Slow cookers are slowly gaining popularity in many households as the convenience they offer is simply far too valuable for a lot of people with busy lives. As their name suggests, slow cookers are rather slow and do most of the cooking at temperatures that are considerably lower than traditional cooking methods.
This also offers a very unique benefit of not consuming all your attention and instead can progress on its own for the most part while you attend to other more important activities of your life. This is what mainly attracts a lot of users to slow cookers and if you’re one of them looking to get your first small slow cooker, here are a few tips that might help you on your shopping adventure. You may also want to look into a Sous Vide cooker such as the Anova, suggested by The Nutrition Insider, which can perform in some similar ways to a slow cooker as well as their own unique uses.
Tips To Find The Best Small Slow Cooker
1. The Features
The amount of features you get on slow cookers vary a lot depending on how much you’re willing to pay. But most people don’t need the very high-end features. These are mostly computerized features that will add another layer of automation to your cooking process.
This could be useful for beginners as simply selecting a setting that will automatically prepare and follow the ideal conditions depending on what kind of food you want to cook is worlds apart in terms of convenience as opposed to doing all of it yourself. These programmable cookers will also auto turn off or auto switch to heating mode so you won’t have to ever worry about over cooking.
2. Heating Element
This is an often overlooked but very important aspects of slow cookers. The heating element is what provides the necessary heat for your food to be cooked and it does so by using electricity. However, the design of the heating element dictates how effective it is when cooking.
The common type of element in low end cookers is one that lies only at the bottom. This works fairly well but you want to consider a cooker with a larger heating element that surrounds your pot on all sides. This will ensure a more even distribution of heat which also eliminates any possibility of burning in certain areas and eliminates the need for frequent stirring.
3. Cooking Capacity
This is another very important aspect to consider that is not often given as much attention. It is important for you to choose a cooker that supports cooking pots with enough capacity for your needs. For a couple, a 2-quart capacity should do well while for a small group you might want to go anywhere between 6 or 8 quarts depending on how many there are.
The overlooked part of all this however is how well the space of the cooker is being used. Some cookers support much bigger cooking pots in a smaller than expected overall footprint thus saving you space and perhaps even making it more portable.
In case of slow cookers, or any cooker for that matter, this is something the user has to decide upfront. How important is portability for you? If you do plan on using it outdoors, then you should get one with a smaller overall footprint while getting as much cooking capacity as you can.
The design also plays a big role in how easy it is to handle outdoors. You can opt for cookers with whether resistant coating which would be fantastic options for camping. The handle and its design also dictate how easy it is to carry around so that is also something you should keep in mind before choosing.
5. The Build Quality And Design
You can find slow cookers in many varieties from porcelain to metal. Almost all of these are great at conducting heat but there will of course be a difference in how durable each of them are with metal cookers being the best in this regard.
However, some other types like porcelain allow for more design options making it possible for anyone to simply detach the interior parts making for a much easier cleaning experience. Depending on what you plan to cook and how you want to use your cooker, either of these could be a good option in the long run.
6. Glass Vs Plastic Lid
This is a common debate when it comes to any type of cookers and honestly each of them have their own benefits although the glass lids might have a slight benefit in case of slow cookers.
The plastic lids are often lighter and offer the same level of stability which makes them far more portable but glass lids allow the option of looking at the state of your food without having to open the lid and letting steam escape. This is a great option for slow cookers and makes them favor glass lids more than plastic for that reason.
These are the tips that we think you should keep in mind when choosing a slow cooker. They cover the important features of a slow cooker and which of them are essential for what type of use so that anyone can use it as a reference. You can also visit pressurecookerviews.com to get more tips related to cookers. Finally, if you’re looking for other ways to save time and effort cooking, be sure to check out the Ninja SP101 Foodie: The ultimate meal making machine with 8 in 1 functionality: Air fry, air roast, air broil, bake, bagel, toast, dehydrate, and keep warm all in one powerful 1800 watt appliance.