5 Reasons Why I Dislike Slow Cookers

5 Reasons Why I Dislike Slow Cookers
5 Reasons Why I Dislike Slow Cookers

Slow cookers. The 1970’s retro kitchen appliance that has come back in vogue over the last few years has its advantages-they’re convenient, save you money, and definitely save you a ton of time in the kitchen. Slow cooker meals are easy – just toss in a few ingredients, ignore the slow cooker all day, and dinner is miraculously ready with ZERO effort! They have become increasingly popular among busy parents and professionals alike who just can’t fathom coming home from a long day of work, cognizant of the fact that they have to put in more time and energy (that they usually do not have!) to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal.

Despite the arguable pros, I have a culinary confession to make; I hate slow cookers. They’re high maintenance kitchen appliances that sell themselves for being low maintenance. My sentiments are a result of me having tried time and time again to make slow cookers my new best friend, but always to no avail.

When a work colleague offered to pass her used slow cooker over to me a few years ago, ‘ll be honest, the prospect of preparing an entire meal, (corrected; possibly a week’s worth of meals) had my truly excited. More time for the kids, more time for the gym, and more time for just relaxing on the couch, as opposed to spending hours in the kitchen. Well, that excitement went out the window pretty quickly. The first recipe I tried was pulled pork-albeit the meat was juicy and tender, the sauce was watery and I had to add more BBQ sauce after cooking it to add more flavour. The second recipe I made were meatballs in tomato sauce. The meatballs tasted like boiled meat, not full of flavour like they usually are, and they sat in a divided bath of tomato sauce and greasy oil.

So, there’s my plea! Before you  judge me, before you assume I’m that a home-chef snob, let me justify my reasons for dissing one of North Americans most prized kitchen appliance.

Here are 5 reasons why I dislike slow cookers:

1. They’re predictable
In their defence, slow cookers are perfect for transforming cheaper cuts of meat, such as chicken thighs and pork belly into more flavourful dishes. On the down side, slow cooker meals allow no room for interpretation. Follow the recipe otherwise suffer the consequences, for example, uncooked meat, overcooked pasta or rice, or just a watery mush.

2. They don’t save you as much time as you think
If I could buy a slow cooker that also chopped and seasoned the food all on its own, then I’d have a huge stash of them for every meal of the day. But they don’t. If you’re preparing a stew, you still to need chop all of the vegetables before adding them to the pot, and unless you don’t care much about flavour, you need to check in every now and again to taste and adjust the seasoning. Seasoning at the last minute pales in comparison to what seasoning throughout the entire cooking process does for a meal.

3. They produce flavourless meals
For someone who is used to (and also truly enjoys) tasting as I go, slow cookers don’t allow you taste each component of your meal. Throwing all the ingredients into one pot means you miss out on the entire tasting and seasoning process while you cook your food (and enjoy a post-work glass of wine while you’re at it). Aside from a few staples, most meals (at least the ones I’ve made) turn out one-noted-a big melting pot of indistinct flavours. Plus, to make many slow cooker recipes perform to the best of their ability, there are usually additional steps involved, like browning or caramelizing ingredients on the stovetop before adding them to slow cooker.

4. Results are visually unappealing
Let’s admit it-we eat with our eyes first, right? And let’s be even more honest. Slow cooker meals NEVER look as beautiful as their made-with-care counterparts. I’ll admit, I might be a bit biased since I’m a food blogger who spends a ton of time making recipes look appealing for my food photography. Having said that, in terms of presentation, there’s no doubt in my mind that one would chose a slow cooker meal over their counterpart.

5. They’re a pain to clean
Especially if you have a small sink like mine! They’re not dishwasher-friendly, (unless YOU have a huge dishwasher) and you have to wait HOURS for them to cool down, which means that you can’t lay on the couch all night, content in the fact that there will be NO dishes to wash the following morning.

Still not convinced? If slow cooker recipes are for you, then allow me to share some top slow cooker recipes that you might enjoy!



12 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why I Dislike Slow Cookers”

  • marge201 6 months ago

    All I do with my slow cooker/rice cooker is make beans, which mostly means bean soup because the water becomes the tasty broth. Just now I put soaked white beans in the cooker with 8 cups water, 1 cup sesame seeds (high in calcium), 1 chopped onion, a whole bunch of fresh frozen ginger & garlic, and tons of spices (onion powder, roasted garlic powder, tumeric, mustard, lemon peel, celery seed, cumin, tomato powder) set it for 6.5 hours, and I’ll have fabulous & healthy soup for me and the freezer tonight! Stir it every few hours to make sure the spices are dispersed and nothing else.

  • I have to agree. The only thing I use mine for is making stock. Veggie, chicken and bone broth. It is super convenient for that.

  • Thanks for commenting Kerri! I need to hear more about this crockpot honey chicken! Do tell, lol!!

    • Kerri 8 months ago

      I swear it congealed into one big lump of flavorless meat! It goes back to your point about not deviating from the recipe — I experimented a little and left it too long!

  • Kerri 8 months ago

    Amen, sister! My kids still bring up the “crockpot honey chicken” fail from last year as the worst food they ever had. The only crockpot meal in my rotation is a whole chicken and then I keep it going after we eat and make broth for chicken soup!

  • Nicole 8 months ago

    I agree Lisa. I’ve never had a “wow” recipe from a slow cooker.

  • Lol. I’m totally the opposite. My meals I cook in them are full of flavor. They are so easy and you can cook everything in them now. I love knowing that I can be busy doing other things and my food is cooking.

    • I also love the idea of being able to do other things…but unfortunately, they just haven’t worked for me! Glad they work for you 😉

    • Janet Martin 3 months ago

      Do you want to give some examples? I do use mine for stews using tough cuts of meat, and always for beans, but they overcook chicken and for most dishes, it’s more efficient to just cook on the stovetop

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