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What do you think of slow cookers?

(76 Posts)
Ealdemodor Tue 20-Oct-20 21:09:44

I am wondering whether to buy a slow cooker.
Who uses one? What do you think? What meals work best?

CherryCezzy Tue 20-Oct-20 21:22:30

Go for it, it's one of the best presents I've ever had. There are loads of meals that work well but it's hard to answer your question without knowing if you are a meat eater or vegetarian.

MissAdventure Tue 20-Oct-20 21:48:11

I dislike cooking, so I find the slow cooker ideal.
For me, I just put in some meat, whatever veg is around, frozen or fresh, and mix up a really thick gravy to pour over.
Put the lid on. That's it!

There are much more adventurous things you can do, but I've never wanted to try.

Doodledog Tue 20-Oct-20 21:50:39

I like mine, too. I find it works better with meat than with veggies, which means I don't use it as often as I would, as my husband is vegetarian.

My favourite meat-based meal is steak and ale. You just toss cubed steak in seasoned flour (I add mustard powder) and brown it with an onion (or a bag of shallots), transfer it all to the slow cooker and pour over a bottle or can of strongly-flavoured beer, add in thickly cut carrots and cook either on high for four hours or low for six.

You can use cheaper cuts of meat, as the slow cooking will tenderise shoe leather, and this is delicious with mash or baked potatoes. I sometimes put it into a pie dish when cooked, and add a puff pastry lid.

If you are looking at them now, see what you think about an Instant Pot. They are a combination of an electric pressure cooker and a slow cooker, and are really versatile. I use the pressure cooker a lot (I was terrified of the one that went on the hob), and it has a slow cooker function, so you don't need to store two bulky gadgets.

SueDonim Tue 20-Oct-20 21:52:41

I inherited my daughter’s old one five years ago and it’s been used a lot since then. It’s one of those thing I never knew I needed. smile

I make casseroles of all kinds, spag bol, chilli. I also make puddings like rice pud or steam treacle sponge and I cook my Xmas puddings in it.

I tried making clotted cream. That didn’t work. 😂

MissAdventure Tue 20-Oct-20 21:55:59

I do make sure my slow cooker is out on the countertop, rather than in the depths of the cupboard.

Starblaze Tue 20-Oct-20 21:56:22

Absolutely brilliant and you can do a lot with them! Get yourself a good slow cooker recipe book. Brilliant for batch cooking... Casseroles, chilli, curry, soups, even whole meat joints.

Only downside is the loveky cooking smell making you hungry all day

LullyDully Tue 20-Oct-20 22:05:59

They are brilliant for stews and pot roasts. Also great for steaming a Christmas pudding and saving space. Anything that can take time to cook. Worth every penny. Buy one.

Jaxjacky Tue 20-Oct-20 22:09:36

After 35 odd years I have two, a large one for bulk cooking, then freezing and for whole gammon/chicken/beef/pulled pork. The smaller as it’s just the two of us, casseroles, curries, chilli, Used at least twice a week, especially in the colder months. When I worked I’d either stick it on in the morning or overnight, they are very economical to run and one pot to wash up!

Hetty58 Tue 20-Oct-20 22:24:20

Being vegan, I use mine for vegetable chilli, curry, bean stews and soups - also chocolate puddings, baked apples - in fact anything that takes a while to cook. I don't have to watch or fuss over things and they never burn!

I'm much more inclined to cook in the mornings or at lunch time, so it's ideal for me to do the prep in advance, then have dinner waiting later on.

MayBee70 Wed 21-Oct-20 01:41:34

How do you bake the apples? I started eating baked apples recently when I was worried about biting into apples because if my teeth. Even bought an Apple corer? Didn’t think of using a slow cooker to do it.

hugshelp Wed 21-Oct-20 02:29:53

I love mine. I bought it after and accident when I couldn't bend down and put things in and out of the oven but it has become my favourite way to cook now. It's so easy to just bung stuff in and not worry about checking it very often.

Calendargirl Wed 21-Oct-20 07:25:09

Love my slow cooker. Did shin of beef on Sunday, DH had been out all day. After he had finished his meal, he said “That was really good, very tasty.”

High praise, he doesn’t often comment!

Iam64 Wed 21-Oct-20 07:30:47

Yes to all the above comments. It's best for meat but I also use it for soups. We went out for the day this weekend and returned to a delicious beef casserole.

Davidhs Wed 21-Oct-20 07:36:17

If you are cooking for a family they are very usefull, ours takes up a lot of space in the cupboard and is used once a month at best.

Esspee Wed 21-Oct-20 07:37:37

I love my slow cooker. Today I am trying to do pulled pork for the first time. The joint is marinating in the fridge right now.
My B-I-L reported his was a great success.

Pantglas2 Wed 21-Oct-20 07:41:19

If you buy one with the metal innards for use on a hob as well it means you can brown the meat etc beforehand, then it saves washing a frying pan!

M0nica Wed 21-Oct-20 07:52:04

I inherited mine from an aunt. We eat a lot of casseroles and stews and it is absolutely ideal for that. Anything that will benefit from along slow cook.

Riverwalk Wed 21-Oct-20 08:06:32

Esspee

I love my slow cooker. Today I am trying to do pulled pork for the first time. The joint is marinating in the fridge right now.
My B-I-L reported his was a great success.

A slow-cooker is ideal for pulled pork .... I've got my brioche bun at the ready if you have any leftovers!

Gingster Wed 21-Oct-20 08:09:48

Wouldn’t be without it. Bung it all in, go out for the day, walking , especially in winter. Come home to a delicious hearty warming meal. Snuggle down in front of the woodburner. What could be nicer. With a glass of something relaxing. 😂🤣. 🥘🥃

TerriBull Wed 21-Oct-20 08:09:52

I've got two, a fairly large one, and a small one for single meals that belonged to my mother. Very good for casseroles, particularly if you want to go out for a while. Have also used it for soups and have done the occasional pot roast with a joint of beef and vegetables. I like one pot cooking where all the accompaniments to the main component of the meal are in together, saves on the washing up! talking of which the pot cleans up well after a good soak. Slow cooking is a bit synonymous with the winter for me, mine doesn't get much use when the weather is warm.

Charleygirl5 Wed 21-Oct-20 08:15:28

The first one I bought was too small- I live on my own and it was for 1-2 servings. If I cook I like to freeze for days when I cannot be bothered so my next slow cooker was ideal.

I leave mine out so I am not digging deep in a cupboard to find it.

Hetty58 Wed 21-Oct-20 08:20:58

MayBee70, I use this recipe and (usually) five eating apples from my tree - however many I can get into the cooker in a single layer:

www.organicauthority.com/organic-food-recipes/say-hello-to-autumn-with-these-crockpot-baked-apples

Riverwalk Wed 21-Oct-20 08:24:13

I haven't had it for ages but I used to do Coq au Vin all-in-one, no browning beforehand apart from the lardons.

Just all the ingredients in the slow cooker with a half decent bottle of red and the required herbs etc. 🍷

FannyCornforth Wed 21-Oct-20 08:33:34

A question for you please.
When you are cooking a vegetable stew, do you put all of the veg in at the same time?
I read a vegetarian slow cooker recipe book a few years ago, and it said to add various veg along the way, which seemed to defeat the purpose somewhat.
I've since seen recipes online which say just bung them all in together.
Any thoughts? Thank you.