Advantages Everything I've made tastes good
Disadvantages Dish and lid breakable
I like nothing better than to be able to bung a few things in a casserole dish, forget it for a few hours and then come back to find a well cooked casserole or stew. In a conventional oven, it is, of course, possible to cook a perfectly good casserole. However, I have always found that, when cooking beef in particular, it is hard to cook the meat at a low enough temperature to make it tender without burning. A slow cooker, although probably not a vital piece of kitchen equipment, is therefore a very welcome addition to my kitchen.Why I chose this model
What you get for your money
This model is made up of three parts; the base unit, a ceramic casserole dish and a glass lid. I was quite surprised that the dish was ceramic - I somehow expected it to be metal - but that is probably because I am accustomed to using a metal casserole dish in the oven. The fact that it is ceramic does, of course, mean that it is easy to break, especially when it is hot. I imagine that it would be a problem if it does get broken because it doesn't seem to be possible to buy a replacement. The instructions also warn against using the dish for anything other than in the slow cooker, so you are not supposed to use it in a conventional oven. I don't know what would happen if you did, but don't intend to find out anyway.
Seven to eight hours is, I've found, perfect for any kind of meat dish. Chicken tends to be cooked more quickly than beef, so it is a good idea to check on it every now and again - it may be ready sooner. Beef, however, is absolutely perfect when cooked for the full eight hours.
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