If you’ve read the About page, you probably already know I spent some time as a Pampered Chef consultant. If you’re not familiar with the company, they are a direct sales business that makes kitchen products–everything from bakeware to cutlery, and dinnerware. There are plenty of their products in our kitchen these days, but I must admit, since J started culinary school, we don’t use them much, anymore. He’s just not that into stuff for the “home” chef anymore. Anyway, I must admit that even after all this time of not being a consultant or adding any new products to my cabinets, I am still very much in love with my Deep Covered Baker. I received it for free because of some consultant incentives back when the product was brand new.
What is the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker?
The Deep Covered Baker is part of the Stoneware line of products, and functions like a casserole dish or a crockpot-without-a-cord, if you will. It measures 12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ x 5 1/2″, and holds 12 1/2 cups. The stoneware construction means that it will hold and distribute heat evenly, while keeping moisture away from the surface. It comes with a lid, which you can turn upside down and store on top of the base, to save room in your cabinets. It is available in Cranberry, or in White. I used stock photos from Pampered Chef to illustrate these, but the one in my personal collection is white. It comes with a three year warranty, unless you’re using it in a commercial kitchen. Details of the warranty are included on your purchase receipt. It’s been in the catalog for a couple of years now, and the price has gone up from $69 to $85! They’ve even added a new color, taupe. Update: November 2013: Taupe has been discontinued.
Would I still buy it? Yes, and let me tell you why.
Why I Love It
- You can use it in the oven, or the microwave. It’s heat resistant to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can keep it in the freezer, too.
- It cooks a variety of yummy meals in virtually no time flat.
- It can hold a 5 lb. chicken!
I can basically throw together a few ingredients, preheat the oven, and go. I have a quick and easy dinner in 30 minutes or less, most of the time. (Some recipes do take longer, and sometimes I don’t even follow one.) If you know how busy life is as a full-time business owner married to a full-time student, raising a child while taking care of elderly family members… you know just how precious 30 minutes can be! Need an idea of what you can do with this thing? Check out these recipes.
Why I Hate It
- It’s hard to clean, especially when there is a lot of baked on “goop” (for the lack of a better phrase.)
- It’s kind of heavy when full of food, and could break easily if dropped.
- You can’t use non-stick spray in a can, because it creates a funky residue.
Even though the stoneware surface is not porous so it won’t absorb the odor of everything you’ve previously cooked in it, you shouldn’t clean it with soap. You can’t run it through the dishwasher. This makes cleaning a bit of a hassle, especially when you first start using it. The more you cook in it, the more non-stick the surface becomes, but for the first few uses, even greasing with butter or oil may leave some food residue in the dish. This means you will have to work quickly and smoothly to clean the dish after the meal is ready to decrease the likelihood that food will stick to it. You can get a food scraper to remove residue, and I usually let mine soak in hot water for a while to loosen food particles.
Even though there are some things about it I cannot stand, I really enjoy the Deep Covered Baker, and it has been known to save me a time or two. Want your own, but don’t know a consultant in your area? You can buy them directly from the Pampered Chef website or at Amazon. If you think the price tag is a little steep, use the Pampered Chef website to locate a consultant near you and schedule a party of your own. You can have them in-person or online, and you may be able to use your host credits to purchase this bad boy for nothing, depending on what host specials and other incentives the company may be running at the time of your show.
Disclosure: Though I did work as a Pampered Chef Consultant in 2009, I am not receiving any compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own. Photo credit: Pampered Chef.