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Should I get a slow cooker?

(40 Posts)
TrulyMadlyBeefly Sat 30-Nov-19 08:31:48

I am thinking about getting a slow cooker to cook meat in at Christmas, to free up oven space for the more important veg dishes.

I'm just not sure what else I would use it for. I don't cook much meat, so worried it will just take up space.

So, do you have a slow cooker and what do you cook in it? Is it worth the investment?

OP’s posts: |
Pr1mus Sat 30-Nov-19 08:41:16

Do it! I absoloutely love my slow cooker! I mostly use it for roasts, curry or soup but you can make pretty much anything in it. I love being able to bang something in there in the morning and not have to worry about it while I go about my day. Oh and your kitchen will smell incredible by the end of it!

They're especially useful for nice warming winter food! I even make hot chocolate in mine! I plan to try some slow cooker rice pudding soon apparently it's supposed to be nice in there.

You can pick them up pretty cheap so it wouldn't be a huge waste of money if you don't use it too much but it will deffinately make Christmas dinner easier by freeing up some oven space!

UnaOfStormhold Sat 30-Nov-19 08:43:07

I'd say go for an electric pressure cooker like an instant pot - they do so much more than a slow cooker.

TrulyMadlyBeefly Sat 30-Nov-19 08:45:20

The thing is a curry for example, takes 30 mins max. I would just put it in when I get home and leave it to cook. Not sure I would be wanting to faff before work.

OP’s posts: |
ExtraFirmHold Sat 30-Nov-19 08:48:28

I bought mine about a year ago and thought I would use it daily ... grin hasn't happened yet. I've used it a grand total of twice.
However I enjoy cooking and found that putting everything in there took the enjoyment out of it for me. Also found it easier to just cook whatever it is I was thinking of making in there. Six to eight hours for a lump of meat Vs two hours in the oven, seems like a waste of time to me.

Chilledout11 Sat 30-Nov-19 08:53:11

I don't use mine for Christmas dinner (though it's great for mulled wine🤩)

But say you are mid way though the week- prepare a casserole etc the night before in the ceramic insert and pop that in the slow cooker ths t morning. Really convenient

UnaOfStormhold Sat 30-Nov-19 08:53:33

In that case I'd definitely suggest a pressure cooker - you get all the tenderness and flavour blending from slow cooking and it's perfect for just sticking something on to cook when you get home (no stir risotto is brilliant!)

Pr1mus Sat 30-Nov-19 09:04:16

I get where you are coming from! I personally prefer to do a chicken curry in the slow cooker because the meat becomes really tender and falls apart into the sauce which you can't get when you do it in the pan.

rookiemere Sat 30-Nov-19 09:09:25

Hardly use mine at all as find it gives most things a slightly weird flavour- and I've had different slow cookers over the years and they are all the same. It is however fantastic for slow cooking gammon or a joint of pork to make pulled pork.

CatUnderTheStairs Sat 30-Nov-19 09:14:02

If you cook lots of stews with meat then great. If you don’t...

I never got on with mine. I’d much rather do a slow cooked stew in the oven while I’m in and then reheat next day. It tastes better. I found everything tasted the same in the slow cooker.

It was good for cooking a ham and making stock. I wasn’t upset when dh broke the pot. More space in the cupboard. Sound like a pressure cooker would be better for you.

OnionsOnionsOnions Sat 30-Nov-19 09:14:16

Yes! I am really starting to experiment with mine. So far I cook:

Spicy chickpeas and potato curry

Slow cooker gammon (use up leftovers for dinners, sandwiches and shred to make it into a pulled pork)

Lamb curry / lamb casseroles

Creamy leek, bacon and potato (I add the cream when it has finished slow cooking in stock and seasoning)

Lamb shoulder and cheap cuts of meat (again, use throughout the week in lunches and dinners)

There's so many other things you can do! Oh and get slow cooker liners from £ shop as well... lifesaver! grin

OnionsOnionsOnions Sat 30-Nov-19 09:15:11

Another one is rice pudding as well. Add plenty of crushed cardamom pods and sugar... authentic, Indian rice pudding (kheer). So scrumptious!

NannyR Sat 30-Nov-19 09:18:43

When I make a curry in a pan, a lot of the flavour comes from frying the onions, ginger, garlic and spices together. If you are making it in a slow cooker, do you do that frying first or do you just add raw onions to the pot?

sewinginscotland Sat 30-Nov-19 09:19:42

I use mine 3 or 4 days a week. Chicken curry is planned for one of the days. Yes, you can cook it in half an hour but it tastes so much better if it's left to simmer on the hob for over an hour. And then better still if it's left in the slow cooker all day!

You can't put the slow cooker pot in the freezer then into the slow cooker in the morning, that will crack it. I make tea in a Pyrex bowl the night before and just tip it into the slow cooker in the morning. But I have a 1yo DS that needs feeding when I get back from work, so it's the only practical solution.

Other things this I'm making this week: lentil chilli, pulled pork.
Last week: chicken chausseur, veggie sausage casserole, Lamb tagine.
There's so much you can do with it.

InDubiousBattle Sat 30-Nov-19 09:26:00

I've never really got on with mine. I use it for pulled pork, Greek potatoes (both of which are very nice to be fair)and, as of next weekend at the school fair - mulled wine. I made a couple of curries and stews in it when I first got it but they were very disappointing, maybe I'm doing it wrong!

ChristineBaskets Sat 30-Nov-19 09:48:54

I've recently replaced our slow cooker with a pressure cooker and it's so much better. It makes wonderful stews and roast meat in half an hour, and you don't get the unpleasant cooking smells for hours that you do with slow cookers. I found the slow cooker inner pot very heavy and awkward when cleaning too (in fact I ended up dropping and smashing it) - the pressure cooker has a light metal pot.

Pilot12 Sat 30-Nov-19 09:54:50

I use it to make casseroles, bolognese and curry. You can also use it to make chutney, jam, porridge......

I use mine on Christmas Day to make braised red cabbage because I can just switch it on and leave it, in a pan I'd have to keep stirring.

You can get some good recipe books on Amazon.

bruffin Sat 30-Nov-19 09:58:14

I hate pressure cookers, way too dangerous for my liking (MIL once coated the kitchen in kidney because she forgot it)
I love my slow cooker [[ this one, which i sadly think is no longer made]]
but the pan can also go on the hob and it has a 15 minute sear setting.
Nothing nicer than coming home to the smell of stew. I often do a chicken in it or slow cook pork.

ForeverBubblegum Sat 30-Nov-19 10:33:10

I love my slow cooker, it's great for doing a whole chicken, the meat slides of the bones, so less gets wasted. You also get loads of stock which you can use with leftover meat to make stew or risotto.

You can batch prepare the ingredients and freeze the all stuff for each meal in a big freezer bag. Then just defrost overnight and pour in with some water in the morning. We made 2 weeks worth before DD was born, it was lovely not having to cook.

handbagsatdawn33 Sat 30-Nov-19 11:02:43

I've got both slow & pressure cookers, & use them regularly.
If one goes wrong in the future, I'd get an Instant Pot to replace both.

ginghamstarfish Sat 30-Nov-19 11:12:36

love mine, for curry, stew, chili, mince and veg, whole chicken, gammon, and I have a smaller one for rice pud, bread and butter pud. I think where some people go wrong though is using too much liquid, not at all necessary, in fact I use none at all for some things.

Pannalash Sat 30-Nov-19 11:30:16


’MIL once coated the kitchen in kidney’

Hopefully not her own 😱

justilou1 Sat 30-Nov-19 11:47:20

If you do, make sure it’s a multi-cooker or a rice/slow cooker. They take up a lot of space for a single-function appliance, otherwise.

justilou1 Sat 30-Nov-19 11:48:15

Btw... I might be fantasizing about a kitchen coated in my MIL’a kidneys... 🤫

bruffin Sat 30-Nov-19 12:13:43

Thankfully not MIL kidneys bless her.
She used to cook kidneys for a very spoilt cat. DH came home one night and opened kitchen door to a room full of smoke. She had left the pressure cooker on and the kidney had dissolved through the steam spout and coated the whole of the kitchen. It was awful!

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