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Does the cooking ability of Swan's 1950s-style slow cooker match its affordable price? Read our full review.
This is the gentle giant of the slow cooker world. Its retro styling is a selling point, but the quality of its cooking is the real clincher for us. For just under £35, you get an eight-meal-capacity pot in an aesthetically designed package, all covered by a two-year guarantee.
There are three settings in addition to the 'keep warm' option: low, high and auto. The auto setting starts off on high, then switches to low for the remainder of the cooking time. This is a nice touch, as many don't offer an auto option.
Read our buyer's guide to the best slow cookers
Without the internal dish, its base is very lightweight. With the stoneware dish, it's a beast. Large slow cookers like this need a set of practical handles, and we particularly like the look of the silver plastic on the Swan. Some components feel a bit cheap, such as the lid handle. But, they still do the job for an affordable price.
A 32-page recipe book accompanies the cooker, featuring a host of slow cooker recipes – a nice touch for anyone new to cooking large quantities over longer periods of time.
For the slow cooker beef stew, we brown the meat in a separate pan first, and after eight hours of overnight cooking, the stew has a loose gravy but is tender, rich and full of flavour. The 5-a-day tagine is also a nice consistency, with vegetables that are softened but not overdone.
Best of all, there's no burning with either dish cooked on the low setting. The heat also seems evenly distributed. This is important because the ivory colour of the dish is a bit impractical. Thankfully, it's dishwasher-safe, so you don't have to spend lots of time scrubbing away markings from rich, dark stews.
This light-coloured dish may mark over time, and that could present an issue for those taking the dish from cooker to table, although a good soak in hot water with a mild detergent will sort any stubborn stains before a hot wash in the dishwasher. We recommend placing the slow cooker on a heatproof mat overnight if your countertop is wooden. This is a great-looking slow cooker that offers an unusual number of settings and has excellent cooking ability and a nicely styled outer, all for under £40.
Swan 6.5-litre retro slow cooker specifications
Size: 26.5 x 33.2 x 22cm
Settings: low, high, automatic, keep warm
Lid: glass and plastic
Guarantee: two year
Dishwasher: pot and glass lid
Oven- and hob-friendly: no
Instruction manual: yes
This review was last updated in March 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.