Measuring cooking time in hours, instead of minutes, allows foods to take their time reaching mouth-watering perfection. When you slow cook, in either an electric slow cooker or a traditional enamel cast iron Dutch oven, meat transforms into a succulent, fork-tender experience, vegetables reach their fullest and richest flavors and liquids have time to blend and intensify. And best of all, slow cooking is simple and convenient – meals can be prepped in advance, cooked while you’re away and there is often only one pot to clean!
Why Slow Heat is Good Heat.
Electric slow cookers and enamel cast iron Dutch oven achieve delicious results in much the same way: they evenly distribute and steadily radiate heat. As foods gently begin to cook, steam is released which condenses inside the lid then drops down onto food for even and continuous basting. This moist-heat cooking technique ensures that even larger cuts of meat, such as whole chickens or pot roasts, are cooked thoroughly yet remain tender and flavorful.
Make Dinner Ahead of Time
Prepping then refrigerating meats and vegetables at night can make for quick assembly the next morning. If you’re using an electric digital slow cooker, you can put all your ingredients in the ceramic crock before you leave for work, set the temperature to low, and come home to a delicious, homemade meal that’s ready when you walk in the door.
At your next party, serve delicious hot dips and appetizers without turning on the oven. Placed on buffets or serving tables, slow cookers maintain foods such as bean dips or queso at the perfect serving temperature. Your guests can help themselves, and you won’t have to worry about re-warming foods that have cooled or putting out dishes that are too hot from the oven. You’ll have time to enjoy your party instead!
In Praise of Braising
Braising is a time-honored cooking method that uses heat and moisture to tenderize and add flavor to foods. It’s an easy technique to master: start by placing an enamel cast iron or hard-anodized Dutch oven on the stovetop, add a small amount of butter or oil, and then sear your chosen cut of meat on all sides. Next, add cooking liquid, such as broth, stock or wine, to cover about half of the meat. Cover, place in a preheated oven, and cook until meat is tender and moist. Vegetables can be added as well to make a true one-pot meal.
Our Favorite Slow Cookers
Calphalon 4 Qt. Digital Slow Cooker
Calphalon 7 Qt. Digital Slow Cooker
Simply Calphalon Enamel Cast Iron 5 Qt. Dutch Oven in Blue
Simply Calphalon Enamel Cast Iron 7 Qt. Dutch Oven in Red
Unison™ Nonstick 5 Qt. Dutch Oven
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