Slow cooking is a method of cooking that uses relatively low temperatures for a long period of time to cook food. Barbecues, smokers, luau pits and low-heat ovens can all broadly be classified as slow cooking methods of preparing food. In most cases, however, slow cooking refers to the ‘slow-cooker’, which is a countertop set up with a large electronically heated ceramic bowl and a glass lid. Meat and other vegetables are placed in water or broth inside this utensil and allowed to cook over a long period of time. The heat and steam trapped inside allows the food to be cooked well and tenderises the meat. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of slow cooking and why you should be using this method at home.
Benefits of slow cooking
There are many benefits to slow cooking. Some of these are:
Simple one-step preparation process. Many slow cooker meals can be prepared by simply placing all the ingredients together and letting them stew.
The food becomes incredibly tender and juicy.
The flavour is infused in the food a lot more deeply than most other methods.
Convenient. A slow cooker meal can be put on the energy source, such as an electric cooker in the morning and taken off at night, after a full day spent at work. Allowing the person to come home to a piping hot meal.
Why you should try slow cooking at home
Slow cooking can be used by even the most inexperienced amateur chef. The simple nature of this method allows you to cook a chicken breast or a pork shoulder with ease. You can save money by eating in and the food you eat is actually healthier than most restaurant foods. The fact that slow cooking only requires one utensil to cook also makes these meals easier to clean. It is a method of cooking where you can leave the pot on the heat source and spend time with your family without needing to worry about actively paying attention to the food.
Best cuts of meat to slow cook
Meat has multiple varieties that can all be prepared in different ways. Multiple cuts and different types of meat make it difficult to understand what can and can’t be slow-cooked. The best part of slow cooking is that it can take a big, tough, inexpensive piece of meat and slowly cook it into something juicy and tender that tastes like authentic gourmet. Some of the best cuts of meat to slow cook are the pork shoulder, chuck steak, lamb shanks, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks and the short ribs.
Slow cooking tips and safety advice
With so many benefits we are certain that you’re all eager to jump right in and start preparing your first slow-cooked meal. Here are a few safety tips to remember so that you can slow cook your meals with ease without any worries. Always remember to defrost your meat before putting it on the heater. Defrosting will ensure that the food is cooked all the way through during the slow cooking process. The slow cooker should either be half-full or two-thirds of the way full with liquid. Do not try overstuffing the slow cooker as this might lead to water spilling out or further complications during the cooking process. Cut your meat into smaller pieces to ensure that everything fits well into your slow cooking utensil. Keep these simple tips in mind and enjoy gourmet quality food at home any time you like.