Crockpot Cooking Tips
Submitted by HopAlongAnnie0
- Only fill the crockpot one half to three quarters full. The foods will not
cook properly if the appliance is filled to the brim.
- Foods cooked on the bottom of the slow cooker cook faster and will be
moister because they are immersed in the simmering liquid.
- Here's an easy tip to check progress without lifting the lid. Spin the
cover until the condensation falls off. Then it's easy to see inside.
- Remove skin from poultry, and trim excess fat from meats.
- You can thicken the juices and concentrate flavors by removing the lid and
cooking on HIGH for the last half hour of cooking time.
- For food safety reasons, it's a good idea to cook on HIGH for the first
hour to quickly bring the temperature up to 140 degrees. Then turn the dial to
LOW and finish cooking.
- One hour on HIGH is equal to two hours on LOW.
- Cayenne pepper and tabasco sauce tend to become bitter if cooked for long
periods of time. Use small amounts and add toward the end of the cooking time.
- Add tender vegetables like tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini during the
last 45 minutes of cooking time so they don't overcook.
- Dairy products should be added during the last 30 minutes of cooking time,
unless the recipes states otherwise.
- Remove cooked food from the crockpot or liner before storage. Because the
liner is made of such thick material, the food won't cool down quickly enough
to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Stir in spices for the last hour of cooking. They will lose flavor if
cooked with the rest of the ingredients for the long cooking period.
- Follow the layering instructions carefully. Vegetables do not cook as
quickly as meat, so they should be placed in the bottom of the appliance.
- Don't lift the lid to stir, especially if you are cooking on the low
setting. Each time you lift the lid, enough heat will escape that the cooking
time should be extended by 20 minutes to half an hour.