Philips wowed the crowds at IFA 2012 at the launch of its latest home cooking appliances, as it wheeled out the ever effervescent Jamie Oliver with whom the products had been developed. The flagship of the range is the new HomeCooker, which is an automatic all-in-one cooking system. We got hands on to see what it's all about.
Styled like a conventional food processor, it consists of a large metal pot that's heated from below to cook your food. In its centre is a raised hole on which rests the stirring tool, which slowly turns, stopping your food from burning and keeping everything mixed. The stainless steel pot is removable for easy cleaning, again just like a food processor.
Controls are pretty simple with a basic LCD display on the base showing cooking time and temperature. Just tap the temperature and timer controls and away it goes. It certainly seemed pretty simple.
It comes with four main attachments/accessories; a lid, a steamer tray, a pasta/rice insert, and a chopping tower. The latter is a mini version of a food processor that's used to quickly chop up or grate ingredients, but it's especially designed to do so straight into the Home Cooker. It's modular so it can stand at the same height as the various stacked accessories of the actual cooker.
It all seems robustly and precisely built and deceptively easy to use – it's not all about trying to do everything for you but rather do a few key functions well. Jamie Oliver made the point that as he's a chef he has little use for the HomeCooker day to day, but that it is a great tool for quickly knocking up sauces, risotto and other sloppy dishes that take some time to cook and require regular stirring. With the HomeCooker you can set it and forget it.
The other key to the HomeCooker is that it can do not only low temperature slow cooking but high-temp (250C) fast cooking too, so if you want you can do all stages of the coking process with the one device.
The rest of the Jamie Oliver Philips range
The whole thing is dishwasher safe and will be hitting shops in September for $250.
Link: Philips HomeCooker