It seems like I haven’t done a food focused post in ages. I have written about how to keep grocery costs down, frugal foods to buy and how to start meal planning. Something that I am loving using at the moment is our slow cooker. The one we use is one given to us by my parents, so it’s quite old, but it works so well.
I honestly think that everyone should own a slow cooker!
It doesn’t matter whether you live by yourself, whether you’re in a pair or you have a large family. Everyone can benefit from one of these kitchen items.
Firstly, everything you make in a slow cooker tastes amazing. Whether you cook something on low or on high, the meat comes out so tender. The low and slow method truly does bring out the flavours of whatever you are cooking. Because you are leaving it to cook for a long time, all those flavours have time to develop and mingle with each other to create a very tasty dish.
Secondly, you can buy cheaper cuts of meat and the slow cooker will do some magic on them. Because the longer cooking method is used, it can make quite tough cuts of meat much more tender than you would get cooking them in a pan. Stewing steak and some other ingredients can be turned into a tasty stew to come home to.
It requires very little effort. One of my personal favourites! You just chop everything up, chuck it all in, add your seasoning and off you go. You can brown meat first if you want to, but I don’t tend to. That just adds to the washing up, after all. You do need to chop things into smallish pieces, but nothing too onerous.
A slow cooker costs little to run. If you were to have your oven on all day, cooking a stew, it would cost quite a lot in electricity. However, having a slow cooker on all day ticking over hardly uses any electricity at all. We have an electricity meter fitted at home and it barely registers on it all day. So, in terms of energy use, it is minimal throughout. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the low or high setting either. Low energy is a definite bonus!
When you get home in the evening, the hard work is done for you. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I get home from work on an evening, sometimes, the last thing I want to do is start cooking. I’m tired and just want to sit down. However, there is nothing better than coming home to some delicious meal that’s been cooking all day. Nothing beats this!
You can make almost anything in it. The most obvious to make is a stew. But you can make chilli, bolognese. stews, soup, rice pudding and even cakes! Jacket potatoes are supposed to be really tasty made in them too, though I haven’t actually tried this. The possibilities are endless!
I am definitely a fan of our slow cooker. I am writing this post at 9pm and I currently have a lasagne/bolognese sauce bubbling away in there. I will leave it on overnight, then let it cool in the morning and pop it into the freezer for a later date. It already smells good! This means that on another day, the main part of a meal is cooked already.
The slow cooker that we use is no longer available, but my parents use this one and love it. I’ve also been using a couple of slow cooker recipe books for new recipes. My favourite is this one which has a great variety of recipes in. I sometimes get stuck in a rut and make the same things week in, week out, so this helps with that.
Do you have a slow cooker? What’s your favourite recipe to make in it? I’d love to hear from you!
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