Forum home Babies Weaning

Slow cooker advice/suggestions

Hi ladies (and chaps),

I’m thinking of buying a slow cooker now that I am back at work and have less time to prepare meals. I have however in the past brought quite a few kitchen gadgets (ice cream maker- used once, george foreman grill - used occasionally but not much, etc). I have heard lots of positive things about slow cookers and think in principle they are a great idea, but don’t want to spend money on one if I’m not going to use it.

I would love to hear your thoughts, do you have one? do you like a particular brand? how often do you use yours and have you got any recipes or suggestions for foods to cook.

Will wait for some feedback before I buy one. x x



  • I'd love to hear too! We got given a slow cooker / steamer all in one YEARS ago and never used it as a slow cooker but want to now! But I don't eat much meat so need inspiration especially as I have loads of chicken thighs in the freezer to be used up.

    And would you leave it on all day if you were out of the house? Get a little nervous about that!!

  • I LOVE my slow cooker & do SO much in it!!... You can do such a huge variety of things in it & I love being able to pop it all in the slow cooker in the morning & come home at night to a lovely smell in the house & dinner ready!!

    Some of my most fav things to do in it are beef stew, chilli con carne, all different types of soups & i have actually right now got a yummy pot roast on the go... Just popped the seasoned big slab of beef roasting   joint in the slow cooker on top of veggies & gravy & after 8-10 hours the meat just falls apart & is so moist & tasty. Ive also done big pots of warm dip for parties & kept it in the slow cooker to keep warm all night.

    you can pretty much do anything in it... My friend cooks a whole chicken in hers & i think the only meat that wouldn't work well is fish as it would disintegrate. You can also do sweet stuff.,, or for breakfast if you like porridge you can put the oats, milk, sugar etc in before bed & cook on low overnight so its perfect & ready 1st thing.

    i actually have 2 crock pots.., 1 large on which easily cooks enough to feed 4/5 people a decent size meal & a small one which i use for dips for parties.

    in england I have a breville one which worked great... I liked the 'auto' feature which cooked high for a couple hours to cook meat through & then switched on its own to low so it would then slowly cook all day. An absolute must feature though I would say is the 'keep warm' feature... My new slow cooker i brought when I moved doesnt have the auto feature & I dont miss it a huge amount but the keep warm feature is great for if people might want to go back for second servings or at parties so the food stays warm but doesnt keep cooking or dry out.

  • We have one and use it loads - mainly in the winter - but its a godsend. You do have to be quite organised in preparing your meal either before you go to bed or when you get up to be switched on as you leave for work. 

    I also find that you don't neccessarily need to use slow cooker recipes. I have made lots of things in it with jars of sauce. Only one that seems to fail miserably is sweet and sour.


  • This may sound really stupid but how do you do a chilli? I've done it on the hob just wondering how long would you put it on?

  • mummy swan... i usually brown the mince with onion etc then put in slow cooker... Add all the other ingredients (peppers, chillis, tomatoes, spices etc) except the kidney beans then cook on low all day (8-10 hours on low is fine). Add the kidney beans about 30mins or so before serving & continue to cook on low.

    a lot of meals i put the meat in raw (eg chicken, beef stews etc) but with beef mince I like to precook that quickly 1st for flavour & also more importantly so i can drain off the fat before mixing with the other ingredients.

  • I use my slow cooker for cooking beef joints and also any stews or casseroles. It is fab, however I'll be honest getting it sorted the morning of can be a little cumbersome!! I've always browned my meat as this is what has been advised and I end up smelling of meat for the day!!

    @ SW2 does your mince not disintegrate in the slow cooker? Mine did the last time I made a chilli. I wonder did I do it wrong because none of us liked the texture when it was finished (this is the one time I didn't brown my meat!!) Or is it possible I made it too watery?? x

  • Brilliant. Thank you!

    i May test on a weekend before leaving it all on all day when we're all out!

    think it's because I've not eaten much meat I'm a bit clues on casseroles / stews etc!

  • Emlowe... No ive not had the prob with the mince disintergrating... Maybe as you say its because you didnt brown it 1st?? Or if you had it on high instead of low heat Im guessing that moght do it.

  • Ahh thank you I shall try again. I cant remember what setting I had it on but yes possible high to make sure it cooked image Thank you

  • I love my slow cooker. It's great on work days. I literally throw meat & veg & a sauce or stock & put it on when I leave for work at 7am & it's fab to come back home at 7pm to a ready cooked meal that smells yummy. Also nice for day's out. I wondered if it was going to be one of those purchases for me but I use it loads.

  • Thanks ladies, you are tempting me. My brother has one and he absolutely loves his. I was given some vouchers for Christmas so think I might go ahead and buy one. I love the idea of coming home and the house smelling of home cooked foods. When I used the bread machine on a regular basis (which I haven't done for many years) I loved the smells, it made the house feel really really warm and welcoming. 

    Any suggestions on makes/brands or are they pretty much the same?  x 

  • I've got a slow cooker cook book but no slow cooker, don't ask!

    Was looking at it and am now def thinking about getting one, you can do almost all meals in there! Dinners are always a nightmare for me, Emily (nearly 4) wants feeding as soon as she's in from nursery 4.15pm and it's so hard to give her a decent meal quickly.
  • I've put a beef stroganoff into mine tonight for dinner tomorrow so I will let you know how that goes. I cant' wait for dinner tomorrow night. Even better hubbie made it!!

  • I got a slow cooker for my birthday (I asked for it) I love it! I always make plenty and then have at least 6 meals I can freeze for Henry. Going to put some of my recipes on the recipe exchange. Just polished off Caribbean chicken yummy!
  • Beef Stroganoff was a huge success. I highly recommend it in the slow cooker...

  • I got a slow cooker!! Woo hoo, however my beef strogonoff was a disaster. I put far too much water in it and had to get rid of loads of it before we ate it. It did however taste really nice, Annabel loved it. The meat was really soft so I only had to mash it slightly in order for her to eat it. 

    I currently have a Spanish chicken cooking as we speak. I put less water in the pot, just a tin of tomatoes, and half a tin of water - so we'll see how it comes out.

    Any recipe suggestions, hints or tips would be very welcome. Emlow - maybe your beef strogonoff, it is one our my favourites!!!  

  • Loving mine. On a Friday night I work out what I'm going to do for the whole week and go out on Saturday and get all the bits.

    I did sausages in there. I wouldn't recommend they went all soft and like mush, my LO's liked it though ha x
  • As dinner is ready after school run we have all been sitting down together to eat, pulling Henry up at the side of the table in his high chair.

    Fav so far

    Caribbean chicken (like sweet and sour)

    1 onion

    1 celery

    1 carrot

    150g mushrooms

    1 red pepper

    4 chicken breasts

    Half tin peach

    Half tin pineapple

    3 tbsp corn flour

    2 tsp paprika

    1 tbsp soy sauce

    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

    4 tbsp vinegar

    500ml boiling water.

    - Fry onions, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and pepper in a pan.

    - Add chicken and dry till seared.

    - Drain the tinned fruit retaining the juice, add fruit to the pan

    - to make the sauce, blend corn flour and paprika with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce vinegar and the retained juice

    - add sauce to the pan with the boiling water and stir

    - add to slow cooker 8-10 low heat or 5-6 high heat

    Very tasty dish and kids loved it, the sauce was a tad watery so maybe cut down on the water a little.
  • My favourite thing to cook in my slow cooker is rice pudding! A really lovely treat for the whole family… I'm pretty sure a small portion for our little ones every now and then won't do them any harm. image You won't regret making this, it is so delicious! 



    100 g short grain pudding rice 600 ml semi-skimmed milk 300 ml double cream 50 g caster sugar 25 g unsalted butter ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated   Method:
    1. Rinse rice in a sieve, drain and then place in slow cooker.
    2. Add milk, double cream and sugar. Stir together gently.
    3. Add butter in small knobs.
    4. Grate nutmeg over the surface.
    5. Place lid on slow cooker and then turn dial to Low and cook for 2 hours.
    6. Remove lid of stoneware and stir rice gently with a wooden spoon.
    7. Replace lid, and cook for 1.5 further hours.
    8. Serve with grated nutmeg and jam.

    image yum yum yum. You can also make this with coconut milk for a different flavour x

  • Thanks for all the feedback ladies. I did indeed get a slow cooker and it is AMAZING!! It is really easy and useful, on one of my days off I throw something in the pot and by the time we get home for tea it is ready!!!

    It sounds like some of you have some great recipes and ideas, so I've started a Slow cooker recipe thread so we can share them.

    Yum Yum. x x

Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions