Slow Cookers are amazing. They allow the busiest among us to prep dinner in minutes and return hours later to a perfectly cooked meal ready to be enjoyed! As slow cooking pros, we've learned some things along the way, and we want to share them below. We hope our top ten tips for using your slow cooker helps you to love your crockpot even more!
- Use the correct size, slow cooker. Your slow cooker should always be at least half full but no more than three-quarters full. This ratio will allow even cooking throughout your meal.
- Use a slow cooker liner. Ok, so this isn't necessarily a tip to make it work better, but it is a tip that will make you happier! By using a liner, you eliminate the scrubbing needed when it comes to cleaning your cooker. Check them out!
- Do not open the slow cooker while it's cooking! The magic is in the cover when you open it, you disrupt the cooking process and add approximately 20 minutes to your cooking time.
- You don't HAVE to brown your meat before adding them to the slow cooker, but it does add flavor if you have the time.
- Items placed on the bottom of the cooker will cook faster, so put your harder foods, like root vegetables, on the bottom.
- When you're done eating, remove the food from the slow cooker to cool before storing in the fridge or freezer. This quick trick prevents bacteria that can build in a warm but hot environment.
- Don't throw everything in at once. Some foods are best to wait to add until the end of the cooking time. Those include small and soft veggies, pasta, cooked beans, and dairy.
- If you find yourself with too much liquid towards the end of cooking time, you can either scoop it out or take the cover off for the last thirty minutes or so and allow the liquid to cook down.
- Use a potato masher to shred chicken. It's so much easier than using forks, and you have zero risks of that ear-piercing cringe-inducing fork scraping!
- You have wiggle room for cook times. It may be best to cook chicken for 4 hours on high, and beef may cook best on 8 hours at low, but if you're going to be out of the house for 8 hours? Your chicken will still be tasty when cooked longer on low.
You all know we're big slow cooker fans here at What a Crock, and we make using your cooker even easier! We offer multiple meal delivery options that you can customize to your family's tastes. There are plenty of meal kits out there, but those still take time and prep work. When you order from What a Crock, you place a meal in your slow cooker in the morning, and you'll have a delicious dinner by evening. It's the ultimate meal prep replacement!