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slow cooker?

#1
shall i buy a slow cooker for casseroles.im usually home all day so usually do things like that in the oven but just wondered if slow cookers are better and cheaper than having the oven on all day?
any body recommend a cheap and cheerfull slow cooker then please?
 
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#2
i love my slow cooker! its got a beef casserole in as we speak which has been in there since last night. both myself and my OH work so its good for us to have so we have something ready for us all getting home from work/school/nursery.
do you have a b&m near you? they had some cheap ones in the other day. we got my OH's gran one for christmas which is just big enough for 1 person, think it was £8
 

soccermom

I AM A WEMITT x
#3
Thank you for posting this I am having the exact same thoughts about getting a slow cooker :D and was going to post something myself.

Hi nettie whats B&M I heard someone mention this place in group the other day, but as its in a different part of newcastle than where I live I don't know where to start looking.
 
#4
i've had one for about 6 weeks and wouldnt be without it now. Meat is so tender done in it,and tho i'm at home most of the day,means i can get the meal organised while the kids are at school and i'm not tryin to cook and referee them !!
they are also very eccomomical to run.
I got mine from tesco and it was £10

Do it !!!!
 

Circes

Strutting her stuff
#11
There have been loads of threads about this recently so it's well worth doing a search. There are also many recipes for slow cooking in the recipe folder. I also borrowed books from my local library which gave me lots of useful info on buying and using a slow cooker as well as recipe inspiration.

Google and you'll find lots of useful websites:
Slow cooker recipes - The most delicious free slow cooker recipes
Just Slow Cooking (Crockpot) Recipes - 6,120 slow cooking recipes for you to browse.
A Year of Slow Cooking

In terms of what size of cooker you need. Mine is 3.5l and that will happily feed a family of 4 adults with leftovers to freeze. You can get bigger cookers at 6.5l but then you've got to find somewhere to store it and this will be a BIG one. Also they say that to get the best out of the slow cooker it has to be filled a certain amount - this will obviously be more for the larger cooker so would you want to be cooking on that scale every time you use it?

I'd recommend getting one with a variable temperature control - at least a high and low setting and preferably a warm setting. You can get cookers that automatically switch to warm at the end of the cooking period but these are obviously more expensive. I think this would be a really useful function but maybe one for trading up in the future. But for starting out a basic model will do the job - read the reviews on the Argos website and the cheaper models seem to do the job very well. Oh and if you want to do whole chickens etc then you should try and get an oval shaped one rather than round.
 
#14
Mine is a 3.5 litre one from Tesco - it was £10. I bought it a good few weeks ago, but when I went into the big Tesco in Reading on Saturday they still had quite a few left.

It has a really good heavyweight ceramic casserole inside a stainlesssteel casing. There are three settings - High, Low, and Keep Warm (and Off, of course!!).

I mainly cook casserole type dishes in it - basically just throw in the vegetables and meat, add a bit of liquid, set it on high for half an hour or so, then turn it down to low. You don't need much liquid as the vegetables create juices of their own. However, if you are going to put in something which soaks up liquid, like barley or red lentils, then you will need more.

I think it is best to experiment with some recipes while you are at home to keep an eye on things - when you know what the timings are on your cooker for a particular recipe, then you can go out and leave it.
 
#16
I love mine - I use it al least once a week - usually on the day I work at home cause that is my busiest day. I wack some veg and meat and stock in in the morning (usually brown the meat in a pan quickly first) then just let it do its thing all day whilst I work and pop out to teach a drama class in the afternoon. Once I come back I have a fully prepared dinner for 5 ready to be on the table for 6ish!!
 
#17
i got mine from a car boot sale along with a chicken spit roaster for a fiver lol they were both new in boxes and i use them all the time:D
 
#18
Thats the one i have and its brilliant. I do stews,casseroles,curries,chilli,bolognase. Have done Lamb shanks and the whole chicken i did was so tender it just slid off the bone . Did find at first that i had to do a bit of trial and error with the amonut on liquid,
 
#19
last night was the first night we have used it overnight and id definatly recommend it if you have a busy life, as we both work we wouldnt have time to do it in the mornings other than at the weekend.
we cook loads of different stuff in but a favourite is curry and beef casserole. one thing i want to try is lamb shanks. they would be sooo nice in some gravy and mint sauce with carrots and swede... yummmy!
 


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