Many jutubers from cooking channels are crazy about slow cookers. They are an ideal product for people who appreciate slow life and zero waste philosophy. In one device you can prepare many interesting and tasty dishes for the whole family. Check what the phenomenon of slow cookers is all about.
What is a slow cooker?
Slowcooker is aslow cook er which is an electric appliance. You can use it to prepare food that you usually cook on the stove or in the oven. It is suitable for cooking food for many hours because it can maintain a temperature of 80 degrees for a long time. You will prepare with its help all those dishes that are cooked on low heat:
- meat and vegetable dishes,
- cured meats,
- stuffed cabbage,
- vegetable preserves for jars,
- stock, which can later be used as a home-made stock cube.
The choice of dishes is very large, so you can prepare dinner for all family members in one device. What’s important is that the slow cooker preserves most of the vitamins and minerals that disappear during traditional gas cooking. This is because it is difficult, even on an electric stove, to set the right heating temperature. Too high a temperature kills valuable vitamins. In a slow cooker, on the other hand, a constant temperature is maintained throughout the cooking time, so your dishes will have much more nutritional value. This is very important, especially if you have small children.
How does a slow cooker work and what are its advantages?
An electric slow cooker slowly and evenly heats all the ingredients put into the bowl until the optimum temperature is reached. There are two operating modes on the control panel – low and high. They determine the maximum temperature the appliance reaches during cooking. The third function is to keep the food warm, so you will not have to reheat your dinner on the gas or electric stove.
There is a heater and a temperature gauge under the bowl where you add the ingredients. The heating automatically turns off when the food inside the bowl cooks to about 80 degrees. A lid is placed over the bowl, which closes it tightly. This creates a closed circuit of temperature inside the bowl, so you don’t have to worry about the food boiling over or burning from below. This is ideal for long-cooking food because you don’t have to look into it, stir it, or add water.
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The slow cooker is a very economical way to cook, for example, soups or bigos. It consumes much less electricity compared to an electric oven. What is important, dishes cooked in a slow cooker are suitable for people struggling with digestive diseases and those who have high cholesterol levels. You can cook your chosen dishes without adding any fat! Thanks to its metal bowl it is easy to clean, food does not stick and you do not need to add oil or butter to it. They are juicy and aromatic, because long cooking brings out all the flavour.
Cooking in a slow cooker is easy and the appliance also comes with recipes for popular dishes. You don’t have to watch the food – just put all the ingredients in the bowl and the dinner will practically do itself. Importantly, the slow stove runs on electricity, so it’s perfect for a small kitchen where there’s no room for a stove with an oven. You can also take it with you when you travel. It’s quiet and the bowl is dishwasher safe.
What to look for when buying?
Slow cookers consist of an electric heating housing with a knob or electronic control panel. It also has a built-in timer, with which you will set the cooking time for your dish. The device will automatically turn off when it is finished. Very important is the bowl – a removable element from the housing, which can be washed under running water and in dishwashers. Many slow cookers come with a bowl that can be used on the stove or in the oven. This is an important feature because you can bake some foods in the oven after cooking, making them crispy. Choose a bowl with a glass lid with a non-stick handle so you can check on your food without having to remove the lid.
Among slow cookers there are models with a mechanical dial or a digital panel. You can get a good quality slow cooker for as little as 200 zł, but the more professional devices with more features are available from 900 zł.
When buying a slow cooker pay attention to:
- ease of setting the temperature, adapted to the type of dish,
- precision of the device,
- readability of the control panel,
- the size of the bowl – for a family of four, the bowl should have a minimum capacity of 4-5 liters,
- available operating modes – high, low and mode of heating the dish,
- bowl type – a good quality bowl is made of stainless steel, but often you can also find slow cookers with a stoneware or ceramic bowl, with non-stick coating, stoneware bowl will also be suitable for baking food in the oven, you can also pre-fry the food in it, before cooking.
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