It’s time to pull out the slow cooker if you haven’t already for easy, healthy and hands-off meals.
10 Slow Cooker Tips for Success
1. Defrost frozen foods before putting them into the slow-cooker.
2. Heat-resistant cooking bags can be used to make cleanup easy.
3. Only fill the slow-cooker half to three-fourths full.
4. Foods on the bottom will cook faster so it is important to follow layering instructions in recipes (crisp vegetables take longer to cook than meats).
5. Fat melts during long cooking times and can cause an unpleasant texture. Remove skin and extra fat from meats to avoid this.
6. Less-tender cuts of meat such as chuck and round roasts are good for the slow-cooker. The long cooking times and moist environment in the slow-cooker tenderize the meat.
7. Ground meets should be cooked in a skillet before cooking in the slow-cooker.
8. Seafood and tender vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes) should be added during the last hour of cooking.
9. Spices may need to be added in the last hour of cooking because they can lose flavor if cooked to long.
10. Dairy products like yogurt or milk should be added in the last 15 minutes of cooking time to prevent them from breaking down to a runnier liquid.
Bonus: If you don’t own a slow cooker, you can mimic the moist heat environment on the stove top with a dutch oven or roaster with a lid. Keep the heat on low and keep the lid on.