Done with purchasing a slow cooker and not sure what to do next? Look, no further as I’ve got you covered.
Welcome to Go Review! Abigail here—Your very own Kitchen Expert who loves playing around with latest kitchen appliances.
Today, I’ve got my hands on a multipurpose cooking appliance, i.e., a Slow Cooker or a Crockpot.
Slow cookers, first of all, have evolved with time. These days, an appliance like a slow cooker uses electricity. Plus, it comes with an intuitive control panel, and it offers a plethora of cooking options.
That said, I’m here to focus on how to use a slow cooker the easy way.
Furthermore, I’d also share some crockpot tricks and trips that I’ve learned while testing it out.
Let us get right to the main discussion section as follows:
How to Use a Slow Cooker in 5 Easy Steps?
Here is how you can use a crockpot:
First things first, you need to prepare the slow cooker for further cooking.
That said, this kitchen appliance doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to get prepared.
For preparing, plug it in the socket and turn it on.
Moreover, press the preheat option and allow the cooker to get preheated.
While the cooker heats, chop the food ingredients you intend to cook. You could use meat and vegetables.
Chop them well enough to avoid extra cooking time. (Taking help of a food processor can speedup chopping process).
Note: Some food recipes also require you to braise the meat first. So, do the braising thing before you pour ingredients into the slow cooker.
That’s all with the preparation.
2. Loading It:
The tricky part comes now.
Don’t pour all ingredients without any layering. Follow the mentioned-below tips instead:
First off, root vegetables take time to cook. So, you need to load them at the bottom, first.
Secondly, load the meat on top followed by liquid. Mind you that a cooker uses liquid to prevent dry cooking.
You could use any type of liquids you want as per the prerequisites of your recipe. Some of the most common liquids uses are boiling water, sauces, wine, and broths, etc.
While you load it, make sure that you avoid overloading. Most of the manufacturers recommend loading to a certain limit only. If you overload, the ingredients or liquid may leak out of the lid.
Last but not the least, keep dairy products, soft vegetables, and seafood for the last hour. You’ll spoil them if you load them in the initial stages.
3. Cooking the Recipe:
Now that you are done loading, the next step becomes easier.
Tighten the lid over the crockpot and set the temperature. (Depends upon the type of recipe you want to cook.)
On the other hand, set the timer and start the cooking process.
Carry out other kitchen chores while the food gets cooked.
4. Simmering Food:
This is one of the coolest features a slow cooker offers. If you don’t want food to cool down, then simply set the cooker for simmering.
Lower the temperature and adjust it according to the time you want it to remain hot enough.
You could then serve it as per your will and wish.
5. Cleaning the Slow Cooker:
When done with serving, now is the time to clean the cooker.
I suggest reading the instructions manual, first of all as different models function in different ways.
Cleaning becomes rather easy when you have a slow cooker with a removable pot.
- Remove the pot and fill it up with hot water. Pour some liquid dish soap into it and allow it to settle down for a few minutes.
- Scrub the pot while using a sponge or an old toothbrush.
- Wash it with clean water and let it dry completely.
- Put it back inside the slow cooker and ta-da! You are done with cleaning.
- Never soak the cooker in water as it’s an electrical kitchen appliance.
- Use a damp cloth to clean the outside of the cooker instead.
- And that’s how to use a slow cooker within 5 easy steps.
The story doesn’t end here!
Slow Cooking Tips and Tricks:
- Never rush while adjusting the temperature. It’s better to wait rather than eating something burnt. So, always adjust the temperature correctly before starting the cooker.
- Place the slow cooker on a plain, sturdy, and even surface to avoid spilling or leaking issues. I always use a tea towel beneath the cooker to avoid mess. You could try that if your cooker has spilling problems.
- Use dry herbs and spices instead of fresh ones. That’s because the fresh ingredients could become brown due to excessive heating. However, that’s not the case with the dried spices and herbs.
- Don’t open the lid too much to see whether the food’s cooking or not. If you do so, the slow cooker will take more time to cook a specific food recipe. Avoid opening it too much.
- Don’t let the leftovers cool down into the pot at any cost. This way you won’t be able to clean it thoroughly. Besides bacteria could also flourish in this situation. A good rule of thumb in this regard is to freeze the leftovers and use them when needed.
Why Use a Slow Cooker?
Many people ask me, “What benefits does it offer?” More precisely, why should one get a slow cooker?
Well, there are many reasons to invest in a crockpot.
Some of them include:
Easy to Use:
First reason you should get a slow cooker is the ease of use that it offers.
You chop down the ingredients, place them in the pot and adjust the temperature.
A slow cooker takes care of the rest of the job where it cooks healthy meals whereas you could spend that time finishing other kitchen chores.
So, it’s a No Brainer that it offers ease and convenience.
Less Electricity Use:
Efficient heating elements used in a slow cooker allow it to produce sufficient heat while using less electricity.
Hence, there won’t be any burden on your bills even if you use this appliance daily.
Prepares Healthy Meals:
Slow cooker cooks healthy meals. That said, it doesn’t require any oils or fats to cook any food product.
You use only boiling water or sauces, etc. to prepare your favorite food recipes.
On top of that, food cooked in it has better nutrient retention. That is, when simmered, a recipe remains juicy and rich in vitamins plus minerals.
That’s the whole point of slow cooking, i.e., “To prepare healthy foods and keep them nutrient-rich at the same time.”
Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Beginners:
Slow cooker allows you to make multiple food recipes without any problems.
Beginners could try some of the following slow cooker recipes for a tasty and delicious meal:
1. Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast:
Easy to make. However, it’s better that you choose the right cut of the meat to get the best out of this recipe. Place the chicken roast in the pot and allow it to cook for 12 hours at low temperature in a slow cooker.
Serve it when done.
2. Chicken Enchilada Soup:
Another recipe that beginners could try. Stuff all ingredients including chicken meat chunks, refried beans, and quick-cook vegetables in the pot and adjust the temperature on low.
Increase the quantity of water if you’ve got a large batch to serve.
3. Salsa Lime Chicken:
Got frozen chicken and want to make something delicious out of it? Throw it in the crockpot with some lime juice, seasonings, and salsa. Allow the slow cooker to do its job.
Serve the salsa lime chicken in a variety of food recipes accordingly.
That’s all. I’ve tried my best to demonstrate each and everything about using a slow cooker.
If you still can’t understand the basic options, then refer to the slow cooker instructions manual and study it thoroughly.
Got some other slow cooking recipes in your mind? Mention them down and I’ll try them out for sure!
Happy Slow Cooking!