All About Slow Cooking
Slow cooking has many benefits for the home chef. It allows you to
prepare meals that are tender and savory with little effort. Plus, you
can start the cooker in the morning and let the meal prepare itself
while you work, clean, or spend time with family. All you need is a
quality slow cooker appliance and a few great recipes to get started!
Before you get started with slow cooking, you need to know what
appliance to buy. A slow cooker is sometimes called a “Crock Pot” after
the popular trademarked appliance. Slow cookers are electrically powered
and can reach only moderate temperatures. This makes them perfect for
cooking meals slowly over a long period of time. The first slow cookers
became popular in the 1970s, and are still widely used today. Most are
round or oval in shape and come with a well-fitted lid to prevent
splattering. They are made of heat resistant materials like ceramic or
porcelain and come in a range of sizes usually spanning 1-5 litres. Since slow cookers require you to let food sit for an extended
period, it can be easy to forget about your meal. Therefore, it is a
good idea to get a slow cooker with a heating timer. These will either
shut down or switch to a low temperature “warming” mode after a set
Recipes for slow cookers vary widely, but they do share a few common
elements. For one, they always contain some sort of liquid. This is to
prevent the main food product from drying out during an extended heating
period. In some cases, water may be required. However, many recipes add
flavour with broths or wine. As the liquid heats and evaporates, the slow
cooker’s lid forces the contents to inevitably return to a liquid state.
This also helps food stay moist and flavourful. Additionally, slow cooker
recipes are meant to be one pot meals. This means you should not require
any other kitchen appliances to complete the perfect dish.
There are many benefits to using a slow cooker. For one, food cooked
over a longer period of time becomes more tender. This is great if you
want to use cheaper cuts of meat that are sometimes to chewy or tough
when cooked on a stove or grill. Additionally, slow cookers make it
harder to overcook your food. Even if you leave it on a bit too long, no
damage will be done. In contrast, over boiling food can ruin a meal.
Finally, cooking a meal with just one pot means less cleaning and less
clutter in your kitchen.
Ultimately, learning to use a slow cooker is easy for even the most
amateur chefs. All you really need to do is find the perfect appliance
to suit your needs. Slow cookers range greatly in price, but a small
model can be bought for as little as ten pounds. Plus, most cookers
come with their own cookbooks to get you started. You can also find
recipes online or in one of the many published cookbooks focusing on