Trends & Inspiration

What is Slow Cooking?

Slow cooking is a counter-top method of simmering food at a relatively low heat (typically ~79-93 degrees Celsius) for hours at a time.

When was the slow cooker invented?

The slow cooker was apparently borne from a story Irving Naxon, a Chicago-based businessman, heard his grandmother tell about a Lithuanian stew that took hours to cook. The Naxon Utilities Corporation is often cited as producing the first slow cooker in the first half of the 20th Century.

How does slow cooking work?

Raw food and a liquid (stock, water or wine are common examples) are placed together in the slow cooking pot. A lid is then placed on top of the pot, ensuring that no heat or vapour escapes. The heating elements heat the contents to a steady temperature, with the liquid conducting the heat from the pot walls to the raw ingredients. There is often a gap between the cooking pot and the cooker’s exterior surface, which helps to insulate the food and maintain the cooking temperature with minimal energy expenditure.

Why slow cook food?

  • Cheaper cuts of meat can be used and often taste better than more expensive cuts: oxtail, shoulders, brisket, shin and chuck are particularly on trend.
  • The low cooking temperature makes it near impossible to burn food.
  • To this token, the cooker can be left unattended; prepare your food in the morning and come home to a cooked dinner in the evening!

Three slow cooking recipes

Spicy bean soup (serves 4)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tin (~400g) black beans
  • 1 tin chili beans
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 200g passata
  • 250ml beer (Mexican cerveza works well)
  • 3 chili peppers, chopped

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir to blend. Set cooker for low heat, cover with lid and cook for 5 hours. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, tortilla crisps and/or soured cream and enjoy!

Check out _dominikka_’s spicy bean soup:

Beef bourguignon

Video: ‘Beef Bourguignon’, SORTEDfood

‘The Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding’, Crock-Pot

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 200g medjool dates, chopped
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 397g tin carnation caramel
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 100ml ful fat milk
  • 300g dark brown sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 450ml boiling water
  • remaining carnation caramel

Lightly grease a [Crock-Pot] bowl with butter. Place flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, chopped dates and ginger into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Whisk together eggs, butter, 125g carnation caramel, treacle and milk. Pour mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Place mixture into the bowl.

Make the sauce by mixing 450ml boiling water with the dark brown sugar and butter. Pour over the mixture in the bowl. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours until firm and risen. Stir remaining caramel well and pour it over the top of the pudding. Cook for a further 30 minutes on high. Remove lid and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes or until caramel topping has thickened slightly. Serve with pouring cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Check out yorkandalbany’s sticky toffee pudding:

One of our most popular desserts. Simple and nostalgic! ?#stickytoffeepudding @gordonramsaygroup

A video posted by York & Albany (@yorkandalbany) on

Why not give slow cooking a go today and shop the Crock-Pot range on IWOOT.

Michael Adamson

Michael Adamson


Michael is a life-long fan of all things related to DC Comics, Marvel, and Star Wars. When he's not reading, you can find him playing football or running.