Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow cooker

Sunbeam SecretChef Sear and Slow Cooker

Product Review on Sunbeam SecretChef Electronic Sear and Slow Cooker HP8555

I’ll admit that until I was sent one of these babies, I’d never even heard of such a thing.  But essentially what it is is a cross between a frypan and a slowcooker. Why do you ask would you want something like that?  Well the theory from Sunbeam is that you can use one pan to brown your meat, slow cook, then serve.  And it does that – beautifully.  But that’s not why I like it.

I’ve never been one to brown my meat before adding it to the slowcooker – call me ‘common’ but I really can’t taste the difference – plus I really don’t want to dirty another dish.  But what I LOVE about this – is that you can turn on the sear function once the meat is cooked, to thicken the sauce!!!

I trialed this the other day making Apricot Chicken.  For the point of doing a decent and proper product review- I did use the sear function to brown the chicken first (still not convinced on that one lol).  You need to preheat the sear function before adding the meat – but it doesn’t take long and is easy to use – especially as I don’t believe in reading the instructions. Once the meat was brown, I added the french onion soup and tin of apricots and turned the function to slowcook.

An hour later (I used chicken tenderloins so they didn’t take long) – I removed the meat from the slowcooker and turned it up to sear.  Usually at this stage I would transfer the sauce from the slowcooker to a frypan, add a bit of cornflour and thicken on the stove.  But the sear function reduced and thickened the sauce and whilst I was plating up dinner – poured the sauce on top – all done!

Facts and Figures:

  • It has a RRP for $199.00
  • It is a 5.5 litre capacity
  • Has a timer!!!
  • It has an ‘Automatic Keep Warm’ feature – great idea!
  • The pan insert and lid are dishwasher safe – hooray!
  • 12 month replacement guarantee


  •  Less washing up as the machine thickens the sauce for you.
  • Great shape for roasts – it was made for doing chicken in a slowcooker!
  • Quite attractive looking for a slowcooker – the are usually quite ugly – this one doesn’t look bad if you sit it on the bench.
  • Not quite as large as some of the bigger slowcookers
  • Pricier than a standard slowcooker.

My Verdict:

It’s a good machine and very handy.  It is pricer than a slowcooker – but if you added the cost of a decent frypan as well it works out quite reasonably.  Apart from the price factor – I think it would make a great investment for a busy family.  The fact you really can use this instead of a frypan only if you wish is terrific and I love the ‘keep warm’ function which is great if hubby is going to be late home or if we are expecting guests at an unexpected time.  The sear function for thickening sauces really appeals to me because lets face it who likes cleaning extra dishes.

 Stay at Home Mum was not paid for this product review.



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