Bought a new slow cooker but trying to figure out how to use it? Don’t worry, here are some tips for you!
Slow cookers are indeed a superstar in the kitchen. It makes cooking a cozy meal for the family convenient, quick, and delicious. But how much do you know about slow cookers? From using a slow cooker and cleaning it, we gathered all slow cooker information for you to prepare something delicious within a short time for crockpot meals. Continue to read our insider slow cooker tips and tricks.
1. Prepare for slow cooking the night before
For the morning, prepare your meal the night before, place it in the slow-cooker, cover it and store it overnight in the fridge. The dish should preferably be as close to room temperature, remove the pot from the refrigerator when you wake up, and keep it out for 20 minutes until you turn on the cooker. Put the ingredients in a separate container if you need to heat your meal in advance.
2. Trim the fat from meat before slow cooking
You don’t really need to add oil to a slow cooker – the ingredients wouldn’t need it until there is sufficient humidity. You don’t need much fat for meat. Normally, some fat drains away when you are frying meat, but this will not happen in a slow cooker, and you should cut off the excess fat– otherwise, you will find too much oil in your stew. By eliminating the fat you get a better outcome and your food will be delicious.
3. Don’t skip the preheating part!
Several individuals will put everything in the slow cooker and then turn it on, however, a slow cooker is similar to a miniature oven, and it requires 20 minutes to heat up. The normal procedure is to preheat the equipment while you assemble other ingredients.
4. The ways to clean the pot.
One of the best parts of one-pot cooking is that less washing is needed! Choose a slow cooker with a removable pot, and remove it and add warm soapy water for cleaning.t. Before storing it back, allow the pot to dry completely. Do not put cold water in a slow cooker directly as it might break.
5. Try to cut down your prep time
One of the biggest benefits of the slow cooker is the use of the same recipes and ingredients for different dishes like soup and stews. If you want, cook the onion before adding it to the cooker for extra flavor which you cannot get if added raw. You can also brown the meat beforehand to get a nice color, even though it is not necessary.
Experiment with the new recipe as you desire with minimum planning time.
6. Add dairy at the end
If overheated, milk, cream and other dairy products can break and coagulate. Add the milk or other dairy product to the cooker at the last 15-30 minutes of your cooking to avoid coagulation.
7. Use flour or starch to thicken sauces
The fluid does not thicken or reduce in the slow cooker. . Before adding to the slow cooker, you should roll the meat in a small amount of seasoned flour. Take a tea cubit or two of cornflour and combine to make a paste with cold water, mix the paste to your slow cooker and replace the lid. This will help to thicken the sauce.
8. Know the slow cooker’s limits
Do not use a slow cooker for heating food. Avoid cooking vegetables in the slow cooker for 12 hours, if you want to keep the vegetable whole unless it is a hard-shelled vegetable like squashes. Soft vegetables like zucchinis cannot be cooked with meat, as the time required for the two-ingredient is different, one will melt whereas the other may remain uncooked. Slow cooking vegetables will take about three to four hours and keep the temperature low. Slow cookers aren’t ideal for non-salad veggie recipes or toss and stir-fry items. So try to research about it, and not overcomplicate things.
Don’t keep peeking, stirring, or add too much liquid.
The slow cooker takes about 20-30 minutes to reach the required temperature, every time the pot is opened. Open the lid as little as possible during cooking.
Bear in mind that meat and vegetables always produce a lot of fluid during slow cooking and the lid stops it from evaporating. If you add too much fluid, cooking high without the lid will reduce it in 1-2 hours.
Some extra tips!
Try to learn about all your cookware and the slow cooker before moving on with it. The interior of a slow cooker can be covered with an adhesive spray, which helps to avoid scrubbing later. Liner bags for slow cookers clean quickly and easily. The highest setting of most slow cookers is about 280 F and the low is about 170 F. Cooking high for an hour is roughly equivalent to cooking for two hours at low heat. Add new herbs at the end to maintain vibrant and fresh flavors. Place hard vegetables like potato carrot and other root vegetables at the bottom layer of the cooker to cook swiftly.
Root vegetables take longer to cook and should be placed on the bottom of the pan. Remember that the food at the bottom cooks faster. The meat should be on top and liquid should be added. Since most slow-cooking recipes require liquid to keep the meat from drying out. The most widely used liquids are stocks, sauces, wine, and boiling water.) To stop overcooking, make sure that the slow cooker is at least a third of the way full. Dairy items, seafood, and fast-cooked vegetables are normally added during the last hour as they split and melt.
And there you go, all the tips and tricks for handling a slow cooker. Hope this helps you to cook some delicious meals. A slow cooker is a jackpot for dozens of recipes. Take care of it, go through the tips, and hope it is a smooth ride to your culinary skills.