About Slow Cookers | Malta
A slow cooker is an invaluable piece of kitchen equipment for busy people who want to have hot, nutritious home cooked meals. It works via simmering food at a relatively low temperature for a certain number of hours, allowing you to leave food unattended to cook while you’re at work, or running errands. A slow cooker is basically the exact opposite of a pressure cooker (learn more about pressure cookers here) – instead of pressure increasing the heat to speed up cooking, simmering at a lower temperature slows down cooking enough to leave without supervision.
It is an electrical appliance, so there is no concern about leaving gas or open flames on in the house unattended, and due to the temperature at which the food is cooked, it is very difficult to burn the food as long as there is sufficient liquid inside the slow cooker. Pot roasts, soups, stews, casseroles, as well as dishes like pulled pork and some desserts are all perfect for cooking in a slow cooker, and the ease of cooking allows you to simply put in all the ingredients in the morning, switch it on, and have a perfectly cooked meal in the afternoon.
The most famous brand of slow cooker is Crock Pot, which is the name US/Canadian/Australian sites may use for slow cooker recipes.
What is a slow cooker:
- Round/oval cooking pot (known as a crock) made of porcelain or glazed ceramic, surrounded by a metal housing that contains a heating element
- Glass lid that sites in the groove of the pot edge
- Capacity between 500 ml to 7 liters, although commonly found in 1 – 2.5 liter varieties
- Heat settings (usually there are two or more settings, e.g. low, medium, high, and keep warm)
How to use a slow cooker
To cook food within a slow cooker, liquid always needs to be added (e.g. water, wine, stock). Some recipes require pre-heated liquid. Once your liquid is in, add the raw food and place the cooker lid on. Switch the cooker onto the setting you want (or the recipe calls for), and note for how many hours it needs to cook. Some cookers will automatically switch for cooking to warming after a fixed amount of time, or after the internal temperature of the food reaches a certain temperature.
Since very little liquid is lost via steam in this manner of cooking, take care not to add too much liquid or your sauce/soup/stew will be too runny. The lid is essential to maintaining a consistent level of heat, and should be removed as little as possible (since the lid is glass, food can also be viewed through it).
Basic slow cookers have to be manually turned on and off, but more advanced slow cookers have a digital timing device that allows you to preprogram how many hours the food needs to cook for, on which settings, and when to keep warm or switch off, which is very useful if you intend to use your slow cooker frequently.
Since the ceramic crock retains heat for a long time after switching off, and are removable from the housing unit, you can transport foods cooked within them to another place to eat without reheating.
What can I cook in a slow cooker:
Soups: This is one of the most common things cooked in a slow cooker, and they are great for cooking soups. Simply cut up your vegetables and meat that you intend to use, place them in the pot with the level of liquid you want, turn it on, and leave to cook for a few hours until ingredients are soft and tender. Remember that there is little evaporation, so no need to add more liquid than you want to the soup to compensate.
Stocks: If you enjoy having home made stock but don’t want to waste time watching it over the stove, simply add vegetables, water and other stock ingredients such as chicken bones/neck/feet, and leave to simmer. After a few hours, your stock will be ready, and the slow even consistent temperatures will have distributed the flavors perfectly, with little effort from your part.
Stews and casseroles: Slow cookers are perfect for stews and casseroles, since the meat becomes very tender from the long cooking period. Add your liquid, sauce, vegetables, meat, etc to the pot and leave to cook for the required amount of hours. Note: It is better to use cheaper tougher cuts of meat in your slow cooker than expensive ones, as the long cooking period will leave expensive cuts of meat tasting ‘raggy’ and flavorless, whereas the tougher cuts of meat will soften up perfectly as the simmering melts the connective tissues but doesn’t toughen up the muscle fibers. This is also an advantage for those looking to save money on meat, since meat prices can wildly vary depending on cut.
Sauces: Having sauces ready for use allows you to make dinner in a snap by just boiling some pasta or rice, and serving it with the sauce you already have prepared! If you have a larger slow cooker, you may find it handy to make up a large pot of sauce and freeze some of it for a busy day. Simply place all your ingredients within the slow cooker, and let them simmer together until the sauce comes together beautifully.
Whilst all of these foods are great savory dishes, they’re not the limit of the humble slow cooker! You can also make an infinite number of desserts in them. From Chocolate Lava Cake to Carrot Cake to Spice Cake and more, they can all be made in a slow cooker, which will leave you with a perfectly moist cake that has little chance of burning!
For Slow Cooker dessert recipes, click here
For other crock pot recipes to get your imagination going, click here
Where to buy a Slow Cooker in Malta
You can buy Head & Shoulders hair care products in Malta at Park Towers Supermarkets in St Julian’s and St Venera, as well as many other fresh products, consumables and anything else you may need. Park Towers Supermarkets stocks a wide variety of different brands, so there’s always something for everyone.
Park Towers Supermarkets | St Venera | San Giljan Malta
Park Towers – St Venera
(+356) 21480807 / (+356) 27480807