Slow cookers, also known as crock pots, became very popular in the 1970’s because they allowed women who went to work a way of preparing hot meals for the family without spending a lot of time on them. The low temperatures of the slow cooker enable the user to place everything in the pot and leave it cooking for hours without supervision or tending. The convenience of this handy electric appliance resulted in a host of meals perfectly suited to its use. Checkout some of the best slow cookers in India here.
Soups and Stews
Probably the most popular group of slow cooker meals is the soup and stew category. This is due in large part to the fact that the food can simmer covered at a low temperature all day long without fear of burning or sticking. Vegetables can cook thoroughly and the stock never boils away.
It is important to remember to cook any meat before combining it with the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Noodles or pasta should be added towards the end of cooking.
Dried beans take a long time to cook on top of the stove and need constant stirring and attention to prevent sticking. Cooking dried beans in a slow cooker is the most convenient method for preparing this meal.
Beans also have a hard time absorbing seasoning from spices, meats and other ingredients. Allowing them to safely cook undisturbed for hours gives the flavors ample time to mingle and produces a superior dish.
It is also best to boil the beans once before placing in the slow cooker. Many beans contain toxins that can only be eliminated by boiling. Slow cookers do not boil, only simmer.
Rarely do people have time enough for meal preparation to allow sauces for pasta to simmer for the optimal length of time. The only way we can achieve the taste of family recipes is by dedicating a day to cooking or using a slow cooker.
Recipes for sauces, especially tomato-based ones, usually call for a large amount of dried or fresh herbs. It takes time for the flavor of the herbs to permeate through the sauce. A slow cooker allows the ingredients to slowly cook and the herbs to impart their desired traits to the sauce.
Slow cookers are not limited to use when the chef is away from home or even during the day. Meal preparation can begin the night before and the slow cooker can work through the night to produce a prompt meal when desired.
Top Slow Cooker Reviews
1.DeLonghi DCP707 Stainless-Steel Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker
The DeLonghi DCP707 Stainless-Steel Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker is perfect for people who have limited kitchen space. This slow cooker doesn’t take up as much room due to the fact that the base is square, but the ceramic slow cooker pot is round rather than oblong. The oblong slow cookers I have found are difficult to store because of how much room they take up. Not t mention the stainless steel design of this slow cooker allows it to easily blend in with a variety of other kitchen appliances.
This 5-quart slow cooker is perfect for medium sized families who are looking for an easy and convenient way to have home cooked meals that are nutritious despite their busy life. I have a family of four and I love to cook, but I find that in trying to keep up with everything I don’t always have the time to cook like I want. This slow cooker allows me to throw dinner in first thing in the morning, use the programmable countdown timer, and leave it alone. The ceramic slow cooker pot is also perfect for a serving dish no more having separate serving dishes on the table.
- LCD control panel with electronic controls. The electronic controls make the slow cooker easy to program, all I have to do is push a few buttons and the slow cooker is ready to begin cooking. As an added bonus, the LCD panel lights up whenever any buttons are pressed making it easier to read. There is also a cooking pot icon that turns on once the slow cooker begins to cook.
- Adjustable cooking temperatures with a keep warm setting. Like many other slow cookers, this one comes with two different cooking temperatures, high and low, to choose from. Unlike other slow cookers, the slow cooker can be programmed to only cook for a set period of time. Once that time is up the slow cooker automatically puts itself into the keep warm setting for two hours.
- Handles stay cool to the touch. All slow cookers have handles, but the problem with many of them is how hot they get to the touch. Most slow cookers cannot be picked up without some type of protection on the hands. These handles are uniquely designed so that lifting the pot out of the base is easy, but they also stay cool to the touch. No more worrying about potholders.
- 100% dishwasher safe and the pot works as a serving dish. Clean up after dinner is always the worst because there are so many dishes to get done. This slow cooker beats most pots and pans because it is 100% dishwasher safe, even the tempered glass lid. The slow cooker ceramic pot also acts as a serving dish, so it saves on the number of dishes being used at dinner.
- Cannot switch from high to low with the programming option. Many times when I cook in a slow cooker I start it on high and switch it over to low. I would love if the programmable feature was able to be set that way, after so many hours on high it can switch over by itself to low. This isn’t that big of a deal but it does mean I need to be home to change the setting if I use that cooking method.
The DeLonghi DCP707 Stainless Steel 5-Quart Slow Cooker is one of the best on the market. This slow cooker is made from metal and a person can tell just by feeling it that it isn’t cheap. The sturdiness of the base goes to show what a high quality product this really is, so while it might be a bit on the pricy side for slow cookers it is certainly makes up for it in terms of quality.