How to Use a Slow Cooker

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Slow cookers are fantastic additions to the kitchen if you’re looking to make tasty, healthy meals with minimum effort. They come in all shapes and sizes, from slow cooking wonders that make food for the whole family, to more compact versions ideal for couples or individuals.

If you’re looking into investing in a one-pot wonder gadget like a slow cooker, you’ll want to know how to use it. Take a look at these top tips to help you make the most of your brand new slow cooker:

How Do You Use A Slow Cooker?

Every slow cooker comes with slow cooker recipes designed for that particular model. You should always read the manual and recipe book in full before using your gadget.

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Once you’re familiar with the cooker you can preheat it and prepare your meat and veggies according to the recipe you are following. Sometimes you need to braise the cuts of meat or harder ingredients like root vegetables first before adding them. Browning the components of the meal can help with taste and ensuring the ingredients are tasty and tender.

Most recipes will require the following layering for the cooking process to work:

  • Harder veggies sit on the bottom of the pot
  • Beef, chicken or pork sits on top of the veggies
  • Liquid is then added along with any dried or fresh herbs
  • The pot should be at least 1/3 full, avoiding food getting overcooked
  • Dairy, veggies that cook quickly, salt and pepper to taste, and seafood is usually added towards the end of the cooking time

The amount of minutes for the recipe depends on the individual recipe but usually you can set it so it keeps the food warm on the heat if you aren’t eating it as soon as it is cooked.

Need some inspiration for slow cooker recipes? Take a look at this video for some great ideas:

Slow-Cooker Q&A’s

To help you become the best slow cooker whizz you can be, here are some useful Q&A’s to help you make delicious food with your new gadget:

Do You Need To Put Water In A Slow Cooker?

Usually most recipes require you add some liquid preventing the dish drying out regardless of the setting and temperature you use. You should always follow the recipe to ensure you do add liquid if required.

Can You Put Raw Meat In Slow Cookers?

You can put raw meat in the slow cooker but sometimes you need to braise the meat first before it is slow-cooked.

How Long Does It Take To Cook In A Slow Cooker?

It depends on the recipe, but although simple and easy, it is not a speedy process and can take 6-8 hours. You can pre-plan making your food in this way to make the perfect dish for dinner or different times of the day.

What Slow Cooker Temperature Is The Best?

It depends on the recipe, so do check the slow cooking temperature for the meal you’re making before setting up the cooking process.

How Do You Clean A Slow Cooker?

To properly clean the gadget and remove all the meat and vegetables debris you should follow the specific instructions included by the manufacturer. By following their tips the pot, lid and other parts will last as long as possible.

Hopefully you’re feeling inspired and able create incredible dishes for the whole family with your brand new gadget. By following the tips above you’ll be creating slow-cooked tasty wonders in no time.

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