Tips & Techniques Equip & Tools Using a Slow Cooker

Using a slow cooker to help you make food quickly may seem like a contradiction in terms.  But while it’s true that start-to-finish cooking times are quite long, slow cookers are actually ideal time-saving tools for busy cooks.  Once the ingredients are prepared and placed in the cooker, they require no further attention until you arrive home after a long day, ready to serve up a hot meal.

Ranging in size from 1 to 7 quarts, these handy covered electric pots slowly cook moist dishes such as stews, soups and braises using their built-in heating elements, allowing safe, unattended slow cooking. Fill a slow cooker in the morning with soup or stew ingredients, set the timer and the heat level, and come home to a ready-to-eat hot meal. Newer models feature a removable insert that lets you brown meats, poultry or vegetables on the stove top before returning it to the base for the hours-long cooking process, letting you contribute additional flavor.