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How to Use a Slow Cooker
By Christine Szalay-Kudra | Submitted On February 06, 2010


You might be wondering what the point of a slow cooker is. After all, if you can cook dinner quickly on the stove or in the oven, what is wrong with that? And if you can cook dinner really quickly using a pressure cooker, surely that is better, is it not? Actually, there are a few reasons why cooking with a crockpot is not only worthwhile but preferable to the other cooking methods.

First of all, slow cooker recipes tend to be very easy. You can add meat or fish to your crockpot along with vegetables and a sauce or gravy, flick the switch and leave the cooker to cook your meal to perfection.

Many slow cooker meals are as easy as adding the ingredients, stirring it and leaving it to cook. There are of course some where you need to brown the meat, soak the beans or do something else with the ingredients but the majority of these recipes are simple compared to other recipes using other cooking methods.

Tips for Using Slow Cookers

In order to get the best results from your appliance and learn how to use it optimally it is best to follow a recipe specially made for cooking meals this way. This might simply direct you to add the ingredients turn the machine on for six hours and leave it alone to cook, or it might advise you to do something else to the ingredients before adding them. A lot of these recipes are very specific about the order in which you add your ingredients.

This is because dense ingredients like potatoes and carrots cook a lot slower than less dense ingredients. So if your slow cooker recipe instructs you to place the meat or fish on top of the vegetables there is a good reason for it. When learning how to use a these cookers, follow the recipe instructions and you will find the meal comes out fine.

Also known as crockpots they come in various shapes and sizes and if you are thinking about investing in one you should choose wisely. If you are catering for a family on a regular basis, choose a medium or large slow cooker with all the feature you find useful.

Not only does this ensure that you can make enough food to satisfy everyone but it also means you can make double the recipe sometimes and freeze what is not eaten, thereby allowing you to make double the required amount and have an easy defrost-able meal for one day the following week.

Cooking Meals for the Family

When you are cooking for families it is nice to have easy slow cooker recipes because they are so straightforward to prepare and taste great also. Another great reason for using a slow cooker is that the food you cook in it tastes so wonderful. The ingredients cook together for hours and the flavors mingle like they do not have time to if you use another cooking method.

If you are making a casserole, stew or soup you will find the flavor of the meat or fish is boosted by this cooking method and the texture is amazing too. Vegetables, pulses and grains cook nicely in a crockpot and the finished meal will have an incredible taste.

Using a slow cooker is incredibly easy and once you have made a few slow cooker recipes [http://www.recipedirectory.org/links/links/Crock-Pot/Collections_and_Indexes/Collections_and_Indexes.html] you will be able to adapt them and even make up your own. Slow cookers are ideal for busy families and there are hundreds of different crockpot [http://www.recipedirectory.org/links/links/Crock-Pot/Crock-Pot.html] meals to choose from, no matter what your personal preferences are or what ingredients you favor.

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