Why is everyone going crazy over the slow cooker? Mini test + 3 recipes - Proženy.cz (2024)

Maybe you know it from your surroundings - someone buys a slow cooker and then enthusiastically explains it to everyone with such intensity that you slowly want to start avoiding him. Similar to the cousins ​​who went for financial advice or a colleague who is a fresh vegan. But we couldn't do it and we wondered what makes slow cookers so miraculous. How did our worth-to-buy test go?

The eyes of the ryby

Pork neck with spruce puree in one pot

The eyes of the ryby

Chicken with potatoes and spring greens in one pot

Why is the slow cooker so miraculous?

Simply put, it is a stand-alone pot connected to electricity (which is why it is also good for a cottage), which prepares food at a temperature below the boiling point.This way they retain their taste and vitamins, but at the same time they are beautifully soft. But don't be afraid of boiled vegetables, the meat will soften in the broth, but the vegetables will remain nice to bite.

It is also a great helper forone pot cooking– you simply put all the ingredients in it, set the time and temperature and you can focus on something else without worrying. Thanks to the low temperature, almost no liquid evaporates, so there is no danger of burning or overflowing.

You only need to add a minimum amount of fat to the food and, in addition to stews and broths, you can also cook in it, for examplegreat rice. You turn it on in the morning and a delicious meal awaits you in the evening.

What else can a slow cooker do?

Basic slow cookers can cook food at a low temperature and then keep it warm, but you can also find devices with much more sophisticated functions. Prima is the possibility of delayed start, preparation of homemade yogurt and healthy steam cooking. The possibility of frying meat or vegetables before cooking and thus giving the food a more pronounced taste is not to be thrown away.

In our mini-test, I chose three devices that are popular on the market and tested them with a strong drawn broth, juicy shredded chicken and honest beef stew. And now see how the cooking turned out and what to look out for when buying and using a slow cooker.

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1. CrockPot: perfect broth without the hassle

I was the first to test the legend among slow cookers, the CrockPot - it is actually synonymous with slow cooker in America. It is produced by Bionaire and this particular one has a volume of 5.7 liters, the designation SCCPBPP605-050 and costs 2650 CZK.

The main advantage is that you just pour water over the meat and vegetables, turn it on and you don't have to worry about anything else. Your liquid will not overflow or boil. This pot has only 2 cooking levels: low and high, and one level of temperature maintenance, which automatically starts after the end of cooking itself, so the control is really super simple. But you cannot fry the ingredients before cooking.

Soups

Asparagus soup with parmesan cheese

Soups

Creamy pea soup with direct broth

The broth from the slow cooker is beautifully clear andtastes like the slow pulled one. The advantage of the slow cooker is that while the meat softens beautifully and falls perfectly off the bone, the vegetables still remain firm to the bite and also retain more vitamins than with traditional cooking.

As for the pot itself, the inner removable container is made of honest earthenware, which can be washed in the dishwasher and used in the oven. But they also weigh significantly more than Teflon pots. If you are worried about breakage, Bionaire offers spare parts for its products: containers, lids and sealing rubbers. The smell is released during cooking even through the sealing rubber, but if you don't mind, you can place the pot on the balcony or in the pantry, which you can ventilate.

You can find the recipe for strong turkey neck broth here.

Why is everyone going crazy over the slow cooker? Mini test + 3 recipes - Proženy.cz (7)

Photo: Jakub Jurdič

2. Sencor: minced meat with almost no fat

For minced meatI have already chosen a device that also has a sauté function - by frying onions and chicken, you will add even better flavor to the food! This is the Sencor SPR 7200SS Multifunctional Pot with a decent volume of 6 liters. The device costs CZK 3,999, and in addition to slow cooking and sautéing, you can also use it to cook and steam in a healthy way, prepare homemade yogurt or cook perfect rice.

Despite the number of functions, the operation is easy and intuitive (I only reach for the user manual in the last resort), and the advantage is also the light, removable inner container, which has a non-stick surface and can be washed in the dishwasher. Thanks to the plastic handles, it may not go in the oven, but they make it easier for you to handle the hot pot. Sencor offers a delayed start (so you can set the food to be ready when you return from a trip, for example) and keep the food warm. They can also bake bread or steam dumplings (in addition to healthy vegetables and fish). It also has all kinds of accessories, such as a steam basket, a baking tray or a griddle.

Check out the recipe for this pulled chicken.

Why is everyone going crazy over the slow cooker? Mini test + 3 recipes - Proženy.cz (8)

Photo: Jakub Jurdič

3. Philco: the best goulash from a glass

The last pot is the Philco PHSC 5600, which has a volume of 5.6 liters and you can buy it for 2999 CZK. Thanks to the possibility of sautéing, it was a perfect match for the Czech classic, beef goulash. You can set the temperature (from 20 to 220 °C) and the cooking time yourself, so it is suitable for example in a cottage or in places where you don't have a classic stove, butremoskayou already have enough.

The removable inner container is lightweight, perfectly non-stick and dishwasher and oven safe. If you are used to induction, you have to prepare for a slightly longer heating time, but you can also make homemade yogurt in the pot (and without the annoying monitoring of time and temperature), fried foods, steamed vegetables or even homemade fondue.

What I like most is that you never burn the goulash in the slow cooker. Not to mention the fact that you don't have to monitor the amount of liquid or mix it (although it certainly won't let you peek under the lid from time to time anyway). The delayed start function is also handy. Philco also has a popular method cooking programunder a vacuum.

Click here for the recipe for an honest beef goulash from a slice.

Why is everyone going crazy over the slow cooker? Mini test + 3 recipes - Proženy.cz (9)

Photo: Jakub Jurdič

The eyes of the ryby

Beef burger with ščedar, crispy bacon, tomatoes and onions

The eyes of the ryby

Burgers with pulled chicken meat and homemade BBQ sauce

So how to choose a pot?

Tell yourself honestly whether you will also use other functions on the pot (roasting, deep-frying, steaming, yogurt maker...), or whether you want to cook mainly broths and simple stews. You can also get multifunctional pots for around 12,000 CZK, but if you end up just cooking soups, it will probably be a useless investment.

Another important aspect is the volume of the container - are you cooking for two or for a family of six? And then the material. Some people prefer durable earthenware, which is more fragile but carries heat better, while others prefer a modern non-stick material. With frequent use, you will also appreciate the possibility of washing in the dishwasher, even though the pot takes up almost all of it.

Slow cooker: what to watch out for

Although cooking in a slow cooker is almost no work, there are a few things you should know to get started.

  • Do not overdo it with water- Don't be tempted by the size of the pot, only add as much liquid as you want in the final dish. During cooking, almost none is boiled, the food usually releases some, and the broth could be weak or the sauce too liquid.
  • Leave some foods for last- Fresh herbs give the food a nice aroma, but really add them at the end, otherwise they will turn into a greenish mess. In the same way, pour milk and cream into dishes until the end, otherwise they may curdle. Low temperatures and long preparation time are not good for seafood either.
  • Arm yourself with patience- The label slow is not just that. If you really don't have holy patience, it's better to choose another function or appliance for heating food. However, most pots have an automatically set temperature maintenance program, so that after cooking, the food remains ready for consumption for a relatively long time.

Thanks to Bionaire - CrockPot, Sencor and Philco for lending pots for the photo shoot.

And without anyhelpers in the kitchen, we editors can't imagine life?

Why is everyone going crazy over the slow cooker? Mini test + 3 recipes - Proženy.cz (2024)

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