What’s not to love about using a slow cooker? The unit is inexpensive, requires minimum effort when it comes to cooking and it’s the best at making the most out of common budget ingredients. Compared to frying, slow cooking your meals is a healthier, low-fat method. It’s also a good starting point when you’re first learning how to cook – you just throw in all the ingredients inside, leave it for an hour and more and you’ll have a delicious, hearty dish waiting for you!
Here are the top tips you should try to maximize the use of your slow cooker:
The man charm of a crock pot is that it doesn’t require too much time in the kitchen to cook delicious dishes. If you’re pressed for time in the mornings, prepare the ingredients the night before. You could opt to store the ingredients in the fridge overnight in airtight containers. To save even more time, you can combine all ingredients in the slow cooker at once, cover and store in the fridge. Remove it by the time you wake up and allow at last 20 minutes before starting to cook.
Choose your recipes
When using a slow cooker, it is ideal to choose recipes where you throw in ingredients all at once and let the cooker do the rest as that is what it’s designed for. This is typical for soups and stews, but some dishes like pasta will require you to add ingredients like herbs and spices just before the dish is cooked. If you have spare time, you can opt to cook onions or brown some meats first before throwing them into the crockpot. Although not necessary, this can add more flavor to your dish.
Use budget meat cuts
Crock pots are best at making the most out of budget ingredients, so save your money and go for inexpensive meat cuts if you plan to slow cook. Beef brisket, chicken thighs, lamb shoulder and pork shoulder are ideal choices. Also, trim meat fat when slow cooking as too much will result to an oily, greasy dish.
Don’t use too much liquid
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to slow cooking is adding too much liquid to the recipe. A slow cooker has a tight lid and liquid will not evaporate. Use just enough to cover meat and other ingredients as too much may cause the liquid to leak at the top and the food won’t cook well.
Let it do its thing
New users get too excited and keep checking what they’re slow cooking. Let the crock pot do what it’s designed for – every time the lid is lifted heat is released which will only lengthen the cooking time.
Enjoy and maximize slow cooking with these simple yet effective tips!