Slow Cooker vs Microwave for making fudge: Which is better?


slow cooker vs microwave for making fudge

When it comes to making a delicious, crock pot fudge recipe, few methods are more practical than the use of a slow cooker. But did you also know that you can make a fudge recipe with your microwave?

This is not surprising since practically anything can be made in a microwave, but what are the differences between slow cooker vs. microwave fudge?

Making fudge in a slow cooker allows for convenient temperature settings when time is of the essence. Fudge made in a microwave-safe bowl can be just as quick and easy, but fudge in the microwave should utilize economical ingredients since richer ingredients can come out overly oily.

In this guide, we will continue our exploration of quick and effective ways for making homemade chocolate fudge. If you were ever wondering if fudge can be made in the microwave, this guide is for you. We will also take a look at some of the similarities and differences between microwave fudge and slow cooker prepared delicious fudge.

QUICK OVERVIEW

When you truly think about it, both slow cookers and microwaves are tailor-made for a fudge recipe. You can combine all the various fudge recipe ingredients in one place and simply adjust the time and heat accordingly.

But there are some small differences when it comes to making chocolate fudge in either of these units. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Slow cooker fudge. The main difference with a slow cooker is the more optimal control of temperatures. You can adjust the heat between high, low, and even warm settings depending on when you can oversee the process. Slow cookers also have timers that can shut off the heat and transition to warm.
  • Microwave fudge. Fudge in the microwave is very similar, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Most microwaves vary widely in their wattage and power settings. Typically, you can only get one temp – high heat. The higher the heat, the oilier the fudge consistency as well as the possibility of scorching.

With those key points in mind, there are also some workarounds to these concerns. Certainly, not all microwaves only have one heat variation- there are several models that have a range of heat settings. Sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk is also sensitive in microwaves due to possible curdling.

Furthermore, all is not always chocolatey-goodness when it comes to slow cooker fudge. Scorching can also be a common problem in a slow cooker set too long or too high.

In terms of time to cook, a slow cooker has a much more even variability in fudge cooking. You can have fudge crusted and ready in as little as an hour or 2-3 hours on the low setting. Then, if your slow cooker has a timer, you can set the crock pot to convert to ‘warm’ once the cooking is completed.

A microwave, on the other hand, will require you to be present during the entire cooking process. Due to the higher heat, you will need to stop the cooking after a few minutes to stir the ingredients, and then repeat the process until the fudge is completely ready. Using a timer is not feasible for microwave fudge.

But, if you use a large or medium microwave-safe bowl, you may not have to use wax paper to avoid sticking, unlike some slow cookers. But fudge made through slow cooking in a non-stick crock pot can also remove this difference.

Practically anything will melt easily in either unit. Be it chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate fudge, dark chocolate, maple syrup, the list goes on and on.

Ultimately, both a slow cooker and a microwave are great for making chocolate fudge. Fudge recipes vary greatly, and ultimately it is best to pick the cooking option that corresponds better to the fudge recipe.

At a glance: Cuisinart PSC-350 Programmable Slow Cooker

When it comes to comparing a slow cooker to a microwave for a fudge recipe, an optimal crock pot with a wide range of programmable times and heat settings is paramount.

This slow cooker by Cuisinart comes with four different heat settings to ensure your time away from your recipe is well taken care of.

The 3 and a half quart ceramic cooking pot prevents sticking on the lower settings, which is truly optimal for slow cooker fudge preparation in general.

The temperature settings are high, low, simmer, and warm.

The warm setting is truly convenient here since you can program the timer to stop the cooking process and shift to warm if you will be gone for several hours. The simmer setting is not feasible for fudge, but can certainly come in handy if you decide to make a soup or stew.

Cleaning a slow cooker after preparing fudge recipes can sometimes be tricky, but this machine is convenient in that you can simply pop it straight into the dishwasher.

You can safely melt semi-sweet chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate fudge, as well as other sweet treats or even candy-making ingredients.

For an even wider range of slow cookers to use for fudge preparation, take a look at our round-up of the best slow cookers for chocolate fudge here.

Pros

  • A 24-hour timer allows you to set the fudge to warm after the cooking process is complete-this is perfect for having prepared fudge when you return home late in the afternoon
  • The oval-shaped ceramic pot allows the fudge ingredients to disperse and blend evenly during cooking
  • The outer, airtight container is brushed stainless steel-this allows your ingredients to stay warmer once cooking is complete
  • Easy-to-clean and dishwasher safe
  • Comes with a limited 3-year warranty

Cons

  • The lid has a tendency to roll around and tilt, but this is not a concern for fudge making since the lid should be left off

At a glance: Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven

As mentioned, a microwave that features a range of power settings is truly optimal for a fudge recipe. Ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or anything that makes a rich fudge recipe can scorch/curdle quickly on high microwave wattages.

What is so great about this unit from Toshiba is that it maxes out at a high 900 watts of power, but comes in 10 different power settings to control the wattage density. Therefore, a power setting of about 200-300 watts would ensure that sweetened condensed milk or chocolate chips do not curdle or melt too quickly.

You can always use a candy thermometer to check your chocolate fudge if you are still unsure of the wattages. When it comes to easy fudge, this unit also has a timer that can work wonders with the lower power settings.

What makes this unit stand out from slow cooker fudge is the ability to make quick and simple fudge in a manner of minutes.

This unit’s quick, touchpad features include pre-set times of between 1 to 6 minutes, so you can easily place your ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl, press for 3 minutes, and stir until crusting.

This microwave is also easy-to-clean and is compact and small making it perfect for the end of a counter.

Pros

  • Comes with a range of 10 different power settings for easier cooking temperatures
  • Features an LED-cavity light and a glass turntable – perfect for monitoring your fudge mixture
  • Up to 900 watts of output power that can be lowered for sensitive dishes like chocolate fudge
  • Perfect for making simple fudge
  • Designed in a black, stainless steel finish making it easy-to-clean
  • Comes with a power-saving eco mode

Cons

  • Some reviews cite possible sparking on very high wattages
  • The LED light needs to be replaced frequently

Buyers Guide

Price

Both of these units come at a very attractive and affordable price. With a retail price well under $200, these units will not break the bank and the optimal cooking time dynamics of both units make either choice perfect for those who love fudge.

Design

Durability is always a top concern when buying any new appliance. Although both a crockpot and a microwave can last for years upon years if well taken care of, it really comes down to the device’s manufacturing process.

The Cuisinart slow cooker has a bit of a better outward design, but making chocolate fudge in a crock pot is not always as ideal as a microwave. For example, you may need to use parchment paper or waxed paper to keep ingredients like chocolate chips or condensed milk from sticking. This is not so much of an issue in a microwave.

The Toshiba microwave has a lovely stainless steel design frame as does the Cuisinart slow cooker.

Additional features

The standout additional feature of the Cuisinart cooker is the timer. The ability to allow your fudge to cook completely and then stop cooking but also remain warm potentially for hours is very convenient. Just remember that fudge needs to cool completely, before going in the fridge.

I also like the 24-hour cooking timer. This truly comes in handy when you need to bake a huge batch of easy fudge for an event.

The Toshiba microwave is also stellar for making easy fudge. Oftentimes, I find that chocolate chips, condensed milk, and certainly white chocolate fudge can easily ruin if left unattended in a microwave. This unit’s 10-different power settings greatly help to alleviate this problem.

Yes, there is still the possibility that condensed milk may curdle no matter the microwave setting, but if you watch your fudge closely, this should not be a problem.

Another great feature of the Toshiba microwave is the eco-mode setting that cuts down the power intensity even more. This feature is naturally a low heat setting, so you can ensure something like white chocolate fudge or chocolate chips do not scorch by using a low heat power setting with eco-mode.

Another additional feature of the Cuisinart cooker is that it has non-slip rubber feet. So this is perfect for setting up the cooker wherever you may be and on virtually any surface.

Which is better?

When it comes to the range of ingredients and how well each ingredient responds to heat, a crockpot is probably your best bet. Ingredients such as chocolate chips, condensed milk, white chocolate for white chocolate fudge recipes, and even nuts will receive a more even cooking distribution in a crockpot.

But it also comes down to which you prefer, based on how much time you have available to make a fudge recipe.

For many recipes for the microwave, you need to ensure that you have enough chocolate measured with the liquid ingredients to ensure the ingredients can cook evenly. Otherwise, the liquid may scorch, while something like chocolate chips hardly melts at all. More chocolate or chocolate chips is always best.

Furthermore, I do find that when making something like white chocolate fudge, the slow cooker is definitely better. White chocolate fudge is much more delicate, and the high heat of a microwave can be just too much for the white chocolate to bear.

If your chosen slow cooker does not have a non-stick pot, parchment paper is likely going to be needed. The above model does not stick, but if you find another model more appealing, make sure it is non-stick.

In summary, I would say that the Cuisinart slow cooker is better in the long run. Unless you can monitor microwaving fudge at the moment, fudge in the slow cooking unit is a lot easier to maintain and there is less of a chance of scorching. If you’re swaying towards the slow cooker option, check out our Best slow cookers for making fudge | Battle of the slow cookers post here.

But the Toshiba unit is certainly stellar for short bursts of quick and easy fudge when you are in a pinch. You could also choose to invest in both, and this will give you a wider range of choices for easy fudge.

FAQs

Is it OK to leave slow cooker on when not home?

Ultimately, yes, it is okay to leave your cooker on when you are not at home. In many ways, this is what these units were designed for in the first place. The more chocolate you use, the more stirring you will have to do, so it is sometimes not feasible to leave fudge in a cooker for hours at a time.

But it is certainly more time-efficient than melting chocolate in a pan and constantly having to stir the ingredients. With this in mind, low heat settings are optimal for slow cookers as this works towards preventing a ruined batch of chocolate fudge.

What is the point of a slow cooker?

Slow cookers were designed to maximize the flavour of a wide variety of foods. This is achieved by using cook times that prioritize low heat and simmer settings to remove the need for constant stirring.

The lower heat settings are also more compatible for simmering ingredients like milk, chocolate, butter, and even delicate white chocolate.

If you love fudge and everything that goes with making easy fudge, slow cookers are a tried and true unit to have for anyone that enjoys making easy fudge or even more complex fudge recipes in as quick and easy an amount of time as possible.

Is microwave radiation harmful?

Generally speaking, microwave radiation is only harmful if the radiation can somehow seep out of the unit. There are many different types of waves of energy, and the waves that emit when microwaving food are just like radio waves or X-rays but much different in terms of the energy output.

Obviously, radiation from microwaving is harmful, and you need only look at how searingly hot these waves are when preparing food. But the good news is that these radiation waves cannot be transmitted to you.

All the radiation is contained inside of the oven and immediately dissipates once the oven stops and is cleared.

But yes, radiation inside microwaves is very harmful to anything not being melted.

Does condensed milk curdle in a microwave?

Sweetened condensed milk is a bit tricky to cook in a microwave. Although sweetened condensed milk keeps longer, it is still a type of milk that will curdle due to the intensity of the heat when microwaved.

The key to this is avoiding extremely high wattage power settings and always placing the milk and other ingredients in a bowl that is safe for microwaving. You can generally tell when a bowl is not meant to be microwaved since even a lower power setting with only seconds inside the oven will make the bowl painfully hot to the touch.

This also means that the ingredients in the bowl will easily scorch, and in the case of milk, will curdle very quickly.

What material should you never put in your microwave?

Anything metal or any kind of aluminum (including aluminum foil) should never under any circumstances be placed inside of a microwave.

Furthermore, any kind of plastic or Styrofoam should never be put into these kinds of ovens either since the radiation will quickly melt these products. Avoid putting a wooden spoon or lined tin containers in microwaves either since these kinds of materials are also ultra-sensitive to the radiation.

Always make sure the dishes you use are microwavable, since the radiation can heat these materials to very high levels which could cause burns when you go to remove the containers from the oven.

In Summary

In summary, both microwaves and slow cookers are certainly convenient and efficient units to use when it comes to making chocolate fudge. There are a few differences to be aware of, specifically when it comes to the high intensity of temperatures that can be found in microwaves.

If you want to minimize any risk to your batch of fudge, slow cookers are probably the safer option. But if you can monitor your fudge in real-time, a few minutes in the microwave is all fudge truly needs.

We’ve got plenty microwave fudge recipe here at Call Me Fudge! Check them out now:

Katie Jones

Hi, my name is Katie Jones, and I own a fudge making business. I have been running the business for the last 3 years, and over this time, I have become quite the expert at perfecting my fudge making skills. Through this site, I will teach you everything there is to know about fudge, and how you can cook it perfectly.

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