168 of 176 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
I really wanted to love this item, but my experience with it and with Breville support was disappointing. I was attracted to the non-stick stove top useable insert. When my item arrived, I notice a bare metal defect on the inner rim with adjacent coating peeling off. Returned to Amazon with rapid replacement. The replacement also had a defect in the vessel coating and was returned for a refund. The cooker is manufactured in China, and the machining/finishing of the cooking insert is not good. The coating itself is a Teflon like material, not the newer metallic coatings (viz Scanpan). Although there are some "official" descriptions that say that metal utensils are permissible, the instruction book states clearly that only non-metallic utensils may be used. The lid of the device is thin stainless, "cheap" appearing for a product in this price range. The temperature knob has the feel of a multiposition old radio leaf switch. I measured the temperature in the vessel and did not have the overheating problems described by some. Max temp on high was 205 degrees. My largest concern was an attempt to reach Breville customer support via phone----on hold for 40 minutes before I gave up. There was no response to an email I sent to customer support. Buyer beware.
62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2010
Would love to this a five star rating but mine cooks too hot. I just cooked my third roast over 3 lbs on low and it cooked in 3 hours. It is supposed to take 6 - 10 hours per the manufacturers instructions. It looks great and being able to sear in the same pan is a big advantage in my galley but the inability to really cook things on a low temperature is disappointing. No response from the manufacturer from their help desk.
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2010
I have several Breville products and am always impressed with their high quality.
I love the easy sear insert and the included roasting rack. Seared meat and vegetables have much more flavor. With this slow cooker, you are able to sear a roast in the insert over the stovepot, take the roast out to insert the rack, put the roast back in, add the rest of your ingredients, and then put the insert into the slow cooker until finished. So easy and so tasty! You can also use the insert to make dishes normally not done in a slow cooker. After cooking the dish on the stove, you can put it in the slow cooker and keep it warm. Perfect for potluck dinners. You can't go wrong with this Breville Slow Cooker!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
So, how do I rate it? I guess I am more concerned with how well it works than how it's made, so I give it four stars for performance. If I rated it on how it was made and what it is constructed of, I'd give it two stars--maybe one.... If I'd paid any more for it than what it's offered for here, I'd be angry.
I like the fact that the insert can be used on my cooktop--I consider that its best feature. That is why I bought this small appliance. The size and shape is next on my list of what I like about it. It does hold quite a lot, and its large size makes it very easy to manipulate the contents. So much easier than in the upright, round one that I have been using. I thought I would find the size too big, but that's not the case.
It took a few tries to find the right flame height and right timing for browning meat in this insert. It definitely does not conduct heat like my tri-ply SS pots and pans, (not that I expected aluminum to do a comparable job). But I've finally got it mastered and I'm not having any trouble browning meats--it just takes longer. Using the insert on the cooktop has saved me clean-up time--exactly what I was wishing for.
I'm having some frustration dealing with the solid lid. I didn't realize how much I would miss my glass lid.....How to check on the cooking process without a glass lid?!? So I lift the lid more often. So far that's not really caused any problems, because after I put the lid back on, I put the heat on high for a little while. Not the best practice, but it works: Precision is not needed for the slow cooking I've been doing.
Re: Construction: This small appliance is made very cheaply. The stainless steel lid is not substantial. The handles on the lid and the sides do NOT protect from heat. (I mean, why even bother to use a rubber material that's not heat-proof?) The brushed sheet of stainless steel wrapped around the appliance is for decoration only. It is very flimsy, bends when you press your finger into it, and holds fingerprints. It is the worst feature of this appliance in my opinion. It is more than worthless. The insert is also of very poor quality: It looks to have been made in a mold, but the mold was not precise and the insert has "wobbles" in it and the finish is not smooth. There are other signs of cheap quality, and I just don't want to waste time writing about them.
So, to sum up: I'm glad to have it; I am using it a few times a week; I am totally disappointed that it carries the Breville name (which I'd respected up 'til now); I hate the handles; I hate the pretty brushed SS sleeve that goes around it; I miss a glass see-through lid, and I won't be giving up my old slow cookers.
FYI: I have two other slow cookers: One original Crock Pot from the 70's and an oval Corning Ware model. Both are better constructed and both were inexpensive, but I can't brown in either of them. I will continue to use them for my soups and all recipes with beans, split peas and lentils.
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2010
I was exited about the non stick stove top insert and still like the concept but I am very disappointed in two things
- very poor quality non stick coating. I had to return one because it came with a huge scratch. Now after just a using this one a few times it has lots of small defects and scratches in the coating. I only use wood or plastic utensils and gently clean with a sponge.
- The low setting is not low. It boils the chili stew or soup even on low stetting. My old croc pot did not do this is was great for keeping things warm or slowly cooking all day. THIS IS NOT. Breville says you need to fill the pot all the way to disperse the heat....well I don't allways want to fill that large pot up...in fact most times I don't.
With a few improvements this could be great but its not there yet. I probably would not buy it again.
Product broke after less than one year and maybe 12 uses. The switch failed and I hear parts rattling around inside.
OVERALL VERY POOR QUALITY
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
I cook, but didn't slow cook until time pressures compelled me to come up with another approach for controlled, healthy eating. I looked @ traditional crock pots and voted no. Selected the Breville BSC560XL due to its 1) size/capacity 2)appearance 3)simplicity 4) easy clean. Now I don't pretend to be a genius about this stuff, but I read the reviews and bought this item because overall it seemed to be a winner. So far, I think it is. The fast cook (3-4hours) doesn't seem to be a problem @ all for me and the slow cook is just right. The extra capacity is a plus. The weight of the removable aluminum cooking unit is medium heavy and cleans up easy. The exterior does (knob and lid) get a bit hot, but not a problem. Finally, you know there a zillion recipes on the net and it is great if you are looking for a cooking for dummies unit. Crock on!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2010
I saw a similar stovetop insert used on the Rick Bayliss cooking show and wanted one right away. Although slightly spendy This product browns nicely and cleanup is easy. Very large size works wonderful with all meat cuts. Cooked faster than I expected so that was great. Have recommended to friends.
36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2011
I don't have this slow-cooker so I can't rate it personally, I have to wait until one of the three I now own quits, but I wanted to share some information from Cooking Light for the folks who think this cooker cooks too fast. Cooking Light rates it the best overall of the 6 they rated and said it produced "great results" The units they tested ranged in price from $35-280. In the best cookers "the meat was more broken down and succulent, and the cooking liquid was rich and harmonious. In other cookers, flavors were less deliciously integrated" Their conclusion was that the more successful pots seemed to cook at slightly higher temps- even on LOW settings, which made stew bubble a bit as it simmered. So for the folks who said this slow-cooker cooked faster and was hotter on LOW, yes it does but according to Cooking Light your results should be better. I hope this is helpful.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
I bought this a few months ago, and thought I'd wait awhile before posting a review. After using it about a dozen times, I think it's now fair to comment. The stews and soups I made turned out very well, and only the first time did I think it was cooking on the hot side. Since then, I do everything on the Low setting. Typical dishes are things like beef stew, bean soup, and fresh tomato soup. I never leave the house when it's cooking, this is not the type of model where you go to work and come home to food that's ready to eat. Some other reviews mentioned that the Teflon-like coating on the insert pan can be scratched. Heed that warning, do not use metal tools, and that includes your immersion blender. Use wooden or silicone tools. I set the insert cross-wise on my sink to fill it with water to wash, with the handles resting on the edges of an acrylic sink. That caused the coating to rub off on the underside of the handles, exposing the aluminum in 2 small spots. However, so far the interior is still scratch-free. Keep in mind, however, that it would be easy to ruin the coating, so that's not a plus for this product. I do like the extra large size, in fact I think this is only suitable for making large-batch recipes, not a meal for 2 people. I have not used the little metal rack, nor have I braised any meat, so I can't comment on those methods, but I do intend to steam some puddings in it, and I'm sure that will work well. I have used it many times on the stove's burner to prep onions & garlic and to sear meat. It works great, it's a very heavy cast aluminum pan, not thin. Some people didn't like the lid. I didn't think it was cheesy, I thought it was satisfactory. It is light, not heavy, but it's not cheap-cheap thin, it's OK, and overall the unit looks nice. The silicone grips on the handles can get hot, use potholders. So, treat it with care, maybe avoid using the High setting, and don't leave it unattended. It'll probably work well for you.
Update May 2013: I have now steamed at least six savory cheesecakes in this unit, a process than runs on low for about 5 or 6 hours. Splendid results, it turns the slow cooker into a bain marie. I got the idea for doing this from a slow-cooker recipe book, something that I wouldnt have thought of on my own. Superb.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2015
I purchased this Slow Cooker in on April 13th, 2010. I have two major issues with it . First there is no timer on this cooker. If you leave the house it will not shut off. Secondly, and more damaging, is the fact that the inlet is painted gray. This paint continues to peel off and go in to your food. It is horrible. I am going to have to replace this cooker because of this defect. Do not buy this model unless you don't mind eating paint with your dinner!