Looking for advice on cooking

I have a ‘range’ style cooker so have to put a large oven on just to warm something through.

So I have been looking at various options and would appreciate any help.

Firstly ‘crock pots’ or ‘slow’ cookers which seem mostly for people that are out at work to have a meal ready when they return. We are retired so not really applicable for us maybe.

‘Halogen’ cookers seems to be interesting and look easy to use.

Finally I thought of a ‘mini’ cooker that has a small oven and rotisserie which I fancy but am finding it difficult to make a decision. All of them use less electricity, from 25% up to 75%,( if you believe the blurb) of a ‘normal’ oven…

So does anyone out there have one of these magic cookers and are they used all the time? Or are they now in the cupboard under the stairs?

Any comments would be appreciated.
Many thanks, Beth

I see advert for Ninja cookers quite often which claim to be able to do everything including serving the meal at the table then washing up!


We have something similar, so use a halogen cooker whenever the full oven isn’t needed. Cooks fast, slow, grills, defrost, roasts etc

I am toying with the idea of getting a Moulinex Cookeo… It is a hybrid of slow cooker/roaster/steamer. You can fry in it. The reviews are all very good. Only thing that has stopped me so far is that the model I want, (You can control and follow the cooking times on an app on your phone. Yes, I know, Boys Toys.) is relatively expensive (260 euros). The basic model starts at just over 100 euros.

We have a family cookeo that goes to whichever student daughter is most in need of it. It belonged to some cousin or other who gave it to one of them and now it travels. Most of them have a slow cooker. I am a big fan of crock pots/slow cookers because I am fond of stew type things and I’m at work all day so it os lovely to come home to food without having to do more than stick it in a bowl, which is why I tend to give them as presents.
You don’t HAVE to be out at work to use one, for long slow gentle cooking they are excellent things and claim to use about as much electricity as a lightbulb.


Another vote for slow cookers from me. I staggered through the door tonight and was greeted with supper smelling great. I’d lobbed some chicken drumsticks, courgette, onion, peppers, dried cèpes, dried aubergine and 4 frozen asparagus spears in this morning, gone to work and hey presto!


We use a slow cooker in France a lot even on holiday , especially off season


A crockpot, all day long, wonderful invention. I have to do all the cooking in our house and I hate it. Every week I pay about 8 or 9 euros for pot au four or bourgignon and put it in the crock for 10 hours with some veg and sauce and spices and it is ready to serve in the evening. Provides meals for 3 days for the 2 of us, not necessarily on the trot, can be left in the fridge or frozen for later.


I have two Moulinex Cookeos (one large and one smaller model) and a slow cooker. I use my slow cooker all the time for soups, stews, cooking down chickpeas to make hummus, and tougher cuts of meat even though I am home when I use it. They are fabulous. The Cookeos are used for things like rice, oatmeal, making broths. Although Cookeos also make stews well, I prefer my slow cooker.

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On ovens, I fail to understand the fashion for range cookers. Do people really prefer to have an oven in the lowest part of the kitchen? I have an eye level double oven. It’s seems the most practical place for anyone over 1M tall. :slightly_smiling_face:


The only way to cook oxtail is in a slow cooker on lowest setting. The same applies to ox-cheeks (preferably with star anise & chinese seasoning), cooked long and slow, lift out, cut with razor sharp knife into strips and serve with rice, pakchoi etc pour over sauce. Wish I had a picture to add.

My only complaint is the effect of tv chefs who turned all these great and inexpensive cuts in to fashionable expensive cuts back in the UK.

I also adore my slow cooker and use it every week in the winter and now I’ve also discovered that I can plug it in on my terrace in heat waves and have some lush pulled pork without heating the house!

In terms of ovens we have a normal oven and to be honest I rarely use it unless doing a full roast or cooking for hoards. What we have that I use all the time is a small (microwave sized) Neff oven and microwave combo. It is fabulous, more than enough space for the 4 or 5 of us for cooking potatoes etc. Can be used in combo so for example I can put the oven on and then put some potatoes in and put the microwave on for 10 minutes which means I can have crispy cooked roast potatoes done in about 20 odd minutes instead of over an hour in a normal oven. The negative is that the microwave bit works differently and doesn’t have a spinning table so microwave mug cakes aren’t as good and microwave popcorn doesnt’ cook at all!

Bought a table-top small oven from Lidl about 5 years ago. Cost 40€ ish
Elements top and bottom so also grills
Use it all the time. Bit noisy yet also great for finishing things off after being microwaved
Slow cookers are great so long as you remember to use it.
No one has yet mentioned the “Air Cooker” Ours cooks and browns a chicken really nicely in just over an hour but the problem is cleaning! Each bit needs to be cleaned separately. Maybe I’m lazy but that’s why it normally stays in the cupboard!

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We have a multi cooker - it looks like a fancy slow cooker and has about seven functions. We use slow cooker, rice cooker and pressure cooker functions the most. Its great to be able to throw it all in and let it do its thing, leaves much more time for other activities such as gardening, lunch and going out more :slight_smile:

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Bought the Aldi equivalent in 2012 (28 €) and used it until we’d got a kitchen. Great value and very versatile. Afterwards successfully used it as a mini hot smoker - foil wrapped damp woodchips in the lower pan and and food on a grill shelf above. Less hassle than firing up and filling up my main smoker.

I cook everything in the slow cooker, especially from this time of year (it doesn’t take as long as it suggests - just check on it). Soups, stews, curries, coq au vin, the list is endless…we mainly run on electric but they’re great. I’ve cooked with them for many years.

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I remember being in Ikea in Bristol when an old lady was looking to buy a new oven and looking at an under the counter model.
Her daughter was trying to dissuade her and I chipped in and pointed out that she would be carrying something heavy as well as bending down to reach her oven.
Old lady realised the problem and I was well thanked by the daughter!
I would only buy two eye level ovens if we need to move and remodel a kitchen.

Reading through all these comments made me realise just how spoiled for choice we all are these days. My mother had to choose a new oven back in the mid-50s; the choices - between a gas oven with eye-level grill, or a super dooper, modern electric oven with no eye-level. She chose the ‘modern’ electric one - and hated it after 1 day. The solid plates took ages to heat up and cool down, and the oven dried out everything she cooked !!
Think the choices we have now depend so much on life-style as well - home all day, just the 2 of you - plenty of time to cook, and freeze - and defrost in micro - portion sized stews etc.
Out all day - home to something hot - slow cooker.
Here it’s just the 2 of us (1 a vegetarian) - I batch cook stews for him, freeze, and then into microwave. I also have normal size oven which I now seldom use.
I have one of the larger table top ovens - I found a small one I had didn’t really have enough internal space to take large Marmite or Creuset casserole - so depending on what you use for casseroles do watch the internal size - make sure it’s adequate.
I used to hate turning on the normal size electric oven - just to cook a quiche, or a pizza - seemed such a waste of money. Now it’s only used when entertaining or at Christmas.
I’ve been tempted by the Halogen one-pot gizmos - not yet bought - but wondered if they were as good as advertised.
Space in kitchen, and money, are also big considerations arent’ they ? But very interesting to read everyone’s choices and experiences.

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Something I fail to understand as well. Much like the fashion for roll top baths and worse, baths in the bed room.