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What's the deal with slow cookers?

(6 Posts)
Veggy Thu 24-Jan-13 12:14:06

I keep seeing/hearing about slow cookers, but what's all the fuss about? Why are they so great and what's so different about just using a casserole or hob top ceramic, or cooking things slowly in a normal oven?
I like meals that use just one pot, but why do I need a whole new appliance when I have a cooker and lots of pots anyway?
I work and have kids and I've heard you chop up loads of stuff in the morning and come home in the evening to a perfect meal, which seems convenient - true??
Who can convince me to take up what looks like a good deal on a Russell Hobbs one in Sainsburys?

littlemefi Thu 24-Jan-13 12:19:24

They use a lot less gas/elec than if you'd put a casserole in the oven or on top of the hob I think. Have heard they use same amount of power as a lightbulb, but don't know how true that is!

Plus they are very good for cheaper cuts of meat as cooking very slowly makes the meat really tender.
I don't use mine all the time, but do find it handy if I haven't got much time later in the day; I do all the prep in the morning, go out for the day, then come home to a lovely dinner! Plus can be good for batch cooking and freezing some if make a big stew etc.

dreamingofsun Thu 24-Jan-13 14:46:30

if you do things on the hob you tend to have to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn/dry out etc and there tends to be more stages in the cooking. plus you have to be around to remove from oven

with a slow cooker i sling the ingredients in and stir maybe once or twice if i'm around. not at all if i'm out. ie its much less labour intensive and i can put it on in the morning and so don't have the after work rush of getting food ready. i can prep stuff the night before if i'm busy in the morning (by prep i mean cut up and put into dish).

but you have to cook differently and use very little liquid

CrazyOldCatLady Thu 24-Jan-13 15:50:36

They're cheaper to run than an oven or hob and you can leave them all day without attention. I leave mine cooking for 10 hours while I'm out at work and it's fine.

sashh Fri 25-Jan-13 03:44:04

Do you ever cook a shoulder of lamb?

In the oven you have a layer of fat unless you cook it to destruction.

In the slow cooker that fat melts and slowly bastes the meat, when you take it out the meat is still pink but so sweet.

It is more convenient for me to throw things in on a morning and come home to a meal than to cook a casserole for 2 hours in the evening.

I like proper beef and mushroom pudding with suet pastry, with the slow cooker I don't need to check the water level, I just switch on and it cooks.

We use our slow cooker for probably 4-5 dinners out of 7. Its so easy. Prep the ingredients, put them in, turn it on and forget about it until dinner time.

The only time the oven is on now is if I am baking.

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