“ Brand: Crockpot / „
Slow-cooking is my new "thing"! I have found too many times recently that I get the kids home from school and then have to take them straight out again for dance, martial arts, tutor, friends houses ... then suddenly we are all home, hungry and waiting for me to dive into the fridge and figure something out. Growing up I don't remember a time when my mother didn't have two jobs on the go but she always managed to get a nice warm meal onto the dinner table. Now it's my turn and I'm slacking! We have a rice cooker / slow cooker from my husbands father but at Christmas we were given a Crock-Pot slow cooker.
Very sleek and stylish. Ours is the one in the picture and although red isn't a match to the rest of our kitchen I still like it. To be honest it doesn't live on the counter so there's no issue about the colour.
As above we got this as a gift but I surfed around and found that it costs about £40 new. Maybe shop around because I looked a big name stores for a price but I'm sure it can be found for a little less.
What's in the box?:
Always nice to know what extras come with your purchase. Sometimes makes you feel like you're getting some extra free goodies. The thermally insulated carry bag comes with it. Now at first I thought when in this lifetime am I going to need to transport food or the cooker??? Well....if I wore a hat I'd be eating it! I have taken food to a friends when she held a "pot luck" evening, I took food to my mother when she was ill and took it along to a cooking with children event at my children's school. All this from the woman who stored away the bag thinking it would never see the light of day again. Admittedly it does look a bit professional showing up with the Crock-Pot in its bag.
Cooking & Cleaning:
I have my set favourites but since having this new slow cooker I have been a little more adventurous. Our older rice / slow cooker had two options. You could cook rice or slow cook and there was no heat choices. You could adjust the time you wanted something to cook for and after that time it would turn to keep warm but that was it.
The Crock-Pot is different as it allows you to choose a heat setting when turning it on. There are three heat settings, low, high and keep warm. There isn't a timer but I usually know what time I have put something on and when it should be finished so not something I worry about. The heat settings is something I really like because my favourite thing to make in a slow cooker is pulled pork. The lower and longer the cooking the better (I think).
According to the box the 5.7 litre capacity is enough to make food for 5-7 people. Not sure about that myself as when pretty well filled it makes a meal that serves my family of four with maybe a tiny bit left over because my youngest doesn't eat very well. Maybe that means we eat like pigs but that's just us. I like to think we have healthy portions.
One thing I found surprising was that the Crock-Pot is dishwasher safe. The lid and internal cooking pot can be chucked into the dishwasher for ease of cleaning. I like the idea of this but sadly not practical for me. We have a half size dishwasher and if I put the Crock-Pot bits in there then I loose space for dishes and stuff so it works out better for me to wash it in the sink and then I can dry and get it off the counter top and out of my way until the next time I need it.
I can't imagine a time when I would put mine into the microwave but apparently it can go in there safely. I have however put mine into the oven before when my food needed a bit more help cooking. I took the internal pot out and put that alone into the oven.
I mentioned the portable option earlier and getting back to it the cord is detachable to make it easier to put into the bag and transport around. The lids clips tight so when cooking or travelling the food stays safe and sound. I still watch it like a hawk when driving it somewhere just in case. Not sure why I worry so much because anyone who has seen my car would probably think any new stain would just blend in!
The handles are a good length too. You can easily link your arm into the loops. Now this next point is a bit funny and I wouldn't have ever thought about this normally but when I took the Crock-Pot to a school cooking event I was put at a stall where the table was a bit slanted. The menus kept sliding off the table which was driving me mental but the little "feet" on the bottom of the Crock-Pot have little non-slip things on them and they did their jobs holding the pot where it was and even when I had it open and was serving it never moved.
Dimensions Length x width x breadth: 415 x 290 x 230 mm
Weight 2.15 kg
Even full of food it didn't feel very heavy. Normally I wouldn't pick it up and test how heavy it was but when I took food to my mothers I obviously carried it to and from the car and it was no more awkward then carrying my little one when he was in a newborn car seat. Weird connection but if you have children or grandchildren you'll hopefully understand what I mean.
A recipe I must share because it's awesome!
Pulled Pork (me style)
Quantities always vary so use your discretion
Get a nice cut of pork shoulder (Try to pick one with little fat on it) (Make up a dry rub and coat that shoulder well the day before if possible - Dry rub ingredients bellow)
Put some onion slices in the base of the pot
Add a clove of garlic (chopped)
Rub the pork shoulder with some extra dry rub and then place it on top of the onions and garlic
Put some more onion slices on top of the shoulder (just a few)
I then put the pot on to cook for Between 4 and 6 hours on a low heat (I would normally put this on before the kids are even dressed for school that morning)
By 6 hours the shoulder should shred using a fork easily and I recommend shredding it whilst hot
Take the shoulder out and discard any juices or fat hanging around in the pot. Sounds a bit wasteful but I tip the lot and then add more very thinly sliced onion
Once the fat and tissue is out of the way I put the shredded pork back into the pot and then add half a bottle of BBQ sauce. The onion and pork get mixed up in it and then cooked for another hour or so. By this time the house smells like a country kitchen and we're all hungry. Time to tuck in!
My children like to have chips and pulled pork sandwiches.
1-2 tablespoons of salt, sugar, brown sugar, ground cumin, chilli powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and about 1/4 cup paprika
(C) oioiyou 2013
Crockpot SCCPVL600R-060 Cook and Carry Slow Cooker / Red / Short name: Crockpot SCCPVL600R