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The large size of the appliance is the first thing that grabbed my attention. IT IS VERY LARGE. The whole appliance is about 16 inches wide max., including handles and by about 10 and a half inches high including the lid knob. It is hard to think that a larger sized ceramic bowl is made for the domestic market.
Finding out technical details of this appliance is difficult to find. I could not find much on the Morphy Richards web site. So here below I attempt to give a bit of detail which I have gathered from my use of it.
On first using it, I thought that perhaps that it had a thermostat but soon realised this was not so. The control is a fairly basic timer which in order to make it idiot proof has an annoying feature. The amount of time this timer is set to at default is 6 hours. However, you can alter this to less by use of the minus button to a minimum of 4 hours, or to more by use of the plus button to a maximum of 12 hours. But I repeat, the minimum time it can be set is 4 hours.
During the first part of the timed cooking, until it reaches 4 hours to go, the cooker is at maximum heat, presumably 350 watts. It is not insulated in any way and the metal sides become too hot to touch, while the glass lid is just about touchable. When the countdown timer gets to 4 hours, it clicks off and on: 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off, which has the effect of reduced temperature cooking. When the countdown timer gets to zero, it just keeps the contents warm for ever, by reduced heating. I have left it on over night and the contents in the morning were just a bit above hand touchable. This idiot proof timer has its disadvantages. If say, you decide that the food is cooked enough when it has one hour to go, you cannot then set it to just keep warm. If you try to reset it by switching the cooker off and restarting it, as I said before, the minimum time it can be set, is four hours, which would involve four hours of reduced heat cooking.
The instructions point out that each time you lift the lid, an extra ten minutes should be allowed. So in effect, you have to know IN ADVANCE how many times you are going to lift the lid, because once you get to say 1 hour to go, you cannot increase the timer to say another ten minutes, because the minimum amount the timer can be set is four hours. It seems a pity that the timer has been set to this minimum amount.
Another reviewer has pointed out that the directions state that the cooker should not be put under a work surface because of the steam escaping. If the pot is filled as instructed ( about an inch from full), in my experience there is no noticeable steam coming from it. It does simmer very gently and no doubt water vapour does escape but it is not noticeable in normal kitchen temperature, and the contents level does not drop by an easily noticeable amount.
The timer glows a high tech blue and the LCD numerals are very easy to read.
The instructions state that the ceramic pot should not be left standing in water because at the bottom there is an unglazed area, which makes it possible for the ceramic to absorb water. It practice, I do not find this a problem, because the crock pot is so large, it fills my sink without a plastic bowl in it. And it seems unnecessary to have to use the dish washer to clean it. It cleans very easily, despite its enormous size. If, however, some of the cooked contents spill or bubble over into or onto the aluminium part, it soon gets burnt on and it is difficult to remove.
I have used it to cook stews etc. and have found it pretty good. Also I have used it several times to do the first part of marmalade making and it makes the process very easy, No chance of burning the mixture. All, in all, I am pleased with it but I would have been more pleased if the timer could have been more flexible. It's good for cooking a large stew/curry which will be warm enough to eat for the evening meal. We make a large quantity and freeze the rest. Buy it if you like making large quantities. You cannot make small quantities because it states in the instructions that you should virtually fill it up.