They’re the must-have kitchen gadget for every proud suburban housewife, but slow cookers are so much more than just a Stepford wife’s accessory. This handy and dependable cooking tool should be on every kitchen counter all over the world, and here’s why:
1. Cooking with a slow cooker is easy on your pocket.
There are so many ways in which slow cookers allow you to save money. For one, it allows you to use cheaper cuts of meat that would normally be too tough to chew, such as Swiss steak or pork shoulder. The slow cooking disintegrates the fleshy parts of otherwise undesirable pieces and makes them delectable and tender. Apart from meats, you can also cook dry grains and beans, which are so much more economical.
Additionally, slow cookers are made to allow the flavors and spices to mellow and fuse. This means that an otherwise basic meal can even taste like a gourmet spread. It’s an easy way for inexpensive and healthy food to taste amazing.
2. It’s fast and easy to clean.
The days of having to clean 4 different pans to prepare one meal are no more. Slow cookers are basically lean, mean, one-bowl cooking machines, so cleaning up after yourself has never been easier.
But there’s actually a way to make it even more simpler: you can cut and chop your ingredients in advance and store them in freezer bags of Crock-Pot-ready meals, for those days when you don’t even have time to get the ingredients ready.
3. It’s all-purpose.
When you think slow cooker, you usually think of the typical American grub: meat loaf, casserole, pot roast. But the beauty of the slow cooker is that you can also explore outside of this triumvirate with other meals, and still end up with restaurant-worthy results every time. Craving for Indian food? Chinese rice and chicken? Rustic French dishes? The more challenging, the better.
4. It’s like a reliable sidekick.
Even though its ability to cook up delicious main courses is a slow cooker’s principal feature, it can also be a wonderful sidekick especially when large batches of food are in order. Cook huge quantities of scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese, healthy beans, rich creamed spinach, or collared greens in just one go.
5. It’s basically fail-proof.
For those scared to even step inside a kitchen, the slow cooker is the key to a whole new world of culinary wonders. Basically, you just dump all the ingredients into the pot and set it to cook at ‘high’ or ‘low’ for as long as needed—so easy, a child could do it! As long as your button-pushing skills are present, there should be no cause to worry.
6. You can come back to a home-cooked meal at the end of a long day.
How some people still have the energy to create an entire full-course meal after a long day at work is beyond me. If you’re also the type to just want to wind down after 8 hours at your desk, then a slow cooker is the solution. Prep in the morning, throw it in the pot, set it to cook on low for the entire day, and come home to a tender, delicious meal without having to slave away at the stove all night.
7. They’re huge time savers.
Forget sautéing, baking, boiling, fricasseeing, and all other fanciful –ings you’ve been made to think are required for a delectable meal. Chopping up ingredients is the only thing you need to be able to make edible magic using the slow cooker. That cuts down prep time in half! Not to mention that cleaning up will be a breeze, as you only have to wash the ceramic crock afterwards.
8. You can eat as healthy or as indulgent as you want.
Eating clean doesn’t have to be such a burden with the slow cooker in your armory. You’ll look forward to having stuffed peppers, chicken chili, or red beans and rice for dinner because they won’t just be healthy, they’ll be delicious too! For cheat days, you can even use the slow cooker to make mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, or an ultra-moist chocolate cake.
9. Leftovers for dayyyyyyys.
Most slow cookers are large in size, allowing you to cook really big portions with just a single recipe. You can easily get a week’s worth of meals out of one cooking session. And since most recipes freeze well, too, there’s no need to finish it all at once. Make a big batch of roast chicken and vegetables on Sunday and you’ll be sitting pretty for the entire week.
10. Slow cookers can help you get drunk.
One special talent slow cookers have is that they can create boozy concoctions that will top off the wonderful meal you also just cooked in it. You have to admit it, spiked hot chocolate, mulled wine, or an adult apple cider drink could just be the most important reasons why your kitchen needs a slow cooker right this second.