Owning a slow cooker is the next best thing to hiring a personal cook. Not only does it eliminate that mad, 5-o’clock scramble to find something for dinner, but its aromas welcome you after a long work day. You’ll also save money: inexpensive cuts of meat are gently simmered to tender perfection in this appliance.
Here’s how to use your slow cooker effectively:
- Use fresh or thawed (not frozen) meat or poultry in the slow cooker.
- If browning is called for in recipe, brown meat or poultry just prior to cooking in the slow cooker. Ground meat must always be fully cooked before adding to other ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Layer the ingredients. Vegetables do not cook as quickly as meat and poultry in the slow cooker. Vegetables should be placed in the bottom and up the sides of the slow cooker. Layer the meat on top.
- Fill the slow cooker at least one-half but no more than three-quarters full.
- Keep the lid on! Each time the lid is removed, the cooking time may increase by 15 - 25 minutes.
- Ingredients such as pasta, seafood, milk, cream and sour cream should be added to the slow cooker in the last hour of cooking.
- Cooking times may vary with makes and models of slow cookers.