Using slow cookers, also known as crockpots, have become a convenient way to cook in homes. It is mainly used to prepare meals that can simmer on low temperature over long periods like soups and stews. Cracked wheat, oatmeal, rice porridge, desserts, and bread meals can also be left overnight and by morning they will be ready for serving.
There are manual and programmable cookers which are fitted with digital timers. These cookers come in different shapes or sizes and one can chose based on their individual needs. Some of the models are very stylish and would add a touch of elegance to any kitchen.
- Save Time
One of the benefits of using slow cookers is that they assist in saving time. If you have a busy day, all you need to do is assemble all the food that needs to be cooked and place it in the slow cooker. The crockpot will cook the food the whole day and when you get back to the house it will be ready for serving. Due to the low heat used in cooking, chances of the food scorching or burning are very low.
- Save Electricity
Slow cookers are economically effective because they use very low electricity. For example, cooking a roast food in slow cooker uses far less energy than cooking on a stove. A crockpot does not heat the kitchen the way an oven does. When using a slow cooker, you have the freedom to buy cheaper cuts of meat because when this meat is put in the cooker it becomes tender over time. Cooking such meat in oven or stove is not effective because the meat always remains hard to chew.
- Free Oven Space
When cooking for a large number of people, slow cookers can assist you to free oven and stove space because some of the food can be cooked in the crockpot as others are cooked in the oven. This is applicable especially when cooking for family re-unions, weddings, or other social gatherings.
- Healthier Food
Health wise, the food cooked in slow cookers are more nutritious with less fat content. When food is cooked at low temperatures and for a long-time, it retains much of the minerals and vitamins compared to food cooked by frying and boiling. The food also has low fat because it is allowed to cook in its own natural juices. In fact, it is not necessary to add oil or butter to the cooking food. Additionally, steaming destroys more bacteria compared to the other methods of cooking.
- Set and Forget
A slow cooker saves you the hassle of checking the pot every time as the food cooks. The food cooks automatically and you are just supposed to leave it without opening the lid. In fact, opening the lid releases a lot of heat from the pot making it to cook slower. You just put the food and forget about it for some time. It gives you time to prepare some ingredients as the food cooks.
Tip – While using slow cookers, care should be taken with some recipes especially sea foods, vegetables and recipes that use spices. Such foods are not tolerant to slow cooking process and therefore they can lose their taste if not added at the appropriate time. For example, it is advisable to add the spices near the end of the cooking process.