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Should I buy a slow cooker or not?? Help...

(16 Posts)
happenedagain Sun 07-Nov-10 11:26:26

Not sure if I should buy one or not? I am wondering what sort of things I could make in it?

I am a single mum and have recently started work and find it a struggle to cook in the evenings (lucky for me I only work part time) but still find it hard work.

Any way just wondering what you cook in it, and if you need an expensive one or just a cheap one to start with?

Please advise... smile

choufleur Sun 07-Nov-10 11:28:27

I have one. Have never used it. I tend to make huge vats of stuff and freeze them in portions for when I don't have much time to cook properly.

Ooosha Sun 07-Nov-10 11:30:25

They are great you can cook so many things in them even jacket potatoes! Just get a small cheap one and experiment. It is really nice to come home to a meal hot and ready to eat especially in the winter.

happenedagain Sun 07-Nov-10 11:37:50

ooosha - what are your fav meal to cookin it?

My dd 3years old will not eat anything spicy, so need something suitable for both of us.

sittinghippo Mon 08-Nov-10 14:26:14

I am watching with interest... I have one and only ever cook casseroles in it during the winter and when I've got loads of veg that needs using up, so would be good to see some other ideas.

mumsnuttermel Mon 08-Nov-10 15:28:13

I've been thinking about buying one & looking at the advice on this site have decided to go ahead. Tesco have one for £10 which has good reviews & they're also running their clubcard voucher exchange again so it comes down to £5 - can't complain.

AnyFuleKno Mon 08-Nov-10 15:31:31

If you do, get one with a timer. If you are going to leave it on all day while out at work, you don't want your meal to be cooking the whole time or it is a flavourless mush by the time you come to eat it

dreamingofsun Mon 08-Nov-10 15:33:34

you can do all sorts - just don't add as much liquid as you normally do - curry, bolognese, rice pudding, sweet and sour, chicken cassoulet(say if you want me to list ingredients), lump of meat (I don't like whole chicken this way, but beef good with dash of wine/beer, chicken and chorizo with tin toms and few other things, lamb shanks. just got new recipe for chicken, tin chicken soup, mushrooms and onions i'm going to try. chicken tarragon, wine, onion nice.

if any of these take your fancy and you want me to list all the ingredients please say

there's been loads of threads recently with recipes.

cheap one is fine - mine's fairly basic and its about 25 years old. you need removable pot and 2 heat settings.

benefits are you chuck everything in during the morning and dinners done in the evening - if you can stir it a couple of times first all the better. also good if you eat dinner at different times. i don't usually bother with browning stuff and if sauce is too thin add bit of cornflower mixed with some cold water first

craftynclothy Mon 08-Nov-10 15:43:04

We love ours. We use it roughly once a week. You can definitely get away with a cheap one. Ours doesn't have a timer but we got a cheap timer plug thing from Ikea so if I needed to I could set that for the start time I want.

We do stews/casserole type things in it quite a lot. Also chili (have tried bolognese but it never seems to work as well confused). You can also do soups in it. I know some people do roasts and things in theirs but we've not tried that yet. Mince with dumplings is another thing we do in it. Also if I have lots of veg to use up I chuck it in their with some (tinned) chopped tomatoes, which goes well with cous cous.

craftynclothy Mon 08-Nov-10 15:44:32

Oh yes, def agree with the cornflour/water for thickening.

I don't generally brown anything except for when I do mince in gravy in it as it seems to make a difference to that.

BangingNoise Mon 08-Nov-10 21:12:27

I'm not a fan, I'm afraid.

Scuttlebutter Mon 08-Nov-10 22:34:34

Love ours. Got it last year for £10 in Tesco, thinking that at that price if it all went horribly wrong, it wasn't too much of a problem. We use it regularly to poach chicken (very moist and tender), beef brisket is fabulous in it, casseroles, butterscotch bananas, chutney this year. I love the fact it separates the preparation from the cooking if you see what I mean. The chopping and faffing can be done in the morning as part of my kitchen routine, then I can get the kitchen tidy and get on with my day, knowing our meal is cooking and then all I have to do later is do some pasta/rice if necessary.

ClaireDeLoon Mon 08-Nov-10 22:50:03

Love mine. The only thing that doesn't taste so good for me is bolognese like craftnclothy says.

But the mince for cottage pie or shepherds pie is lovely. Chili is delicious, especially with chunks of beef. Lamb shanks in red wine and balsamic vineger. Chopped up pork belly with tomatoes and chorizo.

It's lovely getting home to it, smelling lovely.

MrsDinky Mon 08-Nov-10 23:00:53

I use mine at least once a week, but tend not to put it on till lunchtime for an evening meal as many things end up overcooked otherwise. Favourites in our house are bolognese, tandoori chicken thighs, plain chicken thighs as a casserole, roast whole chicken, braising steak, lamb shanks in red wine (that is one that can take a full days cooking). Tip - always take the skin off chicken legs and thighs, otherwise you get a dish full of fat. Also veg need chopping smaller than usual to cook through.

It doesn't save all that much time, but redistributes cooking time to a more convenient part of the day, eg put stuff on at lunchtime, get DCs from school and activities and all you have to do is cook your rice or pasta. We use it at weekends a lot too so we can go out for the afternoon and come home to a hot meal.

Fiddledee Tue 09-Nov-10 11:42:36

I do find fat a big problem - in an oven the fat burns off but can't in a slow cooker. I tend to use only chicken or very lean meat otherwise its all too greasy for me. I tend to use it only in winter too. DH likes the smell it creates when he comes home.

moragbellingham Tue 09-Nov-10 18:14:35

Anyone tried the Aldi 6.5 litre one for £17.99?

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