When it comes to slow cooking, there are many falsities going around.
Some of them have been unwittingly fabricated by beings who have never tried to slow cook in their life, and others by those who have tried to slow cook once or twice, and never taken it upon themselves to learn how to properly use this handy kitchen gadget.
Here are 5 slow cooking myths I want to clear up
1. Slow cookers are for cooking stews and casseroles
Whilst slow cookers do make the tastiest stews and casseroles, they also make to-die-for curries, roasts, risottos, soups, broths, pasta sauces, lasagne, pulled pork, chillis, ribs, stuffed veggies…you name it!
I have tried all of the above mentioned, and can vouch that the recipes turn our so good that I have never resorted to other conventional cooking methods.
2. Electrical consumption is on the high side
Your slow cooker might be on for 8, 10 or even 12 hours, but it is so economical you’ll be surprised! 8 hours of slow cooking on the ‘low’ setting uses up as much energy as half an hour of oven. Surprised much?
3. Slow cooked food tastes bland
I feel that those who are slow cooker aficionados (just like me!), do such a good job of singing it’s praises that perhaps one expects more of it than it can actually deliver.
Yes, slow cookers can cook and tenderise the toughest cuts of meat, and it’s slow cooking process brings out the flavour of the food.
However, as with any other cooking method, you do need to help the gadget produce the best results.
Forget about ‘dump and go’ recipes. Very few are those which actually taste great! Sidenote: I do have one, you can access it here!
Instead, sauté aromatic ingredients such as garlic, herbs or onions, and brown your meat. My slow cooker has the sauté feature, so you can take care of this within the unit itself without the need of using a separate pan.
Also, give the flavour a boost! Add a squeeze of lemon to the finished plate, a sprinkling of fresh herbs or lemon zest, or some chilli or garlic flakes.
4. Recipes turn out watery
They can if you’re not careful! Slow cookers cook over extremely long periods of time, with the lid in place during the process, hence condensation is a natural result.
There are plenty of things you can do about this.
For starters, hold back on the liquids. In reality, your slow cooker does not need water or any other liquid to be able to cook your food.
Secondly, at the end of a recipe, you can uncover the slow cooker and switch the setting to ‘high’ (I use the ‘sauté’ feature on mine and then switch to slow cooker ‘high’ when it gets too hot). Leave it on for a while until the liquid starts to reduce to your desired result.
You can always add some cornstarch to your recipe to thicken the sauce too!
5. It’s difficult to use
Not at all! This said, I can completely understand your reservation. I remember opening my first-ever slow cooker, and I did not know where to start.
It is completely different to any other kitchen tool I had ever used, but also, it took me all of 5 or 10 minutes to figure out how to use it.
What took me slightly longer was all of the lessons I’ve learnt by using it over time. I bought my first slow cooker round about 7 or 8 years ago. I didn’t know anyone who used a slow cooker so I could ask questions. I’ve been through the watery food phase, the bland phase, the ‘I don’t know what to cook’ phase…trust me…I’ve faced all the challenges yet I’ve learnt so much.
You see, you’ve got it easier. Slow cooking is now very much a thing. I can help if you need anything at all!
So there you have it. 5 slow cooking myths I want to clear up. I definitely hope I have!
Have a super weekend!