Slow Cookers are seriously the hero of the kitchen. What could be more cozy than coming home after a long day in the chilly winter weather and smelling the delicious aroma of a meal that's ready to serve up, right from your trusty slow cooker?
Slow cooker recipes have a reputation of being mostly hands off. This is one awesome benefit, especially in a season where life seems to speed up with school, work and holiday errands. This appliance will come in handy time and time again this season.
A slow cooker is one of my favorite kitchen tools, if not THE favorite. While they may be pricey, slow cookers are worth the investment. If you don't already have a slow cooker, let us convince you why you should!
Why You Should Have Slow Cooker
Slow Cookers Are Easy and Convenient
There's probably no appliance that's easier or more convenient to use than a slow cooker. There's no need to spend hours in the evening chopping up vegetables and standing over a hot stove when you could easily use a slow cooker. There are no risks of getting burned or hot oil splattered all over you or your clothes (phew!).
It's as easy as putting all your recipe ingredients inside the slow cooker in the morning, turning it on low, then returning several hours later to your dinner being done. The low setting cooks for 6-8 hours, medium cooks for 4-6 hours and high cooks for 2-4 hours. Plus, the clean up is minimal and confined to one pot! This appliance makes it easy to plan your day and meals.
Make Simple Healthier Meals
Many meals that you make in the slow cooker can be healthier. Since you are leaving the ingredients as-is, there is nothing sticking to the pan, so you don't need to use any extra oil and add more fat and calories that way.
Most dishes use water as the main liquid source, where the ingredients cook in water and seasonings until the dish is finished. To spice up your meals you can use chicken, beef or vegetable stock. I also love adding cooking wine to meals like short ribs. These liquids add a ton of flavor and are generally low calorie. This is also a good way to make healthy vegetable side dishes.
Slow Cookers Are Great For Entertaining
Slow cookers are perfect for entertaining large gatherings of family and friends. Many folks have more than one slow cooker, especially when they need to cook multiple items and keep them warm on the buffet table while the party is in progress. Letting the slow cooker do its job leaves you to focus on getting ready and spending time with your guests.
Slow cookers are capable of holding large capacities which makes it ideal for a large party. Having a football party or a holiday party? Let the slow cooker do the work by marinating mini meatballs in a rich barbeque sauce. Or make creamy hot cocoa for your holiday party. Its simple to serve out of and will keep your foods and drinks warm all night!
The Perfect Kitchen Appliance
While a slow cooker is certainly convenient for winter, it's an appliance that can really be used year round. It's great for fall and winter when you want to make soup, chili, stew, and stuffed peppers, for example.
Its also great for family meals. If you're the cook in the family, slow cookers make it simple to enlist your other family members for help. No skills required here! Try this Easy Thai Chicken Recipe.
It can also be used for a full dinner, side dishes, and even desserts. Consider using it in the summer, as well. The benefit here is that it won't heat up your kitchen like a conventional oven. Slow cookers are also awesome for barbecues or potlucks.
Slow Cookers To Try
- Instant Pot. One of the more popular slow cookers in recent years. Its great for beginners because it combines 7 appliances in 1! It includes a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker.
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- Crock Pot. This Crock Pot has it all. It is equipped with voice control that connects to any device or app with “Alexa” (Amazons virtual assistant). With this you can control the temperature and cook time on your crock pot from anywhere. This is perfect for your extra lazy or busy days.
- Ninja. This slow cooker comes with 8-qt. pot and a 5-qt. Cook & Crisp Basket and Deluxe Reversible Rack. It is equipped with special technology to pressure cook ingredients in a way that quickly locks in juices, and gives them a crispy, golden air-fryer finish.
Consider using your slow cooker more this season and see if its convenience factor helps you have a more enjoyable holiday season this year. Imagine coming home to a delicious meal just waiting to be served, devoured and appreciated by your hungry family!
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Do you have a slow cooker in your home? What do you like to cook with them? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!