As the world is continually evolving, our lives are getting busier every day. This leaves us little time to finish house chores and cook dinner. Luckily, new machines work to make life easier and simpler for us. This statement applies to our kitchen lives too. Slow cookers (also called crock pots sometimes) are one of the most in-demand electrical appliances that are used in kitchens today. These pots take more time than average cooking pots to prepare different kinds of food, such as soups, roasts, and so on.
You may be wondering how an appliance that takes more time to cook can be extremely beneficial for some people. Slow cookers are advantageous because they allow unattended cooking. It means that you do not have to stay in the kitchen while your food is cooking.
Thus, with the best crockpot or slow cooker in your kitchen, you can roam around the house, do your work, or even take a short nap without having to worry about the food burning. Several varieties of slow cookers or crock pots are available in the market. Many people get confused over which type suits them the best. The perfect fit for you depends on different factors, for example, your family size.
However, before jumping into that detail, we must first identify the slight difference between crock pots and slow cookers.
So, What’s the Difference?
Crockpots and slow cookers perform pretty much the same job. However, the difference between crock pots and slow cookers is that of construction. Crock Pots is the name of a company that began manufacturing in 1970. The company produces a slow cooker made of stone. It is surrounded by a heavy element. In contrast, slow cookers are electrical appliances often made of metal. In simpler words, crockpots are a type of slow cooker. However, every slow cooker is not a crockpot.
The Size of the Cooker Matters
Slow cookers or crock pots aren’t limited to excellent recipes of stew or soup. They can be used to prepare all kinds of food, including cakes and complex recipes reserved for the weekends. However, no meal can reach its full potential if there is not much food to go around. Therefore, before buying a slow cooker, it is advisable to consider its size and know how much leftover you would like to have.
The size of the slow cooker can determine a lot of things. The rule is not to keep the cooker more than two-thirds full and keep it half-full for ideal cooking. This matters as too little filling can lead to overcooked food while over-filling can make the food take extra time to cook properly.
Large slow cookers have the advantage of cooking many meals that don’t work with smaller ones. If you are a fan of beef ribs or classic roast, or those special recipes that require a pot-in-pot method, then the larger models are the way to go.
From Small to Extra-Large Slow Cookers
If you live alone or have to make food for only a single person, a slow cooker of 1.5 to 3 quarts is more than enough. It can actually save you time and prepare food for two nights. However, these slow cookers generally can’t be considered family-sized and aren’t very helpful either when you have to cook for friends.
For most families, a slow cooker of 4 – 5 quarts (about 16 – 24 cups) fulfills the needs of the dinner table. You can comfortably cook pot roast that permits each person two generous servings. This slow-cooker size only takes up a moderate amount of space on your countertop and can fit appropriately in the kitchen. However, sometimes even this won’t be enough for every occasion, in which case it is worth investing in a bigger slow cooker.
Larger slow cookers don’t get much bigger than 8.5 quarts. These can be enough to feed seven or eight people. This size is the perfect choice for larger families or people obsessed with leftovers. It can usually be made more than half-full and still meet the extra demands.
Of course, there are even larger slow cookers that come with up to 10 quarts of cooking volume. However, as these aren’t that commonly used in most places, they often don’t come cheap. And if you haven’t carefully considered your decision before buying them, you might end up with overcooked food that’s too little for these large cookers.
The Best Choice for Large Meals
If you are not sure which size slow cooker is the best for you, you can always get more than one. If you think a larger slow cooker might go unused most of the time and want to avoid taking risks, you can opt for two middle-sized slow cookers. These require extra space and management but will ensure that you can easily prepare most dishes in large amounts when needed and a smaller quantity when you don’t want leftovers.
Another way to go about this is to have one large and one small-sized slow cooker. This way, you can use the larger one for a diverse range of recipes such as beans and casseroles and reserve the smaller one for simply warming up sauces and party dips.
How to keep your slow cookers clean?
Cleaning slow cookers is one of the easiest jobs in the world. Follow the steps below to clean your appliance effectively.
- Rinse the cooker with water twice.
- Fill the cooker with water.
- Add some dish wash.
- Allow the solution to stand in the cooker for an hour.
- Give it a quick rinse.
You are now ready to show off your clean cooker to the world!
Our lives are becoming busier day by day. It leaves us with little time to pay attention to house chores and cooking. Fortunately, modern kitchen appliances are being built to favor the citizens of this evolving world. Slow cookers are growingly becoming a popular kitchen appliance. They come in different sizes and allow us to cook different recipes for large groups of people without having to stand next to the stove.