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Talk to me about slow cookers

(28 Posts)
QueenStromba Mon 04-Jul-11 02:46:14

AuntiePickleBottom's thread about probably not having a cooker for a week has got me thinking that maybe I could use a slow cooker. I'm all for just chopping up some veg and buggering off, it's actually the responsibility that puts me off cooking sometimes - once you've started cooking something you need to stick with it. It would be nice to just chuck some stuff in and forget about it.

Can anyone recommend me a good slow cooker to buy and some websites with good recipes?

VirgoGrr Mon 04-Jul-11 03:49:09

I bought a 'Cookworks' one for a tenner in the Argos sale for a punt and its been a great buy. I had a look for recipes on the web, but they all seem a bit over complicated. Came with a basic recipe booklet to give you an idea of cooking times.

The jist of it is: Bung stuff in with some moisture and switch on. End of.

Meat in sauce cooks in 6ish hours on low, comes out really tender. Well worth trying to take advantage of sub-prime meat.
Things with root veg in, more like 10 hours. Make sure the veg is at the bottom to cook properly. Fry onions beforehand otherwise they come out a bit crunchy and boiled.

And resist the urge to take the lid off while cooking. Although have a try when you think its nearly there - I left a casserole on for 13 hours and ended up with soup. Delicious though.

Sauces tend to come out a bit thinner than cooking in the oven IMO, but I have experimented with simmering with lid off for half an hour before serving and seems to thicken up a bit. Also, spices disappear over cooking time, so season at beginning and end.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 04-Jul-11 04:09:52

I've got a large Prima slow cooker but as long as it has low, high, and auto settings the make isn't particularly important.

I use mine to cook porridge overnight in the winter. Loads of oven/hob recipes can be adapted for slow cooking - pot roast, meat loaf, lamb shanks, bolognese sauce, casseroles, curries, chilli con carne, stuffed tomatoes/aubergines/peppers etc.

There's a small selection of recipes on this site, and plenty available on t'internet, plus some manufacturers have their own websites and/or provide a booklet with their cookers.

I seem to recall that AuntiePicklebottom either posted or responded to a recent AIBU thread relating to a Breville slow cooker bargain buy from Argos.

That particular thread disappeared from view - maybe Mumsnet police thought it was more suited to Chat or another venue? Of course it may still be hiding in the back pages of AIBU but don't be surprised if this post has gone AWOL in a few hours' time.

QueenStromba Mon 04-Jul-11 04:15:26

Thank you. I'm so embarrassed because I thought I'd posted this in chat

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 04-Jul-11 04:37:09

Absolutely no need for you to be embarrassed - if you find the elusive AuntiePicklebottom & the slow cooker thread please come back and let me know.

If this thread has disappeared perhaps you could post again as 'AIBU to want to buy dh/dp a slow ccooker, or smash one over his head, or divorce him if he doesn't buy me one grin

deemented Mon 04-Jul-11 06:12:57

Slowcookers are great. I have three - a 1ltr, a 3.5ltr, and a 6ltr.

If theres more than three or four of you, or you do a lot of batch cooking for the freezer, then i'd go for a 6ltr one - i've got the cookworks one from Argos too, and it's fine.

I do everything in mine. I use the little one for jams, chutneys and fondues, the medium one for rice puds, porridges, and dinners just for me and manshape, and the big one for family dinners, batch cooking like spag bol and shepards pie, doing whole chickens and large pot roasts. I also make cakes and puddings in the big one - i do an amazing brownie in a cup - and have even breen known to make candles and soaps in it as well!!

QueenOfAllBiscuitsandMuffins Mon 04-Jul-11 06:45:25

Jams deemented? Please explain more.

deemented Mon 04-Jul-11 07:23:47

Yes, Jams.

looksee here

pjmama Mon 04-Jul-11 07:39:47

Put a nice piece of beef in, half submerge in really really thick gravy made from granules. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove meat and cover in foil to rest for half an hour. In meantime add whatever u fancy to gravy, red wine, garlic, redcurrant jelly for instance and leave slow cooked on to simmer it while the meat rests. Fab meat and marvellous gravy for lazy cooks like me! Meat juices thin out the gravy and it's delicious. Guess it would work with other meat joint too, although not tried it yet.

ledkr Mon 04-Jul-11 07:56:18

bolognese and chillli is good and ive done baked spuds too.I agree with bung stuff in and switch it on.I work on high for half a day and low for whole one.Very scientific. yanbu btw grin

TheFarSideOfFuck Mon 04-Jul-11 08:23:16

QS grin

I was just about to jump in and say YABU for posting such a boring subject in AIBU...

SarahBumBarer Mon 04-Jul-11 08:30:37

Oooh - I love mine. We just have a morphy richards 5 litre which I got in the sale at Debenhams for about £15. We are a family of 3 (although DS is only 11 months so not eating his fair share exactly) and a meal cooked in it will easily last for 2 nights (and maybe a freezer portion too). It was a life saver in the later stages of pg and early stages of motherhood when I was really struggling for time (and money) and really helped DH and I to avoid the slippery slope into ready-meal land.

It is cery easy to adapt normal casserole type recipes - in general just cut the liquid down by at least a third and if the recipe calls for cream or mascarpone or anything like that only add that for the last 30 mins or so of cooking.

Ideally get a slow cooker with High, low and auto options. We use auto for almost everything.

floosiemcwoosie Mon 04-Jul-11 08:33:30

the trick is not to put too much water in it. I started putting the same amount in as I woul when cooking in oven, but it nevers cooks.

Did wonder about this being on aibu - thought you had an issue with slow cookers!


QueenOfAllBiscuitsandMuffins Mon 04-Jul-11 09:34:56

Deemented do u have a recipe?

deemented Mon 04-Jul-11 12:47:56

I just followed the recipe on the link i gave you. TBH i didn't eat it as i like neither strawberries or jam, but i'm told it was lovely - gave them as Christmas gifts.

JoySzasz Mon 04-Jul-11 12:55:19

Doing a chicken in one will also make a lovely gravy...

Just use the juices from the chicken cooking... keep the chicken warm,add a bit of fine flour to your 'broth' with the heat on medium and stir to thicken and produce a wonderful flavour.

Seabright Mon 04-Jul-11 12:59:48

Love em! Turns cheap cuts of meat into meals that as so succulant and tasty you could cut the meat with a spoon!

I have a 1 ingredient dish which I do overnight nearly every Friday, as it gives lots of snack/sandwich food for the weekend plus a carbonara:

Ingredients: 1 gammon joint (the sort Tesco/Sainsbury's do 3 for £10)
Optional extra - 1 can coke (my Mum adds this, I don't)

Method: Remove outer plastic, not the bit going round the joint. Place in slowcooker. Add can of coke if you like (gives a sort-of honey roast flavour). Switch on & go to bed. In morning, remove and allow to cool. Eat.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 04-Jul-11 13:36:36

That's a brilliant site deemented, butt I'm now beating myself up at the thought of the tons of citrus pips that I've allowed to go to waste when I could have put them to good use <sob>

Waves to Joy - how's the rug?

QueenOfAllBiscuitsandMuffins Mon 04-Jul-11 13:39:12

Shit, sorry deemented didn't see the link, thanks for that.

iklboo Mon 04-Jul-11 13:42:21

Tonight's tea is waiting for me in the slow cooker - on time so it'll be ready when we get in. I LOVE my slow cooker. Chicken & chorizo casserole. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

iklboo Mon 04-Jul-11 13:43:35

Oh - and they're ACE for making mulled wine/cider. Christmas wrapping paper gets slightly less elaborate as Xmas Eve wears on..........grin

deemented Mon 04-Jul-11 13:46:07

Izzy It's one of my faves - i aspire to use my slowcookers so much!!!

Pizza fondue is delicious in the SC. Make up a tomato based sauce, simmer it for a good few hours, then about 20-30 mins before you want to eat, add a load of grated cheese. Then either eat directly from the SC, using hunks of crusty bread, or even garlic bread to dip in it, or put in bowls for the kids. Yummity!

missorinoco Mon 04-Jul-11 13:46:09

I have a huge slowcooker, (I think 7.5L?) think my mother presumed bigger would be better when she bought it. Even doubling recipes still doesn't fill it. Am a big fan of making double to freeze it, but would like a smaller one for the moment, last time it make more than two meals for four adults.

I have 3 children, but one isn't weaned yet, other two are under 5. What size would you recommend for family meals? One from Lakeland is £20 and had a great review from Which magazine, but reviews on the site say it is very small. I don't want to go from one extreme to the other.


deemented Mon 04-Jul-11 14:07:39

I'd go for a 3.5ltr.

lizziemun Mon 04-Jul-11 15:05:38


Like deemented I would say go for a 3.5l one. I have a 7.5l and a 3.5l one (which I use more the the bigger one).

My mum has that one from lakeland and found it to small to cook even for just her, so she uses her 3.5l unless she just reheating something for one meal.

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