Monday, 13 June 2011

Morphy Richards Intellisteam Review

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When I was growing up, I loved shopping almost as much as I do now. My dad (affectionately, I hope) called me the "ultimate consumer", and I had various brand prejudices which were probably based on very little evidence.

For instance, I thought Sony was the best for tellies, Tefal was the kettle maker, Breville made the perfect sandwich toaster, and Hoover made the best, erm, hoover.

Home of the House Proud logo

Morphy Richards was familiar to me as a good all-rounder - far from super-exciting, but reliable and somehow comforting, the fluffy slippers of the appliance world. So I wasn't that surprised to hear that this year is the 75th Anniversary of Morphy Richards.

As part of their celebrations which will include events and giveaways, Morphy Richards picked a group of bloggers (including me) to become Home of the House Proud Innovators, which basically means they would send us their products and ask us to put them through their paces and then share our thoughts.

I warned them I'd be brutally honest, and they still seemed strangely willing.

So this is a review of the first item they've sent me (yes, I get to keep it) - the Intellisteam, their "intelligent" steamer.

The Intellisteam is ridiculously big. Like, bigger than the Tefal Actifry, and that's really saying something.

It comes in several parts - the base, the section which sits on top of that which you fill with water, and the steam compartments themselves.

There's one long steam compartment at the back and one in the front which you can divide into two. Inside the steam compartments are two optional trays - one for liquid or small portions and one for rice - and a steam rack.

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I'm tired just writing all of that.

So why is it intelligent? Because you can set the separate steam compartments to cook for different amounts of time, but they all finish cooking at once. Obviously, this is impossible with a traditional steamer, since with those, the sections stack on top of one another.

That's why the thing is so massive - it has to be, so each compartment can be directly over the steam. Anyway, I decided to make something that would need to use every compartment and came up with a lazy version of kedgeree.

If you see the picture above, I stuck all the ingredients in at the same time and then set the timer for the different compartments. The timer lets you choose the type of ingredient you're steaming and then automatically gives a suggested steaming time which you can then tweak up or down according to the quantities - the booklet also gives guidelines.

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Rice went in the back compartment (30 mins), frozen peas in the front right (10 mins), and salmon and eggs in the front left (16 mins).

I then set it going and watched, fascinated, as the back compartment immediately started to mist up as its time began to count down. When that hit 16 minutes, the front left compartment then kicked off, and then when all three were at 10 minutes, the front right joined in.

Obviously, if you're not a massive nerd, the point of the Intellisteam isn't that you'll be watching the steamer compartments kick in one by one, but that you'll set it going and then wander off and do whatever it is you need to do, safe in the knowledge that every part of your dinner will cook for exactly the right amount of time.

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And it does. And it's quiet, and the bits, despite being a bugger to clean in the sink, are all dishwasher-able.

An alarm even goes off if the water level gets too low, so you know when to top it up (via a little funnel section).

So the Intellisteam gets a thumbs-up from me as being pretty darn clever, useful if you're busy and obviously good for healthy dishes.

Still bloody massive though.


The Intellisteam is currently on special offer for £64.99
www.morphyrichards.co.uk
(RRP £99.99)



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Easy Kedgeree with the Intellisteam

Serves 4
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 piece of salmon (I used collar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g peas
  • Handful of flatleaf parsley, chopped
Fill the water section with water to the mark and fit onto the base. Place the rice, onion, curry powder, turmeric and butter with 3 cups of water in the rice tray. Put the rice tray in the back steamer compartment and fit onto the water section.

Wash the eggs and place them with the fish in the front left compartment. Put the peas in the small foods tray and place in the front right compartment.

Fit all the lids and then set the timers - press rice then 30 minutes for the back, eggs then 16 minutes for the front left, vegetables then 10 minutes for the front right. Then press the Steam symbol and let it do its stuff.

When the timer goes off, peel and halve the eggs and flake the fish. Fluff the rice in a serving dish and add the peas and fish and stir through. Top with egg slices and parsley.


Ooh look - the Observer Food Monthly Awards are looking for nominations for Best Food Blog ... :)


22 comments:

  1. totally agree with your brand summaries at the beginning, and i would never have thought of steaming eggs! looks great, though not sure where i'd be able to put the steamer if i owned it as my flat is so tiny.

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  2. Pedant alert - Didn't the second section kick in when the clock hit 14 minutes? (sorry) Kedgeree looks lovely and HEALTHY tho :^)

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  3. @grania @ crumbs for dinner - Oh, steamed eggs are lovely - a more delicate texture than boiled.

    @Pavel - Nope, the timer on the first section counted down from 30 to 16 and then the second timer started to count down. So when there was 10 minutes left, all three timers displayed 10. (I am more pedantic than you)

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  4. @Pavel - You made me panic though - I felt like I was doing a maths riddle :P

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  5. I LOVE the sound of this.

    I HATE the price tag.

    Do you think you'll use it's multi-steaming abilities much?

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  6. what a fab thing! and steamed eggs, never thought of those ever!

    I always steam my spuds for mash, and could steam eggs in another steamer bit above them for when I make fish pie, brill idea... is 16 mins for hard or sticky eggs?

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  7. @roastpotato - You mean the different timings thing? Yeah, I think it's nifty. Usually I'll only steam one part of a meal because I don't want to over or under cook bits of it.

    @josordoni - 16 minutes was for "hard steamed" eggs :)

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  8. I was sure I commented on this last night! Maybe I just read it in my cheese stuffed state.

    I LOVE my steamer, it sits on top of the kitchen units and I have to get Ed to stand on a chair and bring it down.

    I find some of the given cooking times are too long. But the spuds from it are amazing, as was the chicken I made. As well as being easy to make meals fat free it does not throw out as much heat as turning the oven or hob on. A bonus now summer has come back?

    I am going to try some dim sum next and steamed buns.

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  9. Oh I want one. But I don't have £65. This would be AMAZING for me though as I always get to the point of serving up and go "SHIT! I FORGOT TO DO THE VEGETABLES!!!!!!" which is not good for my 5-a-day.

    Would you like to give me yours? ;-)

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  10. How cool is that?!!!

    If you review a product a month for a year, won't you need to buy a new house to store them all?

    You should totally try the slow cooker, I love my slow cooker, though it doesn't get used as much in summer...

    What you could do is ask Dr Who if he could install a space-warp between our two kitchens so that I can step out of my kitchen door into yours and borrow your goodies.

    :)

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  11. Great review! Bright people, Morphy Richards, because they realise that a review from someone who is known for her honesty and directness will carry infinitely greater weight than some pundit in a paper.

    I am a kitchen gadget freak - a serial offender, as you know ;¬) - but I have made a resolution not to buy things that can't be put away and take up a helluva lot of kitchen counter real estate. So I shall avoid this one and stick with my microwave and pan steamers.

    (Sigh, been given a wine chiller/warmer device - top of the range, but although it works it's huge, kept in the utility room now and used only for the best of bottles!)

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  12. @Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours - Yeah, it'd be very good for Chinese food like dim sum - nice idea!

    @effbeeee - Hehe - yes, a very good point - chuck it all in the same time and bob's your uncle.

    @Kavey - I reckon I'm gonna have some very lucky friends and family ...

    @chumbles - Thank you, sir. I try to tell it like it is :)

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  13. Where's the butter compartment? You know when you want smother all your steamed veg in glorious melted butter? Does it have one?

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  14. Not got mine out of the box yet but looking forward to trying it out.

    I always associated Morphy with curling tongs!! (until now!)

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  15. The bloody massiveness of the thing is probably what would put me off, were I in the market for a steamer. We already have a host of bloody massive kitchen appliances - including a deep-fat fryer and a Simpsons branded hot-air popcorn machine - so this would probably end up in the spare room when it's not being used, to the bemusement of any guests.

    The bloody massiveness of kitchen appliances in general has been lately leading me to peruse Amazon's listings of multi-appliances: steamers that are also slow cookers that are also fryers that are also rice cookers and so on. Problem is, most of those seem to be Jacks of All Trades - ie. bloody useless at everything. Think I'll continue making do with the bambo pots and collanders atop pans of boiling water.

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  16. Who has the space for all these things??? Kitchenaid, mini-chopper, kettle, toaster. Done. I really do have a thing against tools that only have one job as well. Great review Mimi but mental product!

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  17. @Food Urchin - Butter compartment? Well, you could use the dish that I steamed the peas in.

    @Sarah, Maison Cupcake - Curling tongs! Lord, that takes me back!

    @Alex - Shhh, I often still do that.

    @Graphic Foodie - Ooh, love a mini-chopper :)

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  18. hello,
    Would you mind giving me the dimensions, in cms?
    That would help in deciding whether to buy (ordering online). Ta :)

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  19. @Pebs - Hi Pebs - it's 27 cm by 36 cm by 32 - see full spec here

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  20. Hello, thanks very much. I lost this page (after I asked about the dimensions) and anyway, eventually decided to go ahead and order online. It's actually smaller than one expects, and I'm having fun. Just need to find more good recipes :)

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  21. What does it mean when the alarm on the intellisteamers goes off, it could be about the water because the water on the intellisteamer was full?

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!