Slow Cooking #1

In my attempts to save energy in the kitchen for the B&Q Great Energy Race, I have resolved to use my slow cooker more (I wimped out of making my own Wonderbox, and ordered a Wonderbag, and am waiting for it to arrive-in the meantime, slow cooker it is).
Hubby bought a chicken at the weekend, which I didn’t get round to roasting, so decided to see if I could ‘roast’ it in the slow cooker instead. And if this would indeed save any energy. And taste as nice.
According to the good and incredibly helpful people of the Twitter-sphere, the answer to the “Can you ‘roast’ a chicken in the slow cooker” question, was a resounding “Yes!” And controversially, the advice was to not add any liquid to the slow cooker, as it should make it’s own.

So off I went.
I was aiming for something like the delicious one-pot chicken I made a few weeks ago, (and neglected to take a picture of…)

This is what you need:

This is what you do:

Energy usage:

Taste Test:

Verdict:
There was very little to choose between the two recipes taste wise, and ease wise, but the slow cooker wins hands down on energy usage.
If I put my science super-geek hat on for a minute, I actually found this really interesting, that the slow cooker, even though it is on for longer, used less electricity. And every little helps when there’s a race to win (and a planet to save..) :)

Comments

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Hattie - 14/03/2014

No no no, you’ve got it all wrong! What you need is a PRESSURE cooker! Just like a slow cooker –
same thrifty cuts of meat etc- but works in a fraction of the time.
I’m totally evangelical about ours.

Jen - 14/03/2014

Oh no! Now you tell me ;)
Will see if I can hunt one down. Wonder how they compare energy wise with slow cookers?

SusiB348 - 14/03/2014

In our house, all the bones,skin and bits (incl the giblets) after picking the carcase get saved to be pressure cooked for half an hour. A splash of vinegar, cover with water, result is calcium rich stock for soups and bones soft enough for pets to eat. Ours used to queue up! If short of time, freeze the remnants and cook two together later.

Jen - 14/03/2014

Great tip, thank you!
Am officially on the hunt for a pressure cooker now :)

KnitNell - 14/03/2014

I use a slow cooker for meals for my husband who is a meat-eater. I don’t want to fiddle with uncooked meat and roasting is definitely out. I plonk meat and root vegetables in at the same time adding some beer (added treat) and stock (I have never tried chicken) and leave on low for 6 to 8 hours. The beauty for me is that I can buy the cheapest bits of red meat (saving loads of money) and cook everything in its own juices so no faffing and no loss of vitamins.

Re Hattie’s comment above I would love to find out more about pressure cooking and cooking veggy meals – so if you are doing a test ……..?

Jen - 14/03/2014

I’m intrigued too! Will try and track one down

Jo aka Kiwijo - 15/03/2014

I often make casseroles (using cheap cuts of beef of lamb) in mine and tried cooking Gammon a few months ago. I will NEVER cook Gammon any other way again, it was gorgeous! Apparently you can do pulled pork in your slow cooker as well, am gonna have to try that one day. :o)

Jen - 15/03/2014

Ooooh, sounds delicious. Did you add any liquid? Recipe please!!!!

Kitchen Round Up | M - 16/03/2014

[…] energy saving-ness (not a word I know) of Slow Cookers has been independently verified. By me. For a ‘roast chicken’ they only use less than a third of the […]

Heather - 18/03/2014

Thanks for some great ideas with your slow cooker. I love mine and use it regularly but I’m always looking for new things to put into it. On Sunday I did your one pot chicken as above and it was lovely. I then made the stock using the carcass and that’s now in the fridge waiting to be turned into something, most likely soup.
Today I’m experimenting with jacket potatoes in the slow cooker after reading about it here. I’ll let you know how they turn out. :-)

Jen - 18/03/2014

Hurray for slow cookers!

Science Hour… - 23/03/2014

[…] little like I have asked more questions than I have answered. Having already amazed you all with my slow cooker maths, I thought I would dazzle you all with science, and test a theory…. I am going to take you all […]

Crossing the Line | - 06/04/2014

[…] efficient that cooking in the oven, and I have since started using our slow cooker more-check out my slow cooker ‘roast’ chicken and then my thrifty […]

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