To begin with, as in all relationships, we needed to build up some trust. I couldn’t believe that my slow cooker would lovingly cook my dinner for ten hours without it being burnt to a crisp on the bottom. I entrusted it with the ingredients for a mountain of sweet and sour chicken and waited managing to only occasionally rattle the lit to see what on earth was going on in there.
A few hours later some wonderful smells began to emerge. My infatuation deepened. It only became full blown when, at seven o'clock that evening, I lifted the lid to be greeted with tender, juicy sweet and sour chicken ready to eat right there and then without me lifting a single pan onto the stove. There were no burned bits. No sad uncooked bits. It was piping hot chicken-y goodness. My, oh my.
Since then our relationship has been going from strength to strength. This weekend my trusted Slow Cooker, my faithful partner in life, made me a beef bourginon while I spent the day playing with my one year old niece. It has braised me red cabbage. It has spiced up my life with a glorious tagine. Reader, it has made me glad.
It might be retro, it might be so unbelievable effective that it almost makes you believe in magic but trust me this is your new best friend. If I've convinced you then here are the top slow cooker tips from the Vicarage Kitchen.
- Trying to decide what capacity to go for leads you into a world of confusion. We got a 3.5 litre and it makes four portions and we are pretty piggy individuals.
- Slow Cookers release very little moisture so you will need to adapt recipes so they have the right amount of liquid to cook but so they aren't too liquidy when you eat them.
- If in doubt I got this awesome Slow Cooker cookbook. Well worth it.
- Always put hot liquid into the Slow Cooker and if preparing ingredients ahead don't put the ceramic basin of the Slow Cooker into the fridge with the ingredients in it. When it hits the heat of the cooker chaos will ensue (or the basin will crack if you want to be less dramatic!)
- Cooking any meat in the Slow Cooker makes it stupendously tender and yummy. Think stews, tagines etc. Wintery goodness, my friends.
- If you do buy a Slow Cooker you might need an appropriate outlet for you evangelical enthusiasm on its wonders and benefits. I suggest started a blog and sharing your enthusiasm with the world at large. 'Slow Cooker and Me', 'Desperately Seeking Slow Cooker', 'P.S I Love You (Slow Cooker)'?!
I may have just transformed your life. You're welcome.