There are few things as comforting as coming home to a ready cooked supper or the scent of a tasty meal in the air. These are just two of the reasons why slow cookers are such a much-loved staple of the kitchen.
The beauty of a slow cooker in busy modern life is the ability to throw all your ingredients into a pot and let the cooker do the work for you. Then, you can return hours later to a hot, perfectly cooked meal.
Good Housekeeping Cookery Editor, Emma Franklin is one such fan and classes her own device as one of her best kitchen gadgets.
“I actually have three [slow] cookers at home,” she says. “But the Crock-Pot is the only one I use.”
Crock-Pot has been around since 1970 and describes itself as “the original slow cooker” brand. Our GH cookery team use Crock-Pots in the test kitchen while they’re developing delicious recipes for the magazine and website.
The Good Housekeeping Institute have also tried and tested a range of slow cookers by different brands and found that the Crock-Pot model came out on top, with a near-perfect overall score of 91/100.
The team loved its “generous capacity” and said the machine “impressed” when it comes to flavour, “scoring full marks on curry, soup and stew tests and cooking meat and vegetables perfectly – they were juicy and tender within the allotted time.”
“Crock-Pot make the best slow cookers,” agrees Emma, who recommends this digital version, as tested by the GHI.
This model has a capacity of 4.7 litres which should be able to serve up to five people, making it ideal for family meals.
There is a removable bowl which means you can take the dish straight to the table without decanting it, saving time and washing up. The handy bowl is what also makes it especially easy to clean.
“The bowl and lid are dishwasher safe, which is a big plus,” says Emma. That means no more battling with bulky, hard to clean cookery equipment.
Emma is also impressed with how user-friendly the slow cooker is; “It’s so easy to just set and go,” she says.
But it’s the “Auto Keep Warm” feature which our GH Cookery Editor finds more useful after a busy day.
“If your timings go askew, it automatically switches to a ‘keep warm’ function so you can come home to a hot dinner whenever,” Emma Franklin explains.
The “Auto Keep Warm” function means that the cooker will automatically keep your meal warm on a low heat once the cooking cycle has finished. This means that if you get delayed coming home by an hour or two, you won’t be returning to cold (albeit cooked) food.
This digital model has two heat settings with a digital countdown timer, which you can program according to your dish. The high setting will cook your meal quickly, while the low setting allows you to leave your food to simmer and cook gradually throughout the day.
For inspiration on what to make in your shiny new Crock-Pot, take a look at our collection of slow cooker recipes.
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