electronic Gourmet Guide


Slow Cooker Tips

Plugged In
  • Stoneware is fairly sensitive to dramatic changes in temperature. Don't set a hot crock on a cold surface. Always place a hot pad or towel under it.
  • If you fill the cooking chamber the night before and put it into the refrigerator, the next morning the crock must be put into a cold base unit. Put a cold crock only in a cold slow cooker.
  • Slow cookers with crockery inserts are heavy. If an empty crock is too heavy to lift when it is empty, then it will certainly be too heavy to lift when filled with food.
  • High altitude (greater than 3,500 feet above sea level) cooking requires longer cooking times.
  • If possible, use leaf or whole herbs and spices, and use half the amount needed. If you use dried or ground herbs and spices, use 1/4 the amount of fresh and add them during the last hour of cooking.
  • Most milk-based products tend to break down during slow cooking. If possible, add them during the last hour of cooking.
  • Fat retains heat more readily than water, so fattier recipes will cook faster than those with less fat. Trim meats and brown them prior to putting them in the slow cooker to reduce this effect. Foods cooked in fat will be more tender than those cooked in stock, water, or vegetable juice.
  • Use a slow cooker on a buffet table to keep soup or stew hot.
  • The mini slow cookers are terrific for making sauces, stewing individual pieces of fruit, and melting chocolate.
  • Clean the ceramic crock in the dishwasher. Soak, then scrub off all cooked-on stains between uses. Abrasive cleanser is fine for this. Don't be tempted to leave food residue on the crock. It will cook off and become part of the next meal—yuk!

Lora Brody Plugged In
by Lora Brody
William Morrow and Company, $25.00
384 pages; 1998
Recipes and photos reprinted by permission.


Lora Brody Plugged In



This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.


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