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How to make the most of a slow cooker

It’s always a great feeling walking through the door after a long, hard day and have a warming home-cooked meal waiting for you. So why not get to experience that every day with a little help from a trusty slow cooker? The arrival of the all too familiar dark, cold and rainy British winter is providing us with all the more reason to invest in a handy tool, to help keep us cosy and warm when the nights are long and the days are short.

All that is needed are some cheap ingredients and a little prep work before relying on this seemingly magical pot to turn cheap cuts of meat into beautifully flavoursome and tender meals. As a keen user of slow cookers myself, I can honestly say your future self will thank you a lot.

Slow cookers often associated only with dishes such as soups and stews, and although they are indeed very good at cooking those meals, there is much more potential and variety to be had. Many are not aware that a slow cooker can be used to roast a whole bird and can do so better than an oven; infusing flavours and tenderising the meat much more effectively. Most people also would not link slow cookers with desserts, yet the low heat setting and the even temperature can make for a deliciously moist cheesecake!

The benefits of owning a slow cooker are endless. Firstly, fresh ingredients, cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time are required for slow-cooking resulting in food being rich with nutrition as the natural juices from vegetables and meats are retained. As University students we have much more important things to be doing than slaving over a hot stove, like sleeping or pre-drinking for the LCR. Yet with your slow cooker the work is being done for you, leaving you to concentrate on what matters in the knowledge you will have a meal waiting for you when want it.

Who knows, with the help of a slow cooker you may even be able to reduce your bills a little each month as it uses significantly less energy than a conventional electric oven. That has to be music to every student’s ears! And if this wasn’t reason enough, slow cookers drastically reduce the amount of cleaning up as the whole meal is cooked in one handy and easily washable pot.

A final advantage of owning a slow cooker is that it enables you to cook meals in bulk. I often make large quantities of curry that last me at least three days, and each day it tastes better with even more infused flavours.

The wholesome and mouth wateringly tasty meals our slow cookers provide us with over and over again means you can’t help but fall in love with them, and what  seals the deal is the little effort that they need. Mini slow cookers are available at Wilko for as little as £10: is there really any excuse not to?

23/11/2016

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amyasher



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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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