i got a slow cooker this morning

(251 Posts)
VicarInaTutu Tue 03-Jan-12 11:51:39

please tell me how to use it!

- ive no idea how to use them, what to do in them at all.
Up until recently i have regarded them with suspicion....low heat + long time = bacteria soup in my book but i have been convinced by my friend who has bought me one for the princely sum of 12 quid this morning in Tesco!

so please help me become a culinary whiz with a slow cooker and post your slow cooker recipes!

thank you!

I do a beef casserole in mine. Diced beef, veg and beef stock to cover and stick on low in morning to be ready for tea time.

Had a scrummy slow cooked pork joint in it on Sunday. Bunged joint in, added water to about an inch and cooked on low overnight. Used the juices for gravy. Apparently you don't have to add water to joints of meats but I'm paranoid of it drying out.

You can do all sorts in a slow cooker, spag Bol, curries, lasagne and desserts as well. Best bet is probably to google crock pot recipes or slow cooker recipes smile

altinkum Tue 03-Jan-12 12:00:37

good sausages, chopped onion, mixed beans, and gravy, leave on high for about a hour and then low, until its needed, makes beautiful sausages and mash.

Also whole chicken is beautiful.

good mince, onion, English mustard, worcester sauce, cook on low until tea time, and it fab as mince and tatties, or mince pie.

same as diced beef, onion, mushroom, mustard, oxo cube, with beef stock, and its makes the most beautiful steak pie.

spendthrift Tue 03-Jan-12 12:00:45

My basic tesco one has transformed my life although DS complains about how often we have "stew" or "casserole" these days. It obviously doesn;t cut down the preparation time, but it does mean that after you have done it, you go away and don't need to worry about anything else until feeding time. And as I have limited mobility at the moment, I can put it on the kitchen table next to the fridge and not have to worry about pots and pans.

I do a chicken "stew" by throwing an entire chicken in, with root vegs, potatoes, onions, garlic, stock/wine and celery if we have it, and 6-7 hours later, there it is. Or chicken pieces. Or a very fine chilli, or beef stews. The results have been widely popular and DH says it's the best culinary investment he has ever made.

I haven't done puddings because we don;t tend to eat them.

I personally don't bother to brown the meat beforehand - perhaps I lose a bit of flavour, but in my view it is designed to reduce the faff so I cut it out.

I've bought a timer so that if I need to go out, it will switch on by itself.

And none of us has suffered - but I think that's because we eat it pretty much as soon as it is ready, or the food gets put in the fridge as it would be with any other stew.

Babaj Tue 03-Jan-12 12:11:08

Was it from asda by any chance? Yesterday they were £35 reduced to £5 and people were mugging the guy stacking the shelves before he'd unpacked them!

SantasCave Tue 03-Jan-12 12:36:15

I also succumbed to one in Tesco for £17.

If anyone wants to recommend some good slow cooker recipe books I'll be very grateful grin

LemonMousse Tue 03-Jan-12 12:40:02

I want one - what size will I need to feed a family of 5 (and a girlfriend) so 6 people on average?

TwoJackRussellsandababy Tue 03-Jan-12 12:47:53

Good food do some good books and they are reasonably cheap to buy, otherwise there are loads in book shops and the library, or try online there are loads of sites with recipes, although they are often American so different measures used and I find that a lot of US recipes have packets of stuff which we can't easily get here.

Hope you get on well with it, love my slow cooker!

I've been pondering one for ages...SIL bought me a slow cooker cookery book for Christmas, so I think I'll have to bite the bullet and get one (but DP is complaining that it will take up too much space...)

Other than the usual caserole/stew/pot roast, I also make bolognaise and chilli in ours. Diced frozen onion, then the beef mince, couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, then seasoning. If I'm in I'll stir it occassionally, and for chilli I chuck in kidney beans about 30-45mins before we eat it. It always tastes better in the slow cooker, and I make about 3 meals worth at once and freeze the rest.

Also, for the bolognaise, first time I made it in the SC, I added wine, making it far too watery, so I just mixed in the dried pasta for the last 30 minutes. Came out perfect. Even DD, who's not keen on pasta, had seconds.

[Love my slow cooker emote]grin

spendthrift Tue 03-Jan-12 17:41:48

there's a good BBC published book called - guess what - slow cooking (or some such).

oh yes, the only thing to watch out for is not to put too much liquid in. the lid seals it and the temperature is controlled so less liquid evaporates and like Mrs Mango the first time i used it the sauce was too watery.

VicarInaTutu Tue 03-Jan-12 17:43:41

oh thanks everyone - this is exactly what i needed! i will have a good look in a bit and write some of these down. best go feed the hungry masses first...dd has a friend over. this is exactly why the slow cooker would be great!

zukiecat Tue 03-Jan-12 18:19:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zukiecat Tue 03-Jan-12 18:24:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MetalSian Tue 03-Jan-12 18:27:35

I got one from my parenst for christmas.
So far I have done a spag bol... which I put too much liquid in xD.

And tonight a lovely stew.

I have some pork loins in the fridge so trying to find something to do with those.

oflip Tue 03-Jan-12 18:29:20

gammon or ham joint in full fat coke, delish, on low all day..honestly, to die for.

i do jacket spuds in mine,
pork chops,
a whole chicken,
curry, stew, soups,

oflip Tue 03-Jan-12 18:30:54

oh and im another one who does NOT ever brown anything, i just throw it all in and leave to cook.

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Tue 03-Jan-12 18:52:43

Rice pudding! or even more fattening better, chocolate rice pudding grin

jalopy Tue 03-Jan-12 18:59:27

I've had a slow cooker for a while and but have never done a whole chicken before. Do you need to put any liquid in? I'm worried it will burn and dry out.
Give me your best whole chicken recipes. Thx.

iklboonkey Tue 03-Jan-12 19:10:13

I roasted carrot, celery, parsnip, onion & potato till just softening then chucked in the slow cooker with a pint of veg stock, some ham ends from Sainsburys and a tin of haricot beans. Tea for 3 for £3.50!

Mercapto Tue 03-Jan-12 19:10:13

We got a john lewis slow cooker for Christmas. We had a bean casserole type dinner tonight, it was lovely! My DP bought a vegetarian cook book to go with it to help inspire us for recipes.

I'd highly recommend using the low setting as it really intensifies the flavour. The low setting on mine is 93 degrees so not an environment that bacteria will thrive in!

The disadvantage for me is the smell of cooking food all day long, but I'm fussy when it comes to house smells.

Henwelly Tue 03-Jan-12 19:19:20

We cooked a gammon joint in ours xmas eve with all sorst of spices, apple juice, cloves etc - it was amazing and our house smelt of xmas!!

mulledfishandfrostedlilacs Tue 03-Jan-12 19:23:48

my favourite slwo cooker recipe is a chicken chickpea and chorizo casserole. I'll see if i can find it and copy it out for you.

Ingredients

-Chicken (I used a back of chicken thighs and drumsticks) skinned
-Chorizo (I used a pack of 3 little sausages)
-Large white onion
-Tinned tomatoes
-Peppers (I used a pack of green, yellow and red)
-Small tin of chickpeas
-Red Wine
-Stock (I used a Knorr stockpot)


Recipe

- Peel and chop the onion, and bung it in the slow cooker.
- Skin the chicken pieces, and chuck them in too.
- Chop the chorizo into fairly thick slices and lob them in.
- Halve, seed and then chop the peppers and then throw them in.
- Add the tin of tomatoes without draining.
- Drain the chickpeas and toss them in.
- Add about half of the bottle of wine (depending on the size of your cooker). The rest of the wine must not be drunk under any circumstances…
- Squeeze in one chicken stock-pot.
- Cook on low for 8 hours (or longer).

there you go-theres lots versions of the recipe online but this is the most like the one I use.

Faverolles Tue 03-Jan-12 19:41:55

My favourite SC recipe:
1 kg mince
250-400g chopped unsmoked bacon
1 horseshoe chorizo chopped up
Loads of mushrooms
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Half pint (or a bit more) beef stock
1-2 tblspns tomato purée
Bit of worcester sauce.

Bung it all in on low for 8 hrs. Serve with potato and sweet potato wedgies.
Enough left over to freeze.

iklboonkey Tue 03-Jan-12 20:02:20

<droooooool>. There's one tea this week sorted. Yum!

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