The Swan 3.5 Litre Slow Cooker is a good-looking slow cooker, but it's light on features. It does a perfectly good job of slow cooking family meals at either a low or high heat setting. But so do a number of rival products that cost considerably less.
The Swan's ceramic pot retains heat well and is good for serving to the table, but the build quality of the cooker itself was very disappointing. It may look great, but it's too easily damaged.
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The 'rouge' model we tested was a lovely ruby red colour that would look great in a contemporary kitchen, but it's also available in black, cream, blue, green, silver and a more conventional red.
The second thing you notice is the weight, or rather the distribution of weight. The ceramic cooking pot is very heavy, weighing in at well over 2kg, while the cooker itself is very light. And in our case the third thing we noticed was that it had been damaged in the post. Despite being packaged properly in its box, the Swan had been squashed en route and the lightweight cooker was badly dented front and back. This didn't affect its cooking performance, but it was a shame as it ruined the product's good looks.
Controls are simple. A knob to select from three heat levels: high, low and auto. The latter is the most useful: a high heat until your dish comes up to temperature, then drops to a lower heat to cook slowly and economically. A little red light above the knob indicates whether it's on or not.
While the stated capacity is 3.5 litres, the working capacity is more like 2.5 litres, to allow room for bubbling and simmering.
We used the Swan to make slow-cooked porridge overnight, which it did a good job of on the low heat setting. The porridge was rich and creamy. The only downside was that, as it cooked, it left a slight ring around the edge of the ceramic pot. This was slightly hard to shift, but at least with a ceramic pot you can use any scourer you like, even scrape it off with a butter knife if you need to, with no non-stick coating to worry about.
The other notable thing was how heavy the pot is. It weighs 2.35kg even before it contains food, so it really is a weighty thing to carry to the table. It seems tough though. It would be tempting to drop the pot just to see how tough it is… But you can't help thinking it could do serious damage to the floor.
No. The Lakeland Brushed Chrome Family Slow Cooker offers all the same features for little over half the price. So you'd basically only buy the Swan instead if you desperately want a red slow cooker… In which case, go for the Morphy Richards 3.5L Digital Sear and Stew Slow Cooker in red instead: it's the same price as the Swan but it brings extra features such as delayed start and a hob-safe pot for searing or sautéing ingredients. At the same price point it's also well worth considering the versatile Tefal 8 in 1 Multi Cooker.
A competent and good-looking slow cooker, but shop around and you can either spend less or get more features for your money.
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