Lazy Oven recipes

Part I: Tips And Tricks For Using A Slow Cooker

Useful information in using your slow cooker.

We may all be experts when it comes to cooking in a slow cooker, but whether we admit it or not, there are times that we doubt if what we are doing is right. And at times like those, our resourcefulness comes in handy.

For me, it would be asking people I know for answers or opinions, or researching through the net for the best possible solution. I constantly try to find ways to make the best tasting dishes with my slow cooker. And I love it when I also resources which helps me justify why a slow cooker is one of the best kitchen aids one will ever have.

So now, I would like to share them all to everyone who visits this site. It would be so satisfying to be able to help my fellow slow cooker who are looking for answers. they will be in installments of course, so keep checking this site for new posts about slow cooking.

Check out the first batch of tips and information below.


Save Time & Effort 

One of the main attractions for many is the ease of a slow-cooker so when you’re looking for recipes, avoid those that suggest a lot of pre-preparation. For many dishes, particularly soups and stews, you really can just throw all the ingredients in. It can be nice to cook the onions beforehand as the flavor is different to when you put them in raw but experiment both ways as you may find you prefer one. It can also be good to brown meat to give it some color but again this is not essential.

 

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Get Ahead

If you’re short on time in the morning, prepare everything you need for your slow-cooked meal the night before, put it into the slow-cooker dish, cover and store in the fridge overnight. Ideally the dish should be as close to room temperature as possible, so get it out of the fridge when you wake up and leave it for 20 minutes before turning the cooker on. If you need to heat your dish beforehand, then put the ingredients in a different container and transfer them in the morning.

 

Save Money

Slow cookers are great for cooking cheaper cuts like beef brisket, pork shoulder, lamb shoulder and chicken thighs. You can also use less meat as slow-cooking really extracts a meaty flavour that permeates the whole dish. Bulk up with vegetables instead.

 

Trim The Fat 

You don’t need to add oil to a slow cooker, the contents won’t catch as long as there’s enough moisture in there. You don’t need a lot of fat on your meat either. Normally when you fry meat, a lot of the fat drains away, this won’t happen in a slow cooker so trim it off, otherwise you might find you have pools of oil in your stew. This will give you a healthier result and it’ll still be tasty.

 

Go Easy On The Liquid

Because your slow cooker will have a tightly sealed lid, the liquid won’t evaporate so if you’re adapting a standard recipe, it’s best to reduce the liquid by roughly a third. Liquid should just cover the meat and vegetables. Don’t overfill your slow cooker or it may start leaking out the top and food won’t cook as well. Half to two thirds full is ideal and certainly no more than three quarters.

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Thank you very much to bbcgoodfood.com for these useful information.

Credits to the following for the awesome images:
dartagnan.com, nukaco.la, the-savvy-sista.com