Slow cookers are life-savers in my kitchen. I’m sure many of our readers would agree. When using a slow cooker, delicious meals practically make themselves while we’re free to tackle other tasks.
This guide will show you where to begin if you aren’t sure what to do.
What is a Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers can be plug-in electronic devices that cook liquid-based meals by using a gentle heat for a prolonged period of time, usually four hours. This allows you to cook a meal in the morning, then leave it alone during the day to make a prepared meal.
Low and slow cooking is capable of tenderizing cheaper cuts of meat, so that you get the meat with the fall-of-the-bone texture. It can be left unattended, so busy people don’t have to worry about it.
They are very easy to clean. Many inserts and lids are dishwasher-safe. After each use, clean out the slow cooker casings or inserts.
Slow cooker recipes are very popular. They can be used to make a variety of delicious soups, stews, soups, and curries.
Consider these things before you buy a slow cooker
There are two options: small slow cookers that can keep dips warm or larger ones with a large capacity. If you’re a small household, don’t mind scaling down recipes, and don’t like to have leftovers, smaller three- to four-quart slow cookers will work.
However, most slow-cooker recipe are for the average size slow cooker which is six quarts. This is why we recommend this one as our starter size. If you like to double recipes and cook for a crowd, by all means, go even bigger! To get great results, slow cookers must be at least half full.
Style of the Slow Cooker
The traditional round shape slow cookers are great for making stews and casseroles. You can also find rectangular or oval-shaped cookers for cooking meat on the bone, chickens and roasts, as well as ham. A rectangle or oval cooker can be placed in spaces, countertops, or cupboards and will take up more space than a round cooker.
You should consider whether you need a lockable lid when choosing a shape, style, or color. This allows you to transport your cooker and avoid spillages.
Clear, tight-fitting lids are essential for slow cookers. Clear lids are necessary for you to be able to check on what’s cooking without having to remove the cover.
Lockable lids let steam escape, which slows down cooking and allows food to splash onto your countertop.
A majority of slow cookers come with a base that securely encloses an insert. Sometimes the heating element is just on the bottom, or if you’re lucky, the element also goes up the side of the base (which allows heat to be more evenly distributed).
Some slow cookers have a crock on top of their heating unit. Heat isn’t as evenly distributed this way, and you might have to stir the food more often to prevent scorching, which sounds like the antithesis of why we love slow cookers!