I’ll admit it … I was excited to try this machine!
Ever since I first discovered searing slow cookers I’ve been hooked on the convenience and benefits of using one.
However when I learnt that the Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker seared IN the actual slow cooker itself … this was convenience on a whole new level!
I couldn’t wait to get started 🙂
The Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker is a 5.5L capacity slow cooker with a non stick aluminium inner bowl.
A great size to feed a family with but also a good flat surface area on the bottom which is great for making the best of our non traditional slow cooker recipes like cakes, slices and biscuits etc.
The inner bowl is designed so that it doesn’t need to be moved to a stove top to brown or sear in. This unit does it right in the slow cooker itself making it a complete stand alone cooking unit. I love this feature! It’s what makes this unit stand out from all the rest I’ve ever seen.
The cooking bowl features rubber soft grip handles and non-slip feet for safer handling and usage.
The tempered glass lid allows you to keep an eye on your cooking without the need to lift the lid and let heat out.
I did find the handle on the lid got quite hot during cooking so be mindful to use oven mitts or a towel when you do lift it 🙂
THE CONTROL PANEL
It’s hard to look at this machine and not notice its high tech looking control panel front and center.
The good news is that it’s extremely user friendly and not at all complicated!
Turn on the power, choose between slow cooking or browning, choose your temperature and cooking time and press start. It’s that easy 🙂
Illuminated display lights and audible beeps as you program your settings allows you to see at a glance that you have it just how you intended.
Browning Mode: The browning mode of the Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker has five heat settings to choose from. 100°C, 120°C, 150°C, 180°C and ‘Sear‘
In this browning mode the pan needs to heat up to the desired temperature first then the display will show when it’s ‘ready’ for you to begin cooking.
Depending on the food that you are cooking and the style you are cooking it, these temperature options can be used to boil, shallow fry, stir fry, saute or sear.
Minimum cooking times on the browning setting is 10mins and the maximum cooking time is 2hrs. However you can manually move away from the browning setting yourself at any time.
For best results in the browning mode, do not use lid.
I found the lower two temperatures in the browning options perfect for SEALING without browning. This is great if you don’t want to advance to browning levels but still wish to seal in the moisture in your meat prior to slow cooking it. I was able to seal my chicken breast (as pictured below) in just a few minutes in the easy to use non stick bowl.
I found the mid to high browning temperature ranges were perfect for BROWNING.
I tested these settings by easily browning some mince. After the browning I was able to drain away the fat then easily switch to slow cooker mode and continue on cooking my taco mince with it.
Again it browned in no time at all and was completely non stick in the process so no added oils required.
To test the SEAR mode I wanted something I could really turn the heat up on to seal, sear and brown at this high temperature and lamb shanks were perfect for this.
Before cooking my favourite Lamb Obsession recipe I seared the shanks right in their slow cooker bowl so none of that extra taste is lost from the final dish.
SLOW COOKING MODES
The Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker has three heat settings for Slow Cooking – Low, High and Keep Warm
Low Setting is suitable for simmering and slow cooking.
Using the digital timer you can set your low slow cooking in 30 minute intervals from 8hrs to 20hrs.
The only drawback I found was that while using the low setting, the minimum cooking time you can set is 4hrs. Of course you could overcome this limitation by simply being on hand to manually stop it earlier if you needed to.
High Setting is suitable for faster slow cooking.
The manual helpfully notes that 1hr of high is approximately equivalent to 2 – 2.5 hrs on low
You can program your timer to cook on high for anywhere between 4hrs and 20hrs.
Keep Warm is a great feature that means when your cooking time has completed, the machine will automatically switch into a keep warm mode until you are ready to serve.
The keep warm mode is not hot enough to cook food; it’s only to keep already cooked food warm.
You can select the keep warm setting for a maximum of 8hrs using the timer.
Note: The maximum combined cook/keep warm time is 20hrs. So if your cooking time was for example 16hrs then the maximum keep warm time will be 4hrs to reach the 20hrs maximum limit.
I tested the slow cooking functions on a long cooking recipe (Lamb Obsession pictured above) and some faster cooking recipes (quiche and taco mince pictured below)
All cooked evenly and to what I found to be standard temperatures.
CARE, CLEANING AND NOTED EXCEPTIONS
Note that this aluminium cooking bowl is NOT for use on stovetops, in microwaves or in ovens. It is ONLY for use inside the SecretChef unit.
I was however thrilled to note that unlike some slow cookers, the cooking bowl and lid of the SecretChef are dishwasher safe – I love when slow cookers are like this as it really helps provide extra convenience and time saving!
It can of course also be washed in warm soapy water.
The housing unit of the machine should of course NEVER be placed in water or any liquids.
Note also that while we sometimes use oven bags in slow cooking, the manual of the SecretChef specifically advises against doing so in this machine.
EXTRA FEATURES OF NOTE
I was very impressed to note that the SecretChef has a built in Power Interruption Protection feature.
This means that if you have a short term power interruption (or accidentally switch it off at the wall as I’ve been known to do before), if the interruption is no longer than 1 minute the unit will retain all your programmed setting selections and will continue cooking with these when the power supply returns.
I was interested to read in the manual that to boil water in your SecretChef set it to 120°C with the lid on. This could be useful to know for some who may wish to achieve a boiling level for a recipe but are unsure what temperature setting is needed to do so.
The instruction booklet comes with 28 great recipes to get you started and there is also this great weekly menu suggestion plan created by Sunbeam here >> A week in the life of your SecretChef
I found another great use for the in-unit searing options also.
After slow cooking my Lamb Obsession I wanted to thicken it without adding a thickening agent like cornflour etc.
Instead all I had to do in the SecretChef was switch it over to searing mode. By doing this the dish quickly increased to a higher temperature that allowed it to bubble, reduce and thicken (with lid off) in only a few minutes with fantastic thickening results.
The SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker comes with a 12 month warranty.
You an also read more about the machine on these Sunbeam product pages:
Sunbeam New Zealand
35 thoughts on “Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker”
What an incredible giveaway! Thankyou Paulene and Sunbeam 🙂
Shear slow cooker will help my family we live a busy life and one of these slowcookers will help me out in my kitchen.With the help of your amazing facebook recipe ideas to cook a meal every night. Thankyou for an amazing giveaway and a chance to win 😘
Tash just be sure to add your entry in the competition boxes above to be sure your entry is valid 🙂
Thank you so much for the opportunity to win one of these fantastic machines. Happy slow cooking 😃
Thank you for the opportunity in winning one of these amazing sear and cook one pot cookers.
I’ve been good Santa 🎉
Good luck everyone 😊
Thank you for a chance to win one of these beauties. Will help so much. With a family of six, you can imagine all the dishes that can pile up already. To be able to use one pan that does it all. Wow, I would be living in heaven
All done and dusted, thanks for the opportunity! I have currently crossed everything that is crossable in the house and will leave it be until the 20th 😛
Wow i would love to win this as i am currently using the tiny old one we found in the rental house we just moved into. This would be perfect for our family to feed my husband and 2 teenage sons
Thanks for a chance to win one of these amazing machines. Good Luck Everyone!!! So very exciting!!!
Would love this am just starting to really enjoy slow cooking and loving the results
I would love to win this it would be used everyday.
Good luck to everyone who is entering
What an amazing prize, and perfect Christmas present for the 4 lucky winners! Merry Christmas everyone, and good luck!
Thanks for the opportunity to win a sunbeam Secret Chef. I am always raving about this sc!
We rely on tank water being able to do everything in the one pan would be mean less washing up and money saved
Carla just be sure to enter via the entry boxes above to be in the draw 🙂
Thank you for oportunity to take part. It will open up a whole new world to cooking for whoever wins. Who needs stove elements when one has such a marvellous cooker!
Oh my this would be amazing for anybody to win. Best of luck to everyone who entered
My husband loves home cooked meals. The Sunbeam Sear and Slow cooker will let me prepare delicious meals when we are both away from home all day.
Be sure to enter on the actual entry form above Sandra 🙂
Did you recently do a review on this Paulene?????
Yes this is my review 🙂
Written approximately 18 months ago now
Based on your reviews I’m ready to purchase a new SC! This Sunbeam sounds like me, however just wondering if it has a delay start function? I need something that will come on part way through the day.
It’s not safe to delay start as that leaves food sitting raw and not cooking
Instead they switch to keep warm AFTER cooking for food safety reasons
More info HERE
I have just got this cooker. Do you know if you can change it to keep warm? My old cooker was very slow and my dishes are cooking faster than expected and I need them to keep warm, but I can’t figure out how to change it. Eg. Set my rice pudding for 4 hours and was done in 2, yet 2 hours time remainded. We weren’t ready to eat it yet. Hope that makes sense.
That does make sense 🙂 I’m not certain off the top of my head but next time I get mine out to use this weekend I’ll check that out for you 🙂
The best feature for me would be the browning, this machine would take away my stress of cooking. I could then relax more and enjoy the wonderful receipes that you give us to enjoy. Thank you
I would love to have a new slow cooker and I just love trying out new meals to cook in it thank you for a chance to win it
As a family with 3 special needs children under 5 this would be amazing
I would love to win one of these, since Melbourne has been in lockdown I have been doing a lot of slow cooking and trying new recipes, so to be able to use the sear before slow cooking function would be a fantastic way to save time. Also my slow cooker doesn’t have a timer so that would be great too.
I would so love a slow cooker that browns 😍 thank you for this opportunity to own one ❤ Thank you sunbeam 👍
I love the sound of this machine, especially the fact that it is pretty much automatic and being able to sear and brown is such a bonus. If I were lucky enough to win one, it would have a permanent place on my kitchen bench and would be used daily. Thanks for the opportunity to be in the draw.
Love the sunbeam slow cooker, it’s reliable and you come home to a wonderful smell of the coming meal through the house, also great for soups and so many different recipes. Love it
Thank you Pauline what a fantastic giveaway I’ve wanted to upgrade to a sear slow cooker perfect
Does it switch to keep warm if you aren’t there when the timer finishes?
Sure does Lara 🙂