Sous vide cooking and slow cooking: find the perfect gear on Klarstein
Slow cooking and sous vide cooking are becoming more and more popular: many chefs resort to these techniques because, by doing so, they can prepare food maintaining its nutritional properties, thanks to the low temperature that preserves its organic structure. These cooking methods, which have revolutionised top restaurants’ kitchens worldwide, will no longer be exclusive of chefs: on Klarstein you can finally buy different sous vide machines and slow cookers, ideal for moving the first steps in this fascinating world.
If you are unfamiliar with this way of cooking, before browsing our product gallery and choosing your slow cooker or and sous vide machine, please read the following sections, where we outline the main advantages and features to look out for before making your purchase. Our slow cookers and sous vide cookers are available in different colours and sizes and offer different functionalities to help you achieve the best possible cooking results and impress your guests and family with new, healthy and tasty recipes.
What is a slow cooker?
Slow cookers are electric, programmable pots with an auto-shutoff feature offering a wide range of interesting features to analyse and discover. The advantages are many: first of all, the slow cooker is the only cooking method that can work at a constant and not excessively high temperature for the entire time it takes to complete the preparation of the dish; in fact, the temperature of the slow cooker always remains the same throughout the entire cooking cycle, without ever exceeding 100°C.
An exciting feature is the programmability of this cooker. You can pre-set all the data relating to the cooking you intend to carry out and then you will no longer need to be present. With this cooker, you will be able to meet all your time requirements, allowing you to prepare even dishes that may require long cooking times and that you would not otherwise be able to prepare due to time constraints.
The slow cooker will prepare your favourite dish autonomously, and you will find it ready for use when you return home, without any further effort on your part. It will be a dream when you return home from work to find your lunch ready as if someone had prepared it for you, and you won't even need to heat anything.
The best slow cooker for your needs
Slow cookers are beginning to have a considerable spread in the UK: its success is undoubtedly due to the countless features you can find in this pot that can leave unaltered the flavours and the quality of the cooked food, maintaining the genuineness of the food. When choosing the best slow cooker for your needs, you will have to refer to its specific characteristics to choose the most suitable model. In particular, the advice is to pay attention to the available functions, the structure, the capacity and the cooking modes.
An important aspect of your slow cooker is the internal container’s capacity; this value is expressed in litres and is essential to evaluate it, to choose the most suitable size for your family's needs. The slow cooker is, in fact, available in several sizes to be able to adapt to both larger families and small households made up of just one person. In this sense, the sizes to refer to are:
- Small: 3 L capacity for approximately 3.5 kg of food, suitable for preparing meals for 2 people
- Medium: 4.7 L capacity for approximately 5 kg of food, suitable for preparing meals for 4/6 people
- Large: 6 L capacity for about 7 kg of food, suitable to prepare meals for 8 people
As regards the possibility of programming the cooking, this will allow you not to have to be present during the processing cycle which will proceed in total autonomy and without the risk of burning the food thanks to the auto-off function with which the pan is equipped; you can therefore choose the temperature according to the type of cooking you prefer, and according to the food you have to prepare. In general, the values are 75°C for prolonged cooking, 85°C for medium speed cooking and 95°C for speedy cooking.
Depending on the model chosen, you will be able to choose between different types of cooking, such as steaming, sautéing, the specific sterilisation function to be used when you want to disinfect jars and containers, for example, to use them for preserves to keep in stock for a long time.
The first thing to do if you are considering buying a slow cooker or a sous vide cooker is to analyse the advantages that it offers over other devices you can use for cooking, namely electric ovens, mini ovens, microwaves and hot plates that may be more traditional but to which, you will soon realise, the slow cooker really has nothing to envy.
A big advantage of the slow cooker is the auto switch-off at the end of the cooking programme. This is a safety feature that prevents you from burning the pot or the food in it and guarantees that you will always find the food warm once you return home. The slow cooker also has a 'keep warm' function that will keep the food warm for several hours, allowing you to enjoy it as if you had just finished cooking.
Temperature and cooking times with a slow cooker
The quantity of food to be cooked also determines the duration of the cooking time which, as already mentioned, is rather long and varies not only with the settings of the cooking programme you intend to use but also with the quantity of food to be cooked. So, to cook 2 kg of meat, setting a prolonged cooking (75°C) may require up to 6 hours while, for the same 2 kg of meat, setting a gentle cooking (95°C) will reduce the time needed to 4 hours.
Although there are many differences between the various slow cooker models, all of them allow you to choose and set the temperature you prefer. The difference lies in the fact that in a simpler model you will only choose between two temperatures, while in more advanced models the choice will be wider.
The "keep warm" function keeps food warm after the cooking cycle. This function also has different characteristics depending on the model. In fact, alongside the basic type, there is a buffet function that keeps food at a higher temperature than the basic type and makes it possible to serve steaming food that looks like it has just been baked.
The choice of the various functions takes place in different ways according to the type of slow cooker you buy; depending on the more or less advanced model, you can choose the function using knobs or buttons, and in some cases, there’s a display available to operate your device.
In a slow cooker, the temperature never reaches the boiling point of water. It always remains below 100°; the maximum temperature of use is 95°C, allowing you always to keep food well hydrated, soft and pleasant to eat. For the same reason, it is impossible for food to get burnt, which would also cause damage to the pot itself. As previously mentioned, the way you set the temperature varies depending on the model, so you can use knobs or buttons, choose manually or use pre-set programmes.
The safety of a slow cooker is high; you must always be careful not to touch the outer casing when it is hot, but you can safely handle it using the special handles through which the heat does not pass and which are therefore safe against the risk of burns. During operation, the slow cooker should rest on a solid, flat surface to ensure maximum safety by preventing tipping and possible spillage of materials.
Sous vide cooking: what is it about?
Vacuum cooking is a low-temperature cooking method in which food is cooked in special plastic bags at temperatures between 50° and 100°. The food is assembled raw, even with any condiments in the bag, and emptied of the air inside using a professional machine. It is then cooked in immersion for a variable time: the absence of air will allow the heat to spread evenly.
The main advantages of sous vide cooking are that it allows you to:
- cook without fat
- avoid burns, which are known to be carcinogenic
- preserve the nutritional properties of the food, which the closed bags maintains by avoiding oxidation
- retain all the food's aromas: the liquids and aromas penetrate the food in a vacuum, enhancing the flavour and preserving its tenderness and juiciness. This is also a way of reducing the amount of salt