Whether you find yourself using your slow cooker multiple times a week or just whenever your extended family comes over, you need to see these tips. They’ll help you learn about your slow cooker, cook perfect meals every time and make cleaning up a breeze!
1 – ADD ANY DAIRY PRODUCTS LAST
When you’re cooking a recipe for a long period of time, no matter how hot, dairy products can curdle after awhile. No one wants clumpy cheese or milk. Instead, don’t put the dairy products in until near the end.
2 – THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR PASTA, VEGGIES AND BEANS
Although you can cook a huge pot full of grandma’s famous spaghetti sauce in a slow cooker, you shouldn’t cook the noodles in the sauce the whole time. In order to get the noodles to be al dente, you want to add them to the sauce in the last 10 minutes, or cook them separately on the stove top. The same goes for veggies and bean. They’ll turn to mush if cooked for too long.
3 – IF YOU’RE INTO THE LATEST IN SLOW COOKER TECHNOLOGY…
Most people are worried about the latest iPhone coming out, nope not you. You just need the most up-to-date slow cooker. Well this one is a WiFi enabled Crock Pot that allows you to control it from your iPhone. Wow. You can get your own here!
4 – YOU CAN RUN YOUR SLOW COOKER OVERNIGHT INSTEAD OF DURING THE DAY
Who has time to make delicious breakfast casseroles in the morning? Not us, we like sleep! If you’re anything like us, prepare everything the night before and put it on the lowest setting overnight. You’ll wake up to a wonderful breakfast.
5 – THE BEST OVERNIGHTERS ARE THE ONES THAT DON’T NEED TO BE STIRRED
Recipes that don’t need to be stirred are perfect to make overnight. No getting up in the middle of the night to stir it. Just let it cook and you’ll wake up to a house smelling or yummy flavors and a meal all ready for you.
6 – LEARN TO CONVERT FROM OVEN TIME TO SLOW COOKER TIME
Do you have a favorite meal you are dying to make for dinner but have a long day of errands to run? Just pop the meal in the slow cooker and adjust the time it needs to cook according to this chart! You’ll come home to a meal ready to eat.
7 – TO ADD FLAVOR, BROWN MEATS AHEAD OF TIME
While it’s easy to just throw meat into the slow cooker and let it cook for hours, quickly browning the meat before putting it in will add a caramelized flavor you can’t get from just using the slow cooker.
8 – USE SLOW COOKER LINERS
The liners are placed inside the slow cooker and will help cut your cleaning time in half. No more soaking, no more scrubbing! Just take the liners out and throw them away!
9 – THE BIGGER AND FATTIER THE BETTER
Fattier cuts of meat cook really well in a slow cooker. They’re ideal when they’re cooked on low for a long period of time. The fat on the meats help them stay juicy and tender. Meats like ribs, shanks or shoulders are your best bet.
10 – DON’T OPEN THE LID UNLESS YOU HAVE TO
If the directions call for it or you’re adding more ingredients, then by all means, open the lid. But, if you’re opening it just to get a whiff of your yummy meal, don’t. Opening the lid lets out the heat and it can take up to 30 minutes to regain proper temperature. So unless you want to sacrifice eating sooner, keep the lid on!
11- IF YOU’RE LEFT WITH TOO MUCH LIQUID…
In this case, do remove the lid. Removing the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking will help reduce the amount of liquid in whatever you’re making.
12 – THE POSSIBILITIES IN A SLOW COOKER ARE ENDLESS
You can make just about anything. From massive batches of snack, to stews, to cocktails. You name it, you can probably make it.