We tend to think slow-cooked meals are a cold weather thing, a way to enjoy something rich and comforting after a hard day out in the wind and cold. So many of us have been associating crock pots and slow cookers with the winter season for so long that we have completely dismissed it and its culinary possibilities from the rest of the year.
While the summertime grilling season adds char-grilled goodness to the gathering, not to mention taking the stove top and oven heat outdoors, slow cookers can continue to provide a pot of culinary gold, says Dr. Mike Fenster, cardiologist and professional chef. “Unlike indoor ovens and range tops, slow cookers tend to add little Ambien heat. This can be quite a boon during the summer months when we’re trying to keep the indoors cool. Utilizing one pot cookery is also a great option when weather is inclement or circumstances don’t allow us a grilling or smoking option. And the convenience of simply adding the ingredients to a pot, setting a temperature and time and checking on it once or twice later when we have other important summertime activities to attend to (like looking for that lost shaker of salt) brings enjoyment to the festivities before we devour a single succulent bite,” says Fenster.
In addition to the convenience, the simmering and steaming methods usually employed in slow cookers enhances the many subtle tastes and textures found in the many fresh and seasonal items that ebb and flow throughout the course of the summer and into fall, Fenster explains: “This allows for an endless variety of light, vibrant, delicious, and healthful dishes throughout the season. By utilizing whatever happens to be in harvest at the time, such dishes can also be extremely economical!” he says.