Crock Pots & Slow Cookers

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  1. Simple Cleaning: One of the best things about slow cookers is the easy cleanup. Because moisture is retained easily, scorching should be minimal. If your pot is hard to clean, it may have been on the high heat too long.
  2. Experience Teaches: Each slow cooker is different. Adjust times as needed to ensure proper cooking times and moisture levels.
  3. Cook And Freeze: Don’t cook a smaller portion of a recipe in your crockpot or the heating will not be correct. Make the whole recipe and freeze for meals another day.
  4. Fabulously Full: When cooking with a crockpot, for best results don’t overfill or under-fill. Filling the pot about 1/2 – 3/4 full is the proper amount.
  5. Limit Liquids: Cooking with a crockpot retains a lot of moisture. Practice with your recipes to see if you need to reduce the amount of liquid required in a crockpot.
  6. No Peeking: Opening the lid for a stir or peek adds almost 15 to 20 minutes to needed cooking time. Leave it alone and let it cook.
  7. Ice Advice: Don’t add frozen or very cold food to your slow cooker. The addition can lead to an unsafe cooking temperature.
  8. Watch The Wine: If you’re adding wine as a flavoring, be careful not to use too much. The alcohol will not evaporate as much as in a high-heat pan on the stovetop.
  9. Power Problems: Did the power go out while you were gone or did you forget to turn the pot on? Throw the food out and start again. The extra time it takes will be better for your health -don’t risk getting food poisoning.
  10. Stay Cool: Using a slow cooker in the summertime is a great way to keep the house cool. It’s also an alternative to grilling when you don’t feel like cooking over the heat outside.
  11. Thicken Up: If the sauce or soup in your slow cooker is too liquid, take the lid off for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Some of the liquid will evaporate, making the sauce/soup thicker. Keep an eye on it to make sure only a small amount evaporates.
  12. Seafood Sensitivity: Seafood doesn’t like to cook in a slow cooker. Delicate seafood like shrimp should be added in the last hour of cooking to keep it from becoming rubbery.
  13. Healthy Slow Cooking: Some studies have shown that long and steady temperature cooking is healthier. Fast, high-heat cooking may contribute to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Embrace the benefits of the slow cooker!
  14. Layer In Order: Recipes give a certain order in which ingredients should be combined. It’s imperative that you layer ingredients in a crockpot in the order provided by the recipe.
  15. Cool It: Bring your crockpot to room temperature before washing. Cold water on a hot pot could cause it to crack.
  16. Hot You Got: Older crockpots usually cook at lower temperatures. Due to public demand, newer models cook at higher temperatures. Make sure you know your temps when replacing an older model.
  17. Bit Of Burn: If your stew scorches a bit on the bottom of the slow cooker, don’t panic. Stir in a little milk to help reduce the burn taste.
  18. Where’s The Beef: Choosing the right cut of beef is important for a crockpot. For best results, use stew beef, short ribs, or brisket instead of sirloin.
  19. Mix It Up: The beauty of one-pot cooking is that you can combine many nutritional needs in one pot. Combine your veggies, meat, starch, and dairy with seasonings and cook all at once.
  20. Cheaper Meats: By cooking at low heat, you can use less expensive, yet flavorful cuts of meat.
  21. Brown Before: Slow cookers don’t brown the meat you put inside. If you want your meat browned for your dish, do it before adding it to the slow cooker.
  22. Doing Rice Right: Add your rice to your crockpot when it’s set to high and 2 hours remain to cook. If your crockpot is cooking on the low setting, add the rice when 2 hours and 45 minutes are left to cook
  23. Dump Dessert: Learn the secret of “dump cakes.” With just a few simple ingredients like prepared cake mix, canned fruit, and butter, you can have a delicious and easy dessert in about 40 minutes.
  24. Rice Is Nice: Use your crockpot as a rice cooker. Spray the inside with a non-stick spray. Add the usual 2:1 ratio of water to rice. When cooking brown rice, increase water to 1/2 cup. Cook on high for 2 hours.

Source: Kitchen Hacks –The Ultimate Collection Of Secrets, Tips, & Tricks

Katie Mankoff & Adam Mankoff