Very few of us are familiar with the slow cooking process and the benefits of this method. We have almost always idealized the cooking methods that are the fastest and require the least time. However, slow cooking has recently become a leading trend and that is all because of the benefits of this process. This process makes sure that the nutrients present in the food are not lost. Also, it prevents the production of dangerous chemicals in food. Not only that, but the food cooked by this process tastes so much better than the regular food because the flavors and textures are properly preserved. This article will discover the importance of slow cookers along with the safety of this food preparation process. If you have heard about this method for the first time, make sure you read the full article as it will answer most of your questions.
Understanding The Slow Cooking Process
This process of food preparation uses temperatures that are between 79 degrees C – 93 degrees C. The food takes quite a long time to cook at these temperatures, but this method is considered to be so much better than the fast-cooking process. Most people use a slow cooker appliance for this process which is a countertop electrical gadget. In these cookers, a little amount of liquid like water or stock is added and the food is left to cook. The food is cooked due to the build-up of steam in these cookers. Instead of the electrical slow cooker appliance, you can also make use of your regular pots and pans. All you have to do is to keep the heat very low. The slow-cooking process is always safe for your food and your health. You just have to make sure that you are using your appliances correctly.
Benefits Of The Process
Cooking food at low temperatures for a long time has a lot of benefits. Along with preserving the essential contents in the food, this process also makes the food tastier. Here are some other benefits of this process that you need to know.
Kills The Bacteria
The prolonged exposure to heat is definitely the death of bacteria present in the food. In slow cookers, the steam created by the liquid encounters the bacteria present in the food in a tightly covered setting. This process results in the destruction and elimination of the harmful bacteria present in food. One thing that must be kept in mind is that the food is thawed before putting it through the process. If the food is thawed, it can be ensured that it is cooked at a safe internal temperature. Slow cookers take a long time to reach the temperature that kills bacteria so you must make sure that you are refrigerating the perishable foods before using them.
No Need To Check The Food Again & Again
This is probably one of the biggest advantages of the process. When the food is going through a slow-cook process. You do not have to worry about stirring it continuously or checking it every now and then. The low heat will make sure that the food does not burn and at the same time, all the flavors of the ingredients have enough time to immerse into the food completely. You just have to set the slow cookers or the heat on your stove correctly. It is advised to not remove the lid even once to prevent the heat from escaping. If the heat escapes the cooker, the temperature can be deflected which can adversely affect the cooking process.
However, you MUST be cautious of the steam once the food is cooked, and you have to remove the lid. Make sure you do not expose your skin directly to steam as steam can cause serious burns.
You Can Freeze The Food Again
It is completely safe to freeze the food that has been cooked in a slow cooker. However, it must be kept in mind that the food is completely cooled to room temperature before it is left to freeze. If this is not taken care of, it can result in ruined food. It is ideal to freeze your food within two hours of cooking.
Some Foods Are Not Safe For This Process
This process of cooking is almost always safe except for when you are using beans. Raw kidney beans and Cannellini beans are composed of a dangerous chemical known as phytohemagglutinin. This chemical is usually destroyed when the food goes through a boiling process. At low heats, this chemical is not destroyed which can result in bean poisoning. If you want to use kidney beans or any other kinds of beans, it is safe to fully cook them first.