Submitted by: Debi
When you come across a recipe that calls for cooking covered in your oven or on the stovetop for a nice long simmer, chances are good that you’ve found a recipe you can adapt to use in your slow cooker.
Here are some simple tips for adapting your recipes:
- If your recipe calls for root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips, these are best put into the crockpot first since these items need to cook a bit longer.
- Oven recipes that cook for 2 to 4 hours can probably be cooked in the crockpot on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. Since slow cookers vary a great deal, be sure to keep tabs on the progress of your meal. Keep notes about the timing for future reference if you decide you want to try this recipe again in the crockpot.
- Spices have a tendency to change over the time of slow cooking. It’s oftentimes best to save spices to stir in for the last 15 minutes of simmering otherwise your spicy things may get spicier and other items, less flavorful.
- If you need to cook something like a pot roast in liquid, you may be able use about the half the amount you’d use in a covered pot in the oven. The crockpot tends to retain liquids rather than evaporate them.
- If you’re making a liquid-based item like soup or stew, add the dry ingredients first and then fill the crockpot with the needed liquids until it’s about 2/3 full. If you add the liquids first, by the time you toss in the other ingredients, it may be overflowing!
- If you feel your dish is cooking up with too much liquid left in it, remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of simmering, or pour off the liquid into a saucepan, stir in some flour or cornstarch, and bring to a gentle boil — stirring constantly — until flour is fully combined and liquid begins to thicken. Pour back into crockpot with other ingredients
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