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To have only just realised how awesome slow cookers are

(54 Posts)
TraineeBabyCatcher Mon 26-Nov-12 23:12:28

I know I am. Very unreasonable, why did no one in my life tell me!
I was bought a slow cooker ages ago, used once or twice for stew.
Now I have a cook book to go along side it. I loves it! So many easy beautiful means.

Am I missing any other major life changing kitchen utensils? like finding a can opening than actually works and doesn't keep breaking

steppemum Tue 27-Nov-12 09:22:16

love the meat brain!!

So what is your meat loaf recipe california?
I have never made meatloaf, only eaten it at friend's houses, keep meaning to find a recipe.

The thing is, I do a beef casserole, made with very cheap cuts, in the, oven, you cook it on a low heat for 3-4 hours. It is dead easy, throw it in the dish and stick it in. Make it early in the day and stick it in after lunch, come back at dinner time and it is delicious.
I am a SAHM, so I am usually around, and dh works from home, so I sometimes leave him a note to turn oven on, and then it is done.
Same with chicken cass, stick it in oven when get in from school, ready at dinner time, fall apart delicious.

So why would I need to switch to a slow cooker? I have one that is never used, and I like trying new things, just never quite worked out why it is an advantage?

missuswife Tue 27-Nov-12 10:48:44

I love my slowcooker. I make all the usual stuff in them--brisket, stew, soup, whole roast chicken, etc--but have also found some less expected uses for it.

I bung a couple of pounds of chicken breast in it and cook on low for 4-5 hours, then shred the chicken with a fork et voila, I have a massive ziploc bag of plain chicken that I can use throughout the week for whatever we fancy--tacos, salads, wraps, whatever. Sometimes I freeze half for easy meals when we are really busy.

I once made a chocolate cake in it. It was sort of like a steamed eggy choc pudding with melty chocolate inside. Everyone liked it.

Pasta sauce--makes loads, so I froze some. Meatballs. Jacket potatoes. You can even bake bread in it but I haven't tried it yet.

Just recently I used it to make mulled wine. That was a bit of an experiment but it worked well because it kept the wine warm all evening without boiling off the alcohol content, and I was able to plug it in in the dining room and keep guests from getting in the way in the kitchen.

This site has tons of recipes: http://crockpot365.blogspot.co.uk/

missuswife Tue 27-Nov-12 10:51:10

PS forgot to say, I work full-time so it is nice to come home to a cooked dinner. But, I use it a lot on the weekends too. For instance if I want a roast dinner on Sunday but don't want to wait in all day because the oven's on, I will make the joint in the slow cooker. It is also useful if you are cooking something in the oven and need the extra space for another dish.

valiumredhead Tue 27-Nov-12 10:51:22

Gammon
whole chickens
casseroles
chili
bolognaise
soup
rice pudding
Beef and dumplings
chicken stock
curry

all come out really nicely in the SC.

This morning I put a whole chicken in mine - I stood it on onions and a few garlic cloves and carrots as per a previous slow cooker porn thread - cannot wait! I also did the brown sugar gammon a few weeks back and it was incredible - both hot as a Sunday dinner and cold as part of salad and butties - just whacked 400gs of demerera sugar in with a £10 gammon and salivated for hours over the smell

Have tried rice pudd and it was also amazing

Don't brown, just whack and go!

SpoonyFuckersWife Tue 27-Nov-12 11:02:22

I'm really considering getting one of these as our current flat has a gas oven and I'm sure our outrageously high gas bills are due to cooking sad

What size is recommended for 4+ people?

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 27-Nov-12 11:06:20

IMO and tastes the only nice things are gammon, whole chicken, stock and rice pudding. the soups and stews all ended up tasting the same and not very nice so I wouldn't even try a chilli or spag bol.

GilbGeekette Tue 27-Nov-12 11:11:31

I cook chilli (both veggie and carnie), many varieties of dahl, patatas bravas (probably not the right word - Spanish potatoes in tomato sauce), bolognese style things, and soups/stews. I love it for it's batch cooking abilities - all of the above I make, we eat a portion that day and three get frozen. It took DH a while to persuade me to use it but now I love it. The only downside is that whilst things are cooking (I tend to use the 8hr setting) lovely smells waft through the house so I spend all day with a rumbling stomach...

CrispyHedgehog Tue 27-Nov-12 11:20:37

I've done a whole chicken in mine a few times and it was horrible. Tasteless and stringy like it had been boiled.

Is there someethng I'm supposed to do to prevent that or is that just how it comes out and you all like it like that?

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 27-Nov-12 11:22:44

Stick a lemon up its arse crispy

TBH if I do a chicken in the SC it's not for a roast dinner it's for chicken pieces to have pie/fajhitas/pasta bakes/sandwiches/curry quickly.

MumofWombat Tue 27-Nov-12 11:33:20

Love mine, it was a wedding present - and probably one of the most used things we got! Ours is huge so I tend to use it when family are here. I just chuck everything in in the morning and voila! I've cooked a corned beef joint a few times recently, so a cheap cut of meat that everyone went nuts over.
I wouldn't want to be without it.

I am yet to try the pie filling - do you just cook the filling then cover with pastry and oven bake?

countingdown Tue 27-Nov-12 15:19:58

Probably a really silly question, but does coconut milk curdle in the slow cooker? Was going to make a curry, but have got it into my head that the coconut milk might split.

zukiecat Tue 27-Nov-12 15:52:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Teafairy Tue 27-Nov-12 16:19:35

I love my slow cooker because DH has claimed it! grin I do the vast majority of the cooking as I am a SAHM but DH does like to do the odd bit, he uses the slow cooker to make big batches and then freezes it, so we always have a quick easy tea ready. Bolognese, chilli, goulash, curry, lamb hotpot all come out a treat.

The other bonus is it can be cheaper, you can buy cheaper meat because it cooks slowly and comes out tasting nice, and if you batch cook, you can buy bigger amounts which usually works out cheaper too.

curiositykilledthekat Tue 27-Nov-12 16:31:24

counting, I tried to make a thai green curry in our SC and yes the coconut milk did split. It was still edible and tasty, it just looked very unappetising!

I whack neck of lamb in mine, cover it in proper stock and random root veg and bugger off for the day.

Also, it's rather good to begin stock, cooks nice and slow to render everything down to squoosh, then you tip it into the big pot to jellify it all.

But don't try and make mornay in it. That tops my "shit ideas" list.

CaliforniaLeaving Tue 27-Nov-12 17:21:53

Steppmum My meat brain comes out different each time I rend to throw in whatever I have. Mince, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, garlic, fine chopped onions, pepper and salt. You name it, of and don't tell Dh but I add Ketchup (which he hates) and mustard.
ChunkyMonkey I did a rice pudding one time, OMG it was delicious, but huge about 6 cans of pudding huge. I think I gained 5lbs eating it all.

I want to try making a nice Chicken curry but I'm the only one in the house that will eat it.

CaliforniaLeaving Tue 27-Nov-12 17:23:31

I made Baked beans one time, wrote down all the ingredients off the side of the can of Heinz and went for it.
The kids couldn't get enough I was amazed they tasted so good grin

countingdown Tue 27-Nov-12 19:23:01

Thanks, Curiosity - might try it anyway. Some great ideas on here.

Viperidae Tue 27-Nov-12 19:34:16

I throw in chicken thighs, a pack of frozen mixed veg and half a cup of stock. Just before serving add a sploosh of double cream.

tiredmummy33 Tue 27-Nov-12 20:31:40

stupid question but what setting should i have it on? i go through phases of using mine but really need to start using it more, its really old and i lost the instructions. It has an auto setting a low and a high. If I was putting it on for something to cook for about ten hours (eg a stew) is low setting best? and do i really need to not brown the meat, feel a bit squeamish about putting raw meat in with veg, onion etc?!!

CaliforniaLeaving Tue 27-Nov-12 20:38:51

I put mine on Low for about 4 or so hours and high for cooking 8 or more hours. I never brown the meat first, I'm too lazy.

WholeLottaRosie Tue 27-Nov-12 21:36:22

So why would I need to switch to a slow cooker? I have one that is never used, and I like trying new things, just never quite worked out why it is an advantage?

It's much more economical than an oven. With a slow cooker you are directly heating an area that is just the size of the pot whereas with a conventional oven you are heating the whole of the inside of the oven.

WholeLottaRosie Tue 27-Nov-12 21:39:50

BBQ Pork is so much nicer done in a slow cooker than an oven.
I've done both at the same time for a party and the oven-baked meat was hardly touched by the guests.

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