Slow cookers can turn any food into a more delicious one due to the long cooking time that allows the flavors to sit and penetrate the food. With all the models available and all the different prices that don’t necessarily predict the performance, the following shopping tips will help you choose the best slow cooker.
Choose the right size for your family
As with any item you buy, you have to consider the size you need, in order to avoid spending more money on a slow cooker too big or getting one that isn’t enough for all your family. Most slow cookers claim to hold numbers of liters when, in fact, they hold only a third of it, so keep this in mind when you choose the slow cooker size. For example, one that says 6 liters only hold 4,5 liters which are enough for a large family of 6 or 8.
Get one with an efficient heating method
Most slow cookers have a heating element located at the bottom, but you should look for those whose heating element rises to the sides of the crock so the heat is distributed more evenly. Avoid those that simply have a crock that stands above the heating unit because you will have to stir the food more often, which is exactly what you want to avoid when you decide to buy a slow cooker.
Pay attention to the crock
The material the crock is made of also influences how evenly the heat is distributed, so you have to look closer and opt for a ceramic or a porcelain model. Avoid metal crocks that don’t spread the heat so well and could cause the food to stick to the bottom of the crock. Also, make sure that the crock and the heating unit are not stuck together because this will make the slow cooker hard to clean.
Opt for one with accessories
When you use the slow cooker, you want to see what is going on inside without lifting the lid, which will let heat out and will extend the cooking time. Therefore, opt for transparent glass lids that allow you to see inside the crock instead of opaque lids that need to be removed n order to check on the food. A roasting rack that sits above the crock will help you roast meat and steam vegetables while safety clamps make sure the lid doesn’t fall off.
Look for programmable timers
Simple slow cookers have a mechanical knob that you turn to set a certain temperature, then you have to check on the food in order to see how cooked it is. Once the food is ready, you have to turn it off yourself, which could be more complicated that you would want. The best slow cooker models, on the other hand, have a programmable timer that lets you set the cooking time for each food and once the cooking is done it automatically shuts off.