Slow cookers are a convenient way to cook a variety of dishes with minimum effort and in the perfect conditions even if you don’t have enough time to keep an eye on the pot. All you have to do is put all the ingredients in this useful kitchen appliance and it will start cooking at a low speed to make sure all the nutrients and the flavor are kept inside the food. The food will be ready without you having to check on it so you can use the time for other chores. If we aroused your curiosity and you want to get a slow cooker at home, follow our tips to make sure you choose a good one.
Pay attention to the crock and lid material
There are slow cookers with porcelain, ceramic, or metallic crock and they all seem to do a good job in distributing heat and cooking food evenly. However, ceramic crocks tend to be the best because food doesn’t stick to them and doesn’t get that burnt smell you often get with metallic pots. What’s even more important is to look for a crock that can be removed for easy cleaning because this will make your slow cooker more convenient. The lid should be made of glass so you won’t have to open it too often and let he heat out, which would influence the cooking process.
Take a look at the heating method
Most slow cookers have a heating system placed at the base which heats the bottom of the pan only. Other models have a heating system that goes up on the sides so the slow cooker offers more heat on a larger area, meaning food will be cooked from multiple sides. A model with the crock heated at the bottom and on the sides will require less stirring because heat is distributed evenly and food will cook faster and better.
Consider the shape and size
Usually, slow cookers are oval and round and choosing the shape only depends on your cooking habits. Oval models can fit whole chickens and large ribs while the round ones are smaller and more appropriate for vegetables and sliced meat. Therefore, choosing the shape solely depends on your cooking options. The size also depends on your cooking habits as well as on the size of your kitchen and you must think about how large you need the cooker to be. If you don’t have plenty of storage room and you only cook small portions, a small slow cooker will be perfect but if you need to cook for a large family, you should choose the larger versions.
Choose one with additional functions
The timer is a great feature on a slow cooker because it allows you to set it to start at a certain hour and makes sure the unit turns off when the time is up, so your food won’t overcook or burn. The warming function is another useful detail that makes sure you eat warm food even if you choose to eat it later. Sometimes, the two functions are connected so the slow cooker will turn on the warming function when the timer turns off.