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Slow Cooker buying guides Stan CashA slow cooker is a bench top cooking vessel that is used for very low simmering. They are made of ceramic or porcelain and sits in a metal casing that houses the heating element.

The main advantages of a slow cooker are the device can be left unattended, you can put it on and leave the house. The best way to eat meat is when it falls off the bone. This is what a slow cooker achieves with minimal intervention and effort. It is a set and forget cooking. Another great attraction with a slow cooker is that it is one pot cooking, only one pot to wash up. Perfect for the busy family.

Slow cookers are almost a kitchen must have. Most people think slow cookers are just for Winter. You may GET more use out of it in Winter, but don’t overlook the bulk cooking it can do for the freezer staples, such as spaghetti bolognaise all year round. Other things slow cookers can whip up are dips and desserts, soups, roasts and stews. A very versatile kitchen helper.

If organizing meals is not your strong point or your juggling too many balls a slow cooker can be your best friend. It might be difficult to see yourself dicing up the onion and carrots for dinner before you leave for work but believe me, after you walk in that door after a hard days’ work and you know dinner is already done, you’ll will be patting yourself on the back all evening. Just a quick look in the fridge and freezer on a Sunday, make sure you have the meat and veges to cook at least 3 meals in the slow cooker and you’ll find those nights when everyone seems to have extra curricular activities on, you won’t be doing the big sigh thinking I haven’t even started dinner yet and I’m ready for bed.

Slow cookers are a very cost effective way of cooking. Often what can be used to create a dish are vegetables that may be nearing their used by date and budget cuts of meat are generally a favourite with the endless recipes available.

The great thing about slow cookers are the endless recipes you can try. Slow cooker recipes are virtually no fail and you will not waste any more time trying a new recipe than you would cooking up and old favourite. It is one pot cooking so all the ingredients are simply thrown in. One pot cooking.

Slow Cooker buying guides Stan Cash

Things to consider when you're choosing your slow cooker

The size of the unit will be your most important consideration. For two people at least a 3 to a 4.5 litre capacity will suit but for any more that this you must consider a 5 litre or above. If you have the cupboard space I would recommend the biggest slow cooker you can fit. Slow cooking is also a great way to entertain so even if you have a small family you may often entertain for 8. A bigger unit is more versatile. Make sure the slow cooker you are looking at has at least two settings, LOW and HIGH. More settings may include MEDIUM and a WARMING function but you must definitely have at least 2. Generally slow cookers come in a circular or rectangular shape. Which one will you be able to store more easily in your cupboard. Most come with a glass lid but if you really like to see your food cooking, make sure the glass lid is a priority when choosing. Is the ceramic or porcelain dish removable from the heating element, do you want to be able to present the dish on the table to allow people to serve themselves. Cool touch handles for easy and safe lifting if the dish insert is removable. Is the dish dishwasher safe.