Slow Cooking

Slow CookingSlow cooking is my favorite way to cook.  What could be better than putting a bunch of ingredients into a crockpot (aka slow cooker), turning a knob or pushing a button, walking away and paying no attention to the food for hours, then lifting the lid to find a fully cooked and ready-to-eat meal?  When it comes to appliance cooking, nothing beats the slow cooker for me!

The little bit of cooking that I have done up to this point has mostly been done in my crockpot.  It is such an easy way to cook that I have been unable to resist.  But, I simply do not use my crockpot as often as I should.

Slow cookers are, to my knowledge, the only safe way to cook when you are away from home for several hours at a time.  They do not heat up the kitchen the way an oven can, and they require almost no assistance during the process.  It is the true “set it and forget it” method of cooking.

As you can probably guess, I have a lot of slow cooker cookbooks.  One of my favorites is the “Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook.”  This book is a collection of the best recipes from the five published “Fix-It and Forget-It” books.  There are over 1,400 of the best cooking recipes that you will find anywhere.  Every recipe I have made has turned out great, and I love the little tips that are sprinkled throughout the book.

Slow cookers come in many shapes and sizes, and can be as simple as turning it on and off, or highly complex.  I have both simple and complex cookers.  My simple cookers are very small, and are the perfect size for cooking vegetables or other sides.  I got them a few years ago on the Black Friday after Thanksgiving (a national holiday in the US where items are sold at deeply discounted prices).  My complex model includes a meat thermometer that lets me program in a temperature.   It will cook until the desired temperature is reached, then automatically switch to the warm setting.  This model is sized to cook a large piece of meat, and does a great job.

If you purchase a slow cooker, it might be worth your while to find out if there are any accessories available for your model.  You might be surprised to learn what you can get.  For example, I have a rack that lets food sit about an inch above the bottom of the crock, and a cake cooker.  The cake cooker bakes surprisingly moist cakes!  The best place to check for accessories is at the website for the manufacturer for your slow cooking model.

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