Slow burn: a fast guide to slow cooking

Slow cookers can deliver deep, luxurious flavours and textures, or a hot soggy mess. Katrina Meynink offers a foolproof guide to the fundamentals

Like any kitchen device, slow cookers have their quirks, advantages and pitfalls. When you know and understand what your slow cooker can and can’t do, you can use it to wondrous effect.

After cooking (a lot) with different cookers new and old, I can confirm that they vary in heat. Older cookers run cooler than their newer counterparts. So, while a vintage slow cooker might look good on your kitchen bench, it will take longer for the food to cook, change the final outcome and consistency of the dish, and it might also sit around the temperatures that you don’t want: ones where bacteria and all the funky weird stuff can lurk and grow.

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