16/02/2014 at 23:19
Hi ladies (and chaps),
I’m thinking of buying a slow cooker now that I am back at work and have less time to prepare meals. I have however in the past brought quite a few kitchen gadgets (ice cream maker- used once, george foreman grill - used occasionally but not much, etc). I have heard lots of positive things about slow cookers and think in principle they are a great idea, but don’t want to spend money on one if I’m not going to use it.
I would love to hear your thoughts, do you have one? do you like a particular brand? how often do you use yours and have you got any recipes or suggestions for foods to cook.
Will wait for some feedback before I buy one. x x
17/02/2014 at 12:42
I'd love to hear too! We got given a slow cooker / steamer all in one YEARS ago and never used it as a slow cooker but want to now! But I don't eat much meat so need inspiration especially as I have loads of chicken thighs in the freezer to be used up.
And would you leave it on all day if you were out of the house? Get a little nervous about that!!
17/02/2014 at 21:33
I LOVE my slow cooker & do SO much in it!!... You can do such a huge variety of things in it & I love being able to pop it all in the slow cooker in the morning & come home at night to a lovely smell in the house & dinner ready!!
Some of my most fav things to do in it are beef stew, chilli con carne, all different types of soups & i have actually right now got a yummy pot roast on the go... Just popped the seasoned big slab of beef roasting joint in the slow cooker on top of veggies & gravy & after 8-10 hours the meat just falls apart & is so moist & tasty. Ive also done big pots of warm dip for parties & kept it in the slow cooker to keep warm all night.
you can pretty much do anything in it... My friend cooks a whole chicken in hers & i think the only meat that wouldn't work well is fish as it would disintegrate. You can also do sweet stuff.,, or for breakfast if you like porridge you can put the oats, milk, sugar etc in before bed & cook on low overnight so its perfect & ready 1st thing.
i actually have 2 crock pots.., 1 large on which easily cooks enough to feed 4/5 people a decent size meal & a small one which i use for dips for parties.
in england I have a breville one which worked great... I liked the 'auto' feature which cooked high for a couple hours to cook meat through & then switched on its own to low so it would then slowly cook all day. An absolute must feature though I would say is the 'keep warm' feature... My new slow cooker i brought when I moved doesnt have the auto feature & I dont miss it a huge amount but the keep warm feature is great for if people might want to go back for second servings or at parties so the food stays warm but doesnt keep cooking or dry out.
18/02/2014 at 16:43
We have one and use it loads - mainly in the winter - but its a godsend. You do have to be quite organised in preparing your meal either before you go to bed or when you get up to be switched on as you leave for work.
I also find that you don't neccessarily need to use slow cooker recipes. I have made lots of things in it with jars of sauce. Only one that seems to fail miserably is sweet and sour.
18/02/2014 at 19:50
This may sound really stupid but how do you do a chilli? I've done it on the hob just wondering how long would you put it on?
18/02/2014 at 20:22
mummy swan... i usually brown the mince with onion etc then put in slow cooker... Add all the other ingredients (peppers, chillis, tomatoes, spices etc) except the kidney beans then cook on low all day (8-10 hours on low is fine). Add the kidney beans about 30mins or so before serving & continue to cook on low.
a lot of meals i put the meat in raw (eg chicken, beef stews etc) but with beef mince I like to precook that quickly 1st for flavour & also more importantly so i can drain off the fat before mixing with the other ingredients.
18/02/2014 at 21:10
I use my slow cooker for cooking beef joints and also any stews or casseroles. It is fab, however I'll be honest getting it sorted the morning of can be a little cumbersome!! I've always browned my meat as this is what has been advised and I end up smelling of meat for the day!!
@ SW2 does your mince not disintegrate in the slow cooker? Mine did the last time I made a chilli. I wonder did I do it wrong because none of us liked the texture when it was finished (this is the one time I didn't brown my meat!!) Or is it possible I made it too watery?? x
18/02/2014 at 21:35
Brilliant. Thank you!
i May test on a weekend before leaving it all on all day when we're all out!
think it's because I've not eaten much meat I'm a bit clues on casseroles / stews etc!
18/02/2014 at 22:26
Emlowe... No ive not had the prob with the mince disintergrating... Maybe as you say its because you didnt brown it 1st?? Or if you had it on high instead of low heat Im guessing that moght do it.
19/02/2014 at 20:49
Ahh thank you I shall try again. I cant remember what setting I had it on but yes possible high to make sure it cooked Thank you
20/02/2014 at 00:07
I love my slow cooker. It's great on work days. I literally throw meat & veg & a sauce or stock & put it on when I leave for work at 7am & it's fab to come back home at 7pm to a ready cooked meal that smells yummy. Also nice for day's out. I wondered if it was going to be one of those purchases for me but I use it loads.
22/02/2014 at 19:58
Thanks ladies, you are tempting me. My brother has one and he absolutely loves his. I was given some vouchers for Christmas so think I might go ahead and buy one. I love the idea of coming home and the house smelling of home cooked foods. When I used the bread machine on a regular basis (which I haven't done for many years) I loved the smells, it made the house feel really really warm and welcoming.
Any suggestions on makes/brands or are they pretty much the same? x
26/02/2014 at 21:34
09/03/2014 at 19:59
I've put a beef stroganoff into mine tonight for dinner tomorrow so I will let you know how that goes. I cant' wait for dinner tomorrow night. Even better hubbie made it!!
18/03/2014 at 17:57
19/03/2014 at 10:19
Beef Stroganoff was a huge success. I highly recommend it in the slow cooker...
25/03/2014 at 20:13
I got a slow cooker!! Woo hoo, however my beef strogonoff was a disaster. I put far too much water in it and had to get rid of loads of it before we ate it. It did however taste really nice, Annabel loved it. The meat was really soft so I only had to mash it slightly in order for her to eat it.
I currently have a Spanish chicken cooking as we speak. I put less water in the pot, just a tin of tomatoes, and half a tin of water - so we'll see how it comes out.
Any recipe suggestions, hints or tips would be very welcome. Emlow - maybe your beef strogonoff, it is one our my favourites!!!
26/03/2014 at 09:27
27/03/2014 at 20:27
29/04/2014 at 22:50
My favourite thing to cook in my slow cooker is rice pudding! A really lovely treat for the whole family… I'm pretty sure a small portion for our little ones every now and then won't do them any harm. You won't regret making this, it is so delicious!
CREAMY RICE PUDDING
yum yum yum. You can also make this with coconut milk for a different flavour x
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