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Can you re-heat in a slow cooker?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by dilly_84, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. dilly_84

    dilly_84 New commenter

    Evening all

    My maternity leave ends today (boo!!) and I've been trying to be super-organised so that I have at least a few hours to spend with my baby by the end of the day. I have made a freezer full of different stews, soups, sauces etc as my husband was worried that he would starve when I got back to work (or he was excited he would get to live off take-aways and chicago town pizzas, I'm not sure which!)
    I was planning to defrost the meal the night before but my question is...is there any reason why I can't just chuck it in the slow cooker in the morning (so once it's defrosted), put it on "low" and let it heat away through the day? As I'm not a domestic person (I've astounded friends by my freezer full of home-cooked meals this week!) I'm not sure if this is a sure-fire way of making OH and myself violently ill.
    Thank-you all!
    P.S. Any other tips for the juggle that is motherhood whilst working full-time, I would appreciate it!
  2. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    With regard to your original question< I don't know the answer but I'm sure Beth will be along shortly!
    I am a single mum working full time and I batch cook, keeping the freezer well stocked. Often during the week I will pull a bag of chilli/ curry/ sausage and lentil casserole/ beef in murphy's/ bolognese out of the freezer in the morning, so when I get home it's only a case of bunging it in a pan and sorting rice/ cous cous/ potatoes and veggies/ salad. I almost always have dinner on the table within 30 mins of getting home during the week. While dinner is cooking/ reheating, I make the packed lunches and unload the dishwasher and my son (9) sets the table and gets his homework done. I realise you don't have a nine year old to help, but you have a husband!
    If it's not a 'here's something I prepared earlier' dinner, it will be something simple like pork steaks/ fish or sometimes we make pizzas. We make the dough and leave it to prove in the airing cupboard while I do the lunches and prep toppings and salad and C does his homework. By the time were ready to roll it out, the dough is ready. (Topping sauce is from the freezer stash and defrosted in the microwave).
    I always have some fresh supermarket tortellini and pesto in the fridge in case of emergency- dinner on the table in under 10 mins with salad and a ready made garlic bread loaf cooked from frozen flung in the oven before I have my coat off, usually!
    I order the groceries online- saves me time, energy, stress (mum can I have...) and the service charge is less than the cost of petrol to the store and back.
    Packed lunches sometimes contain leftovers from dinner.
  3. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    A slow cooker is ideal for reheating as it heats very gently, meaning meat won't be toughened by boiling and veg won't fall apart (do remember that large pieces of cooked root veg often go mushy when frozen and defrosted; carrots etc. should ideally be diced small.)
    Although, any meal can be heated gently on the stove within about 20-30 minutes as long as you keep an occasional eye on it to stop it boiling.
  4. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    So ....you have slow-cooked a meal....frozen it...defrosted it...and want to reheat in the slowcooker?
    Simple answer...yes it is both possibl;e and safe!
    However.....you will be effectively 'cooking' your meal...Sometimes of you overcook a chicken stew, the nice chunks you prepared can sort of 'flake' away...the stew will still be edible, just not as 'chunky'.
    If the stew/casserole is defrosted - why not just reheat in the microwave (or on the hob?)
    Don;t forget you can also prep a quick meal in the morning anmd have it 'freshly' slow-cooked when you get in.
    A terrific storecupboard item is chopped tinned tomatoes - it's a ready-made pasta sauce in seconds!..pop into a pan, add some herbs/garlic/onion and reduce the sauce a little and voila!
    And always have individual portions of tomatoey mince in the freezer...if your OH fancies spag bol, or cottage pie, or chilli con carne...it's the same pack pulled out of the freezer with just a little spice added as necessary!
    Stewed fruit freezes beautifully - and makes a quick pudding - just add the crumble topping and pop it in the oven while you eat your main course...and instant custard (just add water) is an absolute Godsend....there are some days when you just 'need' a pudding after a full day in school!
  5. dilly_84

    dilly_84 New commenter

    You stars! Thank-you so very much for all of your advice, I really do appreciate every single nugget! Day one of work complete and we're all fed and watered...shame the house is a bombsite. Ah well ;)

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