Slow cookers are undoubtedly something you’ve heard of or maybe used, but what is a slow cooker, exactly? For those who haven’t used them, it’s a cooking appliance that’s ideal for food that needs to be cooked at a low, moist temperature.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using it, despite the fact that it does the job on its own. The following are some of the most typical mistakes people make when using a slow cooker.
Adding too Much Liquid to the Slow Cooker
Whether you’re going to use a slow cooker for a slow cooker chickpeas recipe or any other type of meat, always remember that too much liquid can result in a big mess.
Unlike cooking on a stovetop, evaporation doesn’t occur. Just make sure to modify your recipe to avoid having to clean up food that overflows.
Keep in mind, that fruits, vegetables, and fatty cuts of meat give off their own liquid as well.
Not Brining or Searing the Meat
While not everybody is keen on browning the meat before placing it into the slow cooker, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to consider it.
Firstly, it adds more flavor to the meat and secondly, it makes for an aesthetically pleasing dish. In addition, bringing helps to make the meat juicier.
Not Defrosting Meat
It doesn’t matter if it is a slow cooker frozen chicken or beef recipe. It’s always a must to thaw out your meat before placing it into your slow cooker.
Though some claim that they cook frozen meat all of the time in theirs, remember, you do so at your own risk.
The problem with cooking frozen meat in this kitchen tool is that it might not get to a safe temperature. If you want to know what is the temperature for slow cooking, you can find the USDA’s guidelines for minimum safe cooking temperatures here.
Slow Cooker Rib Tips: Adding Too Much Alcohol
If you love braised ribs in beer, you should take note of this. Unlike when making food on the stove, alcohol reduces at a much slower rate in a slow cooker. Thus, it isn’t eliminating much of the alcohol content.
Instead, try cutting back on the amount of alcohol that a recipe calls for. Unless boozy food is your thing.
The Incorrect Layering of Ingredients
It’s important to layer your ingredients in a slow cooker by how fast they cook.
Your meat will almost always be on the bottom followed by everything else. Just make sure to follow the recipe!
Adding Dairy Too Soon
Some dishes require curd but if you want to avoid a lumpy meal, make sure to add the dairy towards the end of cooking. This will ensure that you have a smooth sauce.
Opening Slow Cooker Lid While Food Cooks
We know, it’s confusing. One minute we’re saying to add dairy towards the end of cooking and now we’re saying not to open the lid.
Here’s the thing, opening the lid to peek inside or even to stir will alter the cooking time. Does that mean you can never do it? Of course not.
Some ingredients, like dairy and herbs, should be added later on in the cooking process. Just don’t go opening the lid just to smell the dish. When adding ingredients, make it quick and add a few minutes to the cooking time!
Cooking Food too Fast
Slow cookers are given that name for good reason! Don’t rush the cooking time.
You will surely achieve your desired flavor and texture of the meat if you will let the slow cooker do the work for you while following the slow cooker temperature guide.
What is a Slow Cooker: A Helpful Cooking Device
We hope that your question ‘what is a slow cooker?’ has been answered by this article. Avoiding these mistakes will allow you to maximize the advantages of this device.
Sources: Food Network, Delish