How Do Slow Cookers Work?

How do slow cookers work?

The electric slow cooker prepares food by using consistent, low-wattage heat. This makes it best for cooking stews, soups and larger portions of meat. The heat source is usually at the bottom of the pot, although some models use wrap-around heating. The tight-fitting lid and low, slow cooking traps the food's natural juices, making it exceptionally moist and succulent.

What's the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker?

None. Although many people refer to slow cookers as crock pots, "Crock-Pot" is actually a trademark of the Rival corporation, which sells more slow cookers than any other brand.

Can I leave my slow cooker turned on while unattended?

If cooking on LOW, yes. At the LOW setting, temperatures reach just below boiling, between 200F and 210F and little evaporation occurs. If cooking on HIGH, it is recommended that you do not leave the slow cooker unattended for more than the first half of the cooking time. When set on HIGH, slow cookers reach 300F to 325F. Moisture more readily evaporates at this temperature, causing the food to stick or burn.

Can I lift the lid to check on the food?

Generally it is not recommended to uncover the slow cooker unless a recipe instructs you to add ingredients or stir the food. Once the lid is removed, it takes 20 minutes to regain the lost temperature and steam.

 

Water gatering on the inside of the lid drips down to dilute whatever it is that you are cooking. If you want to bake in the slow cooker  You need to wrap the lid with paper towels to preven the moisture from dripping off and into your cake or whatever you are cooking.

How can I adapt my own recipes for the slow cooker?

Most ingredients that can be cooked on the stovetop can be cooked in a slow cooker. However, some ingredients such as milk, sour cream and cheese can separate when cooked for a long time, so it’s best to add them near the end of cooking time. Brown meat or poultry on the stovetop if directed in a recipe, then place in the slow cooker (this will add immensely to the finished flavor of the dish). It is not recommended that you cook pasta in the slow cooker,since it can overcook and fall apart. You can cook pasta on the stovetop and add it to the slow cooker near the end of cooking time.

Generally, if a recipe calls to cook for 30 minutes, cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. If the cooking time is 35 to 60 minutes, cook in the slow cooker at LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours.

How do I clean my slow cooker?

Always unplug the slow cooker before cleaning. Clean the nonstick base with a damp, soapy dishcloth. Rinse with a damp cloth to remove soap residue. Wipe dry. Clean the removable insert and cover in warm soapy water. Rinse and dry.

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