Slow cookers have come a long way since they were first brought to market by Rival in 1971. They have made ideal wedding gifts and fed millions of growing, busy families ever since. They work by producing a moist heat that is ideal for turning budget cuts of chicken, turkey, lamb, pork and beef into melt in your mouth tender, tasty meals. The best beef cuts to buy for your slow cooker are labeled by your butcher as chuck, round, stew, shank and any cut labeled with ‘braise for best results’. Chicken and turkey drumsticks, thighs and all types of ground meat cook beautifully too. Keep on reading for more advantages of using a slow cooker .
Great Tasting, Nutritious Homemade Meals
There is nothing better than coming home in the cooler months to the aroma of a hearty beef casserole or a creamy chicken curry; or in the warmer months, a freshly roasted chicken that hasn’t heated the whole house up! What’s more, you know exactly what is in the meal – important when you have food allergies or picky eaters in your care!
Owning a crock pot helps you stretch your food budget further as they make cheaper cuts of meat into flavor-filled soups, stews and casseroles.
You will find your crock pot produces the best meals with more budget-conscious cuts of meat. Another way to stretch your food budget is to add beans or pulses into meat meals. Try adding dried uncooked lentils when cooking a ground beef dish such a bolognaise sauce. It stretches the dish giving you more servings as well as increasing the nutrition per serve. In the cooler months when root vegetables are plentiful and well-priced, using a slow cooker to make hearty soups and stews loaded with seasonal vegetables, a variety of dried beans and pulses and a small amount of meat is an easy way to turn inexpensive ingredients into delicious and nutritious meals. Soups and stews make wonderful tasty, cheap take to work lunches too, as long as you have a microwave to reheat with or a thermos to keep it warm.
To cook with a crock pot during day, during off peak rate electricity rate time saves money on your electric bill. Set on low, it uses less than 80 watts and on high, about 150 watts, so it’s really only pennies to cook with all day. Low-energy use and low-cost living stretches your budget further.
Saves Time and Stress at the Busy End of the Day
Saving time at the dinner end of the day is many slow cooker users favorite benefit. Many penny-wise and time-conscious cooks load up their slow cookers before they head out the door each morning, knowing that when they get home, the biggest part of the meal is cooked and ready to serve. This reduces stress in the kitchen and lets the cook spend more time with the family in the evening. Of course, clean up when using a slow cooker is easy too. Just remember to fill the insert with warm, soapy water before you sit down to eat – another of the many advantages of using a slow cooker .