I'm a mum of two young children and I'm trying to get an Art degree..... I also get pain in my knees from standing for any length of time. I was getting to the point when I would come home from college and just ring in a pizza.. or stick something under the grill because I was in no fit state to cook anything.... Needless to say, after a few weeks of this, we were all feeling grotty! ( and I felt guilty...)
Investing in a slow cooker has made a big difference to us all and it's now part of our routine. I can't compare it with others as I haven't tried anything else, but my Morphy Richards Slow Cooker has been fab.
I'm usually feeling ok when I'm up first thing, so it isn't much hassle to do the prep, sling it all in the pot and get on with the rest of the day..... But if I'm feeling ok in the evening, I might attempt something more complicated, put it in the pot, and store it all in the fridge for the morning.... so I can even get a bit of a lie-in.... (not that I ever do.... )
It's such a pleasure to come home and just serve up. I only have one pot to wash with the plates too, another bonus when you're whacked!
I have seen some of the cookers with a "keep warm" function... which looks interesting.. but I have to say, If I have been away from home longer than I intended to be, as long as the recipe is being cooked on low, it's always still fine.
I bought a couple of great vegetarian slow cooker books and we've had some great meals from it.. moussaka, leek and skitaki mushroom gratin...even lasagne.... (have a Durban Curry on the go at the minute...) Admittedly, at first I subjected my lot to some very sloppy dishes.. (didn't trust the instructions to use less water!!) ... but now I have really got the hang of it. Everything tastes great and I know it's good for us all too.... (Have to be careful being a veggie!)
The removable pot is pretty cool... I don't know if you're meant to be able to stick it under the grill to brown things... but I do... and haven't had problem with it.... though I know some of the more expensive models allow you to...
It's a standing joke amongst my friends that I am a slow cooker obsessive now...
But I don't care... Xmas shopping has been easier this year.. they're all getting one!!
... I even got one for my caravan... ( saves gas, economical with electricity... and my time )
Hope this helps!