Saucepans and slow cookers part 2 – an exciting discovery!

Yesterday I spent the morning thinking about saucepans and slow cookers (read more here). It was a very exciting morning for me because I made a new discovery!!! Ok it wasn’t like no-one else has ever discovered this or that it was particularly ground breaking or anything, but it was something that I didn’t previously know and now I do. Also it is going to be fairly useful to me in day to day living.

I know you can’t wait to hear what this discovery was so without dragging it out for too much longer – here is the big reveal:

I discovered how to slow cook food using things I already had without needing a slow cooker, or an oven or hob on at a low temperature for hours. I also discovered that I don’t need a soup pan to make soup!

Exciting isn’t it 🙂

My method was this:

  1. I chopped up the ingredients for carrot and rosemary soup – a couple of onions, a few leeks, some carrots, a sprig of rosemary and a bit of garlic.   
  2. I put them all in my large glass saucepan and covered the veg with some stock – I filled it up to as near the top of the pan as possible with stock. 
  3. I brought it to the boil (took about 10 minutes) during which time I also turned the oven on to a temperature of around 200 degrees C.  I had a pizza stone in the oven while it was heating up as the pizza stone retains heat well.
  4. Once the soup was boiling I turned off the gas and turned off the oven, wrapped the pan up in a large towel and put it in the oven.
  5. I left it there for 1.5 hours and when I took it out it was very tasty and steaming hot as you can see from the video above!  
Usually I make soup in my soup pan which is bigger than my glass saucepan and I make around 6 portions of soup a time.  I thought I would have made less soup because I used a smaller pan. However actually because the water had nowhere to evaporate to, it all stayed in the pan and I made just as much soup as I would normally.  This was great news on two counts.  Firstly I don’t need to go out and buy a new soup pan to replace my 10 year old scratched and damaged one and secondly it means that there is far less moisture being released into my kitchen.  This is good because our extractor fan doesn’t work very well and we often have problems with damp and condensation.

I got a bit carried away with the slow cooking and then attempted to make a casserole for dinner.  I think it would have gone well except that I only left it for 1.5 hours.  It had chopped up potatoes in it and I think either I needed to cook them for a bit longer before I put them in the oven or I needed to leave them in the oven longer or both…  It was edible ish but some of my family members weren’t too impressed.  I think I will stick to experimenting on myself until I have perfected it in future!
Speaking of experimenting, I haven’t finished yet and my next experiment is making zero waste veg stock following Jen Gale’s (and Mommy Emu’s) instructions (read them here). I am not going to follow the method I used above because it involves heating up the oven as well as using the hob. I want to save the energy used to heat up the oven and go even more low energy!
The experiment is currently in progress and I’m going to tell you all about it tomorrow! After that I promise I will try to keep my posts about alternatives to slow cookers to a minimum (emphasis on try – I’m like a kid with a new toy at the moment) and get back to my task for the year which is making £10,000 from our home (read more here)!
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2 thoughts on “Saucepans and slow cookers part 2 – an exciting discovery!

  • My pizza stone is from the Pampered Chef – it is a medium round stone with handles on their site. Since doing this experiment, I have now ditched the oven method and am using a well insulated freezer bag to make soup in (i.e. filled with towels and woolcool – I got the woolcool from Abel and Cole).

    I didn't see that site you mentioned, but it looks very interesting – off to have a read!

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