How to Choose the Right Slow Cooker
Posted by rugenut on May 18th, 2012
Do you love to cook healthy, nutritious home-cooked meals but do not have the time to prepare and watch over them? Then you need a slow cooker. Preparing delicious home-cooked meals will be as easy as adding ingredients to your slow cooker because it will do all the cooking for you. There are a lot of slow cookers available on the market right now, before we proceed to choosing the right one; it is helpful to first learn how they work.
Learning how a slow cooker works will help you understand what features you need to look for. When a slow cooker heats up, the steam caught in the grove of its lid and circulates back into the pot. This helps lock moisture and flavor in whatever you are cooking. Slow cookers also maintain a low pressure and there is no risk of accidents to the accumulation of high pressure that comes with pressure cookers. The food is gradually and continuously cooked at temperatures of 170-200 °F as the crock acts as the heat reservoir. Because of the way a slow cooker works, finding a model with a great locking lid, a sturdy base and a reliable heating element should be your primary priority. High quality ones may cost a little more, but they are absolutely worth the purchase.
Crock pots or slow cookers come in different sizes and you can find one that suites your needs. It is important that you get the right size on your first purchase so you wouldn’t have to buy another one in case the first one is too small. Slow cookers function best when they are about three-quarters full because it ensures that your food maintains its moisture as it cooks. To help you decide which size to get, remember that a three quart slow cooker can feed between two to four people and a six quart one can feed between six to eight people.
Another important factor to consider is the shape of the slow cooker. The oval ones are your best choice if you want to cook poultry, roasts and joints most of the time. They are more useful as the shape of the meat will fit better. If you mostly want to cook stews, soups and chillis, then you can get any shape you want.
Some slow cookers are programmable and they offer several advantages for the user. Even if all slow cookers are designed to be left, programmable ones will let you control how long they will cook and set them to automatically switch to keep warm when they are done. That way, your food will never be overcooked and you will always have a warm dish waiting for you when you get back. Some of them also have a delay timer that you can set what time they will start cooking.
Another factor to consider is the weight of the slow cooker especially if you want to take your cooker to a pot luck party. Their weight varies a lot and the lightest ones can usually range from 7-10 kg. Some slow cookers have also extra features for traveling like a clip-tight lid, a clip-on serving spoon, and bigger handles.
A slow cooker is a great way to let you enjoy nutritious home-cooked meals. Preparing them would be a breeze. All you have to do is add all the ingredients before you leave for work, and when you get back home, you can enjoy a warm and healthy meal. There may be hundreds of slow cookers to choose from, but now that you know what to look for, it’s easier to narrow down your search. Once you know what you want, you can go ahead and check out reviews to help you choose which specific model is right for you.
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