The Cottage Smallholder

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Guest spot: Sauce Maker by Rodney Tibbs

Tefals Le SaucierI recently met Rodney at a dinner party. Like us he is a foodie. He has been a journalist for over 50 years and is still a motoring correspondent. We have just discovered that we live in the same village.

Sauce Maker

There are some things in the kitchen that are so useful you worry that they might break and leave you floundering. In my case that thing is so rare that I wonder how other people manage without it.

I am talking about the Tefal sauce maker or “Le Saucier”. I was reminded of this when I read of your efforts with Bechamel sauce, something Le Saucier takes in its stride.

Briefly it is a gadget which has its own specialised saucepan and its own heat source. You programme time and temperatures from a little window on the front, chuck in the ingredients and let it get on with it. It stirs and heats and generally produces a no fuss sauce or gravy. Now you can concentrate on that tricky recipe or culinary masterpiece without having to spend time stirring away on the top of the hob.

Mine came from Lakeland many years ago so I rang them to ask how much a replacement would cost when mine goes to the great kitchen in the sky. They just didn’t do it any more, they said. So I rang Tefal in the UK who were most helpful but said they did not import it any more.

So I pinned my faith in French cooks and went to the Internet where I found it, but apparently now being made by a different firm. There is no doubt it is the same item although now finished in white instead of a dark gravy brown but getting at it is not going to be quite so easy.

I can negotiate the French websites OK but most of their firms want you to register with a whole host of details before they will consider posting the item to you. I have decided that when I am on holiday in the French Alps this summer I will make a point of visiting the local electrical stores to see if I can track down Le Saucier.

Which leaves us with the mystery of why such an incredibly useful device which frees up so much kitchen time, should be so little known and so little used? To me it is a bit like discovering that when my potato peeler dies there will never be another one.

If any of your readers can shed any light on this I would be very grateful. And should I find the Holy Grail, and if anyone cares, I will bring you up to date with the details.

Update October 2009: Amazon now stocks Le Saucier – a bit cheaper than a day trip to France.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Helen

    Thanks for letting us know!

  2. Hi I am just about to ebay my brand new Le Saucier which I received as a present a few years ago. I have never even taken it out of the box so it is in mint condition. If you or anyone wants to buy it just email me on helenmaxwell at ukonline dot co dot uk.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rodney

    Have you tried freecycle?

  4. Rodney Tibbs

    I have only just caught up with Joanna’s suggestion that I look on e Bay for a replacement Tefal Le Saucier. I did look there originally and only found but the seller wanted around £65 for it which is far more than they cost new! So I left it alone.

    Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred

    I saw value steamers in Tesco for under nine quid! Didn’t buy one though as we are still coming to grips with our slow cooker.

  6. I am really ‘into’ steaming food now! I did the potatoes and swede in one section while Jam Roly Poly was cooking gently in the top (sorry Fi).

    I thought our steamer was a bargain at £15, but I spotted them on sale in Argos for £7.50! The only problem was they didn’t look deep enough for steamed sponge puds! Perfect for vegetables though 😉

    I emailed Lakeland re stocking ‘Le Saucier’! They are going to ‘look into it’!

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat

    I think that landfill is a graveyard for many millions of much loved knives…

  8. Mine got thrown out with the apple peelings. Not once, not twice but Thrice!!!!!!!! I thought by having 3 of them I would be safe for a few years and wouldn’t have need for anymore ever!!! LOL How wrong was I???

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Michelle

    I had only heard about Le Saucier a couple of weeks ago (I don’t get out much!).

    Hi Pat

    I thought that abuse of kitchen knives only happened in this cottage. It drives me nuts.

    I think that this must be a Mars and Venus thing. They are a replaceable item so can be tossed into a draw from a distance of ten feet. It used to be two feet but he is building up his skills for the Olympics.

  10. thanks Michelle for the offer!! So far I still have the peeler, I don’t think he would know how to use it is the only saving grace. LOL I have another knife that I have found I can use here but he keeps using it. Has blunted and bent the tip of it so may have to find another and put it away for only my use. LOL

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