15 Ways to Enjoy Your Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are a wonderful stoneware or ceramic cooking appliance for busy people. Slow cookers are very versatile for use in meal planning for cooking recipes with meats, casseroles, side dishes, desserts and drinks. Over time, you will grow to appreciate the ease, cost and time saving benefits in this style of flavorful and moist cooking. To prolong the longevity and effectiveness of your slow cooker investment, here are some basic tips for the maintenance of a slow cooker. Here are some obvious mistakes to avoid to ensure safety and food quality during cooking times.
1. Never use oil or fat as a cooking liquid. Only water, stock or other liquids are safe to use in your slow cooker. Read the recipes carefully to cook in the intended liquid for best results.
2. Do not use your slow cooker to reheat foods. The heating element in the slow cooker does not raise the temperature high enough to kill bacteria for reheating foods. Reheat foods on the stovetop, oven or microwave for food safety.
3. No preheating is necessary when using a slow cooker. Unnecessary reheating your slow cooking appliance will likely cause food to stick to the ceramic crock and may burn damage the surface of the cookware.
4. Avoid filling the cooking crock to the top with liquid. The cooking space needs room to breathe between the food and the lid. Minimal liquids are ideal for cooking with the slow cooker.
5. To avoid over cooking and rubbery texture with seafood, add the seafood during the last few minutes of cooking time for better taste, appearance and quality.
6. Refrain from adding dairy products such as milk and cheese too early in the cooking process. The long cooking time could cause the dairy ingredients to curdle and alter the finished recipe.
7. There is no need to overfill the slow cooker with cooking liquid. Follow the recipe’s recommended amount or add enough water to cover the food item. In slow cooking, there is no evaporation during the cooking process. Without evaporation, the moist final cooked food product results to having more cooking liquid than the original amount.
8. Unless the recipe calls for removing the lid during cooking time, avoid taking the lid while food is cooking. Removing the lid lowers the temperature ten to fifteen degrees may require extended cooking time to compensate for reduced temperature.
9. After cooking, remove cooked from the slow cooker. The warmth of the food may allow bacteria to harbor at unsafe temperatures in the stoneware crock.
10. Only use cooked ground beef in slow cooker recipes. Uncooked ground beef will acquire an unappealing appearance during cooking and generate unwanted fat in the cooking liquid.
With all electrical appliances, be sure to read the owner’s manual for specific instructions before operating your slow cooker in your home. Meal preparation in the slow cooker is simple. Assemble the ingredients, place food inside the cooker appliance, set to desired temperature and relax as the slow cooker deliciously cooks your meal. With proper care and maintenance, you will enjoy the many benefits of food preparation with your slow cooker.