Man, am I lazy! or Why I love my slow cooker.

December 16, 2007

rival crock pot

I grew up in a household with a working mother. A slow cooker gave my mom a chance to work a long day and still put a hot meal on the table for us. (A pressure cooker, which is next on my list, was another time-saver she used.)

Being lazy by nature, I find a slow cooker to be one of life’s little miracles. I put food in the pot in the morning, and with no further effort, dinner magically appears.

I started with the traditional and readily available Crock Pot (buy it here), but because I loved it so and used it so much, I found myself abusing the entry level models and I moved up the food chain to the Kitchen Aid (buy it here) because it has a thicker ceramic insert and a large capacity.

kitchen aid slow cooker

I use my slow cooker for everything I can think of. Today there is a corned beef cooking away. I have been smelling it for hours. (That’s the only down side I can think of for this method!) My best tip for corned beef? Add something besides just plain water. A little juice or beer can improve the flavor (and the aroma!) As Emeril says, “Water doesn’t have flavor!”

Wet-cooking meats is actually one of my claims to fame. I am the braising queen! Ask me sometime and I’ll tell you how to whip up the best shredded pork sandwiches you’ll ever make.

Anything that benefits from a long slow simmer can benefit from the slow cooker. It is how I make chili and spaghetti sauce.

Ever wanted a roast chicken but thought it was too hot to fire up the oven? Slow cooker to the rescue! Pour in a little champagne and orange juice, rub the bird with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs de provence and come back hours later to a fall-apart delicacy. For an added bonus, throw the bones and other debris back in the pot when dinner is over and run the machine overnight for amazing stock! (I told you I was lazy!) I most often use the stock (which freezes beautifully in a gallon zip-top freezer bag) when I make jambalaya (my favorite way to deal with leftover meat). You can make jambalaya with water, but I already told you what Emeril and I think of water!


3 Responses to “Man, am I lazy! or Why I love my slow cooker.”

  1. You aren’t worried that it will start a fire or something?

  2. Aura Mae Says:

    You know, I’ve never given it a minute’s thought. I grew up with them being used and left unattended for hours. I guess I just assumed it was safe to do so. That being said, I have a personal philosophy against fear running my life. If the slow cooker is the thing that is going to burn down my house, then so be it. I don’t leave the gas fireplace running while we are gone (much to the dogs’ disappointment!)

    A quick Google search for “slow cooker fire hazard” shows some recent recalls of particular brands for defective items, but no general hazard.

  3. A nice recpe idea you have here. I am always looking for more ideas to keep the kids entertained with and this one might just do the trick so thank you for sharing it.

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