered. I set the slow cooker to high and left it to stew for eight hours. 

That evening, the pork was falling off the bone and smelt incredible, the mixture of chilli, onion and bay had added a real depth of flavour to the meat. After pulling the meat into small strands, I reduced the cooking liquor on the hob, straining out the aromatics, and then added the meat back into the juices. This was another moment for appreciating the flexibility and culinary possibilities opened up by the machine’s sear and stew functionality.

Related: The best bread maker for delicious, homemade loaves

Cleaning the Morphy Richards Slow Cooker

Both the non-stick pan and the lid are dishwasher safe so clearing up couldn’t be simpler. I opted to hand wash both after our Mexican feast as our dishwasher was so full and found both easy to clean. 

Does the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew offer value for money?

The Morphy Richards Sear and Stew is a brilliant option for affordable, delicious meal preparation. While it’s not the cheapest slow cooker on the market at £69, you’d be pushed to find another cooker that offered such a roomy capacity (6.5 litres) and a sear stew option for much less. 

The Crock-pot Lift and Serve, for example, comes in cheaper at £49 but has a smaller capacity and can’t be used on the hob. At the other end of the market, there are sophisticated multi-cookers (see our round-up of our best multi-cookers for our top picks), which offer a range of functionality including slow cooking, but be prepared to pay significantly more for these models. Our favourite, the Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Electric Multi Functional Cooker, retails for £170. 

Related: The best Instant Pot models, as tried and tested by Mumsnet users

Our verdict 

Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker in use

Star rating: ⅘

After putting the Morphy Richards through its paces batch cooking a vat of bolognese for family and a vast joint of pork to treat friends to a Mexican feast of carnitas, this slow cooker has more than proved its worth. 

Devotees of slow cooking will know that this practical and affordable cooking method doesn’t have to mean losing out on flavour, or filling your bowl with thin, watery strews. Quite the opposite, in fact! The sear and stew functionality of this roomy slow cooker means you can still indulge your flavour palette with deliciously seared meats, crisped up onions and more, all before popping the pan back into the slow cooker. 

As it's a manual slow cooker, you don’t benefit from timers or pre-set programmes as you would in a more complex model, but the simple design means this handy machine is easy to use and incredibly simple to set-up. Nearly every slow cooker recipe you’ll try also has a lot of wiggle room for adding on an extra hour or two here and there. So, if your delicious lamb tagine has an extra hour because you’re late back from work, it’ll probably just taste even more delicious.

"Overall, the Morphy Richards Sear and Slow cooker reminded me why I fell in love with slow cooking in the first place."

For effortless, flavourful meals that make the most of affordable ingredients, there really is no better appliance. If I could make any improvement it would be to add a keep warm setting, but I did find the low heat setting works well as an alternative.

Key specs

  • Capacity: 6.5 litres (3.5 litres also available)
  • Size: 41D x 39W x 32H centimetres
  • Weight: 4.3kg
  • Settings: Three; high, medium, low
  • Pot: Aluminium
  • Lid: Toughened glass
  • Dishwasher safe: Lid and pot
  • Power: 290W

How we tested 

I used the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew to cook midweek meals for a family of four and to rustle up a Friday night feast for a dinner party of seven. The slow cooker was simple and straightforward to use, cooking up a large quantity of bolognese and adding real flavour to a Mexican classic: pork carnitas. 

When reviewing this slow cooker, I was looking out for ease of use and how simple it was to clean up. I also wanted to explore how well the cooker can add flavour and produce tasty food easily. 

I also tested capacity, making sure the cooker could handle batch booking. If you are planning to use the slow cooker to batch cook for the week ahead, Mumsnet also has guides to the best lunch box and food storage containers so you can store your meals with ease.

About the reviewer

Roanna Day is a busy mum of two who juggles running two businesses, writing and editing and running an organic smallholding in Wales. She’s passionate about food and takes great pleasure in cooking farm to fork meals with her own produce. 

Read next: Discover the best deep fat fryer for indulgent, DIY takeaway treats