Anybody with a busy family knows how hard it is to get a healthy and nutritious meal on the table. This is where a slow cooker can be a life saver; it makes meal preparation a breeze. All you have to do is put the ingredients in the pot and turn it on; the slow cooker will take care of the rest. A good slow cooker is well worth the investment just for the time that it saves you.
Size Counts with Slow Cookers
Probably the most important factor to consider when you are choosing a slow cooker is its size. The key is to get one that is the right size for your family needs. It goes without saying of course that you will need to choose one that is large enough that you can cook a meal to feed your whole family. It is also important however that you don’t choose one that is too big for your needs. The problem with a slow cooker that is too big is that it will cook the meal too fast and leave it over cooked. You can find slow cookers that have different sized inserts to allow you to cook different sized meals but these are not all that common. To a certain extent you are going to have to make a bit of a compromise here and choose the size that you will use most often.
Choose a Slow Cooker that is Easy to Clean
One of the reasons that people buy a slow cooker is to make their lives easier. There a couple of features that you are going to want to look for when you are buying one to make sure that is the case. The first is that the insert needs to be removable. You can’t put the slow cooker in the sink which makes washing the inside a real hassle. Having a removable insert solves this problem. You are also going to want to make sure that the insert is dishwasher safe which will also help to make clean up a breeze.
A lot of people find that one of the most common uses for their slow cooker is for things like pot luck dinners. In order to make it easy to transport the food you are going to want to get one with a clip on lid. This will make sure that you don’t spill any food on your car seat. Having handles on the side will also make moving it a lot easier so this is another feature to look for when you are choosing a slow cooker.
Heat Settings Provide Versatility
Almost all slow cookers come with a high and a low setting so this is not something that you have to pay too much attention. However the better ones also have a keep warm setting, this you will likely find very useful. Most families find it difficult to schedule time to eat together and as a result they tend to eat at different times. This is easy to do with a keep warm setting on your slow cooker, you can just leave dinner on the counter and people can serve themselves when they are ready to eat. One other useful feature that is starting to appear on the better slow cookers is a temperature probe. This is ideal if you are cooking large pieces of meat, you can insert the probe and when the desired temperature is reached it will automatically switch to the keep warm setting.
Modern Slow Cookers can do More than One Thing
Slow cookers are already one of the most useful tools that you will have in your kitchen and as new features are added this will become even more the case. Manufacturers have started to combine them with other appliances like rice cookers and roasters so your slow cooker can do more than one job. This can be a nice feature to have but it is not something that most people find to be all that important. They already get plenty of use out of their slow cooker as it is.