The Versatile Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)
You're at work all day but your family won't have to wait for dinner. You're using a crock pot to do the cooking for you. It's almost like having a live-in cook! When you walk through the door after a hard day's work and catch the aroma of a delicious beef bourguignon that's been simmering all day, you'll be so grateful for the invention of the crock pot, also known as a slow cooker.
Owning a crock pot can be the answer to many of your questions and concerns, such as, "How can I get meals on the table quicker?" and "How can I save money but still have meals with nutritional value?" and "How can I save time to do other things and still have a delicious meal?" A crock pot can alleviate the stress and take the pressure off the busy cook. This often overlooked appliance is so easy to use that it eliminates conflicts at mealtime.
Crock pots are versatile and well-suited to turn out a menu for any occasion and any taste, from down-home food to fancy party fare. Almost any recipe can be adapted to use in a crock pot. For appetizers you may want to start with chicken wings simmered in a savory oriental-style sauce. Main course crock pot recipes run the gamut from baked chicken breasts (yes, you can bake in a crock pot) to the more elegant beef roulades.
A crock pot can cook a pot of gumbo in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the length of time you'll be gone from home. The higher the temperature setting, the shorter the cooking time will be. The multipurpose crock pot can do double duty from preparing your dinner, with coffee and dessert to follow.
Before you leave for work, plug in a tasty dinner of pot roast with gravy, setting the temperature so that the roast will cook in about six hours. When your children get home from school, have them transfer the roast to a separate pot to hold for dinner. Then ask them to wash the crock pot container and put in the peach cobbler you've left in the fridge and set the temperature control on high. When you get home, your pot roast is ready, with a delectable dessert to follow. The aroma when you and your kids walk in the door is sure to whet appetites. Just add a salad and vegetables for a meal fit for royalty.
A crock pot is now a basic appliance in most kitchens. However, the introduction of crock pots did not occur until the 1970's, when just about everyone used one. For some reason their popularity waned in the 1980's and did not rise again until the 1990's. This resurgence is partly because of the hectic pace of our lives today, with more meal planners and cooks working long hours outside the home.
There is simply not enough time to cook a full traditional-style meal because the minute one walks in the door someone is sure to ask, "What's for dinner" or "When's dinner going to be ready?" A crock pot can make the cook look like a magician and appease the hungry family. The crock pot has been rediscovered and has been elevated to the status of a valuable time-saver in the kitchen.
The benefits of owning a crock pot are that they require no constant attention or stirring; there is no worry about overcooking or burning food; it keeps your kitchen cool by avoiding turning on the oven; there's only one pot to clean at the end of the day; and the low wattage it uses is a real energy saver. If you have a crock pot you are wise - if not, get one for the sake of you and your family.