Before air fryers came into existence, slow cookers were all the hype. Still, many households prefer slow cookers for an effortless, delicious meal.
Slow cookers are like air fryers that cook food without any supervision. But everything needs supervision, right! You can’t just leave your slow cooker cooking without even checking once.
We make many mistakes when cooking with a slow cooker, and sometimes the meal doesn’t turn out as it should. So, we blame the slow cooker. Instead, we should focus on what we do wrong.
So, let’s go through eleven tips to make every meal in a slow cooker delicious.
11 Tips for Making Delicious Meals with a Slow Cooker
Don’t you wish to throw all ingredients in a pot? You can use a slow cooker. They come in different oval or round crock pot sizes. So, it’s easier to cook any portion of food on a budget.
A slow cooker will never make tasty food if you don’t know how to use it properly. No worries–we are here to fix that!
Just follow our 11 tips whenever you’re cooking with a slow cooker to get perfect meals every time.
Tip 1: Buy the Correct Size
It definitely won’t work out if you have a big family and decide to buy a small crock pot. Your pot might overflow, creating a mess, and your food will go to waste.
Buying a large crock pot for a small family will also be a hassle. You might add inaccurate measurements, and the food won’t cook properly and sometimes burn.
So, before buying, settle on the dishes you want to make and choose the correct sized slow cooker.
Tip 2: Always Preheat
We always preheat ovens, so why not slow cookers? Slow cookers are technically small ovens that need preheating. Otherwise, your food will take longer to cook.
Tip 3: Use the Proper Amount of Liquid
A common mistake many people make is incorrectly measuring the liquid needed for a recipe. You can’t just pour a liquid content without measuring. You have to be mindful of the portion of your food and the size of your crock pot.
Try using a measuring cup when adding liquids and find recipes suitable for your crock pot size.
Tip 4: Choose the Right Cuts of Meat and Always Sear
Slow cookers can cook almost any meat, but marbled and fatty or tough cuts of meat are preferable. Cooking them on a low heat will help the collagen and connective tissue dissolve slowly, making the meat tender and juicy.
If you’re already getting the recommended meat, but it still turns out dry, the reason may be not searing it. Yes, we know crock pots can do it too. But searing the meat beforehand can help it retain the moisture content; even after a long cooking period, it will come out juicy.
Tip 5: Don’t Overfill the Pot
If you have an urge to fill up the whole crock pot, don’t! Filling it up to the top will leave you no room to add anything later. For example, if you’re cooking ham or roast, you’ll have no room to add it in and waste your time figuring out what to do.
So, remember to keep an inch of a gap from the top so that the lid closes properly.
Tip 6: Don’t Lift the Lid
It’s tempting to lift the lid and admire the amazing food you’ve stirred up. But, by opening the lid often, you’re adding extra cooking time to the food.
A slow cooker works by trapping the heat and cooking the food, and if you keep opening it, the heat will escape and take time to get trapped again.
Tip 7: Don’t Overcook
It’s actually pretty easy to overcook food in a crock pot. Don’t forget it! Just because it cooks slowly doesn’t mean it can’t overcook.
The best way to avoid overcooking your food is to follow the recipe to the point. Find a recipe that fits your timing and cook likewise.
Tip 8: Never Add Herbs or Dairy Products Early
You can add every ingredient in the slow cooker early, not herbs, salt, or dairy products. Let us explain why.
Some herbs like parsley or chives already have a mellow flavor and won’t last long in the slow cooker. But herbs like rosemary and thyme can be added at the start.
On the other hand, if added too early, dairy products such as milk can curdle or break down.
Tip 9: Don’t Add Too Much Salt Early
Adding salt at the beginning of the recipe can result in too much salt because as the liquid decreases, the salt amount won’t stay balanced. So, it’s better to add salt in small amounts throughout the cooking time.
Tip 10: Use the Low Setting
If you’re not going to be home, it’s better to leave the slow cooker on a low setting so it doesn’t burn. Even at home, cooking on high heat can result in uncooked or burned food.
Tip 11: Add Flavors
Don’t be afraid to add more flavor to your dish. If you think parsley or spices will do the trick, add it. You can alter the recipe. Food needs to taste good.
Enjoy Your Meal!
Once you apply our tips, your slow cooker food will improve in quality and taste. More importantly, there will be no food wastage. You’ll always have perfect and delicious meals to enjoy with your family.
If you know anyone who cooks food incorrectly in a slow cooker, show them this article and help them because these tips are literally food saviors.