Love me tender! and leave me alone!

Until recently, I never owned a slow cooker. They seemed things of the 70s – something my mother would own, but had no place in my life. Then I was given one as a gift. After feigning appreciation I thought that I should at least try it – what a revelation!

The thing with a slow cooker is that it can make anything taste good; cheap cuts of meat become melt-in-the-mouth-scrumptious, and as long as you’re organised and plan in advance, you can make a fantastic meal with very little effort or cost.

So, how do you get the best from your slow cooker? My advice? Don’t just stick to stew. Curry, bolognaise, pulled pork, soup and veggie dishes are all fair game.

Top tips

Think about intensity of flavour – Use whole herbs 

Reduce liquid, as there's a sealed lid there’s no evaporation, so you need less

Leave it alone! Opening the lid releases & moisture heat and increases cooking time.

Because you have to be really really late for a slow-cooked meal to spoil it’s the ultimate in fuss-free cooking, and honestly, is there anything better on a cold winter’s night than coming home to the aroma of a freshly cooked meal?

Forgive me, slow cooker; I’ve had you wrong for years!  We have three - check them out here

If you're in the same situation and have no idea what to cook in your slow cooker then here's your chance to win a fantastic recipe book by Sarah Flower so you will never run out of inspiration again.

All you need to do is tell us why you should win one of the five we have to give away- it's that simple. Winner will be picked at random, competition closes at midnight on 7th Nov.

Good luck