I love my slow cooker.
I think I’ve told this to everyone I’ve bumped into recently.
It started with me trying to make my own broth, and I plan on writing a post on how to make your own in the future.
Making a broth on the cooker in the kitchen just wasn’t doable anymore. I’ve done it in a big ol’ saucepan on our gas hob, which didn’t feel safe because a broth is made over 24h. I dread to look at our gas bill, and it stank our kitchen out!
So, I finally got around to buying a slow cooker. Mine is a Crock-Pot (“the original slow cooker”), and I’m telling you; it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought!
Here are three reasons why:
1.They are inexpensive. Depending on the make and the size you can buy one from between £15 – £40.
2. It saves money. Even though, like the name suggests, it cooks your food slowly over a long time, the energy usage is not much more than a regular lightbulb. It is far less expensive than using an oven for example. Running an oven for 1h compared to a slow cooker for 6h, is three times more expensive!
3. It saves time and effort. Cooking in the slow cooker is really just as easy as throwing all the ingredients in, put the lid on, turning it on and voila! 4-10h later, depending on what you are cooking, you have a meal ready!
So what do I cook in it, I hear you ask?
Well, apart from chicken and bone broth, which turned out much better in the slow cooker than in the sauce pan by the way, I’ve tried a few other things.
I LOVE to make slow cooked beef in it.
Before I used to make the beef in the traditional oven, cooking it there for about 10h and using up aloooot of electricity. Since my purchase I simply rub the beef in some spices, put it in the pot and leave it on the “low” setting for about 8h.
The great thing is that the timing doesn’t have to be exact. The food won’t over cook or burn so if you happen to leave it for half an hour or so extra, not a lot will happen to it. The only mistake I made was when trying to make a lentil soup. I hadn’t put enough liquid in and it all kind of turned in to a goo on the bottom.
The general rule is to use less liquid than in the traditional recipe, because the lid is so tight it doesn’t evaporate. But I forgot to take in to account that lentils will suck up a lot of liquid during cooking. whoops! Oh, well. We live and learn.
Since then I’ve made soups, even with lentils, successfully. Like I said before; I just put the ingredients in, pour liquid over (if needed) and put it on. It’s like magic!
Recently we’ve started doing roast chicken in it too. Really, after rinsing the chicken and rubbing it in spices, I just put the whole chicken in there, put the lid on and 8h later we have the most delicious chicken we’ve ever tasted! Cooking the chicken this way creates a lot of broth at the bottom and to prevent the chicken to sit in it for to long (it will just fall apart if it does) you can place some vegetables or chunks of potato at the bottom of the pot. That way you will have delicious vegetables too! A tip, don’t use sweet potato, unless you want sweet potato mash 😉
I am going to put an no4 in to my reasons for getting a slow cooker.
4. Food is tastier cooked in a slow cooker.
I’m not kidding. I’ve yet to cook something that didn’t turn out tastier this way. Ok, apart from my lentil soup fiasco.
I haven’t made any stews in it so far. Simply because I haven’t got around to it yet, but I plan on trying it in the near future.
There are a lot of slow cooker recipes out there, and I’m slowly (pun intended) working my way through them.
Go on, get one!
And please let me know what tasty dishes you come up with!