Slow Cooker – Useful Tips For Cooking

Slow cookers, also called crock-pots or slow-cookers, are a counter top electrical devices that produce low temperature and make unattended cooking possible. This is basically a ceramic or porcelain pot surrounded by a metal case with a thermostatically controlled heating element. The pot is closed with a transparent glass lid which controls the vapors that are created in the pot during the cooking process. The heating elements are placed in the bottom of the cooker and sometimes also partially in the sides so some amount of liquid has to be poured in to prevent overheating.

If this is your first time using the cooker and you haven’t experienced the wonders of cooking in it before you may want to know some tips. They would help you get along and knowing them can prevent some common mistakes. It may seem hard in the beginning but believe me, cooking in it is so easy and it lets you have so much free time that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Tip #1: Make sure the size of the cooker matches your needs. You see, the food made in a slow cooker is cooked by hot vapors that are released during the cooking and marinated in it’s own juices. If the slow cooker is too small the food will not be entirely cooked because in the overfilled cooker the flow of hot vapors that soften the food is restricted.

Tip #2: The temperature of the food in a slow cooker mustn’t be less than 140 degrees. This is so called- safe temperature because on it all food contaminants are killed. The low setting on a slow cooker must produce at least this temperature! If it doesn’t your food will not be safe. Check your slow cookers low setting temperature to see if it’s working properly.

Tip #3: Never fill the crock put to the top. Leave some space for the food to cook properly. Also put enough liquid. If you don’t put enough liquid your food will cook too soon and it may even burn.

Tip #4: Do not lift the lid and stir the food while cooking because every time you lift the lid the temperature in the crock pot decreases and the vapors escape out. The basic principle of slow cooker cooking is that the temperature is low but hot vapors stay inside and finish the job. If you lift the lid a slow cookers is useless and it’s basically a regular cooking dish.

Tip #5: Make sure you don’t over cook the food. If food is left in a cooker for too long it will become dry and tasteless and meat will be torn and raggy. Yes, the cooker does give you the ability to do something else, but don’t forget your food and turn the slow cooker off when the meal is done. Some cookers have the option to shut down automatically when the food is finished but if your slow cookers doesn’t have that and you sometimes tend to forget that you put your lunch for cooking-set a timer that will remind you.