Everything you need to know about slow cookers
With the fast pace of life that we have today, we have almost forgotten the pleasure of traditional meals prepared with care, dedication and patience.
Well, slow cookers come into our lives to help us recover the traditional flavors and textures achieved with long periods of cooking, without having to become slaves of the kitchen.
Do you want to know how? Keep reading and we will tell you all about the pots that cook themselves.
What is a slow cooker
Table of Contents
- What is a slow cooker
- The different types of slow cookers
- How to choose a slow cooker?
- How to choose a good slow cooker?
- How to use a slow cooker?
- What slow cooker do I need for my family?
- What can I cook in a slow cooker?
- How much do slow cookers consume?
- Advantages and disadvantages of slow cookers
10. Why buy a slow cooker?
11. How to clean a slow cooker?
12. Where to buy a slow cooker?
What is a slow cooker or slow cooker?
A slow cooker is an appliance that allows you to cook while maintaining a constant temperature during long cooking times that, in no case, exceed 90-100 ° C, which will give you a great advantage in the kitchen. your slow cooker can cook for you while you are sleeping, working or doing any activity at home or away with results that have nothing to envy to our grandmothers’ stews.
The dishes that you will get in a slow cooker are healthier, since cooking with low temperatures makes the food lose less of its original properties and are healthier, without forgetting the tenderness and juiciness that we will get in foods such as meats nor how substantial broths and sauces will be.
Perhaps in Spain they are not very widespread yet and many people do not know what slow cookers are used for, but in the United States, England and Latin America they are a staple in the kitchen of many homes.
Electric slow cookers are very easy to use, even for those less advanced in the kitchen, and they have a very simple operation. But before seeing how slow cookers work, let’s know its main parts:
Outer casing: it is connected to the electricity where the resistances that transmit that constant heat characteristic of the slow cooking kitchen are located.
Removable casserole: they can be used to bring to the table and serve and even put in the oven to get an extra browning on our plates, where the food will be cooked. They are usually ceramic, although there are also metal models that will allow you to make previous elaborations in the fire.
Control panel: you will find it on the front of the outer casing and from there you can adjust the power-slow cookers usually have two levels: slow and high, in addition to the keep warm function-and time in the case the pot is programmable. It can be digital or manual.
A lid: it is important that it is transparent to be able to control the cooking point without having to lift it and lose temperature.
The different types of slow cookers
There is more than one model of slow cooker. Next, we present the most modern types of casseroles.
Manual cooker The most classic version of this type of appliance. It was presented at the end of the last century and its mechanism is still integrated in recent models.
It consists of a ceramic pot lined with some metallic material and a heat generator that keeps the temperature level.
However, the cook must take care of the temperature and the time of the preparation to prevent the food from burning, sticking to the bottom or cooking more than necessary.
Using a slow cooker This type of programmable cooker has a ceramic / porcelain base, a thermoregulator and a timer built into the frame that helps the cook to measure cooking time more accurately.
These pots are also equipped with non-stick metals that make cleaning easier and food sticks to the bottom.
Model with thermoelectric probe
slow cooker thermoelectric probe This type of slow cooker is the most modern of all. It usually has a non-stick stainless steel or aluminum coating, a ceramic base, a “keep warm” function and a temperature regulator for different cooking levels with an integrated digital timer.
The thermoelectric pot is safe, quick to clean and very easy to use, so it is recommended for people with few culinary notions or who have a busy schedule.
Buying the ideal slow cooker involves choosing the parameters that best suit your regular needs and the type of food you want to prepare. Remember that the more features you choose, the easier and faster you can prepare your recipes.
How to choose a slow cooker?
Simmering with a conventional saucepan can be a difficult feat to accomplish. And it is that maintaining the optimum temperature in this type of utensil is almost impossible when you do not have the appropriate materials and benefits. In these cases, a slow cooker is the best option.
To help you facilitate the selection process of this appliance, from www.Mi-Robot-Kitchen.es we have created this article with all the information you need about this type of pot and we also present the most outstanding models on the market. Keep reading!
How to choose a good slow cooker?
Buying a good slow cooker is about taking into account what your needs are in the kitchen and how the slow cooker can help you with them.
Inside a slow cooker There is a wide variety of pots intended for slow cookers, and although their performance may seem similar, the biggest difference is in the capacity per liter that each model can contain.
When you choose the capacity, consider the following questions: How many people eat daily at home? What kind of food do you usually prepare? Do you want to innovate with new recipes? Do you cook in the oven regularly or do you prefer to use the stove? Do you organize special dinners frequently, eat alone or as a family?
Answering these questions will help you determine the liters of your ideal pot. The formula is simple: find a casserole that can cook up to three more servings than you are used to preparing.
Here is a list of measures that will make it easier for you to find the appliance. Guide to liters and portions:
A 2L pot can cook up to 2 servings per preparation
A 3-liter pot can serve 3 to 4 servings per preparation
A 3.5 l pot serves exactly 4 servings per preparation
A 5 l pot serves up to 5 servings per preparation
A 6 l or 6.5 l pot has the capacity to serve between 7 and 8 servings per preparation
Modern Slow Cooker For a slow cooker to work properly it needs to have ceramic or porcelain on its base and an aluminum or stainless steel frame.
The base is responsible for maintaining adequate heat throughout the cooking of the food, while the metal liners protect the pot from the outside elements, while preserving the vapors and optimizing the post-cooking temperature.
On the other hand, the most modern slow cookers usually include improvements to diversify the type of kitchen, as is the case of ceramic bases suitable to withstand the heat of the oven and stove, for example.
Options and accessories
Compact slow cooker The new generation of slow cookers of this type are equipped with various functionalities that help improve preparations and facilitate slow cooking.
In this case, you should choose the options based on your culinary weaknesses and type of cuisine.
In other words, if your biggest drawback with slow cooking is keeping the heat during the entire preparation, it is best to buy an automatic pot with a timer. Similarly, if you are looking for a pot to cook large portions and serve instantly, you need one with a removable casserole and post-cook heat function.
And if you are looking to reduce the number of utensils to wash, it is best to choose the pot with the most non-stick parts.
How to use a slow cooker?
As we said before, using a slow cooker is something quite simple and will allow us to cook rich and healthy dishes – slow cooking favors the preservation of the properties of food – with little knowledge and effort, simply following the steps of the recipes that we want to cook. Basically, an elaboration in an electric slow cooker comprises the following steps:
Previous preparation: some dishes need certain preparations before starting in the slow cooker (frying vegetables, sealing the meat …). These are made in a separate pan, although there are models in which the pans are suitable for fire and induction.
Start-up: for this you will have to introduce the ingredients into the pot, choose the temperature option required by the recipe and, if your slow cooker is programmable, if it is not, you can always set a timer. plug, set the cooking time.
End of cooking: wait for the preparation time to end and turn off the pot if it is not programmed for this. In addition, slow cookers have a keep warm function that allows us to preserve the temperature of our dishes so that they are perfect for when we go to serve them without having to heat them again.
Did you know that you can use your Crock-Pot as an oven? You just have to put the food on high with a rack or some plate rings and that’s it. It does not toast like the oven, but to get that rich golden brown you only need one last stroke of the oven in grill mode to get the perfect golden brown.
What slow cooker do I need for my family?
Another of the most important things to consider about slow cookers is their capacity. Depending on the needs of each house, the size of the pot to be used will vary.
To have everything much clearer, take a look at this table in which we tell you which slow cooker to use depending on the number of diners.
2.4 Liters 2 People
3.5 Liters 3-4 people
4.7 Liters 5 people
5.7 Liters 5-6 people
6 Liters 6 people
6.5 Liters 7 people
What can I cook in a slow cooker?
In a slow cooker you can cook anything you would cook in a normal pot over low heat. But you can also carry out typical oven preparations (ribs, roast chicken …). Here is a small summary of some of the star preparations of slow cookers:
Meat stews: one of the star dishes of slow cookers. Tender and juicy meats that will make it clear that there is nothing like cooking in a slow cooker to achieve that magic point.
Legumes: recover the flavors and textures of the town stew. Lentils, beans, chickpeas and much more. The only thing is that you will have to be careful with the red and black beans.
Biscuits: although you would never think that it is an adequate preparation for an electric slow cooker, you will be surprised how rich they are. You can make them by inserting a mold or lining the pot with aluminum foil.
Rice pudding: another of the sweets that are best in slow cookers. Soft, creamy, and with a flavor that will make you travel to childhood in each spoonful.
Chicken: one of the best recipes in these pots is the traditional-style roast chicken. Tender, very tender. You can give it a hit of the oven at the end to get the browning of the skin. Best in large, oval pots to fit us well.
Cooked: it is one of the traditional recipes for which slow cooking is best. If you are one fan of this dish, you cannot miss the one that comes out of a slow cooker.
As you can see, there is nothing that can resist this pot. This is only a small sample, but there is much more: roasted vegetables, ribs, fish, and just about anything you can think of can be found in our slow little wonders.
When preparing recipes that you have taken from a book or the internet, you should bear in mind that not all slow cookers have the same power. For example, Crock-Pots are more powerful than Russell Hobbs and therefore spend less time preparing dishes. Try adjusting the time of the recipes to that of your pot and get ready to enjoy!
How much do slow cookers consume?
You might think that, for the number of hours it takes to cook, the electrical consumption of a slow cooker is going to be very high.
However, these are devices that use very little energy since they work at low temperatures that are reached and maintained without the need to use a lot of power, which makes their electricity consumption much lower than that of any other appliance you have in House.
Advantages and disadvantages of slow cookers
Still not sure what benefits a slow cooker can bring to your life? Do not worry, we will tell you all the good that this little device can bring to your day to day. And since nothing is perfect in its entirety, we also show you some of the most common drawbacks of slow cookers.
Time: once cooking starts, slow cookers do not require any help from you. We put the pot to work for as long as the recipe needs and you’re all set for the feast! And if we also have a timer, we forget to turn it off, but you can always add a plug like this:
Energy efficiency: although the fact of spending so much time working and plugged into electricity may make us think that they consume a lot, it is not like that. These are very efficient appliances thanks to the use of very low power resistors (remember that the temperatures it reaches are low). An electric slow cooker consumes 15-20 times less than a glass ceramic. In addition, since you can program it and cook without being present, take the opportunity to cook at night or at the time when electricity is cheapest.
why I use slow cookers?
Food: to obtain the flavors, textures, sauces and broths that we obtain with one of these pots, you would need a lot of time and dedication. Helps you restore traditional flavors and doneness effortlessly.
Nutrition: cooking without reaching high temperatures makes food better preserve its original nutrients. In this way we will be able to take better advantage of the properties of each of the ingredients in our recipes.
Cleanliness: cooking with a slow cooker is cleaner than doing it with other traditional ways. They generate less fumes, odors and grease, and are very easy to clean.
Conciliation: it will allow you to efficiently reconcile your rhythm of life with a healthy, varied and finger-licking diet.
Price: it is a relatively cheap appliance for the enormous amount that is taken out of it and what makes your life easier. The prices of slow cookers vary depending on the size and the range to which they belong (low, medium or high).
Elimination of bacteria: some foods, such as red or black beans, contain a toxin called phytohemagglutinin that we will only be able to eliminate by cooking it at high temperatures. Therefore, it is advisable to boil these foods for 10-15 minutes before putting them in the slow cooker.
Fragility: the ceramic in which the casserole is made is a delicate material and, therefore, we must be careful not to hit it to avoid breakage or chipping. With the metallic ones we will have to try not to scratch the inner lining to prevent the food from sticking. Try using silicone cooking utensils on them.
Stains: certain foods can leave white spots on ceramic. Do not be scared, nothing that a few hours of soaking with a good jet of vinegar and a good rubbing cannot solve.
We hope you liked the article and it has clarified any questions about the world of slow cooking. 🙂 Although if you’ve been wanting to know a little more, take a look at these that we leave you here with more information and very interesting models.
Why buy a slow cooker?
Here are the reasons to buy a slow cooker, based on user reviews:
To vary the dishes
Professional Slow Cooker allows you to cook healthier, more tender and flavorful dishes.
This is due to the fact that the vapors caused by a stew of this type eliminates fat, tenderizes meats and foods give off their natural aromas easily.
Likewise, there is an extensive menu of recipes that range from grain stew, baked meats, stir-fries, tubers and vegetables.
To save time
Slow cookers, like pressure cookers, can cook and soften foods faster compared to conventional pots or pans that we usually have in the kitchen. In addition, appliances with built-in timers allow accurate timing of recipes to be accurately measured, preventing overcooking and staining of food.
Where to buy a slow cooker?
This small appliance can be found in online stores, Amazon style. There you will have a wide variety of models to choose from, as well as affordable prices for all budgets. You can also look at some appliance stores.
How to clean a slow cooker?
Cleaninga slow cooker Separate the casserole from the warming pan and fill it to the top with warm water with a little dish soap. This will help remove soggy food and residue that inevitably sticks to the appliance’s walls.
If over time the container and other parts connected to the electrical system become sticky or become stained, they can be cleaned with a damp towel and special detergent for kitchen metals. You can keep a layer of soap for 30 minutes and then wipe it off with a wet cloth.