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All questions

Do I need a slow cooker?

My oven has a warmer drawer and goes as low as two hundred degrees Fahrenheit. My kitchen is tiny. Is there any advantage to a slow cooker or crock pot?

Meg is a trusted home cook.

asked about 4 years ago
24 answers 8057 views
516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added about 4 years ago

I've never owned a slow cooker. I have done 40 years of dinners in the oven: "slow-and-low" with great success.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 years ago

I second BigPan's comment. The oven is the original slow cooker. And most of today's ovens have a start and stop feature for timed cooking. Nothing easier. Resist the urge to buy a slow cooker.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

If the oven (I agree, btw) is the original slow cooker. What do you call a pressure cooker or rice cooker?

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 4 years ago

Third. I love long and slow cooking but have never once wanted a slow cooker.

Wholefoods user icon
added about 4 years ago

If you have a pot which seals tightly, you can use a very low oven - slow cookers are designed to retain moisture as well as heating slowly. I would set the oven to at least 225 or 250 - you do want it to eventually get all the way to 212, which it can't do if the oven temp is only at 200.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 4 years ago


Why exactly would I want every dish to get to 212F?


8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

I bring the meat containing stews I cook in a low ovento a boil on top of the stove and then put them in a two hundred degree oven.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 years ago

I have one that I'm often disappointed with. I'd like to be able to set it cooking in the morning and have dinner ready 10 hours later when I get home from work but honestly, very few things really stand up to cooking that long. I'd be glad if it did dried beans well, but it doesn't. They don't seem to hydrate properly at a relatively low temperature, even all day. If you do chicken and some other meats, you have to brown it first in another pan, an annoyance. Sometimes a pot roast turns out well, but other times it manages to be both dried out and greasy. It is invaluable for a chili recipe that I make once or twice a year. It can be useful on a buffet to keep a dish hot, but I could live well without it.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Perhaps you should "upgrade" your slow cokker for better results - they have come a long way baby!

19f2e275 c635 488f 8322 530158a23e00  food52
added about 4 years ago

In my experience, slow cookers are great for people who don't have a lot of experience cooking. It seems easier and safer to just throw a chili together in a slow cooker and let it go for hours. Another benifit is that they make great warming trays for buffet or pot-luck style dinners (which is the only time my slow cooker gets used, but I usually cook in the oven and bring the food in a slow cooker)

I don't know if its just a psychological thing or not, but I think slow cooking in the oven produces tastier results.

Voted the Best Answer!

671b6c39 4898 435f 92c5 89cd9b925088  img 3788
added about 4 years ago

No, but if you have the storage and you want to be gone during the day, it is nice. Doesn't do anything an oven won't but you can throw something in in the morning and come back at night...so it depends on your lifestyle

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

"In my experience, slow cookers are great for people who don't have a lot of experience cooking. It seems easier and safer to just throw a chili together in a slow cooker and let it go for hours."
What a misconception!
You may not need a slow cooker, but is great if you're a full-time worker, not a fan of leaving or babysitting the oven/stovetop for hours on end, and cost concious of gas/electric bills. However, my slow cooker has an insert that is stovetop safe for browning proteins and scrapping tasty bits. This time of year I have a full supply of declious beef stews, short ribs, home-made stocks & broths and "slow cooked" red sauce. I store away in the warmer months. FYI - I'm an very experienced home, health conscious cook that uses great ingredients. Small invest for a huge return, if you ask me. I recommend an All-Clad slow cooker. Nay sayers, sorry, I disagree whole heartily.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

It's a phychological thang...

19f2e275 c635 488f 8322 530158a23e00  food52
added about 4 years ago

I stand corrected. My statement was a "all spheres are circles, not all circles are spheres" type. I know that many great, experienced cooks use them, I was just stating that they are also great for inexperienced cooks because they seem safer. That's my general inductive observation anyway.

F1b96b4f 7e61 4439 bb79 caa736aa584d  img 1860 001
added about 4 years ago

I love my slow cooker for making stock and beans. I do not trust leaving an oven on all night or while I am away.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

What would happen to an oven that would not happen to a slow cooker? I have left my oven on all night and left it on at home during the day and so far no issues but interested in knowing.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

No, especially if you live in a small space (I know what that's like). Although crock pots (just another name for slow cooker) are great as mentioned here for keeping food warm for large groups - mashed potatoes, soup, etc. Dorie Greenspan has a nice story about how, when she first moved to Paris, her kitchen only had two hot plates. She used enameled cast iron pots with lids - since they're "ovens" - to cook pretty much everything. I wouldn't leave the house leaving a pot bubbling away on a hot plate, but you get the point.
http://splendidtable.publicradio...

Efa0c62a 5987 4bba a194 afbfeb638c77  cook better thanfb profile
added about 4 years ago

Using a slow cooker saves electricity over your oven so that is one advantage, the new slow cookers that you can pull the insert out of and put on the stove top to brown meat and veggies are very cool. I just got the new Breville Risotto maker and it is a very cool mulit function toy. It is a rice cooker, risotto maker, slow cooker, and steamer. And the pot gets hot enough to saute in too. Its not that expensive and if you read a follow the directions it works awesome. I have to say I really like it and plus its just cool to push a button and 30 mins later get risotto with no stirring. I have made chili in it way better than my $20 crockpot.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Gotta check out that risotto maker! Whenever I'm angry or stressed (OFTEN, LOL) making risotto on the stove top is so theraputic.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Gotta check out that risotto maker! Whenever I'm angry or stressed (OFTEN, LOL) making risotto on the stove top is so theraputic.

Efa0c62a 5987 4bba a194 afbfeb638c77  cook better thanfb profile
added about 4 years ago

Oh and I forgot that the risotto maker is smaller and lighter than the slow cooker.

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

As a fan of slow cooking in my All-Clad, I've yet to make chili or beans in it or used cram of whatever soup! Oy!

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 4 years ago

Thanks for mentioning that Breville risotto maker, Mlc1977. Surlatable has been pushing it this week, and I was wondering how good a job it did. Automatic risotto is something I might be able to get behind.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 4 years ago

Thanks! i'm holding the Breville and All Clad for my possible Xmas list, depending on what the kitchen looks like after our garage sale.