10 Tips and Tricks for Better Slow-Cooking

Your slow cooker meals will be your favorite meals.

Slow cookers belong in everyone’s kitchen. They make healthy eating easy, and, since you can cook in bulk, they help save money in the long run. You do have to be careful, though, because if you don’t use your slow cooker correctly, you can end up with an unappetizing, mushy meal. Check out these 10 tips and tricks for better slow-cooking to get the most out of your Crock-Pot!

1. Line your Crock-Pot. Crock-Pots make cooking easy and cleaning up time-consuming. Cut down on cleanup time by lining your Crock-Pot before putting in your ingredients.

2. Don’t over-stuff. Your slow cooker should be one-half to two-thirds full. This is especially important if you’re cooking meat, which needs space in order to cook properly.

3. Preheat. Treat your slow cooker like the mini oven that it is. Let it warm up before filling it up for best results.

4. Brown your meat. You’ll get an incredible amount of flavor from your meat, onions, and veggies if you sear them before putting them into your slow cooker. If you don’t have time to brown your meat, that’s fine – just make sure it’s room temperature. If you add cold or frozen ingredients, they can develop harmful bacteria.

5. Adding alcohol? Less is more. Liquid doesn’t evaporate easily in a slow cooker, so if you’re making a recipe that calls for wine, go easy.

6. Skip the skin. Remove the skin from your chicken before slow-cooking. Instead of turning crispy and delicious, it will turn rubbery and unpleasant.

7. No peeking! It’s tempting to want to see your ingredients turn into a cooked meal, but resist that urge. Lifting the lid greatly increases the cooking time. The only time it’s a good idea to take off the lid is if there’s too much liquid. Once it evaporates, you can put the lid back on.

8. Not all veggies are created equal. Hearty veggies like squash and sweet potatoes do well in a slow cooker, but be careful with lighter ones such as peppers and zucchini. Delicate veggies become mushy if left in a slow cooker too long, so add them later on.

9. Add dairy at the end. Dairy products should also be added later on. Milk and cheese will curdle if added too soon.

10. Hold the herbs (and salt). Fresh herbs will lose flavor if they sit in a slow cooker too long. Salt, on the other hand, will become overpowering. Add herbs and salt at the very end to avoid having a super salty dish.

Use your new slow cooker knowledge and try our slow cooker recipes!

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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