Slowcookers = convenience rather than economical

(25 Posts)
furryfriends57 Thu 31-Oct-13 19:52:14

Hi MN Experts, I have seen so many discussions re slowcookers I "splashed" out and got the Aldi one recently. I've just used it to cook 2 ham hocks and while they were tasty and cheap I'm wondering how economical it was because they took 10 hours to cook and the slowcooker was very warm to touch all that time so lots of electricity being used. On the other hand I really see how convenient they would be as a complete meal could be ready when you get home from work. Maybe perhaps my Aldi one was a false economy and more expensive ones are cheaper to run..... smile) Would be interested in your thoughts.
FF

Mine's a Tesco one. I use it several times a week and haven't noticed any increase in our electricity consumption (we're on a prepay meter).

For me it's economical because I can buy the cheapest, toughest cuts of meat and turn them into something soft and edible. smile

TheCrumpetQueen Thu 31-Oct-13 20:01:03

I was talking about this today. I wonder how much electricity it uses to have it on all day. I do love slow cooking though as you can make really cheap cuts taste great

furryfriends57 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:50:05

Oooh some replies!! While it allows you use cheaper cuts of meat TJPJ I wonder is it any cheaper than having a conventional oven on low for less time and for the same end result (one of those energy consumption meters would be handy). Up to now I've been making a beef stew in a conventional oven thats been nice (imo anyway) so it has me wondering. Interesting that you had the same thought Crumpet ...

Bakingnovice Thu 31-Oct-13 21:53:54

I've heard it costs pennies to run all day but I'm not convinced.....

I was thinking exactly the same thing today as I used mine for the first time ... I suspect slow cooker is cheaper - think about that special heavy duty-looking electric plug for the conventional oven - guess that means ovens use shit loads of electricity.

Patchouli Thu 31-Oct-13 21:57:27

I think I read somewhere that they use about the same as a lightbulb.
Mine can't be more than that - it's old and proper slow.
The newer ones seem to run a lot hotter.

amistillsexy Thu 31-Oct-13 21:58:02

I heard or read somewhere that the slow cooker uses the same amount of electricity as a light bub, so much more economical than a conventional oven.

amistillsexy Thu 31-Oct-13 21:58:34

grin X-post

furryfriends57 Thu 31-Oct-13 22:19:15

I also had read somewhere that it uses the same amount of electricity for 8 hours as a conventional one uses in 30 minutes (didn't specify a temp tho). EAEH thats a good point re the plug for conventional cooker so must prove the point! I suppose I was a little taken aback by the amount of heat generated and lost, it was so much more than I expected. On balance from replies I suppose its cheaper but probably not as much as I had expected.

jennimoo Fri 01-Nov-13 05:57:50

Have a look at how many watts your slow cooker is. Mines a massive one and 330w. Therefore uses the electric of 3.3 100watt bulbs I guess.
I'm sure it's cheaper as you're heating a much smaller area to lower temp, but newer slow cookers do seem to get very hot so I guess the economical thing is to only run it as long as you need, not always all day, but that defeats the object for some people.

We have one of those electric usage monitor things. I notice the change when the oven is on, but not the slow cooker. If I get a chance today, I'll see if I can get some actual figures.

BillyBanter Fri 01-Nov-13 06:12:57

Ovens are massive in comparison. You're heating a lot of air that escapes each time you open the door.

330 watts = one third of a unit of electricity per hour. One unit costs approx 15p, therefore it will cost about 5p an hour to run (probably less because it won't be heating all the time as the thermostat will turn it off and on).

It should use less electricity than using a standard oven turned down very low because it's smaller and should be more efficient as the food is in more direct contact with the food. However you still have to take into account the initial outlay of buying it and even if it costs half the amount of using the oven, it's going to take quite a few uses before you break even.

Based on when I had a prepay meter- the slow cooker saved loads of electricity. when low on the meter there were days when I would only use the slow cooker as the oven/microwave used too much. But I more than suspect the huge difference was down to an efficient, slow, slow cooker (Morphy Richards and breville are far too hot to call themselves slow cookers IMO) and a very old uneconomical oven. If I had equally aged appliances I'm sure the gap wouldn't have been as big, but IMO the slow cooker would still save energy.

EngineeringExcellence Sat 02-Nov-13 10:29:26

At this time if year the slow cooker on all day is heating the kitchen so you will be saving (a tiny amount) on heating!

sashh Sat 02-Nov-13 15:48:22

The same as a light bulb - roughly - but an old one not a new energy saving bulb. It is much much cheaper than a conventional oven.

furryfriends57 Sat 02-Nov-13 20:37:24

Thanks for all your replies and jennimoo for doing the energy calculation - this is when I realise I should have listened in physics. Just to update that I cooked my usual beef stew recipe in the slow cooker overnight last night and have to admit that it was the most tenderised meat I have ever had in this stew, no matter how slow I did it in a conventional oven there were always some bits of meat that were tough. OMG not so today it was melt in the mouth so I am converted and slowcookers are convenient but also economical re ability to use cheaper cuts of meat (as so many of you pointed out smile), maybe perhaps electricity usage is more than expected but its more than worth it so thumbs up from me grin

sashh Sun 03-Nov-13 10:03:11

Wait until you cook a whole chicken or a joint of lamb.

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 03-Nov-13 10:26:41

Does a whole chicken/joint of lamb not need some crispness though? Doesn't it just go soft in slow cooker?

sashh Sun 03-Nov-13 12:57:14

It depends on the slow cooker, my old ceramic one bough in the 19800s I had to take meat out to crisp for 20 mins.

My current ones (have 2) I don't.

TheCrumpetQueen Mon 04-Nov-13 07:42:26

How long do you cook a whole chicken/lamb joint for? I think I'm going to get one!

TheCrumpetQueen Mon 04-Nov-13 07:42:53

Also which brand/size is good?

Crumpet- I have a crockpot 5.5 ltr that's the best slow cooker I've ever had. It's got a timer and it's properly slow- some are very hot, I had a breville for a week or so that I took back as it was too hot and burned things to the side!

If buying another I might go for one that sautes and can go under the grill.

A chicken takes 6_9 hours in on low.

TheCrumpetQueen Tue 05-Nov-13 09:02:19

Thank you, Pregnant. There's one called 'Sear and Slow' so it sears food first, thought that sounded good as Iike browning meat and onions first

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