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.