Slow cookers are awesome!
- bring the best out of every ingredient
- time effective and
- really healthy way of cooking.
Crock pot is definitely the best friend of busy moms 😉
I’m sure you are in love with yours too! In case you don’t have one, it’s time to write to Santa about it… 😉
- Size matters – Use the right one: Always follow the recipe. Use the recommended crock pot size to prevent overflowing/under filling.
- Don’t use very cold ingredients: In case you prepared everything before (kept in the fridge overnight) use warm liquids for thermal compensation. Never use any frozen food!
- Fill it up properly: Check your User’s Guide. (Most manufacturers recommend filling them maximum 2/3 full.)
- Clean up like a pro: You can use liners Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners 2 Pack (8 Liners Total) or use the magic vinegar-baking soda combo on stains.
- Bulk prep: Prep for the freezer and use whenever you feel like.
- Save on ingredients: Crock pot will bring the best out of cheaper cuts! Use beef brisket, pork shoulder, short ribs or chicken thighs with a lot of vegetables. They will work better in slow cooker than lean meats.
- Never use turned or low quality wine: If you wouldn’t drink it why would you eat it?
- Cut it all up: Never try to cook a whole chicken or roast in your slow cooker. Large pieces of meats won’t cook through. For even cooking cut everything into same-size pieces.
- Keep the lid on: Slow cooking is a heat sensitive procedure. To avoid food-safety hazards, don’t open it! The only time you should remove the lid is if you have too much liquid. Remove it and use it for a sauce or glaze.
- Always preheat: Slow cooker is like a little oven, preheat it!
- Add just enough liquid: The slow cooker has a tightly sealed lid, that means the liquid won’t be able to evaporate. That’s the reason why it’s so important to add the right amount of it. In case you are adapting a standard recipe, reduce the liquid by a third. Just cover the meat and veggies with it and you will be fine.
- Careful conversion: Cooking time on the low setting takes about twice as long as cooking on high. See our conversion chart HERE.
- Do not refrigerate any parts of the machine: The crock pot insert has to be room temperature at the beginning of cooking.
- Go longer on high altitude: You need an extra half hour up there!
- Add less wine: Like any other liquid, it won’t evaporate!
- Use secret ingredient: Enhance the taste of your stews with some Gingerbread crumbles.
- Don’t break it: Be careful with the ceramic insert and do not expose it to sudden temperature shifts.
- Toss it if its unplugged: Forgot to plug it? Made a mistake with temperature? Malfunction? There is no fix up there, toss the contents. Food safety is first.
- Don’t add fat: Leave just some fat on your meat cuts and be sure there’s is enough moisture in there.
- Plan ahead: Prepare the meat, chop all the veggies, make sauces a day before. (Don’t forget to use separate containers!)
- Brown it: For a richer flavor brown your meat and vegetables.
- Take precautions for unattended use: Be aware that the sides of the machine can generate some heat. Don’t keep it too close to anything!
- DIY Crock pot: Slow cooker can be useful for DIY projects. Find Jessica’s recipe of Cinnamon-Orange Potpourri HERE.
- Invest in a good machine: It’s worth to buy a high quality appliance. They are programmable, trustworthy, they have auto switch off and will keep your food warm. Check out mine: Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker: Slow Cooker, Brown/Saute, Steamer
- Help thickening – It won’t happen on it’s own: Mix some cornflour with just a bit of water and add it to your dish at the end.
- Add finishing touches: At the end you should add some extra magic: if your recipe contains fresh herbs, grated Parmesan, lemon juice or olive oil add it to your dish at the end!
- Be around at the end of cooking: Although the new slow cookers automatically switch to keep your food warm it can overcook the dish.