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What do you know about slow cookers?

(30 Posts)
MrsDoolittle Sun 01-May-05 12:58:22

I been thinking about buying a slow cooker. I have no experience of them , but it seems like a good idea. Does anyone out there have one? What about recipes?
You help is very much appreciated.

SenoraPostrophe Sun 01-May-05 13:39:47

They're great. I might buy a new one.

They are particularly good for cooking cheap cuts of meat (eg brisket) - fry some onions, put in pot with meat and stock/water and maybe some carrots and leave. There are probably other recipes but this is all i use it for.

suzywong Sun 01-May-05 13:41:10

yes SP is right, I used to do a nice thing with smoked ham hock and pinto beans... mmmmmm

GeorginaA Sun 01-May-05 13:53:44

Thoroughly recommend Morphy Richards slow cookers. Made a chilli con carne out there from their free recipe leaflet thingie that came with our 6.5L version and it was VERY YUMMY INDEED!

The thing to remember about slow cookers is that they're not necessarily labour saving devices, but labour shifting devices. I.e. cooking around 4-5pm in our house is a nightmare - kids are tired, stressed out, wanting attention, wanting to wander into a dangerous kitchen while I'm cooking. Instead I can put the same amount of effort in during the morning or lunchtime then when 5pm comes around I can just open up the slow cooker and serve - far less stress!

Incidentally, I categorically do not recommend the Tefal 3in1 steamer/rice cooker/slow cooker device. I bought one to replace my knackered and well-abused Morphy Richards only to discover the Tefal was jack of all trades master of none. Have since replaced with a brand new Morphy Richards and am back in slow cooker heaven!

GeorginaA Sun 01-May-05 13:57:05

Also meant to say - you don't really need recipes - stick in whatever veg, browned meat and fried onions with some stock and that's it. Alternatively, most slow cookers come with a recipe pamphlet ... and also there's lots of recipes out there on the net especially if you're prepared to convert some US recipes (the USA seem very keen on their crockpots (their name for slow cookers) and there's LOADS of recipes out there).

lynny70 Sun 01-May-05 14:19:28

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oooggs Sun 01-May-05 14:20:57

They are great for mulled wine!!!!!!

GeorginaA Sun 01-May-05 14:36:29

Agree with lynny - we always cook double quantities (hence the 6.5L cooker!!) and freeze the other half! An easy meal for the following week!

suzywong Sun 01-May-05 14:38:04

I feel a stew coming on, it's autumn here (and 25 degrees)

lynny70 Sun 01-May-05 14:47:58

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MrsDoolittle Sun 01-May-05 17:43:56

Gosh Thank you very much ladies!! This is really helpful stuff - the idea is very much sold now. I think I shall go with the recommendation look for a Morphy Richards as you suggest.
Dd is a year old and I am running out of ideas for economical healthy food options - the slow cooker seemed sensible. I think as you say Georgina, I look forward to having a meal ready when I come home from work, adding mash would hopefully work a treat for dd
Some internet browsing has thrown up the fact slow cookers are very much 'de rigour' at the moment, which I hadn't realised. Cheap cuts of meat have become more expensive as a result.
Dh is a Kiwi and he says he used to use one all the time.
Anyway, I am really looking forward to it now
Love the mulled wine idea

uwila Sun 01-May-05 18:26:05

You can get a Morphy Richards 6.5L digital one on ebay. I just bought one.

MrsDoolittle Sun 01-May-05 18:38:10

Okay now here's the dilemma. Dh has found the Morphy Richards or here's another one we thought might be good too
What do you reckon? There are 3 of us

GeorginaA Sun 01-May-05 18:49:25

The second looks okay too - it's smaller which may be a factor (there is a smaller Morphy Richards one too, so you may want to price compare like for like in that respect) but should be enough for the 3 of you. It kind of depends if you think you'll ever want to entertain - with the 6.5L one if you have grandparents over as well one day you can just double the quantities and chuck it all in. But if that doesn't happen that frequently then the 4.5L one should be more than adequate.

It's got three heat settings which is good (imo). If you're out at work all day then you'll want to prepare early morning and stick it on low. If you're in and want a 6-8 hour cooking time then medium is great. If you come home a bit early and want to speed up cooking time then you can whack it on high. It gives you that little bit more flexibility.

As I say, I have the Morphy Richards one - my second Morphy Richards slow cooker, so I really can't rate them highly enough. I don't really know enough about the Breville to comment properly.

GeorginaA Sun 01-May-05 18:52:19

The smaller morphy richards: 3.5L

GeorginaA Sun 01-May-05 18:52:47

TBH... it's cheaper to buy the bigger one

uwila Sun 01-May-05 19:43:32

If you are going to get the bigger one, I recommend checking ebay. I just got the 6.5L digital version of that one for £25 (plus shipping).

MrsDoolittle Mon 02-May-05 12:31:23

I was all set to get the bigger one, but when I saw it I decided it was way too big for us - hopefully in a couple of years....
Dh wanted the Breville one but I wanted to go for Morphy Richards. Dh asked if I could make any decisions without the help of mumnet?
Of course not, I answered.
Anyway, now where to start. What shall be my first recipe? I have bought some stewing beef and a variety of root vegetables.

GeorginaA Mon 02-May-05 13:00:05

LOL.

Okay, my favourite beef recipe...

1lb stewing steak
a little seasoned flour
1 onion
4 carrots
2 tablespoons fat or oil
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
some stock (I do this visually and can't remember - about 1/2 pint I think)
some mushrooms - however many you fancy really!
cornflour

- toss the cubed meat in the flour, shaking to remove surplus.
- prepare vegetables
- fry onions in hot fat until softened, place in slow cooker
- brown meat, place in slow cooker
- dump everything else in slow cooker
- switch on whatever heat setting depending on when you're going to eat it (check the manual - think MEDIUM is about 6-8 hours).
- about an hour before serving, mix a couple of tablespoons of cornflour with some cold water until you get a paste. I'm then paranoid and add a little bit of hot water from the kettle in with it too so it's not too much of a "shock" to the ceramic crockpot when it goes in. Pour the resultant mixture into the crockpot and stir well. This will help the sauce to thicken.
- eat

MrsDoolittle Mon 02-May-05 14:39:06

Thank you Georgina - I have all those ingredients. I am going to put it together tonight and start it in the morning before I go to work. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you

GeorginaA Mon 02-May-05 18:29:30

Oh, just remembered, I usually bung potatoes in with that too - however many you need for all of you but can still shut the lid

gingerbear Mon 02-May-05 18:32:00

my slowcooker is huge, oval and takes up too much space on the worktop.

rather have a wok or casserole dish.

poppy101 Mon 02-May-05 18:41:11

I have one sitting on my shelf, haven't used, my m-in-law thinks there fab and gave it to me, can't bear to throw it out as she raves about them.

Ameriscot2005 Mon 02-May-05 18:42:23

I tend to use my crockpot for keeping warm things I have made on the hob. I use it mostly for chilli.

MrsDoolittle Mon 02-May-05 18:57:59

Thought I would make some rice pudding today only I didn't have any pudding rice ! Doh!
Dh said it would be okay to use basmati rice. Doh again
The moral of the tale - there are two actually,
1. No other rice other than pudding rice will do , which is why it is called pudding rice and not basmati!!
2. Do not believe dh on such matters!

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