Known as a lazy chef’s best friend, a busy cook’s secret weapon and the backbone of any well-stocked range of kitchen appliances, it’s no wonder slow cookers have become such a hit.
Slow cookers are designed to do all the cooking for you so you can whip up delectable meals without spending any time keeping an eye on how a meal is coming along.
Once you’ve done your prep and added your ingredients, it will cook your food at a steady and controlled temperature over a longer period of time.
Unlike with air fryers, there’s no need to worry about this drying your food out either as the lids lock in moisture for soft and flavourful results.
What’s more, according to USwitch, slow cookers are among the kitchen’s most energy-efficient appliances. Energy company Utilita has listed using slow cookers as one of the best money-saving tips for winter.
So what can you expect from GreenPan’s slow cooker? Their six-litre model typically retails for £200, but is on sale for £150 currently. The product description reads: “This slow cooker is your secret to bringing out flavours like a pro! First, brown your meat or vegetables, then lower the temperature and let your dish simmer for several hours.
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“While the slow cooker ensures the right temperature and cooking time, you can enjoy spending more time with your guests.”
This slow cooker features a sleek and easy-to-use LCD display control panel that has a range of functions to choose from including slow cook, brown/saute, steam, time, temperature as well as start and stop.
Once your meal is ready, an eight-hour warming function is automatically turned on. This changes the display, so instead of counting down the hours, it tells you exactly how long ago your dish was ready.
To get started with the GreenPan’s slow cooker, all you have to do is give the aluminium removable inner pan, the tempered glass lid and, if you’re using it, the stainless steel steamer rack, a wash with hot soapy water before using it. Also, I just wiped the outside of the appliance down with a damp cloth.
This took hardly any time at all, so I was ready to go with the slow cooker within a matter of minutes. The removable inner pan and glass lid are dishwasher-safe for those who don’t want to wash them by hand. Once the slow cooker is cleaned and plugged in, all that’s left to do is put it on the necessary setting according to what you plan to cook.
It can be tiresome cooking a stew on the hob as you have to keep checking in on it. To put this slow cooker to the test, I decided to see if this could make it easier while I was occupied with work.
The recipe I opted for was Nathan Anthony’s beef bourguignon which he claims is “amazing” and “so easy to make”. The original recipe serves six, however, I halved the ingredients to make it for just three portions.
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500g diced beef
Half tablespoon butter (to seal the beef in)
225g button mushrooms left whole
Two carrots chopped
Half tablespoon tomato purée
Two bay leaves
Two crushed garlic cloves
Fresh rosemary or thyme
Salt and pepper
125ml red wine
Beef stock, with very little liquid
Half tablespoon cornflour
Fresh parsley to garnish
I started by weighing out all of the ingredients and frying the diced beef in the butter – just until the meat turned brown. Then I fried the bacon in the same pan.
The next step was to just load all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. One of the best things about this slow cooker is that it has a range of settings designed specifically to ensure perfectly cooked food each time.
For this recipe, I needed the slow cook function at a low temperature for eight hours. To do this, all I had to do was plug the appliance in, press the “slow cook” button twice (the first time would just put it on high), and then just press start.
The slow cook low setting cooks food at 95 degrees and it’s intended for foods that require extended cooking times – typically fattier meats such as beef and pork.
Whereas the slow cook high setting cooks food at 99 degrees and it’s designed for food that needs a shorter cooking time – typically leaner meats such as chicken and turkey.
This machine also features a brown/saute mode allowing you to brown meats or vegetables before slow cooking and a steam mode with a steam rack for a healthier option.
As the beef bourguignon was ready while I was still working, the appliance automatically set itself to “warm” mode, which was fantastic. This setting keeps the food at 74 degrees and is intended only for keeping already cooked food warm at a lower temperature.
Plating up the food, I made sure to use a silicone ladle to avoid scratching the ceramic non-stick coating.
I served the beef bourguignon on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. Going in for a taste, it was incredible and the beef was so juicy and tender, despite being left to cook away for eight hours.
As this GreenPan’s slow cooker does exactly what it’s made to do and more, its current price is worth the money.
One negative I did come across with this appliance is that it takes up a lot of worktop space, so if you don’t need that much capacity or you have a small kitchen it may not be ideal for you.
However, if you cater to a large group of people, do a lot of meal prepping or just really enjoy cooking, this slow cooker is a great model to choose.
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