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Also known as the slow cooker, a crockpot allows you to cook at your own pace, with ease and without you even being in the same zip code. Imagine this, you are out hiking in nature or down by sea catching some sun, and your dinner is back home cooking waiting for you to get back to eat it.
In This Article
We will discuss how to set up a crockpot for first-time use, provide some helpful crockpot cooking and cleaning tips and include a link to some quick and creative crockpot recipes for you to try. Let’s jump in.
How to Use a Crockpot
- After you have plugged in your crockpot, it is ready for use. Most slow cookers today come with removable cooking pots. Note that some crockpots on the market come with built-in pots that are not removable. For ease in cleaning, we suggest those with removable cooking pots.
- Crockpots generally have two primary heat settings. A low setting cooks your food at roughly 200 degrees Fahrenheit and high at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Though you can cycle to a shorter or longer cook time for each setting, the average duration for low is a 10-hr cook cycle. To get the best result from a slow cooker, we suggest cooking your meal for no less than eight hours. However, if you wish to speed up your cooking time, you can switch to a high setting to cook your food in four to six hours.
- After you have decided what to cook and how long to cook it, all you have to do is add the appropriate amount of liquid to your cooker. If you are cooking rice, stew, meats, or veggies, it is good to add enough liquid to cover these foods. If your crockpot does not have a fill line in the cooking pot, follow the general rule of only filling your crockpot ⅔ full.
- After your food, your favorite seasonings and liquid are in the cooker, cover the crockpot with its lid and begin cooking. Depending on the time you have chosen, most crockpots have a timer that will cut off when the selected amount of time has expired. Some crockpots have an option to automatically switch to warming mode after the cooking time has run its course. Check to see if your cooker has this option.
- When the food is ready to eat, be cautious of any steam that might escape as you remove the lid and serve. Cooking on low heat for hours will not only give you a warm meal to come home to but one that is amazingly tender and infused with flavor.
Crockpots are easy to clean up. All you have to do is fill the removable pot with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Sometimes you have to let them soak for a while like any other dirty dish or cooking implement. Gently wash until clean. To clean your crockpot’s heating base, make sure it’s unplugged, clean it with a wet rag or sponge, and never submerge this eclectic component in water.
Crockpot Tips and Recipe Link
- It is crucial to find a good spot for your crockpot, We suggest you either place your crockpot on the stovetop itself or another surface like a cutting board or silicone mat. Why? Though crockpots are safe to leave alone for extended hours, they have been known to damage, warp, or leave stains on certain countertop surfaces.
- Make sure that your crockpot is free of any flammable liquids and or combustible materials. The outside of the pot can get hot enough to ignite such items.
- If after using your crockpot and the food will not clean off easily with soap and water, fill it up with water, add one-half cup of vinegar, one-half cup of baking soda and cook covered for one or two hours on low heat. Let the cooker cool, wipe it off and rinse thoroughly.
- When cooking, please do not remove the lid and let the slow cooker do its job. By removing the cover, you can extend your cooking time.
- For juicier and more tender meat, brown or sere it on the stovetop before putting it in the crockpot. Though this is not necessary, it can add more flavor to your meal.
- Remember, when cooking vegetables, they often release their water and might cause your crockpot to overflow if you have added too much water.
- Thirty-plus easy to cook recipes for your crockpot.
To Wrap Up
Yes, cooking can be a time-consuming practice, and eating out all the time is neither economical nor health-promoting. Luckily for us, who enjoy an on-the-go lifestyle, there is the crockpot. Please contact us today for more valuable tips and suggestions.