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.
- 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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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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