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A slow cooker is a great addition to any kitchen! All i remember of slow cookers growing up was that they were something my gran used. They are becoming more and more popular at the moment, my wife bought one of these on the recommendation of a friend about 2 years ago. This slow cooker is quite elegant. It is white with a removable white pot and a glass lid. The slow cooker has two main settings, low and high. Use the high setting when you want to cook something in a few hours, use the low setting if you want to prepare your meal in the morning and leave on all day while you're at work (8+ hrs). Don't worry about the heat from this, its perfectly safe to leave on a worktop all day, the outside stays cool, only the pot inside (and the lid) get hot. We tend to use this from time to time for casseroles or a curry; i've even cooked a small joint of beef in this. If you prepare the food in the morning (if you're cooking meat you may want to brown it off first in a pan) you can put all the ingredients into the slow cooker, leave it on low and its virtually ready by the time you come home. The slow cooker is a great way to save time if you work late, its also great for making meat really tender as its been cooked slowly and has had time to absorb the flavour from the stock or whatever you are cooking it in. The 3.5ltr pot can easily cook a meal for 4 people, perhaps more. This cost around £30, its made by Russell Hobbs which is a pretty decent brand. Its easy to clean, the pot is removeable and can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher, as can the glass lid. All in all, this is well worth having. If you like cooking for yourself and fancy something a bit different give this a try. It makes life easier and makes meat really tender.
I bought my russell hobbs slow cooker when I started slimming world last winter as i'd won a slow cooker reciepe book and needed the slow cooker to cook them in! I bought mine for £13.99 from a shop called Panters on their website. The slow cooker is 3.5l and is relatively attractive looking. A solid ceramic bowl sits snugly inside the heating element and has a glass lid. The bowl is an oval shape and also can be used as a serving dish. It has 3 different heat settings-low (105 watts), high (135 watts) and auto. The slow cooker works by maintaing a low temperature compared to other methods of cooking. The food can be cooking for several hours without running the risk of burning. The only requirement is that you ensure there is a reasonnable level of liquid in the bowl because the heating elements are placed around the sides and the bottom and this just makes sure that all the contents are heated properly. This doesn't affect the taste, I usually just add tinned tomatoes or stock and the flavour just increases. I have found the slow cooker soooooo useful! I work from home, have a husband who works shifts and have a young family and it's nice to know that I can just dish out the food as and when it's needed! I tend to put my meats on high in the slow cooker before the school run and then after lunch i'll add the other ingredients-vegetables, potatoes- and i'll reduce it to low, otherwise i find the vegetables tend to get a little too soft. Another bonus with this product is that you can buy the cheaper cuts of meat - stewing steak etc- and by the time it has finished cooking it is lovely and tender. My favourite meals to cook in it are bolognaise, casseroles and curry, the flavours blend so well and make the food delicious. It is easy to clean, the ceramic pot lifts out and the holder itself just requires a wipe down.
If you like roast dinners but hate cleaning up the oven and roasting tray, then a slow cooker could be the answer for you. Every Sunday I pop in a chicken, a piece of beef, gammon or whatever takes your fancy and, depending on the weight of the meat, four to five hours later out comes a beautiful succulent roasted joint. The only fat is that which has come out of the meat. It is recommended that you seal the outside of the meat, in a frying pan, beforehand, so that the juices are kept in. This does also leave the oven free to do the roasties and Yorkshire Puddings. There are different versions of a slow cooker. My Russell Hobbs had a large stoneware bowl. Which can be lifted out to place on a mat on the table. It is oven proof and dishwasher proof but, of course, breakable.I believe that the Russell Hobbs ones now are a clean looking white but I have had mine about 15 years so the bowl is brown but the glazing hasn't cracked and it has certainly been used a lot. It is very ecconomical to run, using just 105 watts on the low setting and 135 watts on the high setting. It is perfectly safe to go away and leave all day or sometimes I leave on all night because I do my Christmas Puddings in it and they need 13 hours but you never have to worry about it boiling dry like you would if doing in a ssucepan on the cooker. You do have to be careful to make sure that it is thoroughly heated up before adding food to the cooker. Also the food must not be frozen and preferably up to room temperature. Root vegetables must be covered by liquid and do read the instructions on the best way to use pulses. Any sort of stew, bolognese recipie is ideal for slinging in and leaving it. A friend of mine used to pop in chicken joints, empty in a can of chicken or mushroom soup, pop the lid on and go to work with the cooker set on low. You can do a variety of puddings and even chutneys in it. I believe that the new models do have handles on the crock pot as mine is just a little dangerous to get hold off when hot and full of hot food. Also the writing indicating Auto, Low & High has worn off with cleaning. Fantastic bit of equipment, two days ago I roasted a chicken in it, today I got four lamb shanks in and went out for the day.
I picked up a 160W, 3.5 litre Russell Hobbs slow cooker from Tesco's last year. I thought that it was a bargain at just £9. The product features include off/low/high/auto settings, a tempered glass lid and a removable stoneware dish. The slow cooker has has been worth more than its weight in gold. It consists of a stainless steel base unit that houses the heating element and a sturdy ceramic white dish in which you place the ingredients. The cooking dish is oval in shape and is portable. It makes quite an attractive serving dish so it can be taken straight from the cooker onto the table. It has a good 'lip' around the top which prevents the liquid from boiling over. The dish is very easy to clean and is also dishwasher safe. There are three settings on the cooker - low, high and automatic. The controls are easy to use and I generally start a dish off on the high setting and then switch it down to the low to cook either through the night or the day when I am at work. I cook many wonderful tasty meals in it including recipes that include the cheaper cuts of meat, chicken casseroles and stews (and dumplings of course!). If I prepare it in the morning it is ready for when I come home from work and the smell greeting me as I open the door is delicious. The slow cooker is a great boon for working mums. You just have to remember to put in plenty of liquid / stock. It really saves on the washing up too! Also as it uses such little energy it is very economical to use. The only drawback is that if I were to buy a new one I would choose a larger one....although I can cook enough for 6 in it at a squeeze, I would have preferred to have a bigger dish so that I could cook larger quantities and freeze it for future meals. Obviously, the ceramic dish could get broken, but as yet it is still all in one piece and I hope it remains that way for years to come. For a tasty, economical meal I would highly recommend getting a slow cooker.
The Russell Hobbs brand has been synonymous with quality, style and innovation for over fifty years / Founded in 1952 by Bill Russell and Peter Hobbs, the brand has led the way by introducing products which offer real consumer benefits and technological advancements / Such is the strength of the Russell Hobbs brand, it is recognised by nine out of ten consumers as a leading small kitchen appliance brand in the UK and has won numerous awards and product accreditations by leading institutes / Short name: Russell Hobbs 14586