Choosing the perfect slow cooker
Looking for a slow cooker that will best suit your needs? There are three things you need to take into consideration when you are purchasing a slow cooker.
The right capacity
It starts by determining the capacity. The small slow cookers are great for 1 or 2 people and the average size cookers for 3 to 5 people. There are, however, even larger slow cookers that will feed up to 9 people. This overview will help you determine the right capacity.
The main advantage of a larger capacity is that you can create large amounts of food which you can also freeze afterwards. Don’t think: I can’t go wrong with simply purchasing the largest one there is. After all, each pot needs to cook a certain amount of food. Especially since the heating element is also added to the sides of the pan.
Slow cooker, with or without timer?
You can find slow cookers with or without a timer. The versions with a timer can be set up in order for it to switch from the first or second setting to the warming cycle setting. A slow cooker without the timer will enable you to take the reins yourself. The timer could be useful when you are out all day and not able to change the settings. As a result you will come home and be welcomed by a warm meal which is perfectly cooked. You can, however, also use your own timer.
Please note: a slow cooker does not have a delayed start function and there is a good reason why. Any food left in the cooker at room temperature for a long time will turn the cooker into the ideal breeding ground for bacteria which is really bad for your health.
Tip: You can already prepare the ingredients the night before. Drain the moisture and place them in the fridge. You cannot place the insert in the fridge because it will become too cold.
Slow cooker with or without sauté function?
A sauté function means that you can use the insert on your stove. Great when you want to brown the meat for additional flavour before it is added to the slow cooker. The browning occurs in the same pan. You can, however, also brown the meat in a grill or frying pan.
Depending on the model the insert will be made from ceramic or duraceramic. Both inserts can (separately) be placed in the oven. The ceramic insert is also dishwasher proof. You can, however, not use it to roast in. Duraceramic inserts can be used to roast meats in. However, this insert is not dishwasher-proof.
Learn more here about how to use a slow cooker.