Testing: Sage by Heston Blumenthal Multi Cooker

A little while ago, I blogged about the launch of Heston Blumenthal’s new appliances in conjunction with Sage. And it appears they’re doing rather well, with John Lewis reporting a 60% surge in sales of the Tea Maker.

Heston Blumenthal's tea maker is flying off the shelves

Heston Blumenthal’s tea maker is flying off the shelves

Not being a tea drinker, I opted out of trying this whizzy take on the kettle and instead chose to test the Multi Cooker. More than just a handy way to cook fluffy rice, it also has sauté and sear functions, a button for slow cooking as well as one for fuss-free risotto. But while it talks a good game, does it stand up to the hype?

The new Multi Cooker

The new Multi Cooker

Risotto is one of those meals I love to eat but hate to cook. Endless stirring, constant ladling of stock or wine and a husband who turns his nose up at my lovingly crafted creation. I decided to give it a go in the cooker.

While at first there seem to be a lot of buttons on the front, they do all have a good use and are far preferable to scrolling through lots of menus, only to miss what you want and have to start again.

First, I put in the removable bowl – a bit deceptive as it doesn’t fit in tightly but seems to float slightly above the heating element. Presumably, this allows it to pulse heat through when it’s cooking the rice.

Multi Cooker without the bowl

Multi Cooker without the bowl

Multi Cooker with the bowl

Multi Cooker with the bowl

Next, I let it heat up for a few minutes, then added a little oil (you don’t need much as it’s a non-stick bowl) on the Sauté/Sear function, threw in some vegetables and garlic and let them cook happily away with the glass lid on. You can also do this with meat beforehand.

Once they started to look done, I changed the function to Risotto, put in arborio rice, added some stock and put the lid back on… and then walked away. The machine proceeds to cook everything on a timer, beeps when it’s done and keeps it warm until you’re ready. The result is perfectly cooked risotto, with a creamy texture.

And when you’re finished, it can all go away in a cupboard, while a detachable flex means no more tangled wires when you come to use it again. Something tells me my husband had better get used to risotto, though…

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