Health, safety, and the benefits of slow cooking

The benefits of slow cooking apply to the box and panel cookers. The “fast” cooker, based on the parabola or on any other solar concentrator, will reach higher temperatures relatively quickly (though not as fast as on a gas or electric stove).

Studies have shown that both taste and quality of food in slow cooking is superior to high temperature cooking. A very detailed study of vitamin losses in various food preparation with many links to different studies is given here (if you do not have access to the article – contact me). Obviously, a minimum temperature should be obtained to ensure safe cooking. For convenience, I am reposting the chart found in the above link:

It is advisable to have an oven thermometer handy to be able to judge the temperature – it will not be 100% accurate, but plus or minus 5 degrees Celsius is probably good enough.

Please note that foods cook just fine at above 82C, such as all vegetables, fish and even meat. however, with meat I would make sure the temperature remains that high for a significant amount of time (at least one hour), so that all parts of the food being cooked reach this temperature.

There is much more information about health and safety in this link. I encourage the reader to check it out at least once. Some of the advice given there applies equally well to more conventional means of cooking (gas or electricity).

Slow cooking should not be confused with “sous vide” cooking a method in which food is vacuum packed and cooked in a precisely controlled temperature water bath, for details see here.remains

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