Easy to care for
crockery dish comes right out of the unit for preparing foods and then can be put in the dishwasher
uses very little electricity
fast one pot dinners
lots of creative recipes to keep dinners simple
great way to use cheaper or tougher cuts of meat
you need to prepare your food ahead of time or in the morning
it needs at least 6 hours to cook well
but that is it! not really too many cons at all. Just try and think about it the night before, this worked best for me. I had no trouble taking my dish of prepared foods from the fridge and putting it right into the unit, as it heats up slowly.
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Crock pots are one of the easiest ways to make dinner. They were in style in the 80's, disappeared for awhile, while everyone was using the microwave, then came back again. But one of the long standing ones that seem to survive for years is the brand Rival.
I personally own one that I have owned for more than 12 years. It works every time, It has been a welcoming aroma after a long day at work, and with all the recipes that are out there now, you can make all kinds of great tasting, one pot meals! I have even cooked a small pot roast in mine, and threw in some potatoes and carrots around it, so everything was there for dinner. Just had to slice it up. Plus the gravy was superb tasting.
One of my favorite uses, is to make stew, especially in the colder months. You can use cheaper cuts of beef and have it turn out as tender as that top sirloin steak you love.
The trick I find to making good use of the pot, is to get it ready the night before. For my simple stew, here is what I do:
Take the crockery pot out of the unit, and fill it with your stew beef, a can of stewed tomatoes, some onions and any vegetables you like, then add some seasonings, and approximately one cup of water. Put it in the fridge overnight, then in the morning before you go, plop the dish into the base, and plug it in on low and then go to work.
When you get back, the house will smell divine, and your stew will be ready. You just need to slice up some rolls and you have dinner. There are so many other recipes you can try. Chili is another great recipe.
Tougher meats do well in a slow cooker, because they will be in fluids for at least 8 hours. If you have a tougher beef, by using some acidic juices, such as tin tomatoes or a can of tomato juice, in with it while cooking, it will tenderize it over the day.
A crock pot is a great answer to those dinners on the go. So, although they change the shape and styles and color, it is still the Rival that will last you for years. By getting a slow cooker, you will stop eating out so much and look forward to the welcoming aroma of dinner at home!