January is Slow Cooking Month and a great reminder of just how energy efficient a slow cooker or crock-pot can be when preparing meals for your family. While the slow cooker isn’t great for every cooking task, it has many significant advantages that make it worthy to be a staple in every kitchen.Here are 5 reasons to slow down and make more meals with your slow cooker:
- Saves Money. Cooking with a crock is very inexpensive when compared to the costs of running an oven. A crock pot consumes around 250 watts of power while an electric oven can draw up to 4,000 watts – depending on how you’re cooking. That means that using a conventional electric oven for one hour can cost around 20 cents while operating a crock pot for 7 hours costs only 10 cents – an energy savings of 50%. In addition, there is added energy savings by making a one-pot meal, compared to a multi-course feast that uses several burners and an oven to prepare.
- Healthy. There’s something wholesome and healthy about homemade soups, stews, oatmeal, and other slow-cooked family meals. Slow-cooked recipes rarely call for added oils or fats since they use water and time to cook the food. So as long as you trim the fat from your lesser cuts of meat, you’re serving a lower fat meal then those prepared through frying or offered at restaurants.
- Convenience. Cooking the slow way using a crock-pot is very easy to do – just layer your food into the crock, set it and forget it! It’s seriously that easy.
- Saves Time. Slow cookers save you lots of time because they allow you to cook hands (and eyes) free. Once you’ve got your food prepared and placed in the crock, you don’t have to stand around stirring and monitoring it. Cooking in a crock pot is not like preparing food in an oven or on a stove because there’s no boiling over or burning. You don’t have to babysit your meal as it cooks.
- Easy Clean Up. Cooking a meal in a single pot reduces water waste resulting from cleaning multiple dishes, and the low cooking temperature and glazed pot make cleaning easier than conventional high-heat pots.