What is a Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is a handy countertop kitchen appliance, designed for cooking at low temperatures for several hours successively. It’s not too much expensive, it’s economical in energy consumption and it’s great for making a variety of meals. From simple rice to casserole, it 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 on coming back from the office late in the evening. Isn’t it a great device for business people who are always limited in time to keep at a hand? The cooking abilities 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 much more. 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 get assured that this is a great thing for your kitchen to keep for years of use.
For those who love to eat tasty and healthy food but lack time for cooking, we recommend turning their eyes to Pressure Cookers.
What Features to Compare
If you’ve already made your mind to buy a slow cooker, here are some practical tips on how to choose a perfect crock for a kitchen that not only would impress you with cooking results, but also serve for many years and please all households with overall performance. slow cookers vary on different parameters, so you need to know for sure what mainly you’d like to use it for and move from there.
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 offer a capacious insert to accommodate a good portion of food. If you love cooking a lot or just don’t fancy doing 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 of the construction may also differ. Some of the popular crocks are made either from ceramic or porcelain, but you can also find a metal pot. They may be 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 produced in round while others come in oval shapes. Which one would better work you? The answer totally depends on what you’d like to cook in it. The round shape will ideally go for making soups, simmering vegetables, beans, cooking porridge while the oval shape will better work for stewing chickens and ribs. However, as practice shows, most consumers prefer to choose a model that better fits their working counter.
The Cooking Insert is another criterion you should be interested in when looking for a slow cooker. Usually, most crock pots have a non-stick cooking insert. This is a perfect cover for preparing a great lot 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 inwards of the pot and ensures comfortable cooking and easy cleaning. You may also want to learn suitability 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 Method of Heating 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 distribution of the heat is even and consistent.
Those were the basic characteristics to give you understanding of what you should look for. However, what drastically differ one model from another is a variety of Additional Functions available. The fact that they are mentioned the last in the list just explains their not paramount importance. Most of the features are there to simplify our life. A timer, for example, will automatically turn a slow cooker off so you don’t need to rush home and do it yourself. A warming function will hold the meal at a warm function. Some slow cooks have got a sear function, but usually, it’s a zest of more expensive models.