Slow Cooker Tips and Tricks
1. No peeking. That’s right, do not lift open the lid. Precious moisture escapes and it takes a long time to make up for lifting the lid. No stirring either.
2.Vegetables on the bottom. If you are cooking anything with meat and veges, the vegetables go under the meat. Vegetables actually take longer to cook than the meat.
3. Brown your meat first. If you take the time to do this, it will make a huge difference in how things taste. The slow cooker can only do so much.
4. Do not add extra water. Yep, put the meat in the pot without water. It will be okay.
5. Use the cheapest cut of meat possible. You do not cook beef filets in a crockpot. Look for the words, chuck and shoulder. These are fairly cheap priced cuts of meat and they really will be fine to eat.
6. Take the time to trim off excess fats from meats.
7. Cut your veges so that they are all the same size. You want everything to finish at the same time.
8. If you have a removable stoneware pot, you can assemble everything the night before and place it in the fridge. In the morning, you can take your pot out of the fridge and simply place it in the base.
9. Too much fat on top of your soup or stew? Use a piece of bread and scoop it off.
10. Slow Cookers are great for summer time eating. Don’t turn on the oven, a slow cooker will keep your kitchen cooler.
11. When your having a buffet table, use your crockpot to keep food warm. Keep rolls, hot dips, veges on the low setting. You can even use it to serve hot drinks, like cider.
12. Use your crockpot to revive stale crackers and potato chips. Place in the pot, no lid, turn on low for 2-4 hours until crispy.
13. Bake a potato – they taste so good when they are cooked all day. Wash the dirt off a white or sweet potato. Poke it with a fork a few times. Wrap in foil. They tend to darken and if you don’t like that, rinse the potatoes in a mixture of 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter.
14. If the recipe calls for: Wine or Sherry you can use Beef or Chicken Broth and vice versa.
15. Cooking times – generally 1 hour on High equals 2 hours on Low
Try this recipe to get you started on your way to easy, delicious, slow cooker food.
Chili Nuts 1/4 cup melted butter 2 – 12 oz. cans of cocktail peanuts 1 packet – 1-5/8 oz. of chili seasoning mix Put the nuts in the slow cooker. Pour butter over top. Stir in chili seasoning mix. Put lid on and cook on Low for 2 – 2-1/2 hours. Stir. Turn slow cooker on High and cook another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or cool.
For more info, check out the classic book by Mabel Hoffman, Crockery Cookery.
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