What to Look for in a Slow Cooker
What to Look for in a Slow Cooker
Like stand mixers and bakeware, dependable slow cookers are a staple of many home kitchens. Slow cooker recipes tend to be relatively simple, prepare a good quantity of food at one time, and the food that’s produced is typically quite delicious. And, for anyone who is busy and often on the go, slow cookers are a dream come true. The cooking process virtually always involves adding ingredients, turning the slow cooker on and setting a timer, and returning to a prepared meal or side. So, if you’re (wisely) contemplating picking up this most convenient kitchen appliance, or have decided your current one needs an upgrade, the following are some slow cooker considerations to keep in mind.
While the slow cooking process is relatively simple, slow cooker options are diverse. Their controls run the gamut from one knob with which you can select “off, high, low, warm,” to multifunctional digital LED control panels. Of course, the latter tends to be a little more expensive, so it comes down to preference. The more basic models are perfectly functional as slow cookers and perfect for those looking to add their food, turn it on, set a timer on their phone, and walk away. However, if you’re looking for programmability, timers, delayed start, and other useful setting all in one device, programmable multi-function slow cookers are available.
Insert and Lid
Beyond prioritizing quality by choosing a trusted Cuisinart or All Clad slow cooker, the style of insert is important to consider as well. If ease of cleanup is a consideration, choosing a slow cooker with a ceramic insert can be a logical choice. Ceramic inserts tend to be easy to clean, certainly easier than cleaning slow cookers without inserts to remove. Plus, ceramic inserts are designed to evenly distribute heat, which is certainly important when that heat is going to be applied to food for hours on end. Glass lids are also popular with the slow cooking savvy. For the most part, the lid shouldn’t be removed from the slow cooker while it’s cooking to avoid letting a great amount of heat escape. A glass lid allows you to check the food without doing so.
Consider the Size, Shape, and Purpose
Just as the technological complexity of the control options, the slow cooker’s function, and ease of cleaning are important factors to keep in mind for use, ask yourself what you foresee cooking in this appliance. Slow cookers can be used to create stews, cook beans, make sauces, and otherwise prepare fairly simple-to-create meals to enjoy throughout the week or all at once for a family dinner. They can also be used to cook whole chickens, racks of ribs, briskets, roasts, and other bulkier culinary projects. If you’re looking for something to make up some soups, stews, and sauces for yourself, a more basic, round 3.5 or 4-quart slow cooker should work just fine. For more ambitious fare (like whole chickens, roasts, and so on) you will likely want to choose something bigger, from 6-8 quarts, and oval-shaped to better accommodate what you intend to cook up.
About CHEFS Catalog
Since their founding in 1979, CHEFS Catalog has specialized in offering those in the culinary world, from professional and amateur, to at-home chefs, kitchen equipment of the highest quality and performance. CHEFS Catalog strives to provide the finest and most practical kitchen solutions with their vast offerings that include a terrific selection of bakeware sets, along with recipes, advice, and more. CHEFS Catalog remains passionate about everything culinary, so they understand the need for long-lasting and reliable kitchenware. They began as a commercial catalog, featuring Julia Child on an early cover. Since then, CHEFS Catalog has evolved into the source for quality cookware and accessories, launching a cutting-edge e-commerce site in 2017.
Learn more about the incredible selection of kitchenware CHEFS Catalog offers, at www.chefscatalog.com