As many of you know I have LOTS of slow cooker recipes on the blog … check them out here…slow cooker recipes. The reason why I share lots of slow cooker recipes is because I absolutely LOVE my slow cooker. It is like my best friend in the kitchen. I haven’t gone as far as to name it yet. But I am very fond of it!
For those of you who are just getting into slow cooking or maybe you are thinking about buying a slow cooker then here are my top tips! Once you have mastered and got to know your own little kitchen best friend, then you will be off and away on the path to easy and delicious family food.
- DON’T LIFT THE LID ….. SERIOUSLY! LEAVE IT ALONE! Most slow cookers have a glass lid so you can keep an eye on what you are cooking, but resist the temptation to open the lid as you will let out the heat and therefore the cooking time will need to be increased. Step away!
- Every slow cooker is slightly different so take some time getting to know yours. The first few times you use it take the cooking times as a guide. You don’t need to be too worried about timings (I don’t want you standing watching over the slow cooker all day .. that kind of defeats the object!) once the food is cooked it won’t spoil if it is left for a bit longer (hence why slow cookers are awesome to use whilst you are out all day). Just make sure everything is cooked through before serving.
- Save time by using pre-chopped veg. I guess most of you will be using the slow cooker as a time saver, so make it as quick as possible to prep!
- Another time saver … use Lazy Garlic, Chilli and Ginger.
- Don’t go crazy with the liquid. You will find that if you are adapting one of your usual stove top recipes that you won’t need as much liquid, as whilst the meal cooks the slow cooker retains the moisture.
- If you find that you do need to add water, then make sure it is boiling water so that you don’t reduce the cooking time.
- If you need to thicken up a sauce, then add a little cornflour to cold water to make a paste and then add it to the slow cooker at the end of the cooking time, stir well.
- NEVER put frozen meat in the slow cooker it will take a long time to reach the correct cooking temperature.
- If you are adding dried herbs add them at the beginning, fresh herbs need to be added towards the end of the cooking time.
So there you have it, my top tips for the slow cooker! Have fun and enjoy!