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To not really see the point in a slow cooker?

(261 Posts)
Hippodisk Fri 07-Oct-16 16:00:13

I keep seeing slow cookers recommended on quick or cheap meal threads. I've also noticed that good food mag has started including slow cooker recipes.

How is it any quicker than cooking a casserole in the oven? You still have to chop veg, brown meat etc. Is the appeal that you can leave it on while you're out?

I will say I'm probably biased as I used one years ago to cook a casserole and it was bland and watery, I also cooked a whole chicken and ended up throwing it in the bin it was vile.

So did I try the wrong recipes, are they really that much of a time saver?

Convince me to give it another go grin

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 07-Oct-16 16:02:06

Same experience as you OP, but if someone does convince you, you can have mine. Its been sitting in the cupboard for two years gathering dust! grinwink

U2HasTheEdge Fri 07-Oct-16 16:03:18

They are shit.

Pressure cooker is the way to go.

Quick food, miles tastier than slow cooking and even oven cooking. The Instant Pot is fabulous.

greatbigwho Fri 07-Oct-16 16:03:34

I love mine. I can chuck stuff in whilst I'm making breakfast in the morning and forget about it. I'm lazy and rarely bother sautéing stuff beforehand, and TBH can't notice the difference. Chicken is amazing in it, just falls off the bone and is so juicy!

BigSandyBalls2015 Fri 07-Oct-16 16:03:35

I don't brown the meat and I cheat and buy bags of pre chopped veg for the days I'm at work - chuck it all in and leave. Don't need much liquid, not as much as a casserole in the oven.

80sWaistcoat Fri 07-Oct-16 16:05:20

I use if for cooking stock (really good) and I did a ham in it a couple of times when it was handy to leave it cooking while I was out and I didn't want to leave a pan boiling.

I have never got the hang of cooking anything else in it. I love slow cooked food done in the oven though - 7 hour cooked shoulder of lamb etc.

Headofthehive55 Fri 07-Oct-16 16:05:23

When I am at work all day I prepare it the night before, leave in fridge and lift out in the morning and put it on. Otherwise my casserole would b sitting in an Oven all day at room temperature. Before the oven turned on automatically. Things are much more tender too.

m0therofdragons Fri 07-Oct-16 16:05:35

Mine is helpful when I'm working but i don't use it to be cheap just practical. I use it but could live without it.

Hippodisk Fri 07-Oct-16 16:06:26

Thanks posie mine went in the bin with the chicken grin.

See I can make a lovely casserole in about 15 mins prep time and just chuck it in the oven for 2 hours.

MrsMook Fri 07-Oct-16 16:06:28

I find it useful as I can put the food in at a time that suits me and come back to cooked food. I could put the timer on the oven, but it always seems to coincide with power blips that ruin the timing!

I've never had an issue with watery food. Because there is little loss from steam, the food doesn't have to have lots of moisture added besides the juices released by the veg.

Angelik Fri 07-Oct-16 16:06:40

Because you can time it to come on so it is ready when home at 6pm after being out of house for 11 hours and don't have time to whip up a casserole.

It is a matter of trial and error with recipes though.

Headofthehive55 Fri 07-Oct-16 16:06:53

I really dislike pressure cooker food.

Wrinklytights Fri 07-Oct-16 16:07:07

It's not supposed to be quick, it's appeal is that you can cook your dinner when you'receive out so you can eat as soon as you get in. I can see why people who WOTH would like them.

Headofthehive55 Fri 07-Oct-16 16:08:41

In at 6pm want to eat at 6:15, someone else at 7and another person at 9:30.

Hippodisk Fri 07-Oct-16 16:10:17

Maybe quick was the wrong word but they're always on the easy meals threads. I freeze casserole and take it out the night before I need it so it only needs warming up.

What other kind of things can you make in there?

LunaLoveg00d Fri 07-Oct-16 16:10:20

I used to have a slow cooker and binned it. It wasn't getting used, I wasn't impressed with the way it cooked many things, and decided that I'd rather have noodles or something which can be done in 5 minutes flat than a casserole which had been cooking all day.

CaveMum Fri 07-Oct-16 16:11:17

The key thing to get your head around is that you don't need as much liquid as for a normal oven/hob recipe as you don't get much evaporation.

Gammon in brown sugar, Abruzi lamb and brisket are favourite slow cooker recipes in this house grin

ToastDemon Fri 07-Oct-16 16:11:33

I got rid of mine. I really disliked the taste of the food it produced despite carefully following a number of recipes.
The oxtail was a particularly foul low point.

ExcellentWorkThereMary Fri 07-Oct-16 16:11:59

Keeps mulled wine warm all day...

5BlueHydrangea Fri 07-Oct-16 16:12:49

I keep biscuits in mine..

cheapandcheerful Fri 07-Oct-16 16:13:36

Mine gets used a lot during the week as the time when I would ideally be at home cooking dinner I am actually running around doing after-school swimming/ballet/football things. We often don't get home until 5:30 and with small children in tow there has to be a quick turnaround before bedtime. It's great to have something that's already cooked and just waiting to be eaten.

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 07-Oct-16 16:14:02

The quickness comes from you not actually being there while it's cooking, you can just put it on however many hours before that you like and it'll be fine, unlike the pressure cooker, and it's cheaper than an oven (with a timer to make it as convenient) to run.

If you are actually going to be in and free to cook it's no quicker, it might be a bit more flexible as you can forget about it / change plans etc. without a problem.

I wouldn't cook a whole chicken in it, I wouldn't actually cook many very water-y foods in it at all, I don't think it is good for that - as you lose the ability to easily adjust the amount of liquid by boiling it off. Although very thick soups are fine.

For chilli and similar food, for stock, for pulled pork it's very convenient because it's something you do before leaving for work in the dead time while you're drinking coffee watching the kids eat breakfast rather than when more interesting things could be happening.

BoredOnMatLeave Fri 07-Oct-16 16:14:25

I mainly use mine for pulled pork. So tender... Don't know any other recipes!

blueskyinmarch Fri 07-Oct-16 16:15:35

I used mine loads when I was working. I prepped stuff at night and I put it on at low the next day. Instant dinner when we all got home. I don't use it so much now I am retired as I can pop something in the oven for a few hours before dinner. So I guess it depends how much time people have. It was a godsend to me when working.

FlameGrower Fri 07-Oct-16 16:16:21

Yes I don't get the slow cooker love either.

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