The slow cooker is the ideal kitchen tool for the busy working person or for someone that doesn’t have a whole lot of time to cook. If you want to make the most of your time, a little planning goes a long way.
The Evening Before: Cut and trim any meat, chop or slice any vegetables, measure out dry ingredients and prepare any sauce; refrigerate the components in separate containers.
In The Morning:
Add ingredients to the cooker according to the recipe (save most vegetables for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking). If you aren’t going to be home close to the end of the cooking time, ensure your slow cooker can switch to the warm setting after its done cooking.
The Ideal Dishes:
stews, soups, sauces, chilis, and beans.
Treat the Ceramic Insert Gently: because abrupt temperature changes can lead to cracks. I learned this the hard way. Place a kitchen towel or cutting board under an insert to avoid setting it on a cold granite, ceramic, or stainless steel counter.
Salt: Slow cookers amplify the taste of salt, so it’s best to undersalt.
Don’t Overfill: Doing so may result in an overflow in your slow cooker as certain ingredients release their juices as they cook. Most manufacturers recommend filling them no more than two-thirds full, but it differs among brands, so check your owner’s manual.
Don’t Lift the Lid: There’s a saying “If you’re looking you’re not cooking.” That holds ever so right for the slow cooker. Opening the slow cooker lets heat escape and will increase your cooking time. Only open if your recipe requires you too. It’s best to wait until the last 30 to 45 minutes to check doneness and add final ingredients like vegetables.
Ingredients to Add at the Beginning: Limit the veggies you add to onions, celery, cauliflower, garlic, root vegetables, squashes, broccoli, and tomatoes. All uncooked meats (except most sea foods) should be added at the beginning to ensure proper cooking.
Ingredients During The Last 30-45 Minutes: Veggies that can get mushy if cooked too long such as corn, peas, bell peppers, spinach, kale, etc. Seafood, rice, grains, and noodles
Brown Your Ingredients: Browning the ingredients in a skillet or frying pan first to helps remove excessive fat and gives the meat a brown color crust and flavor.
Please share your tips and slow cooker tips and or recipes.