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The slow cooker is nothing short of a miraculous invention. They make cooking so easy! But there are definitely dos and don’ts when it comes to using a slow cooker.
Most people love the convenience of a slow cooker. You can cook high-quality food without hassle. But there are definitely nuances to using the slow cooker.
Here are some things that you should never do:
1. Don’t add frozen meat
If you want to eliminate any chance of there being bacteria in your meal, thaw out your meat beforehand. You could do this in the fridge or the microwave, but do thaw it out!
2. Lifting the lid off to check on the food
Every time you take the lid off to check on your food, you’re adding to the cooking time. Slow cookers have transparent lids for a reason!
3. Using overpriced cuts of meat
One of the best things about slow cookers is that they get meat nice and tender. That means you don’t need to put the most expensive cuts of meat into the slow cooker. Opt for lower-cost cuts, as the slow cooker will make them taste delicious regardless!
4. Cooking with the wrong size of slow cooker
This could also mean using the wrong portion size for your slow cooker. If you can, you should get different sizes of slow-cooker. Otherwise, modify recipe portions so that they cook well in your slow cooker.
5. Cooking chicken with the skin on
Slow cookers are not the place to get beautifully crispy chicken skin. If you’re putting chicken in the slow cooker, remove the skin first!
6. Putting herbs in too soon
Herbs and spices are essential to tasty meals. But if you’re using fresh herbs, remember to hold off on adding them until the final minutes of cooking.
7. Skipping the searing
It can feel like you’re missing out on the ease of slow cooking by searing meat before adding it to the slow cooker, but don’t skip this step! The meal will be so much better if you sear first!
8. Layering appropriately
If the recipe calls for your root vegetables to go right at the bottom of the pot, then put them at the bottom of the pot! Layering has a real impact on how evenly everything cooks. There’s nothing worse than having a meal with some undercooked ingredients!
9. Try to avoid dairy products
Dairy and slow cookers don’t mix. Cook your dairy products on a stove-top and add them to the slow cooker near the end of cooking.
10. Cut back on alcohol
This is advice that most of us could also use outside of slow cooking, but that’s beside the point. When you’re cooking a dish that requires alcohol, you should cut back on the amount of alcohol you’d use if you were making it outside of a slow cooker. That’s because slow cookers don’t get hot enough to eliminate all of the alcohol content while cooking.
So there you have it. If you follow the steps above, then your slow cooking creations will be so much better!
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