19th January 2016
A slow cooker is a must have for any busy individual that finds it difficult to set time aside for cooking. You can prepare large amounts of food in no time with almost no effort. The results are always to die for.
So if you’re new to the slow cooking scene or looking for ways to make the most out of yours, here are some foolproof slow cooker tips to help you nail every single meal time…
1. Plan Ahead
If you’re a little busy you can prepare the core ingredients in advance or the night before so that when the time comes to cook you can quite literally bung it all in your slow cooker dish, press a button and wait for your delicious meal.
2. Keep It Cheap
A slow cooker is the ideal piece of equipment for cheap cuts of meat because its long and slow process turns even the toughest of cuts tender. Oxtail, shoulders, brisket, chuck and shin are great examples of meat that has an amazing flavour if given enough time to cook.
The Indonesian Beef Rendang is a great place to start if you want to try something new with your cooker.
You can also bulk out a batch of food with plenty of veg to keep costs down and achieve your 5 a day.
3. Make The Odd Tweak
If you have a recipe that’s not designed specifically for a slow cooker there are a few edits you can make to achieve optimum slow cooking heaven.
The first is with the liquid! Liquid in slow cooking doesn’t get the opportunity to thicken and evaporate because the lid is on so tightly. Reduce the recommended amount of liquid in your recipe by a third to combat this and add a little cornflour at the end if you want the sauce thicker.
The second is, if you’re cooking with meat, to brown it off first in a frying pan to get a lovely caramelised crust. This will take your meal from great to outstanding.
See the effect of browning meat with the Beef Bourguignon Recipe.
4. Low and Slow
The lowest setting is your best friend because the longer and lower the heat, the better. Yes really! It allows the flavours and ingredients to really get to know each other and combine. We promise the result will be next level.
5. Don’t Touch The Lid!
Resist the urge to keep opening and checking your food as it cooks. Every time you give in, it adds precious time onto the total cooking time. It’s worth the wait. Be patient.
Slow Cooked Butter Chicken is pretty damn awesome if you’re looking for a cheap way to entertain guests.
6. Make The Most Out Of It
A slow cooker is an awesome way to make fuss free soups and cook for lots of hungry mouths at one time but did you know there’s a whole host of things you can make. Deserts… whole hunks of meat… porridge.
How will you know until you get out there and experiment with something like a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich?
So give it a go! Good luck. Have you got any other brilliant slow cooker hacks? Got any recipes to share? Get uploading to SORTEDfood so we can try out your favourite recipe.