The beauty of using a slow cooker or crock pot is that it is pretty darn simple. Preparation of the ingredients, add to slow cooker and press Start. But there is a difference between a slow-cooking good food and a great slow cooker meal. Here are some tips to consider when you are using your slow cooker or crock pot.
Tip 1) Use the correct size
Slow cookers are available in a wide range of sizes from a quarter to 8 1 / 2 quarts. Use the pan size recommended in each recipe. This helps ensure that the slow cooker does not overflow or unfilled, so food is cooked properly. Our best slow cooker recipes to work in a 5 – to 6-quart slow cooking.
Tip 2) Do not overload your slow cooker
To ensure that food is finished in the time specified in your recipe, and to avoid potential food safety risks, do not overload your slow cooker. Most manufacturers recommend filling no more than two thirds full, but differs between brands, so check your owner’s manual.
Tip 3) Keep a lid
Resist the temptation to lift the lid and look in your food. Opening of the slow cooker allows heat to escape and reduces the kitchen. Only open 30 to 45 minutes before the bottom of the kitchen range to check the cooking.
Tip 4) Plan meals ahead of time
If you want to turn your slow cooker early in the morning, a little planning goes a long way.
• The night before: cut and trim any meat, chop vegetables, measure dry ingredients and prepare the sauce and refrigerate the components in separate containers. (Do not refrigerate the components inserting the slow cooker, a cold insert takes too long to heat up and affect the cooking time and food security.)
• In the morning: Add ingredients to the pot according to the recipe, heat the sauce to a simmer before adding. If you will not be home near the end of cooking time, make sure you have a slow cooker you can switch to a warm when cooking.
Tip 5) enhance the flavor
If you’re in a hurry or really prefer to dump only the ingredients in the pot and go, then you can skip this advice, which is absolutely necessary. But when I have a little extra time, I like my dark skin and / or vegetables in a skillet before adding to the pot. Then “deglaze” the pan with my liquid to get all the brown bits, candy from the pan in the kitchen. You will end up with a richer flavor that can not be achieved by slow cooking alone.
Tip 6) Keep the temperature in the mind
A slow cooker is certainly convenient, but if not used correctly there is the possibility of food safety risks. Temperatures between 40 ° and 140 ° F drop in the “Danger Zone”, as the bacteria grow at these temperatures. When using a slow cooker, be sure to take precautions to prevent food are in the danger zone for too long. To avoid the danger zone, never frozen ingredients add to your kitchen, refrigerator all the ingredients you have prepared earlier in separate storage containers and bring liquid to a simmer if you are cooking in Baja before adding to the pot to give the heating process a jump start. Never try to cook a roast or whole chicken in your slow cooker: big chunks of meat is not cooked well enough in the slow cooker. So when cooking with meat, make sure it is cut into smaller pieces to cook everything.
Tip 7) Make sure you have the best crock pot
You may have a slow cooker 20 years old, still works great, but it is probably a pot of foundation you need for cooking time manually and then be there to turn it off. A kitchen programmable slow cooker your meal for a predetermined time and then change to a setting that keeps food at a safe temperature until ready to eat. Our favorite is the clay pot 5.5 Quart Smart-Pot (you can get one for around $ 50). Digital touch screen allows the user to control the levels of heat and cooking time in increments of 30 minutes to 20 hours