MyHomeSelection, a community-backed site, may earn a commission from purchases via our links. Learn more here.

The Role Of Slow Cookers In Modern Cooking Trends

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: January 25, 2024 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

Slow cookers have been used in home kitchens for decades. These simple yet effective kitchen appliances allow easy and hassle-free cooking of hearty meals. From savoury stews to succulent roasts, there is no limit to the culinary creations you can make with a slow cooker.

As modern cooking trends focus on time-saving techniques and sustainable practices, slow cookers have again climbed in popularity. Batch cooking, one-pot meals, and meal prep have become essential strategies for busy individuals and families. The slow cooker fits in perfectly with these approaches.

Slow cooking is not just a modern trend; it has a long history dating back to the invention of the earth oven. Over time, the technology and design of slow cookers have evolved to meet households’ changing needs and preferences. As we explore the role of modern slow cookers in cooking trends, we will also look at the fascinating history and evolution of this beloved kitchen appliance.

Overview Of Slow Cookers

A slow cooker is an electric device designed to simmer meals at a low temperature for an extended period. It typically contains a heating element on all sides or just the bottom, enclosed in an electrical unit.

The slow cooker is perfect for busy individuals who want to enjoy a delicious, homemade meal without the stress and time commitment in the kitchen. Imagine coming home after a long day at work to the comforting aroma of a meal already prepared and waiting for you.

This appliance enables you to program your meal to cook at a low temperature for an extended period, giving you the flexibility to attend to other tasks without the concern of overcooking or charring the food. In addition, it is a beneficial asset for a contemporary kitchen, as it can tenderise tough meat cuts (such as beef chuck roast or pork shoulder) and significantly improve the dish’s flavours.

How Do Slow Cookers Work?

Slow cookers use a combination of low heat settings and extended cooking food time to coax out the flavours of your ingredients. The temperature range typically falls between 75°C and 140°C, which is perfect for breaking down tough cuts of meat or simmering hearty stews.

The slow cooker frees your oven and stove top for other uses, and it is a splendid choice for large gatherings or holiday meals. But it’s not just about convenience. Basic slow cookers use steam to create a moist cooking environment that safely destroys harmful bacteria.

Modern Cooking Trends

spinach bunch alongside plastic container with salmon, basil and lemon

The Role Of Slow Cookers In Meal Prep Today

Slow cookers have transformed modern-day meal preparation. They take the stress out of meal preparation and produce delicious, flavour-packed dishes with minimal effort. Slow cookers allow you to cook all ingredients for several hours at a low and slow temperature without requiring constant monitoring and stirring.

You can easily set up a slow cooker in the morning before heading to work and coming home to a fully-cooked dinner. Slow Cookers will make meal preparation easier for you since you can add all the ingredients at once and let the slow cooker do its job.

male holding knife, about to chop vegetables on a cutting board

The Role Of Slow Cookers In Batch Cooking

Slow cookers are becoming increasingly popular for batch cooking, which is helpful for people with busy schedules who still want to enjoy home-cooked meals.

The best part about slow cookers is their convenience. By creating a divider in the centre of the slow cooker using tin foil, you can cook or heat two separate dishes at once. Then, with the help of a slow cooker liner, you can keep both dishes separate.

 a slow cooked beef dish on a plate with garnishes

The Role Of Slow Cookers In One-Pot Meals

Slow cookers are the ideal one-pot meal maker for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. These meals require little prep time and can cook multiple dishes simultaneously, making them a game-changer for home cooks.

The beauty of using a slow cooker for one-pot meals is the ability to stack ingredients on top of each other, resulting in a flavorful and hearty dish. A slow cooker is a great way to create effortless and delicious one-pot meals. For example, you can easily prepare cheesy chicken and rice casserole or comforting beef stew for any event in a slow cooker.

Check out our article on Slow Cooking For Two.

colourful vegetables including broccoli, courgettes, capsicum, celery, cauliflower, tomatoes and brussels sprouts
A Healthy Diet Includes An Array Of Colourful Vegetables

The Role Of Slow Cookers In Sustainable Cooking

In the modern world, where sustainability is crucial, slow cookers are an excellent option for energy-efficient cooking. They use much less electricity than traditional stovetop cooking methods, making them beneficial for sustainable cooking practices.

Many slow cooker manufacturing companies have taken energy efficiency to the next level by designing slow cookers that operate at low wattages while still delivering delicious meals. In addition, slow cookers generate very little heat, which makes them a perfect choice for hot summer days when using the oven is not desirable.

Due to its numerous benefits, slow cookers are becoming standard for eco-friendly chefs to utilise slow cookers as their primary kitchen appliance.

slow cooked potatoes and pork

The Role Of Slow Cookers For Food Lovers

Slow cookers are helpful for people who enjoy flavorful food and want to transform inexpensive meat cuts into tasty, tender meals. The natural flavours are accentuated by simmering ingredients over low heat, resulting in complex and satisfying dishes despite using basic ingredients.

Furthermore, slow cookers are versatile appliances that prepare various dishes, including one-pot meals, soups, stews, casseroles, and even desserts. They are ideal for individuals who prefer delicious, satisfying meals with minimal work.

20 something female enjoying a slow cooked meal

The Role Of Slow Cookers In Nostalgic Cooking

There’s something magical about the smell of a slow-cooked meal that instantly transports you back to your childhood. The slow cooker is perfect for cooking dishes with intense emotional and nostalgic value, like your grandma’s pot roast or your mom’s chilli.

Its low and slow cooking method infuses every bite with flavour and tenderness, allowing you to quickly recreate most slow cooker recipes for the family. The best thing is that you can savour the delicious scent of your childhood for several hours. Slow cookers cook food and take us down memory lane with each bite.

50s male, with 2 female companions, being served meat on a wooden board in a restaurant setting

How Slow Cooking Has Evolved Over Time

Slow cooking has undoubtedly come a long way from its humble beginnings centuries ago. When Irving Naxon was granted a patent for this new invention in 1940. He named it the Naxon Beanery, and brought it to market in the 1950s.

The rest, as they say, is history. In 1972, Rival Manufacturing rebranded the Beanery as the Crock-Pot, and it soon became a staple in households throughout the US. While slow cookers briefly fell out of favour in the 1980s due to the popularity of the microwave oven, they’ve slowly made a comeback.

A 2002 study found that over 80% of US households owned a slow cooker, proving that sometimes old-school cooking methods are still the best.

Check out Our Crock Pot vs Ninja Foodi Review


Slow cookers are an incredibly unique invention still alive and evolving today. They offer the added benefit of allowing a cook to relax and let the slow cooker do its work slowly. It has allowed cooks over generations to cherish the warmth and nourishment of a home-cooked meal without all the effort and time spent in preparation.

There is no doubt that slow cooking has gone from being an archaic concept to an innovative trend used in many modern cooking styles. With its ability to unlock flavours, provide healthier meals, reduce food waste, save time, and bring people together for shared moments, it is evident why slow cookers have become so popular in recent years.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned chef, if you still need to make the slow cooking process part of your kitchen routine, then now may be the perfect time to explore how this humble device can transform your meals.

If you have questions about slow cooking, check out our Slow Cooker FAQs.

Now You Can Transform Your Old Recipes For Your Slow Cooker …

Maria Kelley