There are more than just 10 slow cooker tips for any potential gourmand to use when using one of these cooking appliances. Because of how useful and simple a slow cooker is, there is literally no limit to the amount of recipes that you could devise with one, and knowing the best way to use the slow cooker to both create your own recipes and follow predetermined recipes can be a very helpful thing to do for anyone, professional cook or otherwise.
- The longer, the better. There are few slow cooker recipes where the prospective ingredients are cooked for less than three hours. The purpose of a slow cooker is to cook something over a long period of time to maintain the raw taste of any given ingredient. To do this, cooking something longer is usually necessary.
- Spice it up. Slow cookers are great because they do not have a constant, intense heat that could scorch or destroy spices. Lighter spices like parsley can easily be singed, losing its effect. However, in a slow cooker, parsley, or any similar spice, can be cooked for the duration of the meal with no potential adverse effects.
- Soups on. Especially if you are making some kind of stew, using some kind of condensed soup in your recipe can be a huge plus. This soup boils over time, making it perfect to taste and adding texture and taste to your meal.
- Patience. Don’t get antsy. One of the biggest problems that people tend to have when using a slow cooker is that they try to remove the dish before the suggested time is up. This can result in poorly cooked and raw, tasteless ingredients.
- Lower is better. Use the “low” setting whenever possible. The higher setting may be faster in some cases, but it is often no better than using a grill, saucepan or skillet. About one hour on high is equal to two hours on low, but the taste is evaporated faster.
- Stirred, not shaken. Even though it is not necessary, it is always a good idea to stir the concoction a few times throughout the day. Most crock pot recipes don’t require any stirring, but making sure that heat is evenly distributed can be a great way to make sure the dish is consistent.
- Veggies First. Vegetables usually take longer to cook that meats, so always place them towards the bottom of the slow cooker when putting ingredients in. This will ensure that everything is cooked properly at the end of the meal.
- Skinny Meats. Always remove the skin off of poultry. The skins of chicken or turkey can possibly burn or scorch, making the taste inconsistent and tasting burnt. It can also prevent the heat from getting into the actual meat of the bird.
- Not to the brim. Never fill a slow cooker all the way to the top. This can result in boiling over and making a huge mess, especially if you are not there to monitor it. Fill it about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up to ensure no over-boiling.
- Cheap Meat. Using cheaper cuts of meat is not only cheaper, but it is better for a slow cooker. Cheaper cuts of meat can often absorb other flavors better since they are often lighter.
There are many other ways to improve you slow cooker recipes, but these are some of the most helpful in all situations, even for one who is not as familiar with the process of using a slow cooker.