Slow cooking isn’t just about pot roast and chili anymore (though it is), it’s about brownies, applesauce, even potpourri and soap. Some people (we’re not mentioning any names) can’t imagine life without one (or three).
Regardless of what ingenious and adventurous thing you are trying (there are so many ideas out there, we would be silly to mention them all here), there are a few basic tips to always remember when preparing anything via your slow cooker.
- No matter what you are making, don’t overfill your pot. Half to two-thirds is an ideal amount to avoid overburdening your pot.
- Resist peeking. The more you open the lid, the longer your food will take by an unforgivable percentage. Like one peek inside equals another 15 minutes. It’s not worth it. There’s slow and then there’s slog.
- If you are making the traditional meat dish, buy fatty meats, like short ribs, shanks (beef, pork, or lamb), and shoulder (pork or lamb). The fat keeps the meat moist and cooking real slow breaks down the tough connective tissue to fall off the bone delight.
- Sear meats first to seal in the flavor and add a far more attractive color appeal. Just throwing the raw meat in tends to result in a light brown, murky meat surface. Yea, no. Chicken is the one exception. If you sear it first, it will be overcooked by the time it leaves the pot.
- And, definitely de-skin the chicken. When mixed with other ingredients, the skin will not crisp, but rather get soft, chewy and well ...
- Add dairy and herbs last. That just makes sense.