4 out 5 stars.
I want to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to take this darling device for a test run. As soon as it arrived I had it out of the box and being cleaned so that I could use it. Note: The ‘Inner bowl’ is listed in the user manual as an accessory rather than a main part of the machine… something I found a little odd but I will go into my views on the user manual side of things at the end of my review.
I will state here and now I was a total newb when it came to using a slow cooker or pressure cooker, let alone an all in one device that does both. I’ve never used one in my life and was really nervous about where to start. Though I have been a ‘cook from scratch’ cook for almost 30 years now (I’m almost 40 – shhhh!) and so felt I had to confidence to put it through its paces with help from the user manual and cook book… no. The user manual and cook book are the reason I didn’t give this baby 5 out of 5 stars as they are next to useless for a newb. My reasons are at the end of the review. I want to focus more on the positives right now as I really do feel the Philips All-in-on cooker deserves to have its positives shouted from the roof tops before you read the negatives as it is a fantastic kitchen helper.
Okay, so what have I made in my new baby since I got it last Friday? Well, we are a gluten/ grain, dairy and refined sugar free house that also has onion and garlic allergies and intolerances (can you see why I make so much of our foods from scratch?)… So my first item was to take my dairy, grain and refined sugar free chocolate brownie recipe and bake it in the Philips All-in-one cooker. Sadly, I failed to read the “set the valve to bake” part of a recipe I was following for advice on how to make it… so it took a little longer to bake. BUT! It made some of the most scrummy brownies I have ever made! Crisp and slightly crunchy on the outside and gooey, moist but cooked in the middle. Yum! They were sooooo good! And so very simple to make. Huge tick of approval from the family and round 1 to the Philips All-in-one cooker!
The next day I made nut milk porridge with apple and cinnamon for breakfast. Again, I based it off the porridge recipe in the cook book that comes with the Philips All-in-one-cooker… but made it to my family’s tastes. Again, I made a rookie mistake where I didn’t stir all the ingredients together before I put on the lid. What can I say? I have a Thermomix and so have gotten a little lazy with this stirring thing. I also blame the Thermomix for why I confused the time for my porridge. The cook book said to put it on for 20 minutes and I kept swearing at it as I could only put it on for what seemed like 10 minutes… erm… that was 10 hours I was looking at. Yes, I mistook the hours for minutes and the minutes for seconds as that’s how they appear on my TMX. Not the Philips All-in-one cooker’s fault… though it would be nice if their user manual’s pictures were easier to read as maybe I would have realised this error. But, again, I will go into that at the end.
Thankfully I realised my mistake only a few minutes into the cook and was able to fix it up and cook it for only 20 minutes. It came out tasting great! Son (partner in porridge crime) and I loved it hot and I had the cold left overs the next day drizzled with maple syrup – Yum!
Round 2 to the Philips All-in-one cooker!
That night I made rice as per the cook book instructions… Not so good. I found the recipe instructions hard to understand as it said to add two cups of rice and then fill with water to the level indicated on the inner bowl for two cups of rice… but, sadly, the rice already reached that level so it was a bit hard for me to then add water. I looked at the amount of water I could add, thought – from my 30 years of experience – it didn’t look like enough water… but hey I will follow the instructions and see how I go. The rice was cooked… but dry and almost burnt in places. Clearly not enough water. So round 3 was a fail but was it really the Philips All-in-one cooker’s fault? Or should I have just added the amount of water I felt it needed? I feel the fault is that of the cook book and not the device.
Last night, I made a beef and vegetable stew. Again, my own recipe and ingredients, but following a similar recipe from the cook book. I made another newbie mistake and forgot to set the valve to seal! Thankfully I noticed in time and it didn’t boil dry and the stew came out lovely. Went well with the rice I made in my TMX. 😉
Again, not the fault of the Philips All-in-one cooker and all my own fault. Everyone loved the stew so round 4 to it too!
I still want to try making nut milk yoghurt, pea and ham soup and a pot roast in my Philips All-in-one cooker but there is only so much time in my week. Despite all my newbie mistakes I was still turning out good quality meals and I feel that shows what a great device it is to be able to cope with my fumbling and L plate approach.
Would I recommend the Philips All-in-one device to others? Yes I would. But due to the not so helpful or useful user manual I would strongly suggest someone with more of a clue how to use a similar slow cooker/ pressure cooker device buy it rather than a novice. Someone new to cooking and such devices are really going to struggle and might be put off by it all.
Why? Now for the negatives…
Going through the paperwork for the Philips All-in-one I was rather frustrated that the first thing I read was the Philips International warranty. When you go to the list of countries to find you Consumer contact desk number, for Australia it just states: The International Warranty doesn’t apply in Australia. So my question is, am I covered by the warranty that is daubed all over the device and its packaging? Or is that false advertising? I will be contacting Philips to ask them this as, to me, I was very disappointed by all the hype about the two year warranty to then read the fine print saying it wasn’t offered here. I would hate to have bought it to discover this.
The only positive I can say about the user manual is I love how it states that children above the age of 8 can use it, given supervision or instruction. This has thrilled my 8 year old and 10 year old daughters who want to try it out too.
Other than that, the user manual is useless. Now, I’m not just saying this because user manuals are something I used to write for a living.
I found it hard to read what all the different bits of the all-in-one cooker does as the images are on one side of the very large piece of paper and the instructions that go with the images are on the other side. As a writer of user manuals for many years, I would have done it differently. Put the images and the list side by side for easier reference.
Other negatives of the user manual are, as mentioned, it was very hard to find the cleaning or maintenance on how to clean the ‘Inner Pot’. It’s mentioned in the accessories section of the user manual pamphlet, and I would have thought it should be listed as a major part of the device.
None of the device (including ‘inner pot’) is dishwasher safe. A little disappointing when so many other devices I use do have dishwasher friendly parts.
Now for the cook book. Firstly it is full of typos. Custer sugar instead of caster sugar. Feneel rather than fennel. Again, if I was a beginner cook and was trying to improve my skills, this would put me off the Philips device as spelling mistakes make it look like a rather shoddy and shabby device. It’s not, but the impression is still there.
Being a newbie, I would also have liked the cook book to provide a few more instructions. Like, when I made brownies, I had no clue how to get the hot inner bowl out without burning myself or breaking the brownie. I broke the brownie.
The layout could also do with some improving, like making the valve position a more prominent instruction as it appears more like a footnote and could easily be skimmed over. Trust me, I did skim it for my brownie!
As I like to see the positives in all situations I feel the positives I get out of these negatives is I now get the opportunity to make my own manual and cook book. As I make up a lot of my own recipes to share on my Foodie blog as it is, I also have no problems now making up my own recipes and instructions on how to use the Philips All-in-one cooker.
So my review in summary – The Philips All-in-one cooker is great! I love mine, I am going to have so much fun playing with it and trying things out and creating new ideas. I would recommend it for someone with my skill level of cooking, or someone who has used a similar device before. Would not recommend it to a novice unless they had better documentation to follow.
I would like to know if the international warranty shown all over the device and packaging is actually valid in Australia, or whether customers would be better advised to ignore and go with any ‘in store’ warranty offered on purchase.
All in all, I love it. But am disappointed with the written information that comes with it.
Until next time,