Slow cooking is now a trend not just among households but also among foodies — basically, anyone who loves to cook and eat! They see the great benefits of slow cooking such as more tender, melt-in-your-mouth meats and more flavor to other dishes. “Slow cooking” is basically a cooking method which uses an electrical kitchen appliance called a slow cooker. “Crock-Pot” is actually a brand name of the slow cooker but many other people prefer to call it as such.
While it seems very simple to use the slow cooker, please remember there are several types to choose from. Let us take a look at each of them in this article.
Types of slow cooker according to shapes
Bear in mind the type of food you plan to cook in your slow cooker in order to be able to choose the right shape. Slow cookers can be round or oval, but there are also rectangular slow cookers. Round-shaped slow cookers are perfect for soups, stews, side dishes, and casseroles. It can also be used for baking desserts. An oval-shaped slow cooker is ideal for large cuts of meat like racks of ribs or roasts. They work well with small whole fish as well. Rectangular slow cookers normally have deep sides. They are ideal to cook larger cuts of meats and can also be used for other dishes like soups, stews, and casseroles
Types of slow cooker according to size
The sizes of slow cookers can range from ½ quart to 8 quart:
- 1 to 2 quart mini slow cookers are perfect and very convenient for single people. It does not take up too much space for storage.
- Medium slow cookers of 3 to 4 quarts serve 3 to 4 people. They are also perfect if you plan to cook larger batches of dips and appetizers.
- Large slow cookers of 5 to 6 quarts are for 4 people or more. They are best used for cooking complete meals that consist of meat and other ingredients.
- 7 to 8 quarts extra-large slow cookers are for bigger households or if you are cooking for extra guests. If you want to cook a large whole chicken or big cuts of meat, then this crock pot size can do the job very well.
Types of slow cooker according to cooking pot or crock
Cooking pots or crocks can be made of any of these materials — ceramic, metal, or cast aluminum. Ceramic pots can be used in the microwave and oven but not under a broiler or top of the a stove. Ceramic pots are a lot heavier compared to the other types. Metal crocks are usually rectangular or oval and the heat source is a griddle which heats only the bottom of the pan so it does not cook as evenly compared to other crock types. Metal crocks cannot be used in the microwave. On the other hand, cast aluminum crocks are usually more expensive compared to two other types. They can be used in the oven and on the stovetop but not in the microwave. It generally has a non-stick surface that provides even heating which results in well-cooked meals.
Types of slow cooker according to controls
You can also look into types of controls when looking for slow cookers or crock pots. These controls are split into two: basic and programmable. The basic type controls feature a manual control knob. The options include “off,” “low,” “medium” and “high” when choosing the appropriate or desired temperature. Programmable type slow cookers are the high-tech ones where you can just set it up for the exact time and temperature, and they usually have the “keep warm” features which shift automatically after the cooking of the food is done. These are considered the top rated slow cookers on the market.
There is a wide variety of slow cookers to choose from. Whether you want to get the most basic or the most high-tech one, it is definitely up to you. Slow cooker reviews are going to be of great help in deciding what will be the best slow cooker for you to get. So keep on reading and continue to enjoy your cooking.