Welcome to Slow Cooker World!
Bringing you the best slow cookers, slow cooker recipes and tips!
So, Why Own a Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers are a wonderful invention created by Irving Naxon. They became popular in the 1970's when The Rival Company bought out Naxon and marketed the cooker under the brand name Crock-Pot. Although Crock-Pot has become the generic term for slow cookers, there are many other brands that offer this handy device. There are many benefits to using a slow cooker, they include:
-Convenience: quick and easy food preparation and "set and forget" cooking
-Cost Savings: you can use cheaper cuts of meat and also save on electricity use
-Easy Clean-up: One pot dinner makes clean-up a breeze
-Environmentally Friendly: No need to cook on high-energy devices like an oven or stove
-Healthy cooking: Many diets like the Paleo diet, clean eating diet and general health advice recommends eating more natural and less processed foods
The best slow cooker for you depends on your desired use of the machine. Consider your lifestyle, are you at home when your cooking, is your work schedule predictable or variable? Another consideration is the size of the meals or types of meals and snacks you would like to make in your slow cooker. There are so many options you might want to buy more than one slow cooker to accommodate the many options. The basic premise of the machine is slow cooking in a moist environment. Slow cookers heat food to a temperature of between 79-93 degrees Celsius (174-179 degrees Fahrenheit) and maintain a warming minimum temperature of 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit) over long periods of time. The steam that is created within the cooker adds moisture to the food that makes it ideal for any dish where moisture is essential. Seasonings and herbs cook right into the food creating a rich dish with satisfying flavours and textures. Slow cookers are wonderfully convenient and easy to use which is perfect for today's busy lifestyles. There are many slow cooker recipes, and you can easily adjust your family favorites to adapt to the cooker for your version of the best slow cooker recipes.
The Best Slow Cooker For You
As I mentioned above choosing the best cooker for you depends on a lot of different factors. It is often a good idea to have several slow cookers of varying sizes. The machines range in size from tiny 500 ml (2 cups) units to as large as 7 litres (or just over 12 pints). Small cookers are wonderful for dips and sauces while the large ones are a wonderful addition to large family gatherings, parties and potluck dinners. When considering your purchase you can choose from a single simple knob, minimal setting type or the more sophisticated multi-setting machines.Some cookers have clips to keep the lid on if you are traveling with it, think potluck suppers or picnics. There are some cookers that pull double duty and can be used as a pressure cookers and steamers as well. When choosing the best slow cooker for you think about your lifestyle. If you have a variable schedule, you may want a programmable cooker that will keep food warm until you do get home. If you're going to be around the house while the food cooks, a simple on knob machine with high and low settings may be just the thing you need. Next consider how many people you will be feeding. Keeping in mind that for best result you should fill the cooker only half to two-thirds full, a six-quart machine only holds five quarts of food. A small machine is perfect for one or two people while the largest machines will feed a crowd. Make sure you get a cooker with a removable liner, this makes clean-up easy. Having a glass lid so that you can peek without lifting the lid is also highly recommended because lifting the lid will drop the temperature of the food and may cause harmful bacteria to form. Also, keep in mind that for every time you lift the lid you must add about twenty extra minutes to your cooking time. The best place to compare slow cookers is on this very website and our slow cooker pages! You can peruse the different options in the comfort of your own home and decide which unit or units will make the best slow cooker for you.
Best Slow Cooker Recipes
There is such a variety of recipes you can create in your cooker it will surprise you. Star internet cooks are creating some of the best slow cooker recipes that are full of fresh new ideas with each new recipe being more extraordinary than the last. Anything from decadently moist chocolate cake; to rich, traditional stews; to spicy fajitas; and luscious dips, all can be created easily and efficiently. No need to buy slow cooker cookbooks when there are many places online to find great recipes for your cooker. Cooking has never been easier, just put the ingredients into the cooker and forget about it until dinner. The best part is coming home to a house that smells delicious as soon as you walk through the door. Studies have continued to show that the healthiest diets use real food cooked at home. Some nutrients may be lost in slow cooking; however, there are ways to save some of those vitamins and minerals. Blanch or saute vegetables before adding them to the cooker and keep the lid on to prevent the nutrients leaching out. Also, be careful with dried beans. It's best to boil dried beans for thirty minutes before adding them to the cooker. To add extra flavour, brown your meat and poultry before adding. If you dredge your meat in flour before browning it will help to thicken the gravy produced by the liquid you add to the cooker. One of the most expensive food items we buy today is meat, but with slow cookers you can buy the cheapest cuts of meat and produce the most tender and delicious meals for much less than with other cuts and cooking methods. When adapting your own recipes reduce the usual liquid by half. The best way to become familiar with using your cooker is by trying a variety of slow cooker recipes. Many standard kitchen favourites can be adapted to slow cooking, but here on Slow Cooker World, we have a variety of recipe books to help get you started. Choose a protein and some vegetables that will complement the flavour, and then choose a liquid and some seasonings. Add everything to the cooker, set it and forget it for six to eight hours and presto, you have a delicious dinner that is sure to please. Whichever machine you choose or recipe you decide to try first, have fun with it and enjoy healthy, cost-efficient meals and snacks.
Why not check out our new slow cooking blog over to your left of this page? You can access the best slow cooker hints and tips, help with choosing a new or replacement slow cooker, a history of slow cooking and a growing number of the best slow cooker recipes from vegan recipes, paleo diet recipes all the way through to classic crock pot recipes for slow cooking meat and stews. Feel free to get in touch or submit your own slow cooking recipes or hints and tips through our contact page. We'd love to hear from you. Enjoy!