Since the holidays are upon us, it is time to get your crockpot out and use it more. I invited Sheryl Tanner on to talk to us about the benefits of using a slow cooker.
Here’s what she has to say-
The slow cooker is somewhat of a forgotten kitchen appliance in the modern kitchen. People don’t realize that a slow cooker is cheap, effective, and it’s a great way to prepare delicious meals with minimal effort. It’s a fantastic method of cooking to make the most of budget ingredients. You can make amazing low-fat and healthy meals with a slow cooker, and it’s extremely easy to use. It’s a great accompaniment to losing weight.
Choosing a Slow Cooker
Like most kitchen appliances, slow cookers can range from cheap budget buys with no thrills, to expensive luxuries with the latest cooking technology. One of the biggest considerations when buying your slow cooker is how big you need it. If you’re going to cook for a large family, then make sure you buy one that’s big enough to feed your entire family.
It’s also great to have a warming function to keep the food warm when it’s finished cooking. Most people start their slow cooker meals in the morning and leave it be for a couple of hours, then they dig in whenever it’s convenient. With a warming function, you don’t have to worry about the food getting cold or overcooking past the recipe time.
Price is also an important consideration. Most features will come at a premium, but the majority of them are unnecessary. Cheap slow cookers are absolutely fine. As long as they are big enough and there’s a warming function, you can pick whichever has good customer reviews.
Time and Effort Saving
The main attraction to a slow cooker is the ease of use. But how can a cooker be “time-saving” you ask? It’s simple. Preparing a slow cooker recipe is as simple as cutting up ingredients and turning on the slow cooker. There’s no need to watch pots and pans, no need to fiddle with temperatures, you just follow a recipe (or make up your own) and leave it alone for a couple of hours. For the entire day, you’ll have a ready-to-eat meal whenever you feel hungry.
Here’s an example of a typical slow cooker recipe. To make a delicious spaghetti bolognese, combine minced beef, canned tomatoes, chopped carrots, diced onion, celery, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, a sprig thyme, a few bay leaves, salt, pepper, and a splash of wine into your slow cooker.
Cover it and cook for 5-6 hours on medium heat, and then serve over spaghetti. Easy right? All it takes is preparation, and then you throw everything into the slow cooker and let it be. You can find more recipes like this at PaleoHacks.
Saves You Money
Tough and cheap cuts of meat such as brisket, shoulder, and thigh make great meats to throw into a slow cooker. They cook for an extremely long time which brings out the meaty flavor of these cheaper cuts, and the cooking process makes it juicy and delicious.
You don’t need to add oil to the slow cooker either, and you don’t need fatty cuts of meat because you usually cut the fat off before adding it to the slow cooker. This is because the fat drains away in regular cooking methods, but in a slow cooker the fat will sit in the food and you’ll have an oily mess.