Studies show that 25% of Americans eat some fast food every single day and, if I have to be honest, I used to do it quite often too. With the long work-hours, the travel time, and all the other hobbies that we might have, there is simply no time for cooking delicious, healthy meals and, unfortunately, the cheapest alternative is often fast-food. However, one day I decided to start a new diet and spend more time cooking. I quickly realized that even with the best of intentions, I did not have the proper tools at my disposal to continue. You see, I left home early, and when I came back I was either too tired to cook or, if I forced myself, I would eat late in the evening as the preparation took too long. I did not want to give up on a new diet yet again, so I did my research and was able to find exactly what I needed: a slow cooker.
Simply put the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, leave for work, and have a hot tasty meal ready for you when you come back home. It sounds too easy right? Well, that is what I thought the first time! I was worried I would find my apartment on fire when I came back. But there I was, home with a plate of a delicious stew in front of me early in the evening. Gradually, I started to experiment more and more with my slow cooker. Butternut squash cornbread, lasagna and butter chicken are but a few of the more exotic meals I’ve tried since. I can either wake up 10 to 20 minutes earlier in the morning to cut the ingredients, or simply do it the night before and put them in the slow cooker in the morning. If you are not yet convinced, what if I told you that you could also cook Dulce de Leche or chocolate cakes? It’s hard to resist the idea of a nice cake cooking itself at home while you are at work! (Learn more: Slow cooker basics)
If you decide to buy a slow cooker, I have a few suggestions for you. They can greatly vary in their price range, so you should know what you need first. Different slow cookers can heat meals differently (some offer a more even cooking by heating not only the bottom, but also the side) and some have more functions and options than others. A budget but quality option is the Morphy Richards 3.5L Digital Sear and Stew Slow Cooker. With a name that long, you know there must but something good about that one! First, you can use it with electricity, or gas hobs. Second, it has a 3.5-litre cooking pot that is dishwasher-safe, hence saving you a lot of trouble. If you want an option that cooks rice to perfection, but a bit more expensive, you should go with the Sage Risotto Plus. It’s No-Stir Risotto cooking mode will definitely impress you, and its huge 3.7-litre cooking pot is a plus for families. Finally, if you want to have a whole set of functions, you should look into the Tefal Rk302E15 8-in-1 Multi Cooker. As the name indicates, it has eight different cooking modes, including three for rice, it can also steam vegetables and has a delayed start function in case you do not want to overcook your food.
I hope you will become a complete fanatic of slow cookers like me! It helped me maintain a healthy diet, and I’m sure it can help you too!