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What size slow cooker?

(22 Posts)
humptydumpty Tue 12-Jun-18 10:53:50

Hi GNers, I am thinking of getting a slow cooker whcih is not to big - mostly it will only be used for 4 portions. Is a 2kg model too small, or a 3.5kg model too big? Any advice much appreciated! (I gather it's not good to not have enough inside the cooker..)

Greyduster Tue 12-Jun-18 11:18:53

I would go for the 3.5 litre. There are only two of us, and I would not want anything smaller. It is not always full to the top, but if I want to braise a whole chicken, or brisket, in there you need that extra capacity. I got mine from Tesco ages ago. It didn’t cost a lot and it has been very good. Two heat settings plus ‘warm’.

Greyduster Tue 12-Jun-18 11:20:50

I would just add that you can get slow cookers that have a divided crockpot - a small and a large compartment. DD has one. She likes it but I think it’s useless.

Elegran Tue 12-Jun-18 11:52:51

I would go for a bigger one too. A whole chicken or a chunky meat joint will fit into it. One of the other advantages is being able to double up a recipe and freeze half of it to have later, and sometimes recipes work better in larger quantities.

annsixty Tue 12-Jun-18 12:17:09

I have both and both are in regular (very) use.
They are cheap as chips in the larger supermarkets so not a waste.

humptydumpty Tue 12-Jun-18 12:34:47

Thanks very much. I just bought one from Debenhams which is 3.5l, but suddenly had misgivings!

Purpledaffodil Tue 12-Jun-18 15:23:55

Like Annsixty I have both sizes although I generally cook for two. I could probably manage without the smaller one, but it is useful occasionally when doing a vegetarian option for example. But the bigger one is great for slow cooked leg of lamb, pulled pork and all manner of things. Enjoy!

humptydumpty Tue 12-Jun-18 15:33:46

Thanks a lot everyone!

polyester57 Tue 12-Jun-18 15:45:00

Definitely the bigger one. There are only two of us most of the time but no problem in cooking more and eating in two days. Probably not very economical to use the smaller one as cooking time is so long.

Charleygirl Tue 12-Jun-18 15:51:21

I made the mistake of buying a small one for one or two meals. After a little use I decided I may as well cook for 4 and freeze and as others have said, they are very cheap to buy so I went for the larger one and I have not regretted it.

I would cook for today and tomorrow and have at least 2 more portions left over to freeze- more economical.

Fennel Tue 12-Jun-18 17:13:29

Same here. I have both but rarely use the smaller one now.
Do you all start the recipe off in another pot then transfer it to the pre-heated slow cooker?

Charleygirl Tue 12-Jun-18 18:22:01

It depends what I am cooking but most of the meat in my opinion is better when browned so on the whole yes.

Fennel Tue 12-Jun-18 19:05:26

That's what I do Charleygirl.
Maybe with a big joint it wouldn't be necessary..
The main recipe I make in my slow cooker is a beef and bean casserole. Shin of beef, and presoaked beans.
Plus lots of other things.
I also use mine with only hot water and lid upside down for keeping things warm.
But that's another story.

Jalima1108 Tue 12-Jun-18 19:20:07

I wish I'd bought a larger one

Blondiescot Wed 13-Jun-18 13:06:14

I would say the bigger the better - I have a 6.5l one and although I'm usually just cooking for my husband and myself, I make big batches of stuff and freeze it. It also means I can slow cook whole chickens or legs of lamb.

Greyduster Wed 13-Jun-18 13:06:26

Like Charley, I brown meat before putting it in the slow cooker - all meat, but mince especially.

phoenix Wed 13-Jun-18 15:43:04

Also get an oval one rather than round, much easier to do a whole chicken or leg of lamb in.

chelseababy Wed 13-Jun-18 17:33:45

I've got an oval metal one so can use it to brown on the hob then insert into slow cooker casing. Very handy and non stick too.

Sazz1006 Thu 14-Jun-18 11:37:15

I have a small one (1.9L) left from my single days which I use occasionally but I prefer the 3.5 as I cook double amounts and freeze half. My latest one is a Morphy Richards ‘Sear and Stew’. It has a metal Teflon inner pot that you can use on the hob to brown the meat without using an extra pan. My MIL has a 6 litre which I’ve borrowed for cooking for family get togethers when I’m doing a large chilli or stew but I wouldn’t have one as big as that myself

humptydumpty Thu 14-Jun-18 12:11:59

I have just bought the Morphy Richards one myself, but I just wonder whether I am organised enough to get up early in the morning and do browning, veg preparation etc before I leave for work...hmm

muffinthemoo Thu 14-Jun-18 12:15:57

I have a 3.5l but plan to get a larger one once I have some more counter space.

I find them great for casseroley typer stuff and as a veggie, I cook a lot of beans from dried so they are great for doing a hot soak overnight.

They are also much the easiest way to cook whole butternut squash - never try to peel and chop one again!!

wot Thu 14-Jun-18 14:07:05

I recently got a 2.5 l one and have used it nearly every day! The beauty of this one is that you can use the pan to sear everything on the hob and then lower it into the cooking part. I have also got a 3.5 one but having a crockery pot, it is very heavy. I'm very pleased with the new one.