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Topic-icon Slow Cooker

  • tahunakuaka
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07 Jul 2018 15:21 #540832 by tahunakuaka

I am looking to buy a slow cooker. The last one I purchased was not very slow, I could cook more slowly on the gas ring with a simmer plate. The inner porcelain bowl crazed all over. So can anyone recommend a brand that will cook very very slowly? Thank you.

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07 Jul 2018 16:04 #540833 by Ruth

We have a recently-acquired Sunbeam 5.5l. Stephan seems very happy with it, does casseroles, roasts, corned beef in it. It has slow and fast modes. The Consumer report's only stated downsides for the model were that it gets very hot on the outside.

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07 Jul 2018 16:58 #540835 by Anakei

I wonder if there is a minimum heat requirement for slow cookers? I remember when they first came out food poisoning was a real issue because the low temperatures didn't kill bugs and were the perfect incubator for them! This doesn't seem to happen any more so perhaps slow cookers are now hotter
.


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07 Jul 2018 17:33 #540836 by tonybaker

yes, I think it is 60 degrees. There was a problem a while back with people getting sick from incorrectly cooked food so manufacturers changed their design. The Auto setting starts on high then drops to low 60 degrees.


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07 Jul 2018 18:38 #540839 by Hawkspur

From another site:Safe internal temperature for slow cooked meats
Minimum temperature: 60 degrees C
Precooked ham (to reheat)

Minimum temperature: 65 degrees C
Fresh beef, Fresh lamb, Fresh veal, Fresh pork, Fresh ham

Minimum temperature: 70 degrees C
Ground Beef, Pork, Veal or Lamb

Minimum temperature: 75 degrees
Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose

Note these are the temperatures the inside of the meat needs to reach within 2 hours, so to achieve this the slow cooker will need to be a bit higher, normally 80+

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07 Jul 2018 18:51 #540842 by tahunakuaka

Thank you all for the input, it seems my expectations of a slow simmer in a slow cooker are unrealistic. The only advantage that I can think of for a slow cooker is that it can be left unattended, where as a gas burner cannot. I have used a large casserole dish in the benchtop oven at 60 degrees with sucess, with a timer on the power outlet.

Will give the matter a bit more thought time.

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07 Jul 2018 22:15 #540847 by Ronney

I've had slow cookers (originally known as crock-pots) for well over 30 years and wouldn't be without one. I should think that 8 hours cooking would be enough to kill anything. No idea what the temperature is but you certainly can't take the meat straight out of the cooker and pop it in your mouth unless you are a masochist.
A great way of cooking tougher cuts of meat, feeding a larger family or visitors and more economical than using an oven to cook a casserole which is the next best thing.

Can you borrow one and give it a try? And yes, they do the best ever corned beef!

Cheers,
Ronnie

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08 Jul 2018 07:03 #540853 by stentor

Have you looked into sous vide?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-vide

Some people hack slow cookers to turn them into sous vide cookers with a timer and thermostat

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08 Jul 2018 08:32 #540854 by tahunakuaka

Thank you that was a very interesting article. I have remembered about a demonstration at a show that used a container that contined to cook the food without a power source after the food had reached boiling point for 8 mins (or something along those lines) A bit like placing hot food in a hay box to continue cooking. I have found that cooking cheap meat cuts in a liquid of some kind at 60 degrees for long periods is tender and flavoursome, standard cooking methods don't compare. I have the meat of two older sheep in my freezer, hence my quest for really slow cooking!!

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08 Jul 2018 08:58 #540855 by tonybaker

I think any modern slow cooker would be fine as long as you follow instructions. They are designed to come up to a safe temperature and then reduce automatically. You can buy them cheaply at most supermarkets such as Countdown etc.


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08 Jul 2018 09:56 #540857 by tahunakuaka

My one and only experience with a slow cooker, sunbeam, was that even on the low setting it boiled rather than simmered, so I am reluctant to invest in another. After reading the article posted by stentor, thought perhaps using the slow cooker as a water bath with a container within that, might be effective.

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08 Jul 2018 14:27 #540861 by jeannielea

I have had a Breville one for years and use it a lot. It doesn't seem to boil but food is very
hot from it and gravy thickens quickly. the outside is quite hot to touch though. As I understand it one advantage is that you don't need to add much liquid at all (usually half a cup is enough) so all flavour is kept in the meat and second that the heat is low enough for power use to be less than other ways of slow cooking.

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08 Jul 2018 14:51 #540863 by tahunakuaka

On one review website I looked at, one of the breville models was the top rated. Thank you for the comment about not boiling. I have decided to get a Breville Flavour Maker, I will be able to use it for other things if it isn't slow enough for the mature (and extremely fat) mutton. (wish I was at the other end of my life span, then I would invest in a wood burning stove etc.)

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09 Jul 2018 13:38 #540885 by jeannielea

As the worst roaster of meat in the universe I found doing one in the slow cooker but putting it into the oven for a last half hour has my family envious of such tender and delicious meat! To help with washing up it goes into a shallow pyrex dish lined with baking paper. Nothing else needed.

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09 Jul 2018 17:33 #540887 by Furball

Have you looked at a quarter acre pot? thermalcooker.co.nz/
I got one at fieldays many years ago and it has been really good. You bring the pot full of stuff up to the boil on your regular stove and then put it in the insulated outer and it goes on cooking all day on its own heat - it's effectively a higher-tech hay box. As a bonus, you can still cook with it in a power cut (heat up the inner on the fire), and you can take it with you when out fishing or whatever and it's a pot of hot food when you want it.

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09 Jul 2018 17:46 #540888 by tahunakuaka

I saw one of these, or something similar, demonstrated at the NZMCA show, but wasn't sure if it actually worked as per the sales patter. I will have a closer look next show I go to, I like the idea.

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09 Jul 2018 22:52 #540896 by Belle Bosse

My Mum has a thermal cooker and loves it, especially when travelling.

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10 Jul 2018 16:36 #540903 by Anakei

jeannielea wrote: As the worst roaster of meat in the universe I found doing one in the slow cooker but putting it into the oven for a last half hour has my family envious of such tender and delicious meat! To help with washing up it goes into a shallow pyrex dish lined with baking paper. Nothing else needed.


I've never tried roasting in the slow cooker - just pot roast with liquid. You have inspired me to try it!


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11 Jul 2018 13:15 #540917 by jeannielea

Hope you enjoy it!

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14 Jul 2018 11:34 #540951 by spoook

Furball wrote: Have you looked at a quarter acre pot? thermalcooker.co.nz/
I got one at fieldays many years ago and it has been really good. You bring the pot full of stuff up to the boil on your regular stove and then put it in the insulated outer and it goes on cooking all day on its own heat - it's effectively a higher-tech hay box. As a bonus, you can still cook with it in a power cut (heat up the inner on the fire), and you can take it with you when out fishing or whatever and it's a pot of hot food when you want it.


I second the Quarter Acre Pot. Saves on any form of energy to cook during the day, just the prep time in the morning, put together and walk away to come back to a piping hot meal.


There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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16 Jul 2018 10:59 #540986 by Nora

I have the big rectangular Breville flavour maker. The pan can be used on stove to brown onions and meat first, and then out in the shell to cook. I have cooked apples on low overnight and it is simmering in the morning, not boiling I suppose. The pan can also go on top of our woodburner although so far I have only tried this once and it was too slow for my patience. So a good choice I think.

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16 Jul 2018 11:52 #540988 by max2

We have a Breville Advance Meal Maker which must be getting on a bit now. Mum always had the round crock pots when I was growing up and personally I think its a fab way to have a lovely dinner ready for the end of the day.

Can't say any of us have ever been sick after eating a meal cooked this way.

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17 Jul 2018 15:06 #541006 by tahunakuaka

Thanks for all the comments which are most helpful. I finally bought the Breville Flavour, maker the inner container can also be used on the stove top. My teenage grandson (family are here for the school holidays) used it to cook the very mature shoulder chops and they were tender and delicious. He assures me it only simmered on low, so I will take his word for it (the rest of us were out for the day). I won't get to use it until after the holidays - in the meantime I get to eat delicious meals and don't even have to clean up!! I still like the QAP idea though.

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