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8 Simple Tips for Slow Cooker Meals

Slow cookers are affordable and they deliver the most delicious meals. You can prepare healthier dishes without losing flavor and you don’t even have to do anything! Just let the slow cooker get the job done. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are preparing slow cooker meals.

1. You don’t have to use as much liquid when using a slow cooker:

Since your slow cooker has a sealed lid, the liquid won’t evaporate. Remember to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe: it’s best to reduce it by a third. Pour just enough so that the liquid covers the meat and vegetables, about half to two-thirds full is ideal. Avoid overfilling the slow cooker.

2. You might need to add some flour to thicken sauces:

Since the liquid won’t evaporate, it won’t thicken either. You can slightly coat the meat with some flour before placing it in the slow cooker. Another option is to blend some cornflour into the sauce. Just add a teaspoon or two of cornflour and mix it with some water. Add the paste to the sauce in the slow cooker and cover with the lid.

3. It’s better to use the slow cooker low setting:

You’ll soon learn that most dishes are improved by a low heat cooking that truly brings out the flavors. And, if you are leaving for the day, you just leave the slow cooker working its magic and come back to a delicious meal ready to enjoy.

4. Don’t take the lid off the slow cooker:

This appliance is designed to work with the lid on to keep all the steam and heat inside. Try to avoid taking the lid off during cooking time.

5. Slow cookers reduce your meal-prep time:

For most dishes, like soups or stews, you really can just throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and leave. The slow cooker will take it from there and, a few hours later, dinner is ready. 

6. You can make the most out of lower quality cuts:

Slow cookers are amazing for cooking lower quality cuts of meat like beef brisket, pork shoulder or chicken thighs. Add vegetables to bulk up and use meat extract for flavor!

7. Remember to trim fat from meat before slow cooking:

You don’t have to add any oil to a slow cooker. What’s important is to have enough moisture. So, if you are going to cook some meat in a slow cooker, make sure you trim the fat before cooking it so that you don’t get a lot of fat floating on your dish. You’ll get a healthier meal that is just as tasty!

8. Here is a simple guideline for cooking times when you prepare meals with a slow cooker. 

If the dish normally takes 15 minutes to cook, cook it for 1-2 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low in your slow cooker. For 30 minutes-1 hour dishes, cook for 2-3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. For 60-120 minutes dishes, cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7 hours on low. For 2-4 hours dishes, cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-12 hours on low. Remember this is just a guideline. Check the directions on your slow cooker recipe to get the best results. 

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