Some people were baking all through iso, but I was instead hugging my slow cooker. I got into slow cooking BIG time, because let’s face it – comfort food over banana bread.
And nothing makes comfort food like a slow cooker.
You can slow cook pretty much anything you want – like there are even recipes for slow cooker lasagna out there, which alarms me and I will not be trying it.
I’ve learned a lot from slow cooking, and I am now here to share my wisdom with you all. I’m sure some of you are better aficionados than I am, but hey – some of you might love these pearls, ok?
1. Get One That Can Do Everything
I used to have a slow cooker that could only, well, slow cook. Now I have this Breville Searing Slow Cooker:
Basically, this Breville one has searing and browning functions, so you can brown your meat/veggies in the one pot. Something that really used to drive me nuts before I had a slow cooker that also browned stuff for me was that using other pots and pans made even MORE of a mess at the end than if I just, well, cooked with the pots and pans.
It’s a tiny gripe but my god, when it’s gone it’s a sweet time.
2. Clean Your Slow Cooker REALLY Well
Because you’re slow cooking, all the flavours really, really have time to develop. They also have time to pretty much weld themselves to the sides of your pot – I swear to god, I have cleaned mine for a strong ten minutes and still been able to smell curry.
A handy trick is to wash it clean, then fill with hot water and detergent, letting it soak overnight. Also, don’t put the lid back on when you put it away – totally traps those smells.
3. Don’t Go Psycho On The Herbs
Herbs are amazing. But you have to remember with slow cooking, they’ve got an enormous amount of time to seep into your food. So if you get a bit heavy-handed with the fennel seeds (me) expect your soup to taste like you’re chomping on the stuff.
Obviously herbs will make your dishes taste amazing, so don’t omit them entirely – just make sure you follow slow cooker recipes for herb ratio, not cook-for-an-hour stuff.
4. Collect Some Absolute Belter Slow Cooker Recipes
I now have a seriously phenomenal collection of recipes that work for me EVERY damn time. But it’s been a lot of trial and error – the funny thing with slow cooking is that you have to wait an entire day to see if your food tastes shit or not. You can do taste tests throughout, of course – if you’re home – but you won’t get the full meal sensation til the night, and when it screws up it feels like a real let down.
For the record, here are some of my new ride or die recipes. This Tuscan Vegetable Soup from taste.com.au absolutely owns. This chili recipe (best ever!!! They say) was amazing, I added extra veg like zucchini and also used Gourmet Herbs Chili Powder which rules and isn’t too cumin-heavy. And another from Taste is this slow cooker beef pie which was so delicious and so easy to make.
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