I am not entirely sure I understand the point of using crockpots/slow cookers. Through my library I ordered many books on cooking with a crockpot and in general, most of the recipes could easily be done on the stove in no time at all. In fact, most of the recipes called for browning meat and onions before putting the food in the crockpot. You have to add the vegetables toward the end so they do not get overcooked. You have to add the spices towards the end of the cooking process or else most of them lose their flavour… Sounds a lot like making a stovetop meal to me but it a longer process!
For me, there are a few benefits that help me out. First, you can use tougher cuts of meat that fall apart after stewing in the crockpot a long, long time. Yum! Second, you can avoid turning on your stove or oven in the summer and still have a hot meal. Lately the heat has been taunting me, making my kitchen beg me to not heat it any higher, so I took out my crockpot and filled it with chicken broth, herbs like rosemary from my garden, bay leaves, peppercorns and dried minced onion in order to make flavourful and tender chicken breasts. It worked! I have been using the chicken for my pasta salads, sandwiches…you name it.
I know there are a lot of crockpot enthusiasts out there and I am wondering, what is it about crockpot cooking that makes your life taste better? How does it help you in the kitchen?