There are many advantages to using a slow cooker to prepare meals in the home. In addition to saving cooking time after a long day of work or hectic scheduling, slow cooking can save money and provide the family or guests with flavorful meals that only cooking over time can offer.
Using a slow cooker to cook less desirable cuts of meat renders them tender and allows other ingredients to absorb the unique flavors when combined in the pot. By locking in moisture, the slow cooker ensures the meat won’t dry out and allows it to re-absorb the natural juices which over the hours of cooking, results in a tender piece of meat.
Slow cooking is especially suited for shanks, chuck roasts and chicken thighs. By using cheaper cuts of meat, money can be saved in grocery expenses and the family can enjoy more meat meals that taste more expensive than they really are.
Slow cookers provide a perfect way to impress dinner guests. Complicated dishes can be started well in advance without fear of over-cooking and can be kept warm until time to serve. Using a slow cooker for one course or item in a multi-course meal frees up an eye on the stove or the oven for the preparation of another dish.
Slow cookers can help with entertaining on the go as well. Pot luck dinners or gatherings outside of the home for which a hot dish is necessary can be prepared in advance and transported in the slow cooker. Once at the destination, just plug it in to keep the food hot for serving.
The greatest advantage of using a slow cooker is the savings in time and effort while not giving up the quality of a meal that may take hours of cook time. The slow cooker uses minimal heat so it does not need supervision or even the cook’s presence. Once the prep work is done such as chopping and meat browning, it’s just a matter of throwing everything into the pot and turning it on.
Most of us have become so accustomed to cooking everything quickly we have forgotten what slowly cooked food tastes like. Spaghetti sauce was never meant to be cooked in 30 minutes. Neither were many of the once flavorful dishes we speed through today. Using a slow cooker can restore authentic taste to old family favorites without the arduous labor.