10 Easy Ways to Get Most from Your Slow-Cooker

Slow-cookers are amazing!

Mine is a cherished part of my kitchen, but sometimes meals turn out mushy and flavorless. These 10 tips to get the most out of your slow-cooker will take your game to the next level. 

My “crockpot” gets used a least a couple times a week either making dinner like a Simple Curry,  or Bone Broth.

This is the slow-cooker I have. I cook so much with my slow cooker I did a lot of research, including contacting the Paleo Foundation about their standard and testing. Here is the write up about the Chefman Slow-cooker. *Note I have had the best luck getting ahold of their customer service through Facebook instead of their website.

I like the Chefman Slow-Cooker because

  • You can brown meat and roast bones in the insert, so less dirty dishes!
  • It is not glazed and Paleo Certified so I don’t worry about lead and other nasty stuff
  • It is lard so I can make a big batch of bone broth or whatever I’m making.

10 Tips to Get the Most from Your Slow-Cooker

  1. Choose tougher pieces of meat.  

    • They will hold up better to longer cooking and tend to be less expensive.
    • Chicken thighs hold up better than chicken breasts and contain more collagen
  2. To liven up the flavor and texture of your dish with garnishing

    • fresh herbs make your dish look fancy and taste fresh
    • slow-cooker meals tend to be kind of mushy. Adding something crunchy, like pine nuts, cabbage, or diced granny smith’s apple add some nice texture.
    • As a general rule, adding some acid is a good idea. A squeeze of lime can bring a dish to life. A splash of vinegar to soup brightens it up.
  3. Stir dairy in once the meal has finished cooking.

    • Cooking dairy a long time will cause it to separate
    • Stirring in plain full-fat yogurt into a curry at the very end gives the dish nice body and brightness
  4. Add spices the last hour or two of cooking if you are around.  

    • Spices do need some cooking time to fully develop flavor so make sure they have at least an hour or two of cooking time left.
  5. Fire roast a veggie before adding it.  

    • This takes 30 seconds but adds so much flavor.
    • It can be done over the flame on your stove or under the broiler in your oven. 
    • Peppers, chilis, tomatoes, and onions lend themselves well to this and add so many flavors.
  6. If time allows, brown meat in a cast iron skillet then deglazes with the cooking liquid.

    • You can also brown mushrooms and onions in the same skillet.
    • If you have the Chefman Slow-Cooker you can do this right in the insert.
  7. Don’t add frozen foods to your slow-cooker.  

    • Slow-cookers do not have the power to heat them up fast enough.  This can cause an unsafe temperature for too long.
  8. You can preheat your slow-cooker while you are preparing the meal.  

    • If you have one (smaller) frozen ingredient throw it in alone and first, while your cooker is on a high to defrost it while you prep the other ingredients.
  9. Don’t overfill

    • again, because slow-cookers don’t have the power to cook more food at safe temperatures.
    • Try to only fill the insert about ¾ of the way.
  10. Trim large pieces of fat off meat.  

    • Fat is delicious and an important nutrient, but in the slow cooker too much can make the meal greasy and, in some instances, cause an off flavor.
    • Don’t go too crazy, just the big chunks


Now it’s time to get cookin’

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One Comment on “10 Easy Ways to Get Most from Your Slow-Cooker

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin Spice Paleo Chili - Wild & Well Fed

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