Slow Cooker or Crockpot has become the need of the hour. I'm sure you must have been eyeballing a Slowcooker for quite some time now. But, do you know why you MUST own a slow cooker? What Kind of Slow cooker should you purchase? How to use a slow cooker? Difference between a slow cooker and a Pressure cooker? Well, you've got the questions, we've got the answers. See more Slow Cooker Recipes for summer.
Are you a busy office worker who barely has time to cook? In today's fast-paced world, it's not surprising that many of us workaholics cannot find enough time to make dedicated meals. This leaves us no choice but to settle for unhealthy food options like burnt toast and overdone coffee for breakfast. But what if there is a way you can have a tasty meal that comes in a healthy package?
Slow Cooker or Crockpot as called by many, can look scary to people who are novices at cooking. But it is actually one of the easiest cooking appliances you can use in your kitchen. If you don't take our word on it, then there's the James Beard award-nominated Sarah DiGregorio! She is an acclaimed food writer and a big fan of slow cookers just like us!
According to her, anyone can become an expert in slow cookers. They just need to know everything about the cooking appliance and get practicing on it! So let's get started in getting to know this magical food appliance.
But, before we begin: Take a look at some of our favorite Crockpot recipes - Crockpot Chicken Thighs in Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce (just 4-ingredients), Cajun Butter Crockpot Chicken Thighs and Rice, Honey Bourbon Chicken in Crockpot, Crockpot Chicken Thighs in Lemon Garlic Sauce and many more!
What's a slow cooker?
Many confuse a slow cooker for a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, but they are actually opposites to each other when it comes to function. While a pressure cooker is known for making food at a fast speed, a slow cooker takes its time to cook food at a low temperature. The food cooks at a simmer and can take up to 3-hour to even 8- hours to get ready. The ceramic coating inside the slow cooker allows it to get that slow-roasted smoky taste.
Types of slow cooker
Slow cookers come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different materials and controls. You have to pick a slow cooker that is well suited for your daily needs.
A slow cooker comes in small, medium, and large sizes. For a single person or two people, a small slow cooker (2 1/2 to 3 1/2-quart) is more than enough. For a family, a (3 1/2 to 4 1/2-quart) slow cooker will do its job. And if you want to cook for a big family, get a large slow cooker such as 5 to 6-quart or even bigger 7 or 8-quart if you're cooking for a crowd.
A slow cooker comes in either of these three materials: (1) ceramic; (2) metal; (3) cast aluminum. If you want to use your slow cooker for both microwave and oven, ceramic slow cookers are ideal options for you. If you want a slow cooker that's more on the higher end, cast aluminum is perfect.
Slow cookers can come with either programmable controls or basic controls. A slow cooker with basic control has to be operated manually, and you cannot program time on it. On the other hand, programmable slow cookers can be programmed with temperature and time for your food to come out perfectly.
Even after your food is done, the programmable slow cooker will keep it warm for you. If you have a big enough budget, we definitely suggest you go for a programmable slow cooker.
How to use a slow cooker?
As we said before, a slow cooker is extremely easy to work with. You can be just a beginner in your cooking skills and still manage to fix a full meal with the help of a slow cooker. Just throw in all the ingredients of a recipe that's suitable for your slow cooker and set the timer. This is especially perfect for early risers who have to leave for their work early in the morning with no time to cook for dinner. Just set your slow cooker in the morning and set it until evening. By the time you get home, you'll have your dinner ready in the slow cooker!
If you are worried about leaving your slow cooker for long hours, then we have you covered there as well. A slow cooker is built in such a way that it'll be completely safe to leave it untouched for long hours while your food cooks in it. So while you're at work just focus on getting it done. When you get home you'll be welcomed by your safely cooked dinner, all thanks to your trusty slow cooker!
Depending on the type of recipe you are making, you'll have to set the time accordingly. If you are cooking chicken or any meat then you have two options. You can either cook it on High for 4-hours or on low for 8-hours.
Basically, it's all a matter of experience. Just keep using your slow cooker and very soon you'll be a pro. See this Video for Crockpot Garlic Parmesan Chicken Thighs on YouTube.
Benefits of a slow cooker
Unlike what many naysayers say, a slow cooker is a worthwhile investment for what you get in return. Even the slow time taken to get your food ready is not a disadvantage but a useful feature. But this is just one of the many beneficial features of the slow cooker. We guarantee that by the time we are done listing all the pros of getting a slow cooker, you will decide on buying one as well!
Not a fan of stirring the pot to get your food ready? Then let a slow cooker do all the cooking for you! All you need to do is toss in your ingredients and set your slow cooker. Try making Eggplant and Zucchini lasagna in a Slow Cooker. I am sure you'll love it.
With a programmable slow-cooker, it gets even easier. You just have to set the temperature and time to get your meal ready!
This hands-off feature of the slow cooker is perfect for people who have mediocre to no cooking skills. But it works best for people who have very busy lives. Just set your slow cooker when you leave for work and you can return back home to a piping hot dinner. Try this Authentic Mexican Chicken Tinga (in Slow Cooker)❤️
Do you know why brisket tastes so good? The secret is its slow cooking method. Anything you cook low and slow will turn out to be a culinary delicacy. With a slow cooker, you don’t even need to be a culinary expert. Your slow cooker can easily cook your food at a delicious low simmer for upto ten hours to bring out the best from the ingredients. Even a lean cut of meat will turn out completely tenderized after spending a few hours in your slow cooker. See this recipe for Crockpot Chicken Thighs in lemon garlic sauce and you'll know what I mean.
If you are a healthy eater, a slow cooker also has plenty of advantages for you! It is a known fact that cooking at higher heat destroys nutrients in your food. But with a slow cooker’s low cooking temperature not only will you get a delicious meal but also a healthy one with all the nutrients intact. Try this recipe for Crockpot Zucchini Baked Ziti (Low Carb). Super healthy and so delicious😘
If you are an energy-savvy person, slow cookers are your perfect match. Even if you use a slow cooker just for one meal per day, you’ll cut down your energy bills by a lot. You will be saving on ingredients too as you can cook in bulk with a slow cooker.
You'll be saving time using a slow cooker as it's so easy to clean! Since a slow cooker cooks food at a low temperature, there's no chance of any food sticking on the bottom. This means no scrubbing out any leftovers from your slow cooker! Try Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken with Sweet Pineapple Glaze
Slow Cooker Recipes
If you decide to slow cooker you'll obviously want to try out cooking your favorite recipes on it. But while the slow cooker is great in almost all aspects of cooking, it works better with some recipes than others. We'll list out the best ones which will definitely become your new favorite if you try cooking it in your slow cooker!
Slow-cooked beef stew is perfect for your slow cooker. The beef will be so tender it will melt in your mouth.
For vegans, we have Vegan Lentil Coconut Curry in Crockpot. The low temperature of the slow cooker will make sure to bring out the natural flavors of vegetables.
Did you know you can make brownies in your slow cooker? They'll be the softest melt-in-your-mouth brownies you'll ever have!
- Bruschetta Chicken Pasta - Slow Cooker / Instant Pot
- Chicken Jalfrezi (Slow Cooker or Stove Top)
- Crockpot Coconut Lime Chicken
- Crockpot Chicken Thigh Recipe with Asian Glaze
We hope we have successfully converted you to the side of slow cookers! Although they can be on the pricey side when compared to your pots and pans, we assure you they will be a worthwhile addition to your kitchen. You will not only eat healthily and save bills with a slow cooker but also be able to wow everyone with your cooking!