Slow cookers are economical for family use and are great for making a wide variety of healthy meals. They also require minimum effort to produce delicious meals for the whole family. Armed with these facts, what is there not to love about this appliance? But there are some tips to make the whole process much faster and to help you enjoy great results. Let’s check them out.
Start by Getting Your Cooker
You can pick a slow cooker from a wide range of models and sizes depending on your needs. These come at various prices to suit your budget. However, remember that price usually doesn’t equate to the quality. Read these slow cooker reviews to discover the top models available on the market.
Choose the Perfect Recipe
One of the reasons you are going for a slow cooker is the ease of use of the appliance. So, when you search for the perfect recipe, make sure you pick one that doesn’t require a lot of preparations. Choose one that has a few ingredients such as a stew or soup. You can also save time by pre-cooking some of the ingredients such as onions.
The best recipe is also one that allows you to add all the ingredients at the beginning. This leaves you to do your chores in peace.
Bulk It Up
Slow cookers make it possible to cook cheaper cuts such as pork shoulder, chicken thighs, lamb shoulder and beef brisket. This is because you get to use less meat yet get great flavor. So, instead of buying lots of meat, you can bulk the meal up with vegetables to cut down on the costs, which is ideal if you have a large family.
Reduce the Liquid
The slow cooker uses a sealed lid that keeps the vapor within the container. The liquid you use to cook won’t evaporate, which means you use very little liquid to cook the meal. If you normally use a liter of water for cooking a particular meal, reduce this to a third. You can achieve this by having the liquid just cover the ingredients.
Cut Down on the Fat
You don’t have to add cooking oil to the slow cooker. You don’t need to have a lot of fats on the meat as well. This is to avoid having pools of oil in your stew. Usually, when you cook or fry meat, most of the fats drain away. This doesn’t happen when you use a slow cooker, so trim off the extra fats from the meat before cooking it. This makes for a healthy dish without all the fats, ideal if you are dieting.
Always opt for the “low” setting unless spelled out otherwise in the recipe. Cooking the food using low heat for long periods helps preserve the flavor and maintain the nutrients. You also don’t have any worries when leaving the house for several hours, because the cooker will take care of itself.
Refrain From Peeking!
The slow cooker is designed to do its thing without your intervention. So, you don’t need to keep on lifting the lid to check how the cooking process is going on. This is because each time you lift the lid; the container loses some heat, which in turn increases the cooking time.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Waste the Food
When it comes to slow cooking, you have a lot of ways to save time, money and effort. One of the ways is to reduce grocery shopping by cooking food for several days. The reason behind this is that the slow cooker can keep your meals warm for several hours. Cook once and feed your family more than once, helping you save on the many trips to the grocery store.