Why to Use a Slow Cooker – Cheap, and Healthy?
May 18, 2019
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Slow Cookers! Why, oh why do people use them? (Yes, I asked myself, too!)
This post explores why to use a Slow Cooker, why they’re so popular, and how to get started!
Slow cookers are rising in popularity amongst the “chefs of the household” and the health nut communities around the world, so knowing about them is important.
Although they stem from over 70 years ago, they’ve only started to really gain attention since the early 2000’s!
Put simply, a slow cooker is an electronic device that cooks your meals slowly or throughout the day using a lower temperature, making cooking – especially healthy cooking – a lot simpler and less hands-on… Because of this, it is promoted as being very convenient, and has multiple benefits.
(P.S. Slow cookers are often referred to as “crock pots” too). This is the original and most classic brand of the slow cooker – particularly across the U.S..
As you should know, I am extremely passionate about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. And well, that’s precisely why I love my slow cookers so much. They really help out when preparing healthy meals and recipes. Let’s find out how.
Our first answer to “Why to Use a Slow Cooker” is their low cost.
Believe it or not, slow cookers are incredibly cost-efficient! How much energy does a slow cooker use?
They actually cost about the same as a traditional light bulb (especially if they’re on a low setting), at an average of only 0.7kWh over an 8-hour period.
You see, eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive.
In the average American household, the most costly appliance is the electric oven, which may be up to 24 times more expensive to run than a slow cooker. In fact, to cook a meal using a slow cooker for 8 hours, it will cost a third of what it might to use an electric oven for 1 hour, according to The Sydney Morning Herald!
This may be slightly different for different slow cookers, and depending on whether it’s on a high or low setting it might cost slightly more or less per hour.
The important thing here, however, is that most of the time you would not be using a slow cooker on the high setting for as long as you would low setting. See where I’m coming from? Getting a slow cooker might just be the next money saver for you.
Despite the name, slow cookers save you a LOT of time. By cutting down on both the amount of preparation and the amount of work you actually need to put into your cooking (including having to constantly watch appliances and food), using a slow cooker gives you time to do the things you want to and get on with the important tasks of your day.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a hot dinner after work, ready when you are?
- Or easily preparing your favourite meals to cook whilst you enjoy quality time with the family? (or whatever you’re up to!)
With a slow cooker, that’s entirely possible! The manual work is minimal.
Since we’ve got one, it has saved cooking time for myself and for the whole family! We’ve been able to have more nutritious (and more delicious) meals every day thanks to this awesome appliance.
Even though it takes a while to cook (hence the name), that’s actually how it saves more time than cooking without it…
For example: Stews. You can simply chop up your ingredients, add some stock or water, sprinkle some seasonings, and you’re done!
And it’s just as easy with thousands of other recipes, including curries, chilli con carne, hot pots, fish, meat, and even rice (but for rice use a healthy oil or fat to coat the slow cooker first before adding the water and rice, and only cook for 2-3 hours).
If you’re using grains, you can even add them in towards the end of cooking for many dishes.
The convenience is one of the most favoured slow cooker benefits. By taking 5 or 10 minutes in the morning to set up your meal, you can be out for the whole day if you want, and return to a delicious dinner.
Here’s the fun part! Slow cookers an excellently healthy way to cook your food.
Not only are they a great alternative to other unhealthier cooking methods, but using a slow cooker is very gentle and retains a lot of moisture. This preserves and extracts nutrients much better, which also allows for much more complex flavours to develop.
Take this Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, for example!
Less Chance of Over-cooking Meat…
There may be a dilemma here: Some people enjoy well-done meat, others rare, and the rest somewhere in between.
Unfortunately, not all of these are created equal (sorry!).
When meat is cooked, water molecules “clip” protein chains to create peptides, which fit into our taste receptors, and allow for more nutrition and easier digestion.
This clipping process is called hydrolytic cleavage. However, as is often the case with well-done meat, if the meat reaches over 76°C or dries too much, this process stops and that’s when things get “messy”…
We’ve all had them moments when meat gets a little overdone. This makes meat go tough and chewy and stringy, right? This is especially true if the meat was cooked quickly.
The reason this happens is that the proteins, fats, and sugar molecules become distorted, leading them to tangle and fuse. This destroys nutrients and makes digestion a lot harder, too.
These new distortions create carcinogens and other chemical compounds and fuses that can damage your blood vessels and kidneys.
For those of you that don’t enjoy your meat rare, maybe working towards it is a good idea. (Not to start a debate, because I respect that everyone has preferences and reasons. Trust me though, you’ll thank me later).
Slow cookers a wonderful for cooking meat in, especially if you are stewing it. They help to prevent overcooking, release nutrients (including beneficial minerals), and develop amazing flavours. If you’re cooking meat by itself, which you can definitely do, adding a cup of water or so in with it will go a long way.
Slow cookers also help to release and protect precious nutrients in vegetables! They really are pretty cool!
Easy To Use – It’s Friendly
Apart from saving time, they are also convenient in their use. Slow cookers only need a quick switching on and that’s it… Really!
Most have multiple settings, often including low high and warm. If you go for a more expensive model (which isn’t always necessary), you’ll also find slow cookers that have timers on them.
- By selecting ‘Low’, your food will take longer to cook and has more time to develop nutrition and flavour.
- With ‘High’ you’ll likely half your cooking time, which is great for example if you want to be prepare a meal for a few hours time.
- And ‘Warm’ does what it says – it keeps your food nice and warm after cooking, so if your food is done before you want it, you can simply switch to warm and come back later!
This is a surprisingly practical reason to use a slow cooker, because sometimes kitchen gadgets are a bit “overkill”. This is simple.
I believe this point highlights how life is easier with these handy cookers! It’s no wonder people are switching to them.
Other common settings are High, Med, and Warm instead. A great example is the Morphy Richards 6.5L Slow Cooker (Read the Review Here), which has all of these and is perfect for families.
If you’re like me, you probably hate washing up! Most of us do, (I think)… After all, having to scrub food off of plates isn’t a popular pastime…
If you’ve got a dishwasher, then a slow cooker can save time drying up and putting dishes away.
When you use a slow cooker, nine times out of ten, you’ll be able to do most (if not all) of your cooking in the one pot! If you’re making a curry or chilli con carne with rice (or other multiple-part dish), then at most you’ll need your cooker and a saucepan (etc.). For example, you can cook up a nice meal in the slow cooker and take 10 or so minutes to prepare your side (such as basmati rice) in the microwave or on the hob.
Using a slow cooker might just help to cut down on the amount of washing up after dinner! Isn’t that a nice bonus?
Remember how I said that slow cookers can be used for thousands of recipes? It really is true!
Since their rise in popularity, many people have experimented with slow cookers. You can even buy books of great recipes, even including delicious and wholesome breakfast recipes such as oatmeal, quinoa, and casseroles.
I’ve never tried to make breakfast in a slow cooker, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea either!
You can make a range of dishes, from those you’d cook in the oven, to those you’d cook in a saucepan, and much more in between. This means meats, vegetables, rice, curries, shepherd’s pie, chilli con carne, sauces, hotpots, and so on…
Don’t Forget about Slow Cooker Meal Prep
Bodybuilders, athletes, families, and anyone on a busy schedule all likely to have come across meal prepping (preparing).
It simply means planning and preparing meals. You can make batch meals in advance for your dietary goals and save time doing so if you use a slow cooker.
Of course, the versatility means that your slow cooker meal prep recipes can be anything you might want (almost). If you’re bored of sandwiches for lunch or want to save money by not buying food out, using a slow cooker is a great alternative.
Because of the size, most slow cookers will let you prepare even a week’s worth of lunches in one go, which you can freeze or store for later.
How to Get Started
If you don’t yet have yourself a slow cooker, I highly recommend that you consider one, and I hope you’ll see why now! They are perfect for those wanting to live a healthier and less “helter-skelter” lifestyle.
For anyone interested, check out my recommendations below.
Fortunately, there are some great offers for you all. I’ve picked these out especially for you all, considering everything covered in my reviews of each slow cooker.
Morphy Richards is a brand some of you are likely familiar with. Their trusty appliances and slow cookers are very popular. On average, their customer satisfaction is very high and they score excellently on customer reviews.
That’s why I recommend these slow cookers to get started.
Morphy Richards 6.5L Slow Cooker (Special Offer)
(For 3-5 people)
My first recommendation caters towards families in particular. The Morphy Richards 6.5L Slow Cooker could serve you for years, and if you’re quick, at an even lower price than usual. From its usual retail price of £59.99, this slow cooker is currently discounted to only £30.98. That’s a 48% discount!
My Full Review of this Slow Cooker Looks at the Pros, Cons, and Why I Recommend it: Morphy Richards Slow Cooker Review
This discount might not be around for too long, so if you’re in a hurry, what better place to look? The customer reviews are full of positive experiences from customers who bought the same 6.5L slow cooker. By making cooking easier and cheaper, it seems to have helped a lot of people, so I know you’ll love this too!
Another one from this awesome brand…
There is also a 3.5L model that is perfect for those looking to cook for less people or only themselves. It’s actually very similar to one of the slow cookers that I use, and has brilliant reviews.
The simple design allows for ease of use, which is helpful. Personally, I enjoy using a smaller slow-cooker if it is for less people, or if I have less bones with which to make a bone broth.
For £23 (34% Discount) you can get your own by clicking the link below. Take a look if you’re interested.
(For 1-3 people)
Aaanyway, it’s finally that time again… That’s it for this one! I hope you learnt something new today. 🙂
Including a slow cooker in your kitchen arsenal is a brilliant way to cook healthily whilst you save time & money. I personally use for mine all the time, and make brilliantly healthy bone broths with it.
I’ll be sure to share some recipes for the slow cooker, and I’ll have to get my Father’s fish stew recipe! Remember to check the links out above if you’re looking to get a great slow cooker or a handy book of healthy recipes!
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Until the next one, stay healthy
A slow cooker is an electronic cooking device that cooks uses low temperature over extended periods. The gentle method makes cooking – especially healthy cooking – a lot simpler and less hands-on… Because of this, they are promoted as being very convenient, and have multiple benefits.
No, slow cookers do not need constant supervision. Typically, a slow cooker will often allow you to switch it on and leave it! The convenience is one of the most favoured slow cooker benefits. By taking a small amount of prep time, the cooking is done for you. You can be out for the whole day if you want, and return to a delicious dinner.
Slow cookers are safer, low-energy alternatives to many other cooking appliances.
Slow cookers are easy to find online, or even at supermarkets now. Amazon is one of the best and most trusted options. Why not pick up a Morphy Richards Slow Cooker to serve your family for years, and at an even lower price? (6.5L for 3-5 People) There is also a 3.5L model that is perfect for those looking to cook for less people or only themselves!
This one is very similar to one of the slow cookers that I use, and has brilliant reviews! The simple design allows for ease of use too! Personally, I enjoy using a smaller slow-cooker if it is for less people
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