Best Slow Cooker - Slow Cooker and recipes

Find the best slow cooker

Slow cookers have been around for a good long while, and recently with the general unease that is being expressed about some fast foods and reduced household spending, people are rediscovering the beauty and simplicity of slow cooking. Simple, electrically-heated pots, that allow you to cook meals in a way that retains more of the goodness and flavour of your food. They are an ideal way of cooking casseroles, curries, soups etc and particularly good for the long slow cooking that’s best for the less expensive cuts of meat. They are cheap to buy and very economical to run. So simple to use, just pop the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and by evening you have a lovely hot meal ready to eat.

Best slow cooker sizes
Slow cooker capacity is measured in litres and ranges from about 1.5 – 7 litres. The smallest size is really only suitable for one portion meals and from about 3 litres is considered family sized. It maybe a good idea to buy bigger than you need so that you can freeze some meals and get the most out of your slow cooker.

Best slow cooker features
Many slow cookers have removable pots that are dishwasher safe; either made from toughened glass or ceramic. This is a real bonus as ones without removable pots are not easy to clean. Choose cool handles and slow cooker models with glass lids so that you can see what’s happening easily. Try to buy a best slow cooker model that is the simplest to use and the easiest to clean as you’re far more likely to use it in the first place.

Slow cookers are an easy way to cook “proper wholesome food” without the fuss. All the preparation can be done beforehand so that you can come home to a hot, home-cooked meal. They are very simple to use and always come with instruction books with slow cooker recipes for you to try.

Are slow cookers worth the effort?

On a cold and dank winter's evening there is surely nothing better than coming home from a hard day's work to find a bubbling stew or creamy casserole sitting ready to eat on the kitchen table. It's not surprising then that in these hard times slow cooker sales are booming and that an ever-increasing army of devotees are returning to the time and money saving device with a newfound enthusiasm. For these penny-pinching and time-conscious cooks, all that remains to do each evening is to soak up the aromas as they chop some vegetables or slice a loaf of crusty bread before sitting down to a delicious and hassle-free diner.

First introduced in the 1970s, by Rival, which named it the Crock-Pot, the slow cooker soon became the must have gadget for the proud suburban housewife. Designed for moist-heat cooking, the slow cooker produces steam which condenses on the lid, then returns to the pot, making it particularly ideal for stews, soups and casseroles.

Now, though, they have shed their retro image and come back into vogue as cash-strapped consumers adopt the ethos of slow, low-energy and low-cost living – best slow cookers only use the same amount of electricity as a light bulb and are perfect for transforming cheaper cuts of meat, such as chicken thighs, shoulders of lamb and belly of pork, into tender and tasty dishes.

Slow cookers are also proving increasingly popular among busy professionals who want to rein in their spending and are attracted by the idea of having a healthy and nutritious home-cooked meal ready for when they get in from work.

Winter traditionally heralds a rise in best slow cooker sales, but it is recession that has pushed sales through the roof. Tesco alone is seeing 12,000 of the appliances fly of its shelves every week, while John Lewis and Morphy Richards have seen sales grow 64 per cent and 16.4 per cent respectively since last year. And Robert Dyas, Lakeland and Ultimate Products, a major buyer a distributor of homewares, have also reported significant increases in sales.
Source: The Independent 01/01/2009 - Read the full article here