Tips


 

Cooking with the Slow Cooker

Some common tips for cooking with a slow cooker or crock-pot.



Cooking with the slow cooker becomes second nature once accustomed to the basic principles. It is initially hard to change our cooking habits which we have become accustomed to over the years; however it is very worthwhile making the change.

Get acquainted with the type of dishes which the slow cooker does best ie. Soups, stews and other long-cooking meat and vegetables dishes. Anything which benefits from steam heat and extended cooking time works beautifully.

The moist heat also makes ideal conditions to steam puddings. Most cookers can be used for dry baking too. Some have special baker inserts that you can buy where slow cookers are sold. Or you can use one – two pound/ 450g - 900g coffee cans with several layers of paper towelling over the top to absorb moisture. Cakes and quick breads come out deliciously moist, without ever turning on the over. And come summer, this you will really appreciate it.

Alternating recipes in the slow cooker, so that not everything comes out looking like stew is a good idea. Try cooking a pot roast one day, a whole chicken simmered with vegetables the next then the old favourite – the stew.

Check that the crock pot should be at least half full. You can cover less food with foil. If the recipe makes too much for your cooker, cut the recipe.

Check the timing on the recipe to make sure it fits your time schedule for the day. Some people coordinate starting and stopping times with the times they will leave the house and return.