Saturday, July 12, 2014

Slow-Cooker Success { Tips }

Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your slow-cooker.



1} Prep the night before, and all you'll need to do in the morning is toss you ingredients into the slow-cooker bowl and flip the switch. { Measure ingredients, cut veggies, and trim fat from meats, then refrigerate components separately in bowl or storage bags so, for instance, the acid in wine doesn't change the texture of the meat.}

 2} Less tender cuts of meat and poultry---such as pork and lamb shoulder, chuck roast, beef brisket and poultry legs---are best suited for slow cooking. Skim fat from cooking liquid when done.

3} Fish and other seafood aren't a good option for the slow cooker unless added in the last hour of cooking.

4} Slow cooking tends to intensify flavorful spices and seasonings such as chili powder and garlic, so use them conservatively. 

5} Dried herbs may lessen in flavor, so adjust seasonings by stirring a little more in at the end of cooking.

6} When using fresh herbs, save some to toss in at the last minute fro fresh flavor and color.

7} For richer flavor in stews, sprinkle meat and poultry with flour and brown in a skillet before slow cooking. { Scrape up browned bits in skillet and add to the pot to help thicken sauce and enhance flavor even more. }

8} Don't take the lid off the cooker to stir ingredients, especially in the early stages of warming---the pot will lose valuable heat.