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Convince me to get a slow cooker

(25 Posts)
MimsyBorogroves Sat 23-Feb-13 18:43:13

And recommend a good one? Family of 4.

I hate cooking. I've had to take on sole responsibility and have slowly gone from being able to cook nothing to having a staple menu of a few bits and pieces - risotto, decent spag bog, decent shepherd's pie, "chilli" (without the spices)

I like a whole range of things but I'm not too enamoured with stodge. DH detests fish.

So what can I do in a slow cooker and really, how easy is it? Can anyone blind me with amazing recipes, etc?

I keep saying I want one, but actually I wouldn't know what to do with it.

Megglevache Sun 24-Feb-13 14:57:46

There are so many on offer at the moment- I think ours is a russell hobbs- very cheap- slow cookers are the bees knees.

Makes amazing ragu (bolognese type things) chillis, I do lots of cheap cuts of meat in wine/stock/
I have a friend who cooks most of her stuff in one including sponges!

Do a google on crock pot dishes, the americans love a good crock pot recipe grin

Oh and before I forget they now have them with a separator thus enabling you to cook 2 sep dishes <<genius>>

Lattetogo Sun 24-Feb-13 15:16:47

I use mine to cook curry, goulash, stew etc. The slow cooking process makes cheap cuts of meat very tender and I like the fact that I don't need to keep an eye or steer it so in most cases just chuck everything in and forget about it till meal time.

MimsyBorogroves Sun 24-Feb-13 17:46:31

Oooh! There's one on offer in our tesco at the moment and I'm seriously thinking about it. I hate cooking meat so that'd be a real bonus.

Lattetogo Sun 24-Feb-13 19:14:00

You will love it. Give me a bump when you buy it and I will send you a few recipes to get you started.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 24-Feb-13 19:18:16

I am not going to be helpful (sorry!) but I will never buy a slow cooker because I can't be doing with fannying around with raw meat and onions first thing in the bloody morning. Infact I can't really cook before midday.

Pan Sun 24-Feb-13 19:27:59

Dumb question, possibly. Can slow cookers take about 10 hours if you want them to? I'm thinking of total time away from home on a working day. I don't mind faffing at all,and can cook pretty well. But starting from scratch each evening after a long day isn't nice.

WickWackThurso Sun 24-Feb-13 19:29:55

I prepare stuff at night flouncing then either put in fridge to get out and switch on in am, or cook overnight and put in fridge to zap in mocrowave when we get in.

I don't think I could run this house without one, well, we'd definitely have higher food bills and eat less well. I find tge afternoon evening the most demanding with 2 young dds and can't cope with us all being tired, hungry and grumpy AND having to cook. Coming in from swimming to a proper, nutritious hot dinner is fab. I make soups, stews, casseroles, pasta sauces, chicken dishes, sausages in gravy, stroganoff, pie fillings etc etc. For a tiny bit of forethought can save a lot of stress.

BettySuarez Sun 24-Feb-13 19:33:46

Those of you that have them, could you cook enough for a hungry family of six?

Or would it not cope with that volume?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 24-Feb-13 19:37:46

You can get 5/6 liter ones. That should do 6 no proem. I feed two adults and two children with a 3.5 litter with left overs. I have the Murphy Richards sear and stew. It comes with a non stick metal inner that you can use on the hob to brown meat first. They may well do a bigger version. Try Argos, tesco direct, currys etc

wannabedomesticgoddess Sun 24-Feb-13 19:42:14

I have a 4.5l one for DP, me, a 4 yo and the baby but shes not weaned yet.

For a family of 6 I would reccommend a 6l one because its advised to not fill them more than two thirds full.

For things like bolognaise that require pasta to be cooked separately then ours would be fine for 6. I do a batch of spag bol enough for two nights and its only half full. Its more the one pot meals that might not be enough.

breatheslowly Sun 24-Feb-13 19:44:37

I gave a lot of thought to getting one recently but realised that I would still have to chop everything up and possibly saute onions and brown meat, then it could go in the slow cooker. The actual cooking bit of preparing food isn't what takes me the time, it is the faff of getting the ingredients ready and a slow cooker can't miraculously do this for you. Obviously you may have different reasons for getting one.

littleducks Sun 24-Feb-13 19:45:31

I have mine in timer as I'm out the house too long. You can buy done with built in timers but I just have a timer on the socket.

Themobstersknife Sun 24-Feb-13 19:57:01

You don't have to saute or brown. I buy meat that is already in chunks when it is on offer and freeze it. The other thing to do is just chuck the meat in whole - for example skinless and bonesless chicken thighs or pork steaks, and then cut it up when you get in from work if it is something that requires smaller pieces of meat. You can usually just break it up with a spoon as it will be so tender. I think the key is to batch chop and freeze your veg at the weekend when you have time, don't worry about chopping meat as above, and chuck any liquid in such as tinned tomatoes, tinned condensed soup, tinned coconut milk, stock and flour, or whatever your recipe calls for. So usually that means opening a tin, chucking in a pack of meat, rooting out some veg from the freezer and switching it on. I use mine for everything, including joints of meat, roasts, chilli, bolognese, stroganoff, stew, meatballs etc. I even sometimes just chuck rice or pasta in to the slow cooker when I get in, and cook it all together. Never brown anything. I don't think I could now cope without mine.

pregnantpause Sun 24-Feb-13 20:58:24

I have a 5.5 litre crockpot with a timer. Enough to feed 6 but can cook just for four. I love grin grin

WickWackThurso Sun 24-Feb-13 22:40:24

I don't brown meat first or soften onions. I do grill sausages for sausages & gravy bit thats the only precooking I ever do.

JamNan Mon 25-Feb-13 12:23:42

I loves mine and can't think why I didn't get one before. Mine was cheap as chips from Tesco (£10). Fab recipes here. It cooks anything from curry to rice pudding even lasagne. It's wonderful for casseroles, lentils/beans/pulses, soup, tagine, and makes the tastiest tomato sauce ever. It also saves a lot of energy too - same as burning a light bulb instead of heating up the whole oven.

PixieHot Mon 25-Feb-13 12:36:49

That's it, I'm getting one <not the OP> grin.

MimsyBorogroves Mon 25-Feb-13 18:20:03

Thanks everyone! Convinced DH that we are getting one.

Can it cook Quorn? I'm trying to use Quorn rather than red meat (eg in spag bol)

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 25-Feb-13 18:25:17

I love cooking so I was a little sceptical when MIL gave us one for Xmas.

But it's been great. We have eaten our way through the cheap cuts of meat in the freezer. Great for soup. I did a ham by covering it in water and leaving it for hours, that was delicious. I've got a lentil Dahl in there for dinner.

grin grin grin grin

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 25-Feb-13 18:27:07

and the best recipe was boeuf bourginion. yum. cheapest beef, onions, bay leaves, thyme, a bottle of cheap red.


sashh Thu 28-Feb-13 04:27:11

I gave a lot of thought to getting one recently but realised that I would still have to chop everything up and possibly saute onions and brown meat

I never saute onions and brown meat.

You can buy already prepped veg and chopped meat.

Or you can just chuck a whole chicken or leg of lamb in.

MusicalEndorphins Thu 28-Feb-13 04:55:00

Pulled Pork is a really great recipe. I use homemade barbeque sauce but you can use store bought. It is really the only way I even like pork roast. Pile large portions onto buns, you can add cheese or onions and lettuce if you like. It can be eaten in a wrap as well, or even on top of rice.
Basically you put a layer of thick sliced onions in the bottom of your crock, and place the pork roast on it, then cook in a cup of chicken broth for 5-6 hours. When done you put it on a cutting board and shred it with 2 forks, discarding any fat. It is to tender it falls apart. I then put it back into the crock with barbeque sauce for an hour.
You can buy crocks with timers if you are going to be out. Some come with a bonus tiny crock perfect for making steel cut oats in overnight on low.

ripsishere Thu 28-Feb-13 05:08:43

I love mine. DD isn't so keen but she doesn't really like food full stop.
I wouldn't bother cooking quorn in it, I thought the only thing to do with that was warm it through.
Perhaps you could make the sauce then stir the quern in just before you serve it up?

Littlemissexpecting Thu 28-Feb-13 07:03:17

Latte I would live they recipes you offered if you don't mind?
We got one as a wedding present and I currently use it for about 2 dishes so really need to learn more!!

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