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.
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.
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
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.
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+
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Have you looked at a quarter acre pot?
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.