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Slow cookers and all things related...

(38 Posts)
MaryChristmas Wed 15-Dec-04 10:53:49

Are they any good, are they easy to use for a poor cook like myself?
Do they clean easily, which one is a good buy?
What kind of recipes are good for them?
Or do they get put away after a couple of uses and get dusty in the back of the cupboard?

SantaQuated Wed 15-Dec-04 10:54:39

yes
yes
you get a recipe book with most
no

gscrym Wed 15-Dec-04 10:59:40

Ditto everything by Santaquated. Saw a little one in Poundstretcher. Was only about £15

Caligulights Wed 15-Dec-04 11:01:33

I go through phases with mine. I now use it at least once a week, I find the best results with meat is to brown it first, and a consideration for me was that it costs an awful lot less to run than my fan oven. HTH

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 11:02:38

They are particularly good in the winter for casseroles and stews. I've cooked gammon joints in mine too. They're great.

twoforone Wed 15-Dec-04 11:12:25

Oh i love my slow cooker - can't understand why everyone doesn't have one!

I work on a Sunday, but still want to eat something proper home-cooked. So sometimes i put a joint of turkey, beef, port etc in. Other times use for hot-pot or casseroles etc.

Even if you are not a good cook, you can buy something like those ready-made chicken casserole mixes, pop your chicken, some water and veg's (even your potatoes) and a few hours later it's all ready for you!

MaryChristmas Wed 15-Dec-04 11:24:25

Thank you that's made my mind up.

GeorginaAdventCalendar Wed 15-Dec-04 13:20:52

Slow cooker is great - really easy.

You don't need recipes - for an easy casserole just bung potatoes and whatever veg you have in the bottom, half pint of stock, brown the meat before putting in. If it's beef or pork sometimes I squirt some tomato puree in or use a tin of chopped tomatoes as part of the liquid component. Cook for 6-8 hours ish (but not crucial if it's in longer due to work hours). Ta da!

Use mine about once a week (would use more, but ds1 isn't that fond of casserole type meals).

GeorginaAdventCalendar Wed 15-Dec-04 13:22:00

Oh ... make sure you get one which the crockpot bit comes out or off and can go in the dishwasher - is a pain washing up in the bowl with the flex dangling out!!!

MarsselectionboxLady Wed 15-Dec-04 13:23:10

Love my slow cooker. Use it loads. Very good after a night with no sleep. Just chuck everything in, turn on, dish up at tea time.

GeorginaAdventCalendar Wed 15-Dec-04 13:24:35

Last thing, then I'll shut up, honest ;)

Do be aware it's not really a time saving device (especially not if you're me and get carried away with the veg variety) - it's a time shifting device. Excellent if, like us, the kids get really whiny around 5ish as it makes life easier doing all the food prep at the beginning of the day when they're more easily left, then at 5 you can give them cuddles/watch TV while dinner cooks itself

elliott Wed 15-Dec-04 13:25:12

Do you only use them for meat recipes? I can see they'd be great for casseroles but anything else?

What would be your best buy?
TIA

MaryChristmas Wed 15-Dec-04 13:27:02

The dishwasher is next years investment, Georgina.
I like the sound of chucking things in and Ta da!

elliott Wed 15-Dec-04 13:40:58

OK I've just 'done a search' and found the answer to my query (in fact someone had asked the exact same question!). ah, the collective wisdom of mn is a wonderful thing,

GeorginaAdventCalendar Wed 15-Dec-04 13:46:43

There's loads of websites out there with slow cooker recipes - but do be aware that most of them seem to be US-based (they call them crock pots) so may have unfamiliar ingredients/measurements.

GeorginaAdventCalendar Wed 15-Dec-04 13:48:38

Oh another slow cooker trick - and this works really well if your slow cooker will also go on the hob (mine does - they seem quite rare). Once it's all cooked, mix some cornflour in a cup with a little water then stir the resulting mix into the slow-cooked casserole just before you're about to serve. Stick it on the hob and heat through thoroughly until the sauce is a nice thickness... yum

ChristmasBOOZA Wed 15-Dec-04 14:15:02

Totally agree with Georgina about the time shifting element. I find its great because I often tend to go out late afternoon after naps and don't have to worry about starting the meal when I get in.

elliott Thu 16-Dec-04 09:39:34

So georgina, what make is yours? From hte old threads it seems to be between the Morphy Richards and the Tefal, or is there something else I should know?

GeorginaAdventCalendar Thu 16-Dec-04 09:52:27

Mine's a Morphy Richards but the model I don't think is made anymore... it's got a flat hotplate like base and the pot itself looks like a casserole dish that you just lift off, put on the hob to brown meat/thicken sauce etc and shove in the dishwasher when done.

I have a lot of Tefal equipment too, so wouldn't hesitate to recommend either brand tbh - I think both are fairly good quality and nicely designed.

GeorginaAdventCalendar Thu 16-Dec-04 09:56:33

Here's a picture of mine: Slow Cooker

(no, I promise it's not a bat)

ChristmasBOOZA Thu 16-Dec-04 10:35:33

Hey snap Georgina - its the same as mine. I'm actually on my second which I picked up very cheaply off Ebay.

I know some slow cookers are ceramic and go in the oven but I find that one I can use as a pan to brown meat/onions is more useful.

GeorginaAdventCalendar Thu 16-Dec-04 12:25:48

Definitely Bozza - I used to have an old ceramic one where you couldn't separate it from the flex & plug (was just one unit)... god it was a MARE to clean!

elliott Thu 16-Dec-04 12:29:42

Yes, that was the one I had my eye on....is it really not made any more

AMerryScot Thu 16-Dec-04 12:33:51

I like my slow cooker (Crockpot). I'm not particularly adventurous with it - usually use it for sloppy things that I cook on the hob first - such as chilli and soup - therefore, I don't have to get up at 6am to put in the veggies.

It's been brill for mulled wine (I've made a lot of this year - at least 30 bottles' worth), as it doesn't let the wine boil.

I have a couple of American recipe books, specifically for the crockpot, but the recipes just don't jibe with me (ditto the ones on the popular websites), as they tend to use cans of this and cans of that.

I think the key is to figure our how long individual ingredients take to cook, then just adapt your conventional recipes accordingly. If you are not confident of the cooking times, then you can always start early and sample throughout the day. Once it is cooked, you can turn the heat setting down to "keep warm", and it will do just that without turning the food to mush.

AMerryScot Thu 16-Dec-04 12:36:32

Mine (Crockpot brand) is a seperate ceramic dish inside a metal heating unit. The dish can go in the dishwasher, although its a bit thick to fit between the prongs - or a quick brush by hand with Fairy Liquid.

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