What is a Slow Cooker?
A slow cooker is a handy countertop kitchen appliance designed for cooking at low temperatures for several hours. It’s not expensive at all and you can cook a variety of dishes. From simple rice to casserole, this appliance is made to cope with any cooking task with ease. The main idea of using a slow cooker is to be able to load the ingredients in a crock early in the morning and have a meal done when you come back from work in the evening. Isn’t it a great appliance for business people who are always limited in time? The cooking capabilities of slow cookers are often compared to multi-cookers. They are capable of cooking literally everything - stewing vegetables, making porridge and rice, tenderising meat, preparing soup, making mulled wine, and so on. It’s also well suitable for making lasagne and some exclusive desserts that do require a long period of cooking time. If you’re still contemplating an idea of whether to buy or not to buy a slow cooker, keep on reading our review and take your pick!
If you need to cook healthy food really fast, make sure to read our review of the best pressure cookers. Also, the perfect assistants in your kitchen can become microwave ovens and food processors that you are welcome to choose in our reviews.
What Features to Compare
If you’ve already made up your mind to buy a slow cooker, here are some practical tips on how to choose a perfect crock pot for a kitchen that will not only impress you with exquisite dishes but also serve for many years. slow cookers vary in different parameters so you need to know how exactly you plan to use it.
The first thing that will definitely strike your eye is a difference in design of different models. Some crock pots are really tiny in size and useful only for making a meal for two persons while others have a large cooking pot that accommodates a lot of food. If you love cooking or just don’t wish to do it on a daily basis, it may be a good idea to go for a bigger size and double recipes. However, if you run a small household, you may be quite happy with a small slow cooker with no leftovers but just a one-off meal for a dinner or supper. The material a unit is made of may also differ. Some crock pots are made either of ceramic or porcelain but you can also find metal ones. They are a bit better in heat conduction than ceramic and porcelain models, but not as much to base your choice only on this factor. You’ll also see that slow cookers are differently shaped. Some models are round while others are oval. Which one would better work you? The answer totally depends on what you’d like to cook in it. The round shape will ideally suit for making soups, simmering vegetables, beans, cooking porridge while the oval-shaped slow cooker will better work for stewing chickens and ribs. However, most consumers prefer choosing models that better fit their cooking counters.
The cooking insert is another criterion you should pay attention to when looking for a slow cooker. Usually, most crock pots have a non-stick cooking insert. It allows for preparing a great variety of dishes during a long period of time without any bits sticking to the surface. Make sure to check whether a non-stick cover goes throughout the entire inner surface of the pot and ensures comfortable cooking and easy cleaning. You may also want to check the compatibility of a cooking insert with gas and electric cooktops. Quite often, if a cooking insert is removable, it can be used on its own for cooking one-pot dishes.
We would also like to draw your attention to the heating method that a slow cooker uses. Frequently, the heating element is positioned right at the bottom. That’s not bad but a better option would be to find a crock pot with a heating element spread up to the side of the bottom so that the heat distribution is even and consistent.
Those were the basic characteristics to give you an understanding of what you should look for. However, what drastically differs one model from another is a variety of available additional functions. They make using a slow cooker as convenient as possible. A timer, for example, will automatically turn a slow cooker off while a warming function will keep your meal warm.
Breville VTP105 4.5 Litre
Your Dinner is Waiting!
Have you ever had your meals over- or undercooked in an oven or a frying pan? Is there any way to come up with a delicious meal each time you cook? Yes, actually, there is, and that's where you need this awesome Breville slow cooker. Cooked under low temperatures, casseroles, stews, soups, etc. will be perfectly cooked and lip-smacking. The appliance works in 3 settings (High, Low, and Auto) that ensure efficient cooking without your constant control. Just set the required time for a dish to be cooked and have your special dinner still warm and nice the moment you get back home after a long working day. A high bowl capacity and its oval shape allow cooking a whole chicken in there and so, Breville slow cooker is surely among the best choices available on the market today for big families who don't want to spend ages cooking.
Each cooking method has its benefits. Let's look at the advantages of simmering in a crock pot. First of all, a cooking temperature can be adjusted within the 79 to 93 °C range, allowing you to preserve all essential nutrients in foods. Next, simmering in a crock pot may take up to 10-12 hours, no wonder it is called slow cooking. A ceramic bowl inside the appliance protects the food from scorching. Whatever you cook in a slow cooker, you'll be impressed with mouth-watering flavours and doneness degree. Vegetables, meat, etc. won't fall apart but be incredibly tender and soft just like you always wanted to. Besides, slow cookers are suitable for simmering vacuum-sealed foods, which is another advantage you can benefit from time-wise.
More Products to Consider
If you'd like to add diversity to your diet, you can order a recipe book with the best slow cooked meals and treat your near and dear to amazing dinners every day.
Russell Hobbs 19790
Reliable Kitchen Assistant
To choose a decent quality slow cooker, firstly, you need to consider what material it's been made of. And if you really want it to last for at least a few years, you better opt for stainless steel appliances like this Russell Hobbs slow cooker. Russell Hobbs slow cooker features a removable ceramic bowl with anti-stick coating for easy maintenance and efficient heat distribution throughout the pot. Russell Hobbs slow cooker is among few models that can be heated in a microwave oven, which is extremely handy when used by a big family who return home at a different time. The bowl and tempered glass lid are both dishwasher-safe too. All cooking tasks now won't be a chore with this amazing and reliable kitchen assistant for all occasions!
Russell Hobbs: Stylish Appliances
The capacity and usability of household appliances are essential. However, a stylish design is important as well. Russell Hobbs products combine an unconventional design and efficient performance. The company works with renown designers to introduce unique state-of-the-art collections. For example, it cooperates with Salvador Dali Foundation. Russell Hobbs appliances have been created to add comfort and style to your everyday life. Constantly moving beyond, the company brings out cutting-edge products and upgrades the existing models.
More Products to Consider
If you are on a diet or just want to manage your food ration, we recommend using a kitchen and food scale.
Morphy Richards 48702
Sear and Stew
To sear food before stewing it in a slow cooker, you need to use some additional cookware. But not with this Morphy Richards slow cooker! You can take the pot out from the unit and use it first on a stove top to sear meat before adding other ingredients. Doing this way, you'll be able to fry meat until it gets golden crust and takes on soft and tender texture with incredible mesmerizing flavour. The pot itself is pretty lighweight and has two ergonomic handles for easy carrying in the kitchen. Choose between 5 colour options and find your own Morphy Richards slow cooker to fit your kitchen interior.
A Few Tips on Slow Cooking
There are a few things you should consider while using a crock pot. Slow cooking, or simmering, requires lower temperatures compared to other cooking methods. The evaporation rate is minimal, that is why it is recommended to add half the amount of water that you usually add to the food. Besides, cooking in a slow cooker takes four times longer than in a conventional stove or oven. Keep in mind that opening a lid adds another 20 minutes to the cooking time. That is most slow cookers come with transparent glass lids so that it's easy to monitor the process without actually stirring or mixing the food before the end. For the best performance it's advisable that a slow cooker is minimum ½ and maximum ⅔ filled and never right up to the top. Provided that all these easy-to-follow recommendations concerned, you'll never fail to prepare fantastic meals and be able to considerably prolong the service life of the unit.
More Products to Consider
Smart watches are a perfect accessory for all people living a healthy lifestyle. They allow you to keep track of the calories you've eaten and consumed, build a proper daily menu, and much more. Besides, seeing this slow cooker doesn't have a timer, you can always refer to the watch.
Crock-Pot SCCPQK5025W 2.4 Litre
Wonderful Time- and Space-saving Solution
If you have a small kitchen, you will appreciate this portable Crock-Pot slow cooker! Its 2.4 L ceramic pot is large enough to cook food for a family of 2-3 people. Taking very little space on your countertop, it allows cooking most delicious and healthy meals that you can serve up right in a removable pot. In addition, the appliance is easy to control. You can adjust the heating modes (Low and High) depending on the recipe and the desired cooking time. All you need is to chop the food and load it into the pot, the rest will be done by the slow cooker. Fantastic!
How to Stop Eating Unhealthy Foods
We all prefer eating food that tastes nice but quite often this food isn't exactly healthy and can cause digestive and vascular problems. Food with a large content of fat stands for most atherosclerosis diseases and obesity and therefore, its consumption should be reduced to none if possible. The problem for most people though is that we're often limited in time and have no chance to spend it cooking. Business and active people who live on a schedule, quite often resort to fast-food shops as a remedy and this way soon lose control over their diet. The good news is, now we don't need to spend as much time in the kitchen. We can shirk off this work upon a slow cooker and eat only healthy and low-fat foods each time on coming back home from work. No minute over a cooker, your effort isn't required at all. Slow cooker is a must for all business people who want to keep fit, look good and eat with pleasure.
More Products to Consider
Consider adding to your kitchen interior a good set of dish racks to store clean plates and bowls in order.
Andrew James 6.5 Litre Premium
For Those Who Have Little Time to Cook
After a long working day, it's quite likely that few of use have desire or time to prepare a wholesome tea. In order to save time on cooking, now you can buy this Andrew James slow cooker and come back to a warm and nice meal every time you need. The appliance boasts quite a big capacity that makes 6.5 liters and is enough for 16-20 servings so you can prepare a full-size meal and feast your family or friends with healthy treats. Andrew James slow cooker features 3 heat settings (High, Low, Auto) to adjust the temperature to various needs without actually opening the lid. So, what you need to do is to load the food in the pot and adjust the heat with reference to the recipe. In 8-10 hours time, the dish will be all ready, juicy and flavourful and you'll be able to serve up the moment you're back home. The beauty about slow cookers is that despite rather long time they're usually left switched on, they don't consume much energy and you're not going to be ripped off at the end of a month. So, if you're a busy person who spends a lot of time out of home, this Andrew James slow cooker is a good option for your regular usage.
Ceramic Bowl Maintainance
Here are some useful tips on how to maintain a removable ceramic bowl. First of all, you should wash it in warm water and wipe dry before each use. It is advisable to use either wood or silicone utensils in order not to scratch a non-stick coating inside the pot. It is also important to avoid rapid temperature shifts. That is why you should wash the pot only when it's been cooled down and not right after cooking. Although the item is dishwasher-safe, we'd still recommend to wash it with hands in warm water with a bit of detergent. If you take proper care of your crock pot, it will serve you in a long while!
More Products to Consider
When cooking in a slow cooker, it's important to stir food only with wooden and silicone utensils; otherwise, there's a high risk the bottom of the bowl may get scratched and damaged.
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