Slow cookers add convenience to cooking by saving much of your time and energy spent in the kitchen. They are not even expensive as compared to many other kitchen appliances. They allow you to put the ingredients in the cooker and let it cook while you go to sleep or even leave the house. This convenience is due to the fact that slow cookers use very low temperatures to cook food over a long period of time which eliminates any dangers of the food getting burnt or the need for any supervision by you.
If you have finally decided to go ahead and buy a slow cooker for yourself, you need to keep some things in mind before you go out to make the actual purchase. It is important to educate oneself about the features you need to look for in a good slow cooker so that you can make an informed decision. Here is what you should consider:
For best quality meals, the pot of your slow cooker should be filled anywhere between ½ to ¾ of its capacity. For a small family of 3 or 4 persons, a 4 Quart slow cooker should work fine. 6 to 7 Quarts is an ideal size if you plan on making whole chicken roasts in it. If you buy a large slow cooker and want to cook a smaller serving in it, you can use a small oven safe dish to put in the center of the cooker pot and cook your food in it. This will ensure you get best results despite the discrepancies in size.
Most slow cookers come with a minimum of two temperature settings, high and low find out more information. While some best slow cookers have an additional ‘keep warm’ setting. This is a nice feature to consider since you are not always ready to consume the food as soon as it is cooked.
Traditional slow cookers come with manual controls where you have to manually turn the cooker on and off. Newer versions of slow cookers come with programmable digital controls which allow you the flexibility to schedule when you want the cooker to turn on and off and it will do so automatically. If you want, you can even have the cooker set itself automatically to the keep warm setting after a scheduled time.
Slow cookers come in two shapes: round or oval. Oval cookers are best for cooking whole chickens as they offer more surface area. If you use a round slow cooker to cook whole chicken you will have some trouble fitting it in and taking it out in one piece. However, if you plan on making soups and stews more often, round slow cooker is a more preferred option.
The insert should ideally be removable to allow for easy cleanup. They also give you the option of serving the meal in the insert without dirtying an extra dish.