Kitchen Gift Ideas: Slow Cookers
14 Nov, 2014
By James Terry, Small Kitchen Appliance Buyer and Guest Contributor
Why slow cookers make great kitchen gifts
Slow cookers are an evergreen favorite for consumers. The holidays see a spike in sales for several reasons. For one, they make great gifts – not as good as jewelry or a new car, but a good, functional gift. Second, for the person on the go during this busy time of year, a slow cooker offers an easy way to have a hot meal ready when the family gets home. Third, with parties and “pitch in” dinners, such as hosting Thanksgiving, you can make a culinary creation and keep it warm while serving.
What makes a slow cooker different?
Why are slow cookers different than an oven or stovetop? It offers an option to be able to create a meal and let it cook all day long without the risk of leaving an oven or stove on all day, especially if you are not home. Using a slow cooker can hold moisture in better, making meats like roast tender when done. Manual slow cookers come in three speeds: Low, Medium & Keep Warm. You will just need to keep an eye on what is cooking. With a programmable slow cooker unit, you can set a timer and let it run. The choice of capacity is based on need and purpose. Consult your user manual for valuable cooking tips. Some slow cookers will even come with a recipe book, and there are also plenty of websites about cooking in a slow cooker.
Another feature that differs among slow cookers is the style of inserts. Most are made of stoneware and are easy to maintain. The user must always remember to heat the stoneware as the cooker heats and never put hot stoneware in the fridge. Sudden changes in temperature will often cause the inserts to crack. Some slow cookers offer metal/stainless inserts. These inserts can be more versatile in cooking or reheating method, though a microwave is a bad idea.
What kind of slow cooker is on your holiday wish list? Shop a variety of slow cookers and other small kitchen appliances at hhgregg.