If you were to ask me what should not be missing in a kitchen these days, a slow cooker is definitely a serious option. In a time when we are all busy and in a hurry, it’s ideal to have a device where you can quickly put everything in in the morning and then just go to work. And when you come home in the evening from that tough day at work, isn’t it ideal to not have to do anything else with the food? A delicious low and slow cooked meal awaits you in the slow cooker, which you can immediately dish out. A slow cooker is the modern version of those cast iron pots that you let simmer low and slow over the fire. And don’t get me wrong, I love that, and I do it very often myself, but with current gas prices and the weather not always being favorable, you can’t always cook that way. That’s why it’s nice to have a slow cooker at home where you can achieve the exact same thing.
The slow cooker that I have at home is one from the brand Espressions. A Dutch brand! (which is actually quite fitting since I am the Hungry Dutchman). The advantage of this slow cooker is that it’s not only a slow cooker but can also be used as a sous vide. And that’s double as convenient! For those who don’t know what sous vide means, here’s a brief explanation. Sous vide, or under vacuum. By vacuum sealing ingredients, juices, nutrients, and flavors are better preserved. You can also give it extra flavor by seasoning or marinating it beforehand, the vacuum sealing allows the herbs to penetrate deep into the meat, fish or vegetables. The advantage is that you also use less fat to prepare, for example, meat. Once the meat has reached the right temperature, you can choose to finish it off by grilling. With sous vide, you always have a guarantee of perfect cooking. That’s why this method is often used in restaurants. Many people think that sous vide is only meant for meat, but you can prepare many dishes sous vide. Keep an eye on my food blog for more recipes using sous vide!
Lets talk Tech (Specifications)
This slow cooker/sous vide has a power of 550Watt and comes with an insert with a capacity of 5.5 liters. And that’s substantial! You can really cook for a household of 4 to 6 people with this. In fact, I often use it when I have a lot of people over for birthdays. Then I make a delicious stew or a really good chili in it! You can make so much in it that you can easily give a bowl of chili to 15 people!
The device has a glass lid which is nice to occasionally check on the dish. Because yes, if you lift the lid, all the heat in the slow cooker is lost and we don’t want that.
The device comes with a 1m power cord and a rack for inserting the vacuum bags. The 5.5l insert has a strong non-stick coating and is incredibly easy to clean.
On the control panel on the front, you can easily set the slow cooker/sous vide. Using the timer and the ‘strength’ (high or low), you can indicate how long you want to slow cook at which temperature or of course put your dish in the sous vide. The accompanying booklet also provides useful tips for preparing dishes.
Of course, the price you pay for this slow cooker, namely €149, is a bit higher than that of the average slow cooker on the internet. Agreed. But you get a lot in return. In addition to better quality than the average slow cookers that come from China, you buy a good, sturdy, and reliable slow cooker with the option of Sousvide. So, in fact, you are buying 2 devices in 1. In addition, you have more space (5.5L capacity) with which you can easily make recipes for the whole family. Also, the quality is much better. There’s a lot of stainless steel (so it’s easier to maintain and more hygienic) and it’s sturdier than most slow cookers. In short, do I think this slow cooker is worth the money? Yes! Absolutely!
To round things up
I must say I am very surprised by the power of this device. It is sturdy, easy to maintain, easy to operate, and if you want, you can prepare dishes in it every day. (I seriously did this for a week!). Are there any downsides? Well, not really. There is a power cord that could perhaps be a little longer, but you know what they say: “It’s not the size that matters.” Furthermore, I seriously can’t think of any negatives. The sous vide and slow cooker both do exactly what they are supposed to do. And with the help of all the booklets that come with it (including complete tables so you can always prepare the perfectly cooked piece of meat or fish), you can get started right away. “But it takes up so much space on your countertop,” I heard someone say once. That’s really not true. And once you’ve experienced the benefits of a slow cooker, it’s not going to go into the closet anytime soon. Especially not this versatile version.