You’ve had a long, hard day at work, and a tiring and unpleasant commute home.
When you finally get back to your place, you have your heart set on eating a healthy, substantial meal – but you can’t find the strength or motivation to begin cooking. Instead, you take the easy way out, and pick up your phone and order a takeout.
I’m sure you can relate to the above scenario as it’s very common nowadays. Preparing and cooking a decent meal usually takes at least an hour. So, if you’ve arrived home from work, and it’s already late (and you’re exhausted), then cooking a meal is probably the last thing you’d like to do.
The problem is, eating out and ordering takeout is expensive, and in most cases an unhealthy choice.
Luckily, there is a way out of this dilemma, in the shape and form of a slow cooker. Also known as crock pots, slow cookers have become popular in recent years with people who are too busy to spend time cooking – but still want to enjoy healthy, homemade meals.
7 Slow Cookers That Can Transform Your Diet and Life
Slow cookers offer you the chance to enjoy a delicious, wholesome meal when you arrive home from work. They do this by slowly cooking your food for a long period of time at a low temperature.
This ‘slow cooking’ approach brings out the flavours in most foods, including: casseroles, pot meals, soups and stews.
Most slow cookers have Low, Medium and High settings. The Low setting will cook food about 6 to 10 hours. The High setting will cook food in 4 to 6 hours. One hour in a conventional oven at 350 F is equivalent to about 4 hours on High, or 8 hours on Low.
If you prepare your meal the evening before, or in the morning, all you need to do is switch on the cooker (at Low setting) before you head out for work. However, all the cookers we list below also have digital timers, and these will allow you to precisely choose when your cooker comes on, at what temperature setting, and for how long.
Hopefully, I’ve given you just enough information on slow cookers to whet your appetite
1. Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
This slow cooker features a digital countdown control that allows you to program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. It also shifts to Warm setting automatically once your specified cook time has completed.
The Crock-Pot keeps food safe on the go with robust carrying handles and hinged locking lids.
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, $49.50
2. Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker
Stylish and easy-to-use, this slow cooker is equipped with protection against brief power outages, so when you come home your digital clocks might have lost their time – but your meal will still be hot and ready to eat.
It’s perfect for cooking large cuts of meat. You just need to set the desired meat temperature, and the cooker automatically shifts to keep warm when the temperature is reached.
Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, $49
3. Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
If you want more features than slow cooking, then Instant Pot could be a good choice for you.
This top-selling multi-cooker combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1. These are: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer.
There are also 14 Smart Programs to choose from. These programs allow you to easily make, heat or treat the following: soup, meat/stew, bean/chilli, poultry, rice, multigrains, porridge, yogurt, etc.
Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, $129.99
4. Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker
Cusinart Crock Pot
This slow cooker features Cuisinart’s brushed stainless steel housing and a 6-quart nonstick cooking pot that lets you brown or sauté directly in the unit.
Three fully programmable cooking functions let you sauté vegetables, brown meats and slow cook your favorite comfort foods right in the unit.
Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker, $140.76
5. Cuisinart PSC-650 Stainless Steel 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Cusinart Slow Cooker
This programmable slow cooker offers a removable round-shaped ceramic cooking pot, brushed stainless-steel housing, glass lid with stainless-steel rim, and cool-touch chrome-plated handles. The 24-hour programmable digital timer has Simmer, Low and High modes – all which feature an auto keep-warm function. it also comes with a cooking rack and recipe book.
Cuisinart PSC-650 Stainless Steel 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, $46.43
6. KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Quart. Slow Cooker
This slow cooker features an easy-to-read digital display, that ensures comfortable viewing of the remaining cook time and temperature while the cooker is in use.
The generous 6-quart capacity is perfect for small and large recipes from soups to roasts.
KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Quart. Slow Cooker, $99
7. BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker
Black & Decker Slow Cooker
To finish on, how about something a little different. The exterior of this slow cooker is a chalkboard, which makes it perfect for drawing on and for writing down recipes or allergy concerns. This neat feature is also great for getting the kids involved in the kitchen! With its inbuilt digital time, you can simply choose the time and heat, and let the slow cooker do the rest. (The cooker automatically switches into Warm mode when cooking is complete.)
And in case you’re wondering, the box includes two chalk sticks, so you can start writing on the cooker from day one.
BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker, $49.99
On a final note, you may be surprised to learn that slow cookers use less electricity than conventional ovens. So, now you have no excuses for not having tasty and nutritious food waiting for you each evening when you come home.