It is often observed that a slow cooker is a one trick pony. It does what it says it will do and cooks your meals with the most essential of all ingredients, time.
But what if there was more you could do with your slow cooker? What if instead of sitting idly for 6 months of the year you could put it to good use year round? With these questions in mind we searched for ideas on how to better take advantage of this one pot wonder and came up with some interesting suggestions.
Deodorise your home.
With just one cup of bicarb soda, some water and a slow cooker set to high you can deodorise your home in a matter of hours. Even stubborn smells like mould and stale cigarette smoke can be eliminated with an overnight deodorising.
The fondue of yesteryear was a poor interpretation of the original classic Swiss recipe. Fast forward 3 or 4 decades and quality cheese is now so readily available that there is absolutely no excuse for bad fondue. Your slow cooker is perfectly positioned to stand in for a traditional fondue pot. Check out Nick Harrow’s recipe here.
While not a total set and forget recipe, roasting nuts in your slow cooker requires minimal attention with an occasional stir every now and then. Simply set your slow cooker to high, coat the inside of the pot with canola spray, add 2 cups of your favourite nuts, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of dry herbs or spice to flavour and tire vigorously. Leave cooker on high for 30 minutes and then reduce to low for another 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring intermittently.
Keep food warm
When you are trying to juggle many different hot components of the one dish or serving multiple courses, a slow cooker can be just what you need to keep foods at just the right temperature. The lowest setting on your slow cooker allows you to maintain a safe temperature for foods that is low enough to prevent your foods from stewing.
Sticky sauce all over your barbecue plate is a cleanup job that none of us want to deal with, so to minimise the scorched sauciness, why not try cooking your marinated wings and ribs in your slow cooker first. The result is tender cooked portions that can be quickly grilled on the barbecue for that charred flavour, without the excess sticky burnt sauce.
Make homemade essential oils
Making essential oils requires a gentle controlled heat and that is exactly what a slow cooker offers you. Set your slow cooker to low, add your herbs, spices or other natural materials such as wood or flowers and cover with distilled water. Pop the lid on your slow cooker and allow to heat for 24 hours. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 7 days with the lid removed, then skim oil from the surface of the water and place in a mason jar with the lid off. Set aside for another 7 days to allow any remaining water to evaporate.
You eat bread all year round so why shouldn’t you be able to bake bread all year round? Bread baked in a slow cooker comes out soft and moist and the best part is that you don’t have to wait for your bread to rise before you bake it. The rising and the baking happens all in your slow cooker. “One pot wonder” indeed!
Our range of slow cookers
The Essential Ingredient Rozelle carries a selection of slow cookers that are built to last. Featuring various heat settings, countdown timers and keep warm settings, our slow cookers allow you to pop your ingredients in, set the time and temperature and walk out the door, returning to delicious meals every time.