Grill Hills: Slowly does it
My grandmother cooked the most delicious stews. Slow cooked on the stove, she would start them in the morning, nurturing them during the day, and serve them in the evening when they would be scrumptiously tender.
As I'm a working woman I don't have the luxury of time and have often been tempted to buy a slow cooker, although I have mixed feelings. Do I really need another appliance? My sentiments change quickly when I next get in late from work and would give anything for a slow-cooked meal! - Sally Erasmus, Centurion
- Slow cookers or crock pots have been around for many years and newer models, although more efficient, have changed little from the original design. As with every appliance, there are pros and cons.
- Meals can be prepared in advance and left unattended to cook gently for many hours.
- They are energy saving as the appliance runs on a standard plug.
- Ideal for the more economical cuts of meat and pulses that benefit from longer and slower cooking methods.
- With a little organisation and planning a slow cooker can be well utilised, particularly in winter.
Great for cooking for a crowd. Buy a bigger (6.5 litre) slow cooker rather than a smaller model.
- Slow cookers have more than one setting so food can be cooked on low, high or automatic.
- Easy to clean.
Nothing will brown in a slow cooker and ingredients like onions, meat and chicken should be browned in a separate pan beforehand.
- The maximum temperature of a slow cooker is about 95°C and it is at this temperature that most of the dangerous bacteria are killed. A slow cooker will take time to reach this temperature so the recommendation is to brown both meat and chicken well in a pan before placing in the slow cooker. Whilst chicken fillets and portions can be cooked in a slow cooker, be more cautious about a whole chicken.
- As the food simmers gently with a tight-fitting lid there is little or no reduction of the cooking liquid and the final dish will have more liquid compared to one prepared on the stove.
- Slow cooking requires pre-planning and is not a quick-fix meal solution.
Win a slow cooker
Kenwood Appliances are giving away three 6.5l slow cookers. The CP657, valued at R449, has thermostat control, brushed aluminium outer surface and a cool-touch lid.
To enter, tell us what another name is for a slow cooker.
Send your answer (one entry per person) with your name, phone number and physical address to firstname.lastname@example.org with SLOW COOKER as the subject. Entries close at noon on Tuesday June 5.