Where to hurry? Cooking in a slow cooker

The slow cooker can hardly be called popular. Many people don’t even know what it is. And those who know about the existence of slow cookers often believe that their only difference from a slow cooker is the duration of cooking. What is the point of buying a slow cooker in which even porridge is cooked for several hours?

Features of the slow cooker
Slow cookers are not as new as many people think. Abroad, the first slow cookers appeared in the 70s of the last century. And ten years later they began to be sold in the Soviet Union. A well-known connoisseur of Russian cooking, William Pokhlebkin, spoke very warmly about the slow cooker, tracing its origins from a pot in a Russian stove. It was he who wrote the instruction manual and recipes for the Soviet slow-cooker Parenka. What is so attractive about this device?

Slow cooker Kitfort KT-2010 silver

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The temperature in the slow cooker does not exceed 120 ºС. Thanks to this, the products retain a maximum of useful substances, do not boil, do not lose color and do not burn.

In a slow cooker, you can stew foods without oil and fat, exclusively in your own juice. Just a godsend for fans of healthy eating.
Heating in a slow cooker comes not only from the bottom of the bowl, but also from the walls. As a result, the dish heats up evenly and does not need to be stirred. It is enough to put the ingredients in the bowl, close the lid – and you can forget about the slow cooker until the end of its work.
A slow cooker is convenient for preparing dishes that require long languishing – condensed milk, various creams, infusions, and so on. Simply put, a slow cooker can replace a water bath and is much easier to use.
Small electric power. A slow cooker does not create a large load on the power grid, which can be useful in a country house or in a village house with worn out wiring.

Slow cooker Morphy Richards 461010 silver

[6.5 l, 163 W, control – rotary mechanism, programs – 3]
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There are, however, slow cookers and disadvantages.

She is slow. She is very slow! 6-8-10 hours to cook a dish – is it a thing seen? When cooking in a slow cooker, you will have to “pump” the skill of strategic planning. But it’s worth it. Try regular oatmeal in the evening (recipe below), and after breakfast the next morning you will never want to eat the usual “ten-minute” oatmeal again.
Increased power consumption. The slow cooker itself consumes a little, but for 10 hours of operation it “winds up” decently. Due to heat loss, energy costs are 1.5-2 times more than when cooking, for example, in a slow cooker.
Slow cooker device
Outwardly, the slow cooker looks like a slow cooker, and it looks similar. The main structural difference between a slow cooker and a multicooker is only one: it has a heating element located not only along the bottom, but also along the walls, which ensures uniform heating of the bowl from all sides.

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Many people think that the “correct” slow cooker should have a thick-walled bowl. This brings the cooking conditions as close as possible to the Russian stove: a thick ceramic pot is heated by infrared radiation from all sides.

Slow cooker Endever Vita-112 silver

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They say that in such a bowl the food turns out much tastier, and there may be an explanation for this. The heating element of the slow cooker does not always work at full capacity; while maintaining a low temperature, it periodically turns on and off. In this case, a thick layer of ceramic or metal smooths out temperature fluctuations, reducing its destructive effect on the nutrients of the products.

There are universal multicookers with 3d heating, temperature maintenance and a timer . They combine the capabilities of a multicooker and a slow cooker, but are more expensive.

Recipes
Not every dish in a slow cooker will cook better than in the classic way. Here are recipes specially selected for the slow cooker. Try cooking some familiar dish according to one of the recipes, and you will immediately notice the difference.

Meat stew with vegetables
Meat cooked in a slow cooker retains maximum moisture, but does not lose taste. And vegetables retain their color, texture and taste.

 

Ingredients:

Beef – 1 kg;
Bulgarian pepper – 3 pcs;
Tomatoes – 3-4 pieces;
Garlic – 3 cloves;
Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp. l;
Vinegar – 2 tbsp. l;
Sugar – 1 tsp;
Water or broth – 1 cup;
Salt to taste.
Pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil into the bowl of the slow cooker. Cut the meat into strips and put on the bottom of the bowl. Put the bell pepper cut into strips and the onion cut into half rings on top. Blanch the tomatoes, cut into rings or cubes, lay out the last layer. Sprinkle with chopped garlic. Mix a glass of broth, vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl, pour the contents of the bowl with the resulting dressing. You can use water instead of broth, but with broth the dish is more fragrant and juicier. Cook on low power for 8 hours or 4 on medium.

Oatmeal
It would seem stupid to “launch” a dish that can be cooked on the stove in 5 minutes all night. But try this slow cooker porridge recipe and you’ll never want to go back to classic oatmeal.

 

Ingredients:

1 liter of milk (5 glasses);
1 cup oatmeal (slow cooking)
1 cinnamon stick;
A pinch of salt;
Raisins, dried apricots, berries, sugar to taste.
Recipe for about 4 servings. The porridge is not thick, the consistency of sour cream. If you like it thicker, take a glass of milk less. Pour all the ingredients into the multicooker bowl and cook for 6-8 hours on low power.

Russian cabbage soup
Shchi is a traditional peasant food. The worries of the peasants are always higher than the roof, so cooking itself takes a little time: all that is needed is to crumble all the ingredients into a pot, and put it in the oven to languish until the evening. This recipe is for the oven, but it’s perfect for the slow cooker too.

 

Ingredients:

Meat (brisket) – 0.5-1 kg. It is possible without meat, you get Empty cabbage soup – a delicious diet dish;
Onions – 1-2 pcs;
Carrots – 1 pc;
Potatoes – 4-5 pcs;
Fresh cabbage – 0.5 fork. You can pickled instead of fresh, or you can both;
Tomatoes – 3-4 pieces (optional);
Black pepper – 5-6 peas;
Bay leaf – 1-2 leaves;
Salt to taste.
Cut all vegetables into strips or slices – as you like. The meat is also cut to taste – finely or in chunks. Put the potatoes whole. If the potatoes are young and well washed, you can right in their uniforms. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and fill with water to the top of the contents with water. Add a pinch of salt. Cook 10-12 hours on low power. You can speed it up a bit: bring to a boil at high power, then switch to low power and simmer for 7-8 hours. Before serving, add salt to taste and mash the potatoes.

Braised beef with prunes
The slow cooker is great for preparing complex soups and stews where the ingredients need to absorb each other’s flavors. Prunes with beef is just such a combination, so in a slow cooker this dish turns out to be very tasty. The only problem is to wait for it to cook, because it is very difficult to endure several hours in an atmosphere saturated with such delicious smells.

 

Ingredients:

Beef – 700 g;
Onion – 1 onion;
Prunes – 100 g;
Flour – 1-2 tbsp. l;
Broth – 1 glass;
Salt, pepper to taste.
Cut the meat into small pieces, put on the bottom of the bowl. Put prunes and onion, cut into rings, on top. Pour the flour into the broth, stir so that there are no lumps left. Pour the ingredients with the resulting sauce, salt, pepper to taste and put on medium power for 4 hours.

Condensed milk
Condensed milk is a delicious and beloved delicacy by many. True, cooking it at home is a complete hassle. But this is if there is no slow cooker. In a slow cooker, condensed milk is prepared without the slightest difficulty.

 

Ingredients:

Milk 3.2% – 1 l;
Sugar – 300 g;
Soda – a pinch.
Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on high power with the lid open for 12 hours. Then cover with a lid and leave for several hours to cool completely.

Hot chocolate
The usual dessert in an unusual way.

 

Ingredients:

Milk – 800 g;
Cream 15% – 400 g;
Dark chocolate – 2 tiles;
Ground coffee – 1 tsp;
Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp;
Ground red pepper – a pinch.
Fold the chocolate crumbled into small pieces on the bottom of the bowl, pour milk and cream, sprinkle with coffee, cinnamon and pepper. Cook on medium power for 4 hours. Mix well before serving, pour into serving cups, garnish with cinnamon sticks and grated chocolate.