It’s the time of year where people are all of the sudden remembering their slow cookers and bringing them out from the depths of the pantry! When cold weather comes, most people just want to stay in and enjoy a cozy meal with minimal effort. For that reason – people love their slow cookers! Since we’re sure you’re one of those who loves this kind of cooking, we’re going to provide you with some helpful slow cooker tips to make sure that you’re using it the best way possible.
You Assume One Size Fits All
In case you hadn’t quite realized yet, slow cookers are hardly a one size fits all deal. Meaning? There’s very little consistency across the board when it comes to cooking times and temperatures. Aunt Suzy may fix her famous shredded pork tenderloin on low for six hours, but you may find that the same slab of meat on low for six hours in your crock pot creates a charred mess.
You must develop a relationship, of sorts, with your slow cooker. Learn it. Understand it. Know what happens when you submerge your meat in chicken broth, versus when you place it in without broth and only a little seasoning. Always use the recipe’s instruction as a starting point before considering your crock pot’s behavior… you may find that you end up consistently shaving an hour or two of cook time off to keep meals cooked perfectly.
You Don’t Use A Bag
These appliances can be a mess to clean up, simply because food sets and settles and cooks inside them all day. This allows for a frustrating time when you’re trying to scrape up burnt pieces of garlic that have singed themselves to the bottom of your pot. Did you know they create slow cooker liners? That’s right! Bags that sit directly inside of your machine, insulting it and keeping it free from crusty burnt debris that drips down over time. If you’re not using one of these crock pot bags… you’re making a major mistake, and wasting lots of time on unnecessary scrubbing.
You Open the Lid
Part of the reason slow cooking is so effective is because it utilizes heat that it traps inside to steam the meat and contents to the desired wellness. When slow cookers lose their heat, it takes them a while to crank it back out. For that reason, understand that every time you crack that lid to take a whiff or a gander at what’s inside, you’re setting yourself back around 20-30 minutes. Just leave the lid shut the entire time if you want it to work the way it should be.
Do you have any slow cooker tips to share?