Over the years I’ve owned pressure cookers and slow cookers, and I like them just fine, but they always ended up in the garage. Unlike my coffee maker, they weren’t beloved enough to warrant precious counter space. And they’re bulky. I couldn’t justify the coveted kitchen cabinet space, home to my workhorse pots and pans, food processor, blender, toaster and mixers.
That’s how my pressure cooker and my slow cooker ended up on the garage shelf next to the waffle iron, ice cream freezer, fondue pot, and espresso machine. Then a few moves back the two cookers didn’t seem to make it onto the moving van. Why? Because there’s no other way to make waffles, espresso, and ice cream without special equipment, but I can slow and pressure cook in my reliable old GE oven. True, I can’t pressure cook quite as fast or slow cook quite as slow as the specialty appliances, but what I lose in time, I make up in quantity.
A couple of weeks ago, for example, I made pulled pork for my holiday housefull. I could have barely fit a 3-pound pork shoulder in the average slow cooker, but I overnight slow-cooked a 9-pounder (and could have doubled that) in my 250-degree oven.
People swear by slow cookers and pressure cookers for stews. High and fast or slow and low—either technique works. But I offer both methods, which require only a pot and an oven. And unlike with a pressure- or slow-cooker, you can switch to a heavy-duty roasting pan and double the recipe.