Slow cookers are truly heaven-sent. Imagine coming back from work and returning home with a hot yummy meal waiting for you.
That’s the beauty of owning a slow cooker, it gives you the freedom of not worrying about spending more time in the kitchen just to prepare a decent homecooked dinner.
All you have to do before leaving home is to prep all the ingredients and then toss them into your slow cooker, set, and then go.
A slow cooker gives you the convenience of preparing and creating good homecooked meals but do you understand how it works and what are the parts of a slow cooker?
How does a slow cooker works?
For more than 30 years, the slow cooker is a clever invention and is being used in many homes. The beauty of this wonderful small kitchen appliance is that it could make good homecooked meals.
The mechanics of a slow cooker is pretty straightforward- prepare the ingredients for your slow cooker dish, place it inside the inner pot, set the slow cooker, and leave it to cook slowly.
This cooking method is very similar to the principle in cooking roasted meat and barbecue, utilizing low temperature and in a much longer cooking time to slowly cook the meat to make it tender.
There are two ways to use the slow cooker, either by dry heat or moisture method. If roasting meats, the slow cooker uses dry heat just like an oven or a roaster.
For slow cooker dishes such as stews or soups, the moisture from the liquid will facilitate the cooking process. As the dish is cooking, it creates steam then condensation will follow inside the slow cooker which then functions as a baster.
Slow cooker components
The slow cooker has three main components which are the lid, inner container/pot, and outer casing. These 3 parts of a slow cooker are three separate pieces that basically represent a typical slow cooker appliance design.
However, there are other parts of a slow cooker that are integral in for it to function such as the electrical and electronic parts. To further understand how a slow cooker works we must be familiar with the parts of a slow cooker.
The outer casing that is usually made from metal is what keeps the form of the slow cooker. This outer layer of the slow cooker is where you place the inner pot.
Low wattage heating coils are completely incorporated within the outer casing which serves as the heating component that provides constant heat that will facilitate cooking.
This is the most preferred type since cleaning up is easier than having a slow cooker that has a built-in inner pot that cannot be removed from the outer shell.
The ceramic glazed coating of the crock or inner pot of a slow cooker gives the inner pot a layer that is food grade and non-stick. It is safe to use for a variety of slow cooker dishes.
Slow Cooker Lid
The topmost part of the slow cooker is the lid which serves as the cover for the inner pot. It is designed to have a dome shape curve which is essential to keep the flow of heat constant inside the crock pot when slow cooking.
Usually made from tempered glass that is resistant to heat with a top handle or knob for easy lifting. Some slow cooker models have lids that are uniquely designed with added silicone trimming around the edges and a rubber gasket that locks in the heat and moisture.
There are also slow cooker lids that have a tiny hole in them which is essential in letting a little steam escape to avoid pressure build-up.
In case you damage or break your slow cooker lid, replacements are available in stores just make sure you have the right measurement that will snugly fit to ensure proper cooking.
Slow cooker parts and their importance
The parts of a slow cooker complement each other by contributing to the functionality of this handy kitchen equipment.
Once you turned on the slow cooker, the electrical coil encased on the outer casing heats up and will indirectly transfer the heat onto the inner pot or container along the wall and base.
Usually, the heat warms up the slow cooker to about 180 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the setting.
This process of heat transfer initiates the simmering of the dish ingredients inside the slow cooker at a more constant low temperature continuously for several hours until such time the food is completely cooked.
When the food is already cooking steam comes out from the slow temperature simmer which with the help of the lid traps the moisture.
This creates condensation that vacuum the heat between the inner pot and the lid. The moisture inside the slow cooker helps in the cooking process and that is why this main part of a slow cooker which is the lid is very important.
The parts of the slow cooker have an important function for each one of them and understanding how they work together would provide you with a clear idea of how to properly take care of them and handle them.
Replacements for slow cooker parts are also available in stores both physically and online in case you will need to buy one. Just make sure you have the exact dimensions to perfectly match your slow cooker.