Slow cookers and pressure cookers are in my opinion, something every house should have, even if you are living on your own, or flatting.
Why? On busy days, you can throw anything into a pressure cooker and it can be ready in an hour and during cold winters, slow cookers can make you feel warm, even on the coldest of days.
Firstly, what is the difference between the two? (note I am using the ones I own as an example, some may differ)
Slow Cooker: Usually has three or four settings. Low (mine is called ‘warm’) Medium and High. Can be left unattended, all day, or all night. To easily explain it, it slowly cooks food over a long period of time.
Pressure Cooker: Doesn’t have any settings. Just a valve, a pressure gauge to monitor, and you cannot leave it unattended. To easily explain it, it relies on the pressure of heat/steam inside the cooker to cook food fast.
What one do I need?
Why not have both! But seriously, it’s up to you. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re someone who is organised, I think a slow cooker is great for you. If you’re someone that can’t plan ahead/doesn’t have a lot of time, a pressure cooker is going to save your life.
What can I cook in them?
What CAN’T YOU COOK in them! I use both for Casseroles, Stews, Roasts, Soups, Chilli for Nachos, you name it. I have been known to cook a roast in mine from time to time as well.
Did you know you can even make CAKES and DESSERTS in them?! Yes, you can! Do some Googling, you will be absolutely mind blown.
What is the best part of a slow cooker or pressure cooker?
The fact you can experiment is a huge thing. When it comes to stews and casseroles in a slow cooker I honestly believe you can throw anything in and get a good result. And the fact that both can save you so much time – time is everything!
What are your top 10 items to always have in the cupboard to get a good stew/casserole out of the slow cooker/pressure cooker?
I usually always have:
- Soy Sauce
- Canned Tomatoes
- Coconut Cream
- Herbs and Spices from the spice rack (so this can vary)
- Whole Grain Mustard
- Brown Sugar
- Corn Flour/Thickening Agent
- Cheap cuts of meat ie; drum sticks, gravy beef, mince.
Take last night for example. I had a cut of rump steak, some leftover tomato paste from the night before, and I thought, I’ll make a curry of sorts.
Here’s what I used:
1 can of tomatoes
Half a cup of corn kernals
1x can of coconut cream
500 grams of rump steak
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/4 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon of the following: Garam Masala, Garlic, Ginger, Coriander, Crushed Chilli, Chilli Powder and Lemon Juice.
I put this on at about 12pm and stirred it occasionally. At about 7pm, after I had thickened it with some cornflour, I dished it up with piles of mashed potato (I wasn’t in the mood for rice)
Do you have a slow cooker/pressure cooker? What is your favourite recipe to make in it? And if you don’t own one, are you going to go and get one now?