In among the sea of culinary trends and nutrition fads, there’s one method of preparing and cooking meals that remains timeless – Slow Cooking.
The art of cooking “low and slow” is as old as the practice of consuming heated meat and vegetables itself. Slow cookers, in one form or another, have been used by cultures and indigenous tribes around the globe for much of recorded history, and they really came to prominence in the mid-20th-century, when the patented Sunbeam Slow Cooker became the must-have culinary item.
Slow cooking may have fallen out of favor in recent decades thanks to the high-tech wizardry of microwaves and steam ovens, but it’s time for this tried-and-true method of cooking delicious meals to have a resurgence.
Here are 6 reasons why you should start slow cooking today.
1. You Don’t Need Any Special Equipment To Get Started
If you’re a newbie to slow cooking, you don’t need to go out and purchase an electrical crockpot to get started. One of the most convenient ways to begin cooking one-pot meals is to use a cast iron Dutch oven (https://unocasa.com/products/enameled-cast-iron-dutch-oven), but to begin with any heatproof casserole dish or stockpot will do.
2. Slow Cooked Food Is Rich In Nutrients
In today’s health-conscious times, we’re all a little more aware of the importance of eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods. Meals that are a combination of nourishing veggies, lean protein, and powerhouse carbs tick all the boxes, and there’s no better way to make them than through slow cooking.
One of the biggest advantages of cooking food at a low heat for a longer time period is that it’s less likely to break down all those important nutrients found in fresh ingredients – even steam cooking doesn’t compare to slow cooking in terms of the health benefits.
Meals can be made even more nutritional in a moment by adding more vegetables, and the tougher cuts of meat that most recipes call for help to lower both the calorie and fat content of the final dish.
3. Slow Cooking Makes Meal Prepping Easier
Cooking a big batch of food in one pot is every meal prepper’s dream, and that’s exactly what you can do with your slow cooker.
Even if you’re not following a specific meal plan, you can still cook up a batch or two of your favorite meals that will last you for the week. And since you’ll be using fresh, simple ingredients for your dishes, you can easily portion them out and pop them in the freezer to eat at a later date.
4. You’ll Never Run Out Of Recipe Ideas
From simple pork stew to fancy fennel risotto, or even classic roast chicken, there’s an infinite number of slow cooker recipes to try your hand at. Slow cooking is a great way to cook up some classic comfort food during the winter months, with warming stews and nourishing broths being a favorite with many a slow cook chef, but you can cook one-pot meals all year round.
Since it’s such a simple way to cook food, slow cooking is also perfect for experimenting with more exotic dishes like Hungarian goulash, steak stroganoff, or Moroccan chicken. You can whip up yummy pasta dishes like mac and cheese, lasagne, and spaghetti bolognese, or even bake dessert – all in a single pot.
5. Slow Cooking Can Save You Time And Money
It may seem contradictory to say that a cooking process lasting upwards of 4 hours can save time, but it really does.
Even complex recipes are made simple: just throw all your ingredients into the pot, set your oven or stove to the right temperature, set a timer, and let the magic happen. You’re free to get on with your day, knowing that there’ll be a piping hot, home-cooked meal waiting for you at the end of it.
Slow cooking is also cost-effective and environmentally friendly, especially if you use a stand-alone slow cooker or crockpot. Cooking at a lower temperature uses up a lot less energy than cooking at high heats, even over 4-8 hours. Additionally, electric slow cookers use just 300 watts per hour compared to the 4000 watts a standard oven uses up, meaning you will pay a lot less for your energy usage.
6. Slow-Cooked Meals Are Delicious
And finally, you should do more slow cooking because the meals you can make are absolutely delicious! Slow-cooked food is much more flavorful, since the ingredients have been cooking at a lower heat, and even the toughest cut of meat melts in your mouth after it’s been simmering for a few hours. We all know that nothing beats the taste of home cooking, and that’s especially true when it comes to slow home cooking!