Slow Cooker Tips – Hints to Better Crockpot Recipes

The crockpot – or slow cooker – is the perfect cooking appliance for a new cook. This handy kitchen appliance is a staple in many American kitchens. Cooking is easy with a crockpot; simply add all the ingredients and turn it on. Let the slow cooker do the rest! It is quite difficult to mess up a crockpot recipe, but here is a few tips to make your slow cooker experience flawless.

First off, make sure you buy a crockpot that has a removable crock, or liner. The crockpots that have the built in liners are very difficult to clean and you will find slow cooking much more enjoyable with an appliance that is easy to care for. There are many inexpensive models of crockpots available now. Try to buy a crockpot that holds what you feel will be little too much food. While this sounds silly now, in the long run you will have a slow cooker that will suit all your needs – and all your unexpected needs.

When preparing your favorite crockpot recipe, try to not over-fill the pot. While some say to keep the crock no more than half-way full, we have found it fine to keep it no more than two-thirds full. This will promote more even cooking and will also help avoid any excess mess when stirring or in the case of bubble-overs.

Many crockpot recipes call for some sort of meat. Some of the best pot roasts and chicken dishes I've had come from a crockpot! Just remember when slow cooking meat to trim off extra fat. For best results, trim as much of the extra fat off the pieces of meat prior to cooking. Due to the prolonged cooking in a slow cooker, that excess fat can really get cooked in giving your dish an odd taste. Also, healthy crockpot recipes mean less fat, anyway, so trim that fat!

It is tempting to open the lid of your crockpot through out the cooking process, but try to resist it. Each time you open the lid of that slow cooker, heat escapes, and the cooker will take longer to finish your meal. Crockpots cook fairly evenly. The ingredients at the bottom will cook faster than those on top, but it is not necessary to stir as often as you would a stove-top recipe. Keep that lid on except when it is absolutely necessary to stir your recipe.

As for cooking time as directed by recipes – keep in mind that one hour on high in a crockpot is equal to about 2 hours on low. If your slow cooker recipe calls for a four-hour cook time on high, but you want to eat in eight hours, cook your dish on low.

With these few basic tips, crockpot cooking will be a breeze. You will be a slow cooker master in no time!