You’ll find that slow cookers come with a variety of options and features. Before you start using your slow cooker or crock pot get real familiar with your particular model. If yours came with a book or manual read it over a couple of times and see what the features are. Most will have various heat settings and usually a keep warm setting. You want to be sure your crock comes out so you can put it in the refrigerator if you want to.
Most are continuous cookers. The food cooks continuously all the time that the cooker is on.
You’ll discover that the most common sizes are 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 quart. If your only going to buy one I would go with the largest available so you can make a large stew or cook a big roast. You may also want to buy one that is around 3 quarts in size so you’ll have one for almost any recipe.
SLOW COOKER TIPS
You should spray the inside of your cooker with vegetable cooking spray for ease of clean up.
You should always rotate your meats or turn it over half way through the cooking time to make sure your meat gets cooked all the way through. Beef roasts will take longer to cook while chicken will fall off the bone.
You’ll want to brown ground beef before you add it to the crock. Most people also like to coat their stew beef with flour and brown it before they add it. If you brown all your meats first you’ll find you have more flavor when you finish cooking.
When ever possible crush dried herbs in your hand before you add the dried herbs.
Add your ground red pepper or ground cayenne pepper in the last few minutes of cooking time because it will get bitter if you add it to early.
You want to brown things like onions and garlic in a skillet before you add them. Again you’ll like the appearance and taste of your finished product if you do this.
You really don’t have to be a clock watcher with this cooking method. Most recipes call for a number of hours on high, medium, or low and will tell you if you need to stir the item while it’s cooking.
Remember food safety when your cooking seafood or chicken in a crock pot. The internal temperature of chicken must be at least 160 degrees to insure the chicken is done and safe to eat.
If you want to add more texture to your recipes sprinkle the top of your food with fresh herbs just before you serve the food. You can also add grated cheese, croutons, or corn chips at this time.
You can find all kinds of wonderful recipes for the Crock Pot or Slow Cooker by Clicking Here.