Just A Pinch Recipes
7 Tips for Crockin' in Your Slow Cooker
The Crock Pot/slow cooker has become a kitchen staple. Between stews, soups, dips and desserts the Crock Pot is a busy cook's best friend. We've gathered seven tips that will help you to be a crockin' pro.
1. Don't Peek Inside.We know... everything is cooking away and your kitchen smells amazing so it won't hurt to take a quick peek at what's cooking. Right? Wrong. It can take almost 20 minutes for the slow cooker to regain its steam and return to the correct temperature.
2. Browning Meats Adds Flavor.This step isn't necessary when cooking something like a stew in the Crock Put, but it will definitely boost the flavor of meats and vegetables. Want to make the sauce thicker? Lightly coat the meat with flour before browning.
3. Don't Overfill or Underfill the Slow Cooker.Packing too much into the slow cooker will slow down the cooking time. Most manufacturers recommend filling it more than two-thirds full. If your slow cooker is less than half-full items inside will cook faster and may burn.
4. Layer foods properly.When placing foods into the slow cooker, place firmer items like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, at the bottom of the slow cooker. Place meats on top of the vegetables. More delicate items, like beans, can be put in last.
5. Prep is Key.While slow cooking is easy, it does require a bit of prep work. Prepping ingredients, by cutting meats and vegetables into uniform sizes the night before, will save tons of time in the morning.
6. Add Dairy Towards the End of Cooking.If you want to add dairy items like cream, sour cream, yogurt to a recipe add them towards the end of cooking (about 15 minutes or so). This will help the ingredients not break down.
7. High Altitude Needs More Time.If you live in a high altitude area you'll need to increase cooking time. Add about 30 minutes additional for each hour of cooking time. So, if you live in Colorado a recipe that would take someone in New York 2 hours to make, will take you 3 hours.