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What Should Everyone Know About Slow Cookers

Did you know that a lot of people end up hating a slow cooker just because they're not using it correctly? Sad, right? Don't let that happen to you!

The following guide consists of everything you need to know about these kitchen appliances, including slow cooker advantages and disadvantages, how to use one, and when to use one. All this information will help you use your crockpot the right way and get the maximum benefit out of it!

How To Use a Slow Cooker

know slow cookers

  • Fill up the cooker about halfway. Make sure the quantity stays ½ and not ⅔.
  • Standard slow cookers have two settings: low or high. Depending on your ingredients, recipe, and personal preferences, decide which setting you want to go with and adjust it accordingly.
  • Then, select the time range. In general, most slow cookers' high setting cooks food in half the time than the low setting.
  • Add your ingredients and start cooking!

But remember!

  • Don't open the lid until you're done cooking. Every time you remove the cover from the cooker, the steam releases. Doing this adds to your total cooking time, approximately 20 minutes every time you lift the top.
  • Keep your cooker clean. After cooking, make sure you clean it in about an hour or so. Reheating food in your slow cooker is not a popular recommendation. Thus, it's better if you use the microwave or the stove for this purpose.

When to Use a Slow Cooker

Ideally, slow cookers are perfect for cooking cheap cuts like pork shoulder, beef brisket, chicken thighs, and lamb shoulder. Since slow cookers extract the meaty flavor from your dish, you can work well with less meat.

Slow Cookers and Different Types of Food

  • Carrots, potatoes, and other root vegetables take comparatively longer than meat. Cut them into small pieces and add them to the cooker's bottom sides. Place the meat on top. The mortality vegetables should go into the cooker during the last twenty to sixty minutes. Herbs and other ingredients like zucchini, basil, parsley, and spinach should go in nearest to the end.
  • Canned beans preferably go into the cooker during the final half an hour (30 minutes) of cooking. This way, they're thoroughly cooked by the end but also maintain their shape. Also, add salt, sugar, and acids near the end since, otherwise, they prevent the beans from getting tender.
  • Add all the dairy products near the end of the cooking, preferably during the last hour.
  • Seafood and fish cook quickly, so add them to the cooker near the end of the process.
  • If your meat is larger than 3 pounds, cut it in half and then cook it. Make sure that you trim all the extra fat (fat causes overcooking by retaining heat.)
  • If you're going to use converted rice, it works well for full-day cooking. However, instant rice should only go into the cooker near the last thirty minutes or so.
  • Dry pasta tends to stick in a slow cooker. So, prefer cooking it separately and add it to the cooker near the end. Plus, pasta can get pretty mushy if you overcook it in a crockpot.

Slow Cookers And Water

Many people are confused about this, but you don't have to add water to the base since a slow cooker has coils under its core. These coils do the job of heating the cooker, and you needn't add hot water to its base.

Slow Cookers and Electricity

Slow cookers are surprisingly energy-efficient. A standard 3.5-liter cooker consumes approximately 1.3kW of power. For a cooking appliance, that's very impressive!

Slow Cookers and Health

Evidently, slow cookers are the healthiest and the most eco-friendly ways to cook. Whether you're cooking meat or vegetables, flame-broiling and grilling produce harmful chemical compounds, which is why their consumers have a higher risk of heart disease and cancer. Slow cookers, in contrast, are much healthier options.

Slow Cookers and Health

Slow Cookers And Frozen Food

Expert recommendation by USDA is to place the meat in the refrigerator and let it thaw. Once it defrosts to an acceptable extent, you can start your slow cooker recipe.

Can You Slow Cook Overnight?

Slow cookers have a design specifically for cooking over extended periods, like overnight cooking. Thus, as long as you follow the manufacturer's directions and instructions, you can leave the cooker on overnight or while you're away from home.

Benefits of a Slow Cooker:

  • Slow cookers are budget-friendly and exceptionally easier on the pocket.
  • They're better for tender meats and tougher cuts.
  • These cooking appliances are much more convenient and easy to use.
  • Experts recommend slow cookers for poaching and braising and to cook low-fat recipes.

Drawbacks Of A Slow Cooker

  • Slow cookers don't work for every recipe out there. You have to be very picky and specific about what you're cooking in it.
  • Thanks to condensation, steam might end up diluting your flavors and spices. Thus, the food might become bland.

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