Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pros and Cons of the Crockpot

Good morning, crockpot lovers. Today I thought we'd do something a bit different. This is the first issue of my brand new crockpot newsletter series, which will be available for free very soon. So in the stead of a crockpot recipe, here's some basic info about the crockpot and some pros and cons of crockpot cooking.

Let's begin, shall we?

Here's what has to say about the crockpot:

Crock-Pot (krok'pot)

A trademark used for an electric cooker that maintains a low temperature. This trademark often occurs in print in lowercase without a hyphen.

Wow, what a simple definition. That should tell you one or two things about the crockpot, or "slow-cooker" as some call it.

The crockpot is the ideal tool for cooking when you don't have a lot of time, or you have little or zero desire to actually cook, bake, fry, broil, stir-fry, grill, rotisserie, or shish-kabob.
Cooking with a crockpot is a healthy and simple alternative to fast foods or other franchise-prepared meals found in the freezer section of your local friendly grocer.

All you really need to do is chop up some vegetables and/or some meat, place them in the crockpot, and then turn the unit to the desired setting (low, or high) and let it sit all day while you're at work or doing something else that's certainly not cooking.

When you come home, you'll smell the delicious aroma radiating from your crockpot which has filled your entire home as if you HAD been cooking all day.

The Pros and Cons of Crockpot Cooking

Below is a list of pros and cons I've compiled about the crockpot.
+ As mentioned above, the crockpot provides an ease of homecooking parallel to no other kitchen apparatus.
+ The only preparation needed is to gather the ingredients, making them fit inside the pot, and turning on the heat.
+ Slow cooked food is much healthier than frozen and processed foods.
+ Recipes have that home-cooked taste and feeling.
+ Margin of cooking error is incredibly slim.
+ Saves room in the oven and save a stove eye for other dishes.
+ Tastes just like Grandma used to make!

And now the cons...

- Recipes more often than not resemble stews and vegetables and meat become very tender (could be a plus if you're like me and like it this way).
- Requires a free outlet and uses up space on the counter or table.
- Big, bulky pot to clean.
- Dairy usually does not belong in the crockpot.

As you can see, the pros clearly outnumber the cons.

To sum it all up, you can't go wrong with crockpot cooking.

Josh Day
Editor, Crockpot Crazy