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Talk to me about slow cookers

(23 Posts)
LittleMiss77 Tue 15-Sep-15 10:38:38

Its one thing ive always thought about buying...

I enjoy cooking nice hearty meals now that the nights are soon to be closing in but with a new baby im not sure i can dedicate as much time to it as i used to.

So, should i take the plunge?
Are they worth it?
What size should i look at getting (family of 3 with batch cooking potential)?
Should i go for a 2/3/4/5/6/7/8-in-1?
Any particular make/model better than others?

TIA

hamspamandjamman Tue 15-Sep-15 10:44:17

I am currently cooking chicken fajitas in mine as we speak.
They can be very good if your organised and do most of the prep the night before. Definitely get one slightly bigger then you need as its always good for making extras and freezing them.
Anyway I love mine lol

cdtaylornats Tue 15-Sep-15 15:24:10

As an alternative you should look at a multicooker like the Intellichef. It let's you brown meat and then switch to slow cooking. It does lots of other things too.

LittleMiss77 Tue 15-Sep-15 15:43:45

I will look up a multicooker (i'll admit, ive never heard of one)

bruffin Tue 15-Sep-15 15:49:10

I have this one which will sear as well, but will also go on the hob
Ds is cooking belly rashers in it as we speak

TheOriginalWinkly Tue 15-Sep-15 15:52:05

bruffin I need that in my life

ErnesttheBavarian Tue 15-Sep-15 15:57:06

I got one following rave reviews on here. Big flop. My family generally hate anything that comes out of it, to the point that if they see it they are already complaining that they won't like the dinner. It takes ages to prepare (browning the meat etc) that I don't have in the morning.
And It's huge and takes up loads of space. Seemed like a great idea but didn't work out here.

Seeline Tue 15-Sep-15 16:09:55

Love mine - I often use it even when I'm home during the day, but need to have various people at various places around getting-dinner-ready time! It means I am free to come and go, and the rest of the family can help themselves as and when they are around too.
Ernest I never bother browning the meat, just throw everything in it raw and leave it to get on with things.
I generally use mine for stews/casseroles/bolognaise etc, but I know you can use them for loads of stuff.
Mine is cheap one from Tescos.

bruffin Tue 15-Sep-15 16:10:30

It is beautiful [sigh]

johnImonlydancing Tue 15-Sep-15 16:16:34

It needs pre-planning, pre-prepping of food if it is going to make really nice food. It is easier in some respects, but the more time you put in the better the food that comes out (things don't cook at the same rate, obviously, and different foods taste better at different levels of cooked-ness). But it does save time if you aren't too bothered about what comes out of it.

IpsyUpsyDaisyDo Tue 15-Sep-15 16:29:40

I stick to using mine for tough-as-boots cuts of meat - beef shin, lamb shoulder, ham hock, etc. - either as joints or in stews. Love how delicious & tender it gets cheap meat. I usually prepare it all the night before and have it on a timer switch so I don't even think about it in the morning, it's all ready when I get home from work. I make a job lot of stew and freeze portions. I did spare ribs for the BBQ this summer which worked really well too.

Mine is a Breville and I can't put it on the hob. I came late to the world of slow-cooking, but I wouldn't be without it now!

jollyjester Tue 15-Sep-15 16:37:55

I have a morphy richards one which is good but doesn't have the ability to let me brown the meat first.

I use it about 3 times a week. Yesterday was a whole chicken (not the mythical mumsnet one but a normal one that has done a family of 3 two meals!)

Tomorrow I'm doing meatballs in tomato sauce and will probably do a curry towards the weekend.

It really depends what your family likes to eat.

Baked potatoes (rub in a bit of oil them wrap in foil - yum!)
Chillis / bolognaise need to put on a timer as they don't take so long

If you're organised when you get your shopping its easy to spend an hour browning the meat and freezing with whatever associated vegetables etc needed. Lift the frozen bag out of the freezer the night before and let defrost overnight and switch on in the morning.

LovelyFriend Tue 15-Sep-15 16:40:44

they are much raved about on MN and elsewhere online but I've found them to be rather rubbish. I could almost think there was a conspiracy. No wonder SC's are fairly towards the top of my "things not to believe that you read on the internet" list.

Why anyone would prefer to cook a whole chicken in a SC rather than roast it is a total mystery? It comes out all flaccid and tasteless.

As for this "throw it all in and come home to a lovely meal" it's utter bollocks IME. You come home to come bits undercooked, some over cooked and everything tasting a bit shite. If quick and easy is my priority I'd rather eat a bowl of muesli for dinner thanks.

The only two dishes I've found it useful for are:
Pulled pork - but then I am the only one who will eat it and you really don't want to know what the after effects of eating a large pulled pork by yourself over a week are;
Spag Bol - but this is perfectly doable in a pot too.

As for the SC macaroni cheese ........... memorable for all the wrong reasons shock confused

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 15-Sep-15 16:43:00

Love mine. It states raw meat about 6 hours on high, browned meat, 4 hours on low.
Chuck it in, dinners ready without feeling liked youve cooked. Lots of sachets about for different meals.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 15-Sep-15 16:43:46

Should add, i have the cheapest Argos one.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Sep-15 16:46:20

love mine. I have the morphy Richards 3.5l sear and stew. can he used on hob too. I find it really useful. a 3.5 is plenty to do two days worth of meals or yo freeze half and eat half. you don't want one too big unless your planning on really filling it as it will cook to quick.

I have a 6.5l as well for doing big joints of meat such as brisket or a leg of lamb or the Xmas ham.

CQ Tue 15-Sep-15 16:59:01

I have 2 slow cookers, a 3.5l ancient one, a huge 6l one and now I fear I need Bruffin's one too.

Can somebody tell me the proportions for making rice pudding in a slow cooker? DS would love me forever if he could come home to rice pudding??..

Janeymoo50 Thu 17-Sep-15 17:11:12

I tend to do the same things in mine, curries, hot pots, spag bol, pork meatballs in leek and mustard sauce, lamb koftas, pot roast etc. I guess you might need to find a favourite dish to do in it to win the over (the pork meatballs is a winner in our house served with taglatelli). Plus, slow cooked chilli spare ribs too (a Saturday Night X Factor meal with microwave rice).

joberg Thu 17-Sep-15 18:54:55

To the slow cooker haters, try this

www.knittingforums.org.uk/recipes/topic6815.html

It has never failed in this house!

Cookingongas Thu 17-Sep-15 19:26:52

I'll add to the love. I had a 3.5 ltr but had to increase. I use it regularly. ( and the little one has mulled wine warm pretty much right through December wink) I love coming home to a dinner smelling house. I don't have success with stews and curries though- I agree that for me, at least, they can be bland and tasteless. ( but everything does need extra seasoning)

My favourites are : pork spinach and mushroom hotpot, chorizo and pork belly bean stew, chilli lime shredded chicken and peppers ( for fajitas), pot roast Guinea fowl, bacon and apple hot pot, lamb shanks in red wine, kleftico lamb and sausage bean casserole. That's a long list of favourites isn't it?

VeryPunny Thu 17-Sep-15 19:29:49

They are white and turn out institutional slop IMO. Get a pressure cooker instead.

VeryPunny Thu 17-Sep-15 19:30:21

White = shite. DYAC!

bruffin Thu 17-Sep-15 19:37:20

I hate pressure cookers even more after MIL forgot to turn hers off and coated the kitchen in liver she was cooking for the cat.
I tend to use mine for toasting chicken and also found the best stews are the tomato based ones.
My favorite recipe is a greek cypriot one using kolokasi, pork, tomato celery and lemon. The kolokassi (taro or eddoes) naturally thickens the sauce.

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