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cost efficient slow cooking?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've begun making bone broth and stews. Both require simmering long hours, and I would like to ask-- what's the most cost-efficient way of doing this? I also make a lot lentils/bean curry dishes, and have always used a pressure cooker. I was using the pressure cooker to make stews and bone broth in the beginning, but could never get them to my satisfaction. Then I read in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions that pressure cookers are not ideal for cooking, and am looking into phasing out my use. That means more slow-cooking! 

 

I cook daily (rice, lentil curries, stews), and prefer not to make big batches to heat throughout the week. We don't have a microwave.

 

Right now we live in rural India, so I mostly use pressure cooker, and I do most of my slow cooking on a manual stove with firewood to save money (our gas stove couldn't handle that amount of simmering). But we're moving soon, and firewood will be a thing of the past. I'm told cost of electricity of where we're moving to is much higher than on the US mainland. 

 

If I'm looking to make 2 meals a day, 1 curry (plus side dishes) for lunch, 1 stew (plus side dishes) for dinner, and always have bone broth available, what's the best way to manage? 

post #2 of 6

Do you have access to a slow cooker or crockpot? Energy here is cheap, but I read that it costs us something like $0.10 to run a slow cooker for 8 hours because the wattage used is so low and the heat retention is so high. They come in multiple sizes and you could cook a dish in each.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to get one or two, so I can make broth and stews at the same time... Any recommendations on which brand and size? I'm going to order them from the US. Are there any brands or types of slow cookers that are more energy-efficient, or all are similar?

 

We're a small family (me, dh, 1.5 year old dd), and don't do much entertaining.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollydolls View Post

Do you have access to a slow cooker or crockpot? Energy here is cheap, but I read that it costs us something like $0.10 to run a slow cooker for 8 hours because the wattage used is so low and the heat retention is so high. They come in multiple sizes and you could cook a dish in each.

post #4 of 6

If you get a lot of sun where you are, you might be able to use a solar oven.  I don't know if you could put a soup into it, but you can definitely roast things in one.  You can buy them over the internet for a reasonable price...

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dovey View Post

If you get a lot of sun where you are, you might be able to use a solar oven.  I don't know if you could put a soup into it, but you can definitely roast things in one.  You can buy them over the internet for a reasonable price...

 

There will be a lot of sun where we are... I've never heard of a solar oven! Any suggestions on brand?

post #6 of 6
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_panel_cooker

Above is a link to basics of solar ovens. I have made a simple one out of a cardboard box and aluminum foil. We don't get enough sun here for it to be a viable option.

I have had a variety of slow cookers and honestly, my favorites are the ones with manual control knobs. I feel sure the electronic ones use more electricity.

Happy cooking! I love a good curry! eat.gif
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