The pan that’s caused quite a stir

There are lots of dishes we’d like to make regularly at home but we just can’t be bothered with standing over a pan for ages stirring – risotto for instance. It tastes delicious when you finally serve it, but it’s pretty labour-intensive.

So, what if the pan could do all the hard work for you? Well, it appears it can.

Appliances giant Philips has teamed up with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to develop a new range of kitchen gadgets, with the stand out device being the new HomeCooker.

The HomeCooker also saves on washing up as you can do everything in the same pan. It means you can cook one part of your dish at the bottom of the pan, which stirs the food for you. So you can just leave it to cook your main course while you make some rice or vegetables in the steamer on top.

If, like us, you tend to put a pan on the hob, only to wonder off and find the food stuck to the bottom when you return, the HomeCooker should come as a relief to your family if they’re fed up with receiving burnt remnants dressed up as dinner. There’s a timer function which automatically turns off the gadget once your food is finished cooking. You can also do away with the need for a knife and chopping board if you buy the accompanying device which slices vegetables, cheese and meat straight into the pan.

And, while there may be a saying that “too many cooks spoil the broth,” Jamie Oliver doesn’t seem to agree. Oliver, who found fame as The Naked Chef and is well known for his healthy-eating campaigns, describes the hi-tech pot as “an extra pair of hands in the kitchen”.

It does sound like the ideal helping hand in the kitchen if you’re holding a dinner party and with lots of people planning get togethers over the upcoming festive period, it could prove incredibly popular.

It can be difficult finding the balance between slaving over a hot stove and being a proper host to your guests so having the peace of mind that your food is being stirred even while you’re topping up glasses of wine could be a dinner party Godsend.

The HomeCooker will set you back £250, but that’s certainly cheaper than hiring the services of a catering firm. Available from John Lewis from September 14, it’s all part of Oliver’s bid to get us serving up home-cooked food rather than unhealthy ready meals or takeaways.

The dad-of-four said: “We all know it can be a struggle to get fresh, homemade food on the table every day, especially for busy parents who have to juggle so much. It’s often a real trade off between spending time with the family and getting fresh food on the table. The HomeCooker takes the pressure off in the kitchen. Because it stirs itself you don’t have to stand over a stove but you can still invest all that love and creativity into your meal.”

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