Slow Cookers are great! They make life easy and dinner delicious. Using a slow cooker is super easy, just dump food in and let it go, but here are some of our tips for truly mastering your slow cooker:
- Buy a programmable slow cooker that has a “keep warm” setting that automatically kicks in once it’s done cooking. That way you can “set it and forget it” in the morning before you leave for work without having to worry about overcooking your food or scorching the pot!
- Plan ahead by putting all your ingredients in the slow cooker the night beforehand. Put the pot in your refrigerator and then take it out in the morning. That way, you have no work in the morning!
- Brown meat before putting it in the slow cooker. It takes a little bit, but you’ll end up with delicious crunchy, caramelized bits of meat in your final product.
- Don’t overcrowd your crockpot! If you fill it to the brim, the slow cooker won’t work properly, so only fill the slow cooker between one half – two thirds full.
- Trim fat off meat before you put it in the slow cooker. At LGCM, we do a pretty good job of trimming fat for you, but if you have a piece of meat that has extra external fat, trim it off. You don’t need it in the slow cooker!
- Put root vegetables at the bottom of the pot. They take the longest to cook and will cook the best when they’re on the bottom.
- Keep a lid on it! Don’t open the slow cooker no matter how good it smells. Heat will escape and you’ll slow down the cooking process. Just open the lid when the cook is done to check that the meat is done.
- Don’t add dairy until the meal is almost done. Many slow cooker recipes use ingredients like sour cream, milk and yogurt will break down and go sour in the slow cooker if you add them too early, so wait until the last 15-30 minutes to add dairy.
- Also add fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon at the end of the cook. These additions will give your “been slow cooking all day” dish a “I just made this” boost!
- If your sauce is too runny when you’re done cooking, don’t worry about it! Just move the liquid to a saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat until you’ve reduced it to the consistency you’re looking for in the sauce.
There are our tips for great slow cooking. You can find plenty of slow cooker recipes on the site, and we’re sure you can invent some on your own! If you have more questions, drop us a line, or stop by the store to ask. We’re always happy to help answer questions. See you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!