Good Food Blog
Instructions are includedPosted at 12:02PM, 18 August 2010 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
Picture the scenario. You've just bought your latest shiny new kitchen gadget, you've torn off the packaging and are just about to use your appliance for the first time. But before you do, you sit down with a cup of coffee to read the instruction booklet from cover to cover. Do you really?
I'm going to let you into a secret. Whether it's sheer laziness or just impatience to try a new toy, I never do and I firmly believe I'm not the only one. So strongly do I think this that when I'm testing any product for the magazine, I will firstly test without reading the instructions and then (success or otherwise), with.
I've started to think that perhaps reading the booklet is a good thing and, dare I say, I'm possibly missing out
Now I do understand that because of the amount of equipment I get to review, I have a fair idea on how to use lots of gadgets before they leave the box, but lately I've started to think that perhaps reading the booklet is a good thing and, dare I say, I'm possibly missing out.
Take my well-used oven (eight years' service and counting). A quick peruse through the instructions last week and I discovered a slow cooker function I never knew I had. I tried it; it worked wonders and saved me forking out £70 for a separate slow cooker. I found my toaster has an "auto self-centering" function, which explains why the toast was coming out perfect every time, and the weird blade I've never used for my food processor is actually a parmesan disc.
So will I be reading the manual from cover to cover in future? Yes and no. I've found it really hasn't made any difference to basic gadgets such as hand mixers and ice cream makers. However, for more technical appliances like pressure cookers and bread makers, you really can't wing it, unless you want my first attempt at a loaf, which was as heavy as a brick. If only I'd read the instructions...