My slow cooker is one of my favorite kitchen appliances that I own. It makes cooking dinner fast and easy and it’s a healthy way of cooking. It also makes the meat nice and tender, which my family appreciates (when I bake meat, it’s often a little dry).
Tips and Tricks from The American Heart Association
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The American Heart Association talks about slow cooker techniques in their cookbook that I have. It’s one of several cooking methods that help retain vitamins and minerals so the food is good for your heart.
Cooking food in a slow cooker takes several hours, but because you just fill it and cover the cooker, then turn it on, it doesn’t require much of your time to get it going.
When using a slow cooker, don’t fill it more than one-half to two-thirds full.
Some recipes ask you to brown meats first to add color and deepen flavor.
Layer the ingredients according to the recipe, because foods at the bottom will cook faster than those at the top.
After your meats and vegetables are cooked, you can remove them from the cooker, and then thicken the remaining liquid into a sauce. You usually do this in a saucepan on the stove.
As tempting as it is, don’t lift the lid to check on the food because slow cookers work by keeping heat and moisture in.
Slow Cooker Recipes in The American Heart Association Cookbook
Here are some of the slow cooker recipes that they have:
Turkey and Rice Soup
Slow-Cooker Dilled Chicken with Rice, Green Beans & Carrots
Slow-Cooker Thyme-Garlic Chicken with Couscous
Slow-Cooker White Chili
Shredded Beef Soft Tacos
Slow-Cooker Round Steak with Mushroom and Tomatoes
Slow-Cooker Pork Roast with Orange-Cranberry Sauce
Harvest Pork Stew
Slow-Cooker Chile Verde Pork Chops
Slow-Cooker Chickpea Stew
Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal
I have the chili, chicken, and oatmeal on my “to try” list.
Tips and Tricks from the Crock pot Recipe Collection
There are different sized slow cookers for different purposes. The small, 1 qt.-3 1/2 qt. is for singles, couples, or serving dips. The medium, 3 qt.-5 qt. is for small families, holiday side dishes, and appetizers. The large, 6-7 qt.(what I use) is great for large families, holiday entertaining, and potlucks.
There are so many different features and benefits in the slow cookers today, including auto cook programs and portable ones. When mine breaks, I would love to have a programmable one.
The nice thing about any slow cooker is they are safe to leave unattended. You can start it in the morning and have dinner ready in the evening.
Typical dishes take 7 to 8 hours on low and 3 to 4 hours on high.
You can cook frozen food in the slow cooker, but it will take longer. It’s always better to thaw the food first.
Ground and/or dried herbs and spices work well in slow cooking.
Flour, cornstarch or arrowroot can be used to thicken the sauce in the end.
Milk, cream and sour cream are usually added during the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking.
Slow Cooker Recipes from the Crock pot Recipe Collection
The cookbook has recipes for:
Dips and Spreads
Game Day Munchies
Soups and Stocks
5 Ingredients or Less
Main Dishes: Beef, Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Vegetarian
Breakfast and Brunch
Cakes and Desserts
Our favorite recipes so far are: Easy Beef Stew, Mushroom Beef Stew, Creamy Chicken, Easy Cheesy Barbecue Chicken, Company Slow Cooker Pork Chops, Nice n’ Easy Italian Chicken, and Kat’s Slow Chicken. I have a lot more that I want to try.
I love using my slow cooker because it saves me so much time. You can prepare a lot of the recipe ahead of time and there’s less clean up. Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes or tips?