Wouldn't it be great to come home from a hectic day and find a warm dinner waiting for you? No, you don't need a personal chef for this to happen—just a slow cooker.
Here are our top seven tips to slow cooking:
- The warm setting on a slow cooker should not be used for cooking. Use it when you wish to maintain a cooked food’s temperature until it’s ready to be served.
- The LOW setting is for a long, all-day cooking time. If you wish to speed things up, use the HIGH setting; it should take about half the time.
- Never put the slow cooker hot insert under cold water. It can cause it to break. Never use abrasives or chemicals to clean a slow cooker. These can damage surfaces.
- Inexpensive and tough cuts of meat become tender when cooked in a slow cooker.
- The best dishes for a slow cooker are chilis, stews, punches, soups, sauces, and beans.
- Some dishes can handle extra cook time in the slow cooker, but others can’t. So try to be home when a slow cooker dish is nearing its final cook time.
- Electric slow cookers range from cute, homey models to sleek, stainless varieties in 1- to 8-quart capacities. Many find the 4-quart pots to be the most useful.
Slow & Easy: Fast-Fix Recipes for Your Electric Slow Cooker by Natalie Haughton ($22.95, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)
Family Slow Cooker Cookbook ($14.95, Hearst, 2012)