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5 Essential Slow Cooker Tips

Posted on November 09 2015

Slow cooker in use

A slow cooker is one of the most useful tools in your kitchen and can really save you time on busy days, and money by using leftover items. Just load it up with the ingredients you want at the start of the day, and you will have a hot meal waiting for you by the time you get home. Even though a crock pot is pretty easy to use, it's still possible to make a mistake. Here are five tips for better slow cooking:

1. Use fattier cuts of meats

Although you can technically throw any type of meat in a slow cooker, it's best to stay away from leaner cuts. If you cook chicken breast or another expensive cuts of meat for hours, it can get very tough, according to The Kitchn. When you cook fattier cuts of meat, like stew meat, the tough connective tissue will break down, resulting in a more tender meal.

2. Add herbs and vegetables

Are your slow cooker meals tasting a bit bland? If so, Judith Finlayson, author of "Slow Cooker Comfort Food: 275 Soul-Satisfying Recipes," recommends adding some fresh herbs and vegetables to the pot 10 minutes before you take the food out. For example, if you are cooking chicken, add some chopped carrots and thyme.

3. Brown your meat first

If you have some extra time, cook your meat in a skillet before throwing it in a crock pot. According to Rachael Ray Magazine, doing this will bring out the meat's color and flavor. When the meat is done cooking, pour a little wine or broth over it.

4. Thicken it up

If you want to thicken up your slow cooker meals, try covering the piece of meat in flour before putting it in the crock pot. You could also add a teaspoon or two of corn flour to the pot when your meal is done cooking.

5. Wait until the end to add dairy products

Putting dairy products in a slow cooker too soon can make them spoil, so add them to the pot when your meal is almost done cooking.

Utilizing these tricks the next time you cook something in a crock pot will help you create a tasty meal, and remember to store any leftover ingredients and meals in FoodVacBags vacuum sealer bags or Rolls to ensure long-lasting flavor and freshness!

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