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Crockpot Cooking Tips

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Crockpot Cooking Tips
Crockpot cooking is pretty easy to begin with. But slow cooker chefs are always discovering ways to make crockpot cooking even simpler and more effective. On this page, we collect some of these crockpot cooking tips and tricks, and we also invite you to submit your own crockpot cooking tips.

  • Make sure what you plan to cook in your crockpot will actually fit in your crockpot. Very simple advice, to be sure, but plenty of folks get home from the store with a roast or other item that is too large for their slow cooker.

  • Check the instructions that come with your crockpot for advice on how high it can be filled. Most manufacturers recommend filling a crockpot only half to three-quarters for best cooking results.

  • Root vegetables cook more slowly than meats, so if you are cooking root vegetables along with a roast, place the veggies on the bottom of the crockpot, underneath the meat.

  • Here's another tip about veggies from Sue Williams: "One tip I have is that vegetables take MUCH longer than meat to cook as they prefer the very high temperatures and being completely immersed in water. If I have time I usually parboil the veggies before they go in so they are already partially cooked, but always, always, put the veggies at the bottom of the cooker and the meat on top. Meat will cook out of the liquid, veggies won't."

  • This tip is from Wendy Russell: "One thing I found that really improves the taste of anything with meat, is to brown the meat first. Even though all the recipes tell you you do not have to, you get such wonderful gravy as a result. It takes only a little longer to do this, but it is worth it."

  • Most crockpot recipes offer a range of cooking times, say 4-6 hours or 7-9 hours. The reason is that crockpots vary in how quickly they ready a meal (e.g., from different wattages); there might be power fluctuations as well.

  • Generally, 1 hour on high is equivalent to 2 hours on low, but check the manufacturer's recommendations. And cook only on the setting recommended in a recipe unless cooking times for both high and low are offered.

  • The more often you remove the cover of the crockpot during cooking, the longer the cooking time may need to be. So avoid opening the slow cooker just to peek inside. Open only to stir or to check for doneness.

  • Alex in Las Vegas says: "When possible use non-stick, Canola oil-based cooking spray to line the inside of your crock pot, especially when cooking thicker meals. This will help keep the food off the walls of your crock pot when you are stirring/serving."

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