Post # 1
I really do enjoy cooking, but I am a complete slow cooker noob.
My boyfriend has been wanting us to get a slow cooker ever since we moved in together five months ago. I didn’t even know what a slow cooker was before we had this conversation. I’ve never seen my mom cook with one. I cannot fathom the idea of something taking 10 hours to cook when I have a perfectly functioning oven and stove. I don’t like the idea of leaving an appliace on when no one is home.
Anyway, he thinks I am being ridiculous and keeps saying we should get one. I still don’t really get the point of them, but I love him enough to let go of my stubbornness, haha. His birthday is coming up, and I want to surprise him by buying a slow cooker and cooking him dinner with it.
I’ve read reviews of several different slow cookers on Amazon but they’re pretty mixed. Which model should I get? What about quart size? (There are only two of us and we don’t have a lot of kitchen space). Any advice you Bees can offer me is very much appreciated!
Post # 3
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ Here’s a good blog with tons of recipes.
I like my slowcooker for the summer – it doesn’t heat up the house the way using the oven or even stove can.
Post # 4
It’s so easy. We do stew in it. Just put in browned meat cubes, carrots, potatoes, 2 cups of water, let it go!
Post # 5
You are going to looooovvvveeee a slow cooker! It seriously does all of the work for you and with a little preparation, you can have a weeks, months worth of meals prepared. I would recommend the crock pot brand. That seems to be the one that’s been around forever. They have several different kinds. My favorite (we just got one for Christmas) is the one with the digital timer. You can set it to cook on high for a few hours, then it will switch to the low or warm function. Which is ideal if you’re cooking chicken or any other meat that you don’t want to be too tough. I also make a ton of dips for parties in mine. : )
You can google crockpot recipes and there will be TONS! What I do (we have a hectic life) is prepare gallon ziploc baggies with our weeks worth of meals. Then freeze them! All you have to do the morning of is throw it in the crockpot. Doesn’t get much easier than that. Good luck!
Post # 6
Slow cookers are awesome! I have this one and I love it: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Crock-Pot-6-Quart-Oval-Countdown-Slow-Cooker-Stainless-Steel/17219363
There are so many good recipes that come out so much better when cooked in a crock pot… pot roast, pork tenderloin, bbq pulled pork/chicken, italian beef, all kinds of soups, dips. MMM. Now I’m hungry.
Post # 7
I LOVE using a slow cooker (we own 3). There a ton of recipes online. My favorite is doing a roast with veggies, it alwways tastes good and is so simple.
Post # 8
First, I LOVE my slow cooker!! Most recipes I have tried are delicious, and since there are SO MANY crock pot recipes out there, there is a ton of diversity. It is great for parties – cooking/keeping things warm. It is great for all seasons: the summer bc your oven is off, and the house does not get hot, and the winter bc I love making soups with mine!!
With that said, I do not remember the brand off the top of my head, but I got it from bed, bath and beyond years ago! It is 6.5 quarts, and can be set in 4,6,8,10 hour incriments!! Very ‘standard’, and very easy to use. If I could, or needed too, I would buy the ones that are programmable to start cooking at a certain time, where as now, I need to throw everything in first thing in the morning, and cook it all day – even if a recipe would be better for a lesser time frame!! I would also get the smaller – 3 tiered ones for hosting 🙂
Enough of my rant…obviously, Im a huge fan! You and your Darling Husband will love it, lol.
Post # 9
The beauty of a slow cooker is you can use cheap cuts of meat and cook them low and slow, and they turn out beautifully. Isn’t it nice to walk in the house after working all day and to know all you have to do is serve dinner instead of standing around cooking it?
I have 2 sizes, but I must say, I prefer the larger as I can get more meals out of it.
Post # 10
Definitely get one with a timer. I have one with a digital timer so I can set it for 10 hours and it automatically shifts to warm. I’ve had the other versions that don’t do that, and I found that the food tended to overcook.
I tend to use mine in the winter more than the summer. Certain things I think just cook better in the slow cooker, especially soups and stews, pot roasts, and ribs. Plus, the convenience can’t be beat. Yes, I can spend a few hours cooking after work, or I can home and have dinner already done, so I can eat and relax. My best advice is to prep the night before, so you can just throw everything in there and turn it on in the morning.
I have 6 qt oval size and I always cook for just 2. But, I like that I can cook for more if our parents are coming over for dinner.
I also LOVE crock pot liners. They make clean up so easy.
Post # 11
When buying, you really want:
-vented lid (I don’t even understand why some don’t have vents)
-removable inner pot (otherwise they are a PITA to clean)
Post # 12
We have a crock pot, and I’d rather cook in it than the oven. It doesn’t make the apartment as hot, and it mixes the flavors better than the oven. Plus, it takes much less preparation. Also, we cook over night instead of while we’re at work.
Post # 13
you are going to love a crock pot. really! i got one as a gift when i was 25 and i remember thinking to myself, i’ll never use this. well, i didn’t for like 10 years. finally, a girl from work kept raving about her crockpot recipes so i tried it for the first time. it was fantastic and so easy. the clean up is minimal.
my son loves to cook and when he got his first place the one thing he requested was a crockpot. he likes to make chili in it.
like pp are saying, you can buy cheap cuts of meat and the slow cooker will make them so tender and juicy. you seriously can make anything in them. i used to make a small roast in mine every sunday. my brother came by one sunday and stayed for dinner. he loved it so much he came back every sunday with his girls for like 4 months.
you can turn it on in the morning and it will be ready for you when you get home after work.
all this crock pot talk is making me want to make something in it tonight.
Post # 14
I love my crock pot! So convenient and the food tastes so amazing. I also cook the foods overnight so that it’s ready by morning.
Post # 15
Our slow cooker is one of my favorite wedding presents! I definitely agree about getting one with a timer so it just switches to warm when it’s finished cooking. It is AMAZING to come home to dinner being warm and ready for you. Plus, meats cooked in the slow cooker are seriously tender and delicious. Yum. 🙂
Plus, there are hundreds of slow cooker recipe books out there. Check one out. I think once you see all the awesome things it can do, you will be more excited about getting one!
Post # 16
Two words: beef stew.
I tend to use mine more often in the colder months, but that’s because I use it primarily for soups and stews. As PPs have mentioned, it’s a sort of set-it-and-forget-it method of making a one-dish meal. Stew beef, a can of beef broth, some potatoes & veggies, and a dash of Wondra (season with salt/pepper to taste) is staple around here once fall hits.
While I normally believe in buying high-quality kitchen appliances, I’ll admit that we got ours for a song at Target (I think) a few years ago and it’s a no-name brand. It’s small enough for two people but makes 4 servings, and it’s been holding up well under moderate use. I even found a cookbook for crockpots that uses 5 ingredients or less — perfect for a relatively easy dinner.