What is a slow cooker used for? When thinking about an amazing home-cooked meal, some people remember a stew or pot roast their grandmas used to laboriously make for Sunday dinners. These dishes often took hours to even a day of simmering to really get the rich flavors out of the ingredients and tenderize the meat that it falls off the bones and melts in their mouths.
Replicating such meals today are what most home cooks dream of, except no one really has enough time for that.
Enter the slow cooker and now even the richest stews can already be enjoyed on weekdays. How? This amazing appliance can really work its magic, especially in busy households.
It makes cooking a lot more convenient, allowing you to enjoy more sumptuous meals without the hassle.
What is a Slow Cooker?
Did the slow cooker pique your interest? Well, it should. Anyone who loves to cook will truly appreciate this appliance. But what is a slow cooker, you might be wondering?
A slow cooker is basically a kitchen countertop appliance that cooks food at a lower temperature. Therefore, it requires longer running time to complete cooking. This is where it got its name as it slowly cooks your dish to perfection.
Slow cookers are excellent alternatives to cooking pot roasts, stews, soups, and other dishes that require hours of simmering on the stove. This is the best part about this appliance: you can just set it up and leave it to do the work without any worries. The food won’t burn in a slow cooker, due to the low-temperature cooking.
It can get the job done without any supervision as the unit is fully enclosed and don’t require regular stirring and mixing for an even cooking. You can leave these appliances on when you leave for work and come back hours later to a delicious home-cooked meal.
Busy households consider these appliances as lifesavers as they definitely take the hassle away from cooking. Using a slow cooker can definitely save you some time in preparing your family’s meals and it can also minimize your consumption of junk and fast food.
With a slow cooker, even if you’re pressed for time, you don’t have to worry about whipping up a tasty and healthy meal for your family as it will still let you cook from all natural ingredients without breaking a sweat.
How a Slow Cooker Works
It might sound too good to be true because of how convenient they are, but don’t shrug it off just yet. By learning how this appliance works, you’ll understand and even appreciate just how great it really is.
Slow cookers work with the help of moist heat. It raises the temperature up to a certain degree that won’t be too hot to sear, toast, and burn the ingredients.
It won’t be as hot as an oven and often comes with three heat settings, low, high, and warm. Some also have built-in timers so you can easily select the needed settings for the heat and cooking time and you’re good to go.
Most slow cookers have a heating element located at the bottom of the unit. This allows them to raise the temperatures high enough to create a moist heat that will then stay trapped inside the cooking chamber and cook your ingredients slowly but thoroughly.
As you’re supposed to leave the appliance alone as it works, you can expect it to evenly cook its contents.
Some slow cookers also have heating elements on the sides, providing more ways to cook your food. They’re often marketed as more efficient than traditional varieties with their heating elements at the bottom, but it all still depends on the quality and mechanism used in the appliance. This is why you have to be thorough in choosing the right unit for your home.
Crock Pots vs. Slow Cookers
You’ll also hear a lot of people refer to their slow cookers as “crock pots”. This might confuse you, especially if you’ve never really worked with slow cookers before.
What you should know, though, is that crock pots are slow cookers too, so there’s really nothing to be confused about.
Crock pots or “Crock-Pot” is a brand name of basically the most famous kind of slow cookers in the market. It’s a case of a trademarked name becoming a household name, really, so they’re not too different from one another.
However, Crock-Pot units are best known for their ceramic pots, while other slow cookers use other materials. Some also have additional heating elements on the walls of the pot so they tend to be set apart from slow cookers offered by other brands.
If you’re looking for a reliable appliance that will really make a huge difference in your kitchen, a slow cooker can be one of the best options available to you.
With their ease of use and straightforward design, it’s certainly a kitchen addition that you should give a shot.