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Tips for Using a Slow Cooker

Vegetables cook slower than meat, so place them in the bottom and around the sides of your cooker.

Wouldn't you love to come home to the wonderful aroma of a flavorful, savory dinner ready in the kitchen? It's easy when you use a slow cooker. Try these tips to adapt your recipes to the slow cooker.

  • Reduce liquids by half. One cup of liquid is usually enough.
  • Cube meat to ensure complete cooking.
  • Vegetables cook more slowly than meat in a slow cooker, so place them in the bottom and around the sides of your cooker. Then add the meat and the liquid.
  • Dry beans should be cooked for 10 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker.
  • Cook pasta and rice before adding to cooker. And add them at the end of cooking just to warm.
  • The flavor of leaf or whole herbs will intensify, so add half the amount. Add ground herbs and spices during the last hour.
  • Add dairy products, including milk and sour cream, during the last hour of cooking.
  • Most uncooked meat and vegetable combinations will require cooking at least 8 hours on low.

 

If a conventional recipe says:

  • Cook for 15 to 30 minutes: slow-cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Cook for 35 to 40 minutes: slow-cook on low for 6 to 10 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Cook for 50 minutes to 3 hours: slow-cook on low for 8 to 18 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.