5 Tips for Perfect Slow Cooking

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Are you a slow cooker sinner? Does your slow cooker collect dust bunnies now because you’ve bungled recipes using the appliance? No worries. The slow cooker can be your new best friend in the kitchen—as long as you have a handle on the mistakes that may leave you frustrated (and hungry!). Check out these 5 Tips for Perfect Slow Cooking.

Slow cooker recipes can be an excellent addition to a super-healthy lifestyle. Try our Skinny Slow Cooker Classic Pot Roast or Chicken Pot Roast. These and other recipes, like those in the SkinnyMs. Slow Cooker Cookbook, make it embarrassingly easy to cook and serve a filling meal that’s as tasty as it is nutritious. Many recipes are low in calories, which makes them a savvy choice if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

So, without further fuss, let’s get started! These solutions for slow cooker mistakes are simple, so anyone—no matter how busy—can learn to cook with this super-convenient appliance.

In the market for a new slow cooker? Check out these SkinnyMs. Recommendations.

5 Tips for Perfect Slow Cooking

1. Recipe Rejection
The slow cooker is a simple and convenient way to cook—but it’s not foolproof. Recipes for slow cooker meals are designed for the special environment of the crock. If you want a meal that’s ready in the 4-6 hours the recipe calls for, be sure to follow directions precisely. For example, if the recipe calls for sliced carrots, then make sure to slice them. Adding whole carrots will increase cooking time.

2. Adding Frozen Foods
If you need slow cooker mistakes resolved, one of the leading culprits is adding frozen food directly to the appliance. Frozen foods take a longer time to get to temperature in a slow cooker. If you’re adding frozen veggies, the result is often a longer cooking time; however, if you’re adding frozen meat, the result could be food poisoning from undercooking. Always thaw foods before adding them to a slow cooker.

3. Adding Extra Liquid
When it comes to slow cooker mistakes, this one can leave you all wet! Many of us will add extra water or other liquid ingredients when cooking a stovetop meal that seems too dry. Slow cookers, though, work differently than pots or pans. These appliances not only prevent moisture from escaping, they release moisture naturally contained in many foods, including vegetables. Adding extra liquid because a mixture looks too dry can leave you with a watery mess.

4. Lifting the Lid
Whether you’re a serial stirrer or a shameless taster, you’re probably used to getting hands-on while cooking. But when it comes to slow cookers, lifting the lid to stir or taste is a no-no. Slow cookers work by trapping heat inside the crock. Each time you lift the lid, heat escapes, increasing the cooking time. Lift the lid only if the recipe specifically directs you to stir the mixture or add another ingredient.

5. Not Converting Recipes
Slow cookers create a special cooking environment, which means you can’t take a favorite stovetop chili recipe and recreate it, line by line, in a slow cooker. Since crocks don’t allow liquids to boil away, a typical slow cooker dish may use only half to two-thirds of the liquid in a conventional recipe. If you want to transfer a stovetop or oven recipe to the slow cooker, expect to experiment with how much less liquid you’ll need.

Okay, now that you have these 5 slow cooker mistakes resolved, it’s time to make this appliance part of your smart, healthy menu planning. Get started with Top 10 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes on Skinny Ms.

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