Slow Cookers vs. Dutch Ovens: How to Convert Slow Cooker Recipes
The Slow Cooker Revolution: Are Slow Cookers Really Superior?
It seems that no one can stop raving about the wonders of slow cookers these days, and sites like Pinterest are overflowing with slow cooker recipes. I feel like I am the only newlywed who did not register for a slow cooker, and does not own one, much to many people's surprise. I do own a gorgeous Le Creuset dutch oven though, thanks to my lovely Aunt, and let me tell you...I am in love with it!
I understand the convenience aspect of a slow cooker--being able to leave something on all day and come home to a yummy meal, all ready, but I just don't feel entirely comfortable with the idea. Or maybe it is that there is a small part of me that has luddite tendencies, and I feel so satisfied with myself when I pull my dutch oven out of the oven after a few hours. Also, sometimes I don't have all day to let a recipe cook, and would much rather pop it into the oven and have it be done in two hours.
Both slow cookers and recipes can be used to cook incredible stews, soups, or pot roasts, all of which I have a weakness for. That being said, I don't find myself craving my favorite winter foods down here in Florida as much as I did during the colder and much colder winters of Virginia and Massachusetts. I have been trying to work one or two heartier recipes in per week since I have been down here, and that has been plenty. When I am looking for a heartier recipe though, I often stumble upon the issue of finding most of the recipes I am drawn to are adapted to a slow cooker.
Can Slow Cooker Recipes Be Adapted to a Dutch Oven? Yes!
Well, for those of you who are in the dutch oven camp with me, I have great news! It is SO easy to convert slow cooker recipes so that they work in a dutch oven. Here is the conversion that I use:
When cooking on LOW in a slow cooker---> 1/4 of the time in a Dutch at 325 degrees
When cooking on HIGH in a slow cooker --> 1/2 of the time in a Dutch at 325 degrees
All this being said, I am sure there may be a time in my life when the slow cooker is too convenient to ignore, but so far I havn't reached that point.
What about you? Which do you prefer? Any tips? Feel free to use the comments section and join the conversation!
Slow Cooker to Dutch Oven Conversion
Heat Setting: Low
Temp: 325 for 1/4 of the time called for in Slow Cooker Recipe
Heat Setting: High
Temp: 325 for 1/2 the time called for in the Slow Cooker recipe