Hey bloggies, it’s Monday (sorry for the reminder ;) )!
Ah well, so be it, if you can’t avoid ’em then why not make the best of ’em!
So this morning I woke up and made another lovely batch of oats – back to basics w/ my pb & naner combo :)
Then it was off to work to get crackin’ – fyi peeps in Richmond can’t drive in (1) rain (2) snow (3) wind (4) bright sun — as I discovered once again today. What gives people?!
Anywho, since we all know that I have been obsessed with using my newly discovered slow cooker (it was my grandma’s that my mom gave me a while back and I forgot I had it!) I thought I’d take today to do some fun facts.
I have been doing some research on the differences between ye ol’ slow cooker vs. the conventional crock pot
And yep, there sure is a difference (who knew?!)
Sometimes crock pots are called slow cookers, but a true slow cooker (with the heating element underneath) is not called a crock pot.
- Heating elements are on both the bottom and sides of the crock
- Consist of 3 parts: a glass lid, a ceramic or porcelain round or oval pot, and a round or oval heating element that the pot fits snugly into
- Uses moist heat over long periods of time to cook foods, usually high/low setting only
- Heat surrounds the food bringing it more quickly up to a safe temperature
- Cooks foods slowly at a low temperature – generally between 170o and 280o F
- Direct heat from the crock pot, lengthy cooking, and steam created within the tightly-covered container combine to destroy bacteria and make a crock pot cooking a safe process for cooking foods
- Excels at tenderizing post roasts/less expensive cuts of meat which require longer cooking at lower setting
- Heating elements are on the bottom, none on the sides
- They also have 3 parts: a glass lid, a pot, and a heating element however the setup is generally a pot that sits on a hot plate and has many different temperature settings, usually notated by numbers one through five
- This causes the cooker to heat the food more slowly, and is recommended for soups, stews, etc. where the food is small cut (brings it up to temp faster)
- Also use moist heat over a long period of time to cook food, however heat runs in cycles, rotating on and off therefore the heating element does not surround the pot and cook from the sides (and is not continuous)
- USDA recommends this type be used for soups/stews only or where meat is cut into smaller pieces due to potential safety concerns with low level heat coming only from bottom bringing a large piece of meat up to high enough temp before spoiling
- Can also use most heating elements as a griddle and use the “pot” in the oven/on top of stove – so this is more dual purpose/versatile
So what’s the bottom line?
Online research leads me to this conclusion: If you’re purchasing one of these small electrical kitchen appliances, a crock pot may be recommended in lieu of a slow cooker. Either way, they both offer the benefits of a quick and easy dinner preparation, convenience, and low cost healthy meals.
My personal thoughts are that if you are looking to slow cook large chunks of meat, then the crock pot is probably best for you. However if you mainly use it for dishes like (1) smaller chunks of meat – i.e. the chicken I have been cooking lately or (2) soups/stews – i.e. chicken chili, then the slow cooker may be a good fit.
Hope that was helpful to you friends, I did a bunch of research before getting started using our slow cooker to ensure that I didn’t food poison The Man & myself (not so romantic…) ;) haha
I think my next purchase for the kitchen is going to be…. drum roll…. a CROCK POT!!!
I think The Man would appreciate the occasional slow cooked large chunk of meat ha (twss) ;)
And in the ‘spirit of the slow cooker’ (new song idea?), here was the leftover White Chicken Chili for lunch today – not quite as picturesque however still deelish!
Plus these guys followed me to work… they are such pests.
Alright bloggin’ fanatics, gotta get back to work! Tonight’s agenda includes
- hangin’ with Cindy, she always whips me into shape!
- cookin’ with beets, acorn squash and yep, more chicken!
See everyone back tonight (p.s. Monday work blues will be ov-ah by then whoop whoop!)