A slow cooker is an electrical kitchen appliance that prepares dishes at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. This makes the meat extra soft and nutrients are better preserved. Due to the slow cooking method, all flavors blend together and dishes will become much tastier.
Slow cookers can be used to prepare stews, soups, sauces, and curries. Actually, the possibilities are endless. After the food has been put in the pan, you can leave it alone for a few hours. With a slow cooker, you can put delicious dishes on the table with little effort.
What Is A Slow Cooker
A slow cooker, also known as a crock pot, is a kitchen tool that can be used to cook a one-pot dish for a longer period of time at a low temperature. It is therefore very suitable for stewing meat. A standard slow cooker consists of a round or oval pot made of ceramic or porcelain. This pot is placed in a casing, often made of metal, this is the part that provides the heat.
The lid is often made of glass and does not contain holes. Slow cookers are usually between 0.5 and 7 liters in size. Often there is a minimum that must be filled because otherwise, the heating element will not work properly. Most slow cookers have two or more heat settings. Often these are low, medium, and high, some slow cookers also have a keep-warm setting.
What To Look For When Buying A Slow Cooker
When you want to buy a slow cooker, you should pay attention to various properties of the slow cooker in addition to its appearance. In America, slow cookers are usually around 30 dollars, but they usually cost double. It is useful to pay attention to the following properties when purchasing:
First, it is very important to pay attention to the size of the slow cooker. Slow cookers are often 3.5 or 6.5 liters, for about two and four people respectively. There are also slow cookers for one person, which have a capacity of 1.5 liters. You can prepare about 2.5 liters of food in a 3.5-liter slow cooker. In a 6.5 liter slow cooker, this is about 4.5 liters. Keep in mind that in a filled slow cooker the food is cooked sooner than in a slow cooker that is less than half full.
In addition, it is useful to pay attention to the shape of a slow cooker. For example, if you want to prepare chicken legs, they will hardly fit in a small round slow cooker, while they will fit in an oval cooker.
Multifunctional Or Not?
Some inner pans can be used in the oven or microwave. If you also want to use the slow cooker in other ways, it is useful to pay attention to this.
You can also opt for a slow cooker with a timer. Usually, the slow cooker then switches off after the time that has been set, or the pan switches to the keep warm setting. If you do not have a timer on the slow cooker, you must switch off your slow cooker yourself.
How Do You Cook With A Slow Cooker?
Cooking with a slow cooker is fairly simple in principle, but the possibilities are endless. The raw food and a liquid are placed in the slow cooker. Some recipes call for the liquid to be preheated first. You close the lid and turn on the slow cooker. The heating element heats the food, usually between 80-95 degrees. The contents are sealed by the pot and lid, so no hot water vapor escapes, so the contents remain at a constant temperature and you need less water, broth, or other liquid than normal.
The simplest slow cookers usually only have a few heat settings and must be turned off manually. The fancier slow cookers sometimes have a computer-controlled timer that can follow programs such as two hours on a low setting followed by two hours on a high setting.
No Chance Of Burning
One of the biggest advantages is that you don’t have to worry about the dish burning. This can only happen if too little moisture has been added. In addition, the food is not overcooked because moisture always remains in the sealed pan.
Easy To Clean
A slow cooker is easy to clean. The inner pot is made of earthenware and if the slow cooker is used properly, no food remains will burn. In addition, the lid is also quickly cleaned.
Nutrients Do Not Disappear With The Cooking Liquid
Vegetables are often boiled in water and then drained. Many of the nutrients are then lost in the cooking liquid. Because you generally eat everything prepared in the slow cooker, including the liquid in which vegetables are cooked, you still get the nutrients that way.
Reading Suggestions: Make Pasta Sauce In A Slow Cooker
The Slow Cooker Does The Job
Finally, the biggest benefit is that you don’t have to stay with the slow cooker while the dish is cooking. It is a safe way of cooking because a lower temperature is used and there is no pressure in the pan. In addition, it doesn’t matter if the food stays an hour longer in the slow cooker because it doesn’t dry out.
Nutrients Can Be Lost
Due to prolonged exposure to heat, certain vitamins and nutrients can be lost.
Be Safe, But Watch Out!
Although slow cookers are a safe way of cooking, the contents still get very hot. If this content is spilled on the skin, it can still cause burns.
Slow Cookers Cannot Cook
Slow Cookers cannot cook, so the meat will not brown in a slow cooker. If you still want to use brown meat, you can fry the meat before adding it to the slow cooker.
Be Careful With Beans!
Some beans such as raw kidney beans may contain the toxin phytohemagglutinin. Cooking destroys these toxins, so these beans must be cooked before adding them to the slow cooker.