Slow cookers are also known as crock-pots or countertop electrical cooking appliances. People commonly use them for long simmering cooking jobs. They are great for simmering but they are much more versatile and have many more uses.
Given that the main principle in simmering or slow cooking is to cook at a relatively low temperature, a slow-cooker has lots of great benefits. Recipes can easily be adapted for slow-cooker cooking just with some liquid modifications and cooking time adjustments depending on the dish.
The Benefits of Using Slow Cookers
Slow cookers are usually used in preparing dishes with few ingredients. This makes it perfect for cooking prepared sauces and tough cuts of meat. Such types of meat are also usually cheaper, saving you two ways
Here is a short list of reasons to use a slow-cooker:
- Turns hard-to-use, tough cuts of meat into a tasty dish. This is because slow cooking softens the tissue without toughening the meat.
- There is less to no risk of burning food with slow cooking unless you are dealing with dry vegetables, which are best heated with a small amount of water.
- It reduces washing up, with no roasting tins that will not fit into the dishwasher
- Cleaning pots are easier because nothing is burnt on
- They are safer than ovens or stove tops due to the closed lids
- Leaving meals cooking is safer in slow cookers than in ovens because of the lower temperatures
- Cooking a meal in one will only use one quarter of the amount of electricity that your oven would use
How to Cook Wonderful Dishes Using the Slow Cooker
For most experienced cooks today, the slow-cooker is definitely one of their favorite cooking appliances. They are indispensable for the busy mothers out there who need to squeeze multiple tasks in between cooking, fetching the kids, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and buying groceries.
How else can you cook while you go get more groceries and take a quick run to the gym? Think of your slow cooker as a robo-cooker that does it all for you. Somehow food smells better cooked in a slow cooker, too.
Here are some of the ways of how to cook using your slow-cooker:
Braising is the simple process of browning meat, vegetables, or even both to mix all the colors, textures and flavors with little liquid in a covered pot. The end dish is a wonderful mixture you will definitely want to cook and eat again.
Because slow cooking gives succulently moist meat, this works great for roasting. Some people might think of this as a cooking risk but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what roasting can do to your favorite roast recipe, though personally I would not cook chicken this way.
Casseroles are perhaps one of the best dishes to cook during holidays. Cooking one of your favorite casseroles the slow cooking way will transform it into a more savory dish that the whole ensemble of family and friends will love.
Although ovens have also been well-loved by many generations of cooking moms and even professional cooks and chefs, there days are numbered. With the great benefits you can get, there is definitely no harm in using a slow cooker instead of an oven if you want to try preparing meals with the former.
Slow cookers may cook slowly but they definitely buy you more time to do other things while they release all the delightful flavors from the meat. You do not need to stand over them and deadlines can stretch for an hour or two when you suddenly find that your children have to be somewhere at the planned mealtime.