Whether the slow cooker is your best friend or something you’ve been meaning to try, here are some hints for how to get the most out of it.
Knowing which ingredients to use and when to add them can help you be a slow-cooking pro.
- Meats with more marbling or connective tissue stay moister in the cooker. Chicken thighs and beef stew meat are good choices.
- Dairy products don’t hold up well to long cook times, so add them at the end.
- Slow cooking gives flavors time to build so you’ll need smaller amounts of seasonings if you’re adapting a stove-top or oven recipe.
These tips can help you be a better slow cooker:
- Fill your slow cooker at least half way. Smaller amounts can take as much as 2 hours off of your cook time.
- Foods give off a lot of moisture during cooking. Adding a little flour at the beginning can give you thicker sauces.
- Always thaw meats before adding to the slow cooker. Cooking frozen meats results in an unsafe cooking environment.
- Don’t open the lid. Heat and moisture can escape, adding to your total cook time.