In the USA, most people call these electric cookers crock pots, whereas in the Great Britain they are normally called slow cookers. Crock pots by Rival, DeLonghi, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart and Toastess are particularly good examples of advanced crock pots. Some of these crock pots are programmable, which allows the cook the flexibility that the slow cookers of twenty years did not.
The first crock pots had only an on/off switch and no temperature control. This meant that the meals you could cook with them were limited, if you used your crock pot for cooking food while you were out of the house or work for eight hours or more. Modern slow cookers like those crock pots mentioned above have changed all that. These days, modern crock pots are programmable.
These modern crock pots are very flexible and with the finest of them, you can set the temperature that the slow cooker should function at and the duration of time it should cook for just like a microwave oven. For example, you could program a modern slow cooker to cook at, say, 180c for an hour and then 100c for two hours
Most people do not realize the features that modern crock pots have. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who still believe that slow cookers are only useful for cooking rice, boiling soup or preparing cheap cuts of meat like scrag end of mutton. This is just not valid any more, although manual crock pots were capable of more than that as well. Contemporary variable slow cookers can be used to make bread, cheesecake, custards and even sponges.
In fact, it is a good idea to get away from the old fashioned concepts people have about slow cookers and attempt to see them as an oven, which does not need a pot to cook in. Try the recipe below and see for yourself.
1 3/4 c flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 c shortening 2/3 c sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 1 1/2 c banana, well mashed, overripe 1/2 c walnuts, coarsely chopped
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the electric beater on low, fluff shortening in a small bowl, until it is soft and creamy. Add the sugar gradually. Beat in the eggs in a slow stream. With a fork, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, ? the bananas another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the rest of the bananas and then the last of the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts. Turn into a greased and floured baking unit or a 2 1/2 quart mold and cover.
Place on a rack in your crock pot. Cover the crock pot, but prop the lid open with a toothpick or a twist of foil to let the excess steam escape. Cook on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Serve Warm.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with researching the crock pots by Rival. If you have an interest in cooking or crock pots, please go over to our website now at Large Crock Pots