Using your slow cooker or crock pot offers the best solution for versatility and flexibility if time is your enemy. Cooking has been a daunting task for parents who have been working all day in their offices and have little time to prepare dinner when they go home but with a slow cooker, you can already start cooking in the morning before you leave home for work. As you get back at home in the afternoon, everything will be well cooked already and all you need to do is to serve. The dish will be flavorful because of the slow cooking process. When you put together the benefits of limited preparation, the use of one pot and the time saved by not having to prepare a meal on the spot, you know you have a winner. A meal can be cooked and served from the same pot, without having to juggle pots and pans and serving dishes with the use of a slow cooker.
Imagine coming home after a long hard day and smelling that your meal is already cooking, this will give you a sigh of relief that a dish already ready to be consumed by the whole family.
If you don’t already own a slow cooker, there are a number of things you need to look at before deciding on the best one for your use. The size of the cooker must be the first consideration. Small versions can be handy if you eat a lot of appetizers, salsas, and dips. Generally, these are 16 oz. or quart sizes and are perfect for serving these types of foodstuffs. They are the best size if you are cooking for a single person. A large family would be best served with a 5-quart or a 7-quart model. The type of cooking will be the second consideration. You must know what you plan to do with your slow cooker. If you are to do slow to cook large or awkward cuts of meats, like rack of lamb, you will definitely need the larger crock pot model.
There are two basic options that you can use as far as controlling the slow cooking. If controlling or setting the temperature is your wish, there are crock pots that let you do this by selecting or buying crock pots that have a temperature control knobs.
The other option is that you can just choose for a push button model that cooks at preset low or high-temperature settings and sometimes a warmer setting. You need to be aware that if the low setting is too low and the lid is not put on properly, the cooking temperature can drop below the safe level for cooking some dishes.
You need to look at the heating elements. Crock pots have a couple of different configurations so you must be aware of it. You can have either the bottom or side type of elements or you can have both. Pots with side elements mostly need more liquid while doing slow cooking to avoid the risk of drying up over long cooking times.
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