If you consider slow cookers the best cooking utensil for winter, then maybe it is time to think again. Undoubtedly, they make the best stews using cheaper cuts of meat so are great for family cooking. You can also use them to make curries, cook dahl and even a slow-cooked chilli, delicious dishes year-round.
One of my product testing commissions for BBC Good Food was a review of the best slow cookers out there. What a fun one this was and we now have a freezer stacked with long-slow cooked stews and a number of chicken curries.
I particularly liked the Sage Slo-Pro, as this doubles up as a slow and a pressure cooker. There are several auto programmes and sear and sauté functions too. It wasn’t the cheapest on the test, but it performed well. Plus, I liked its good looks on the worktop. Rest assured though, prices on slow cookers start from £20. The cheaper end may come without many whistles and bells but still function well.
How we tested slow cookers
BBC Good Food set strict criteria on the testing of products as follows.
We tested a range of slow cookers, including multi-cookers, with two favourite BBC Good Food slow cooker recipes. The first, a slow cooker beef stew, was cooked on the high setting for 4 hours. As the meat requires searing before cooking, where this was an available setting on the cooker, we did this too.
The second, an easy slow cooker chicken curry, requires marinating overnight. All it then needs is switching on in the morning and leaving for 6 hours of cooking. The chicken isn’t seared first, making it a fuss-free recipe to prepare and perfect for busy families when prepping dinner at breakfast time may be a little tricky.