I love my crockpot. There are quite a few days when I couldn’t put a home cooked meal together without it. It’s so easy and convenient to dump everything in the pot in the morning, turn it on and then go about my day. When dinner time rolls around, the food is ready to eat and after dinner there’s only one pot to clean up.
- 1 Tips On Buying A Slow Cooker
Tips On Buying A Slow Cooker
In this advice on buying a slow cooker we’ll start by looking at why you would want to cook with a crockpot and then move right into what to look for in a crockpot. I’ll also cover caring for your crockpot and my favorite section – how to convert recipes for use with a crockpot or slow cooker.
There is a few recipes for you to try. You can find more of them from slow cooker recipe books as well. There is an entire section on Crockpot Recipes to try – Slow Cooker Recipes!
Let’s dive right in and of course you are welcome to email me at with any questions or comments. If you have a great crockpot recipe I would love to know about it as well.
Let’s get cooking.
Why Would I Want To Use A Slow Cooker?
Most folks, who do any cooking at all, consider using a slow cooker at one time or another. You may have asked yourself if a slow cooker, or crock pot, is the right appliance for you and your family. What are the reasons for using a crock pot? There are several reasons, actually, why a person may want to use a slow cooker. Read guide to buying slow cooker…
This may be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of cooking with a crock pot. You can picture yourself throwing together a nice stew in the morning, switching on the crock pot, and walking away to take care of your day’s work and errands.
When you walk in the house at the end of the day, you’re greeted with the lovely aromas of a delicious, hot meal just waiting for you and your family to dig in! That’s not only convenient, it’s a nice scenario, to be sure. Don’t forget big family gatherings, like holiday meals. A crock pot can free up valuable cooking space when you’ve got a complicated menu.
Cook Economical Foods
You’ve heard about how you can cook less expensive cuts of meat and they turn out nice and tender. This is a fact. A crock pot simmers the meat at a low, constant temperature that breaks down the sinew of even the most stubborn cuts of meat. Slow cooking is the perfect way to cook meats such as brisket and shoulder roasts. Dried beans and peas are another way to feed your family protein, and a crock pot perfectly cooks these inexpensive sources of protein with slow, steady heat.
Uses Less Energy
According to The Department of Energy, a conventional oven uses roughly 2500 watts, while a crock pot uses about 200 watts. A pot roast cooked slowly, about 3 hours, in a conventional oven would use about 10kWh. Cooked in a crock pot, even doubling the time cooked, that meal would use about 1.2 kWh.
Even compared to a large pot of soup on top of the stove, crock pots are designed to hold the heat, so can operate at lower temperatures, while a large pot on a burner lets the heat escape, being less effective overall, therefore wasting energy. Also, consider what heating up your whole oven on a hot, humid day does to your air conditioning system.
Ease Of Use
Being able to walk away from a simmering pot without worry is definitely a benefit of using a slow cooker. Rather than checking and re-checking to make sure your chili is still simmering but not boiling, you can be sure that your crock pot is keeping it at just the right temperature.
Making certain foods, like dried beans, peas, and chowders, can be a concern in a pot on a burner; there’s always the scorching problem. But, not with a crock pot.
Is It Worth Buying A Slow Cooker
Got You Thinking About Using A Crock Pot? What’s Next?
Even if you have never before considered using a crock pot, you may now agree that cooking with a crock pot can save you time and money, is convenient, and easy to use. Or, perhaps you were an avid fan of crock pot cooking, but your crock pot has been relegated to the back of your pantry for some time now. In any case, you most likely have some questions regarding the use of your crock pot.
You are not alone if you are wondering about how to best choose and use a crock pot. Many folks who own a crock pot are not using it to full advantage. And, many folks who have never bought a crock pot are confused about how to choose one to suit their needs or things to look for when buying a slow cooker.
A crock pot, or slow cooker, is quite versatile. However, there are a few basic items to know before you either purchase your new crock pot, or get your abandoned crock pot up and running. The following are just a few issues to consider when you are ready to start crock pot cooking.
Do You Own A 20th Century Crock Pot?
This may seem a little silly, but think back to when crock pots first became popular. Slow cookers date back to the 1970’s, and believe it or not, there are folks still firing those antiques up on occasion. If your crock pot looks like it dates back that far, it’s time for a new one. I know you want to be frugal and not waste a perfectly fine crock pot, especially if it was rarely, and in some cases never, used.
However, advances in insulation, power cords, and energy usage are just a few of the reasons you will want to buy a new crock pot. Safety reasons outweigh any frugal or nostalgic reasons for holding on to an antiquated appliance. If you are sentimentally attached to your antique crock pot, go ahead and plant some flowers in it and keep it displayed for all to admire.
Do You Own A 21st Century Crock Pot?
If your crock pot is less than 10 years old, you may be able to use it without reservation. However, there have still been many advances lately in the technology and features of slow cookers, so you may want to check out some of the newer models before you decide to start using your old crock pot. If your crock pot suits your purposes and you are not ready to trade it in for a newer model, just be sure to give it a good safety check.
If the cord shows signs or wear-and-tear, whether cut or bent, be sure to replace either the cord or the entire crock pot. If the crock insert is chipped, the crock pot needs to be discarded. Use your judgment just like you would with any appliance. If your crock pot shows areas of deterioration of any kind, it’s time for a new crock pot.
Do You Not Yet Own A Crock Pot?
If you have not had the pleasure of owning a slow cooker yet, then you are in the market for a new one. When you decide to buy a new crock pot, check out the features available in all the price ranges. If you suffer a bit of “sticker shock” when you start looking, that may be due to the fact that so many slow cookers now are loaded with conveniences that have never been seen before.
It’s like many things you buy; there are going to be the stripped-down versions at a low price, and the fully-loaded versions selling for the price of a small vehicle. Consider your lifestyle, your budget, and your cooking style; then start narrowing down your options.