i got a slow cooker this morning

(251 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 03-Jan-12 11:51:39

please tell me how to use it!

- ive no idea how to use them, what to do in them at all.
Up until recently i have regarded them with suspicion....low heat + long time = bacteria soup in my book but i have been convinced by my friend who has bought me one for the princely sum of 12 quid this morning in Tesco!

so please help me become a culinary whiz with a slow cooker and post your slow cooker recipes!

thank you!

Fragrantfancies2010 Wed 04-Jan-12 00:24:14

Pombear - have you ever heard of a halogen oven? It can be used pretty much the same way as a regular oven but costs pennies to run, takes up far less space (it sits on the worktop), halves cooking time and is totally amaaaaazing! grin

I love mine. Since I bought my halogen, I've never used my oven.

AitchTwoOHoHoHo Wed 04-Jan-12 00:30:48

that's what they all say... but there is a reason that italians don't recommend steaming spag bol with the lid on. grin

(disclaimer: unless it's actually a tm Crock Pot you're using, they are basically stove-tops as they boil harder than normal slow cookers and you can brown in them).

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Wed 04-Jan-12 08:48:29

I skim some of the fat off at the end, don't add any liquid other than what comes with the tomatoes in the first place and then <adopts air of one imparting great wisdom> add gravy granules which thicken it right up, just before serving. That's all I can think of, it never comes out watery/too runny though.
Fancies I have a new cooker sitting in the garage waiting to be fitted. It means riving half the kitchen to pieces though, and sorting out the worktops, and paying a gas fitter, so is likely to sit there until it rots sadly, it's been there well over a year already confused I don't have enough worktop space to put anything else on there, I have to rearrange everything to get the slow cookers out, and we only use the toastie maker once in a blue moon as it just doesn't really fit. I think I have the most pathetic so called kitchen in the world... in the summer I do most of the cooking in the back garden on a cobb a la Hairy Bikers grin

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Wed 04-Jan-12 08:49:18

cooker single, although if I had space I probably would have more than one!

I am currently making a lemony roast chicken in mine... Cannot wait until tonight! The house smells delicious already.... Nom nom grin

journoem Wed 04-Jan-12 08:58:58

I love my slow cooker, it really takes the hassle out of making delicious food as you throw everything in in the morning and then when you're ready to eat in the evening all you've got to do is dish it up. Perfect if you're lazy like me wink

I also love how the meat that works the best in it is quite cheap. Bought a big...thing...of pork (can't remember if it was a shoulder or something else) in Tesco last night for £2.50 and it'll last us 2 days, possibly 3. I'm going to slow cook it today with potatoes, veg, stock and herbs and I'm drooling at the thought already grin

Pinot Wed 04-Jan-12 09:06:33

My spag bol is fabulous acksherly - it's all about the volume of stock you add and the tablespoon of flour mixed through t the start of cooking.

IME, stews, casseroles and soups are far nicer cooked slowly than in the oven/on the hob.

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 09:11:04

Re spag bol - the secret is no liquid. Then it's lovely and I AM a fabulous cook wink

Appuskidu Wed 04-Jan-12 09:15:55

What do you all add to the mince to make spag bol (says she who makes it with Quorn mince and a jar of Loyd Grossman sauce....!)

LovesBloominChristmas Wed 04-Jan-12 09:18:17

Basically you use very little if any water, i find it hard tbh. But mine can be put on the stove so I can boil off any excess or I have bought some thickening granules blush just in case.

I must admit I have perfected my stove top spag Bol and cannot entertain doing it in there but do want to use it more.

In fact I have just taken some mince out of tge freezer. Not sure what I'm going to make but I'll chuck stuff in and see what happens grin

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 09:23:35

Spag bol - onions, small amount of celery,mince,a drained can of tomatoes or a carton of passata,squirt of tom puree, little squirt of garlic puree, bit of sugar,beef oxo cuble dissolved in the smallest amount of boiling water possible. Leave lid off for the last half hour if it needs thickening.

How do you do the mince in it? Do you just bung it in raw? Any liquid?

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 09:24:46

Bung it in raw, no need to brown it.

CalamityKate Wed 04-Jan-12 09:32:50

Easy and delicious Stroganoff:

600g cubed steak
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
200ml milk (or wine; I use wine)
100g - 200g mushrooms, thickly sliced (those Forestiere ones are nice)
2 med onions, chopped
2tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (or more, to taste)
150g Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese
Pasta, or egg noodles
Sour Cream to serve (optional)

Put everything except the noodles, cream cheese and sour cream in the slow cooker. Cook on high for a while, then turn it down. Or cook all day on low. Whatever (I'm a bit "see what it looks like it needs" with the SC)

An hour before serving, add the cream cheese and stir in.

Serve with the noodles and a dollop of sour cream if you fancy it.

CalamityKate Wed 04-Jan-12 09:33:25

^ you could brown the steak first but I don't bother.

Thanks smile

Do I just put it in with the rest of the ingredients? Say tomatoes and herbs for spag Bol or do I cook the mince in it seperate first?

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 09:38:36

Mmmmmmm clammy might give that a go this week!

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 09:39:38

Yes, bung it all in at the same time slowly

I only brown sausages as they look vile otherwise.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 04-Jan-12 10:06:25

well my teas are sorted for the next 6 days....wonder if ill be organised enough to use it? the test will be monday morning when im trying to get out of the house for 7am...

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 10:13:19

You could chop everything the night before and keep it in a plastic container in the fridge and bung it in the SC first thing vicar

WelshMoth Wed 04-Jan-12 10:15:20

Asda? £5?? Seriously?

AitchTwoOHoHoHo Wed 04-Jan-12 10:19:55

there you go... thickening granules, gravy granules, flour... none of which are used in proper ragu, because you are basically accounting for the fact that it's not how it's supposed to be cooked.

also, boiled onions are just utterly wrong. grin

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 10:21:44

aitch I was born and brought up in Greece, I have had more than my fair share of Bolognaise over the years - honestly it's ok! grin

valiumredhead Wed 04-Jan-12 10:22:49

forgot to say - glug of olive oil is needed too to the recipe I posted earlier!

AitchTwoOHoHoHo Wed 04-Jan-12 10:24:36

likewise condensed mushroom soup and cream cheese. how is it not more expensive to add that to a stroganoff than just some cream as per the proper recipe? i get that the thing runs off a lightbulb, basically, but a casserole done in the oven is So Much Nicer, and you can use it for baked pots/fairy cakes/rhubarb crumble etc as well.

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