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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.

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  1. David Sherriff

    Hi I bought a Seb saucier many years ago in France. It wasn’t an electronic model like the one you describe. Some years later, I found an identical model under the Tefal brand in Canterbury. Last Friday the motor packed up, although the heater is still working. (On Saturday, my Kenwood Chef suddenly issued clouds of Acrid smoke while I was juicing some oranges on slow speed)

    I am sure I have seen Seb Sauciers in French hypermarkets recently, I will have to check next time I go.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mandy

    I’ve Googled instructions and found them in French. Perhaps you should sign up for that French course in January?

  3. I’ve come into possession of a Le Saucier but it comes with no instructions. Does anyone have an instruction manual I could have?

  4. Are there no other sauce makers available on the market than Le Saucier?

  5. Just thought I would let you know Lakeland are going to be selling the saucier in their Christmas stuff. Apparently released on 17th November – order number 12720 and costing £79.95

  6. found something on hsn called
    kitchen stir. it is very nice
    i also had a le saucier in the 80’s
    and did not know it would be
    so hard to replace it. the one
    at hsn is actually nicer but
    one thing it does not have is
    a “no heat option” which i really
    liked to keep it stirring with no
    heat. but it is the best i could find.

  7. Just bought a ‘Le Saucier’ at a jumbke sale for 50p hurrah!!

  8. Cynthia.Golding

    Le Saucier is about 70 euros new, SEB and Tefal are the same company. I use my saucier on a weekly basis and have a Shuttle trip booked to buy one for my daughter, but , because of the fire, think it may be cancelled so came across your entry when searching to find one in the UK.
    The saucier is readily available in Carrefour, presumably other large supermarkets, and electrical retailers in France.

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Marianne

    They sometimes come up on Ebay, worth keeping your eyes peeled. Good luck.

  10. Marianne

    I am looking for one also. I had one for years and used it endlessly. MIne was so old that the only way to turn it on and off was with the plug and it just had a dial for the heat from 1-5. I can’t find one anywhere and now my son who is a chef wants one. It is hard to believe that there are none ofthese handy little gadgets being made by some company somewhere.

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