My Paleo Kitchen Tools: Slow Cookers

Written by: Kristin Jekielek

This week I’ll cover the tools I use for slow cooking.

What is slow cooking? It’s when you cook meat at a low temperature for a long time – say 6 – 12 hours. This method of cooking is great for the tough but cheaper cuts of meat because it makes them very tender.

There are two tools I use for slow cooking:

  • Crock Pot
  • Dutch Oven

The Crock Pot is great for those times when I want something to cook all day long when I’m out and about. It’s great for that! Sometimes though, I want to get some browning and caramelization to happen on the meat, and cooking in the oven with a Dutch Oven is key for that.

 

Crock Pot

You can find really modern, high tech crock pots at a reasonable price these days.

I recommend getting a programmable one if you’re out of the house for very long stretches (more than 8 hours at a time). You’ll be able to set the cook duration, and then the Crock Pot will keep your food warm enough to serve until you get home. You’ll avoid mushy meat and vegetables – definitely a plus.

Consider the amount of food you usually cook at one time when picking a size. Even though I generally cook 3 - 5 pound roasts for myself, I use a larger crockpot.  It gives me the flexibility to cook up to an 7 pound roast for those times when I'm cooking for a crowd.

Crockpots generally can't be too big for any amount that you're cooking, so in this case bigger is better.

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Dutch Oven

Dutch Ovens come in two varieties – cast iron and enameled cast iron.

Cast Iron Dutch Ovens are great if you want to be able to take it camping with you because they can be used over an open fire as well as on the stovetop and inside your oven.

Enameled Dutch Ovens are more pleasing to the eye and easier to clean. Plus you can get them in just about any color and any price point!

You need to consider the size you want, just like with the Crock Pot. How much meat do you want to be able to cook at once? Don’t just consider every day use; think about cooking food for friends or family. It’s always ok to have extra room in the pot.

I personally love my 5.5qt Le Creuset because there’s plenty of space when I’m cooking just for myself, but I can fit a 5 pound roast in there when I’m cooking for a group.

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So these are my Slow Cooking tools. Think I missed something? Tell me in the comments what else you use often!

Next week I’ll post about my favorite Big Ticket Items.

 

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Cheryl

2013-07-30

Any recipes to go along

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