Why a slow cooker is the one thing you need to take to uni
Published on 16-09-2015 15:43
Words by Puddles the Monkey
Learning to cook at university is one of life’s great rites of passage. Luckily in the 1970s they invented the slow-cooker. Having gone out of fashion for a while, this gadget has recently come back in vogue, and with good reason. Here’s why a slow cooker is the one thing you need at university.
You can buy a slow cooker for as little as £20, so they’re not a major financial investment.
Because of the slow cooking times you can use cheaper cuts of meat, which will still come out tender, saving you money in the long term. They also take a lot of the effort out of cooking beans and lentils (just make sure you check the cooking instructions - some raw beans need to be soaked and boiled first), super cheap meal ingredients. If you team up with your housemates you can all chip in and create delicious, filling meals for pennies.
You can also easily cook in bulk and then freeze for later consumption – a great money saving tactic.
You can leave them unattended
What better than coming home after a long hard day’s graft in the library and having hot food ready and waiting for you?
One of the best things about slow cookers is that you can let them do their thing unattended, so there’s no slaving away in a hot kitchen for hours; just pop in the ingredients, set the timer and you’re free to go do other, more productive tasks.
This is particularly excellent in the colder months when you get back in to halls knowing that there’ll be a delicious hot pot of soup or curry ready and waiting.
It's also great in the summer because having the slow cooker on won't heat up your kitchen to unbearable temperatures like using the cooker will.
Slow cookers use less electricity than ovens or stove-tops, great if you’re paying the electricity bill but also good if you care about the environment. Some models will even allow you to set a timer to cook on high for a certain amount of time, after which it'll switch to low and then a 'keep warm' setting for when the food is done.
They also free up space, an essential commodity in student halls and houses. So while your housemates are all queuing up to use the cooker, or managing some kind of complex rota system, you can be making delicious food whenever you like. Actually, you won’t even need to be in the kitchen most of the time.
You can makes loads of different meals
Slow cookers are not just for soups and stews. You can make roasts, porridge, curry, pasta sauces, chilli, pizza, enchiladas, rice pudding, cake… the list goes on. They also make brilliant vegetarian and vegan food.
There is a wealth of amazing slow cooker recipes available on the internet to experiment with.
Your flatmates will think you’re a food deity
It’s really, really easy to cook with a slow cooker.
Gone are the days of accidentally setting the oven on fire by forgetting about the pizza, burning things, letting the water boil over and flooding the counter top, or any other common kitchen disasters you’ll come to know and love during your time at university.
Due the low temperature it’s nigh on impossible to burn anything, there’s no gas so you can’t set stuff on fire, and the long cooking times means that the flavours come out amazing.
While your housemates can tuck in to a plate of half-raw/half-pure-carbon fish fingers and chips, you can sit down to a delicious Coq-au-vin (or an equally yummy veggie alternative) and glass of wine like a sophisticated gastronome; no-one ever needs to know you just bunged a whole load of ingredients in a pot and let it do its thing.