Slow Cooker Sunday: Using Your Slow Cooker Like A Pro
My slow cooker is almost certainly one of the most valuable cooking appliances in my kitchen. It’s a remarkable way to create nutritious and succulent meals without the hours of effort. To be honest, my fascination with slow cooker meals goes well beyond the need for merely one crockpot – and so my kitchen counter is filled with 3 of these bad boys.
It is perfect when you’re having a slothful or hectic day, you don’t always feel like cooking.
That’s why I am sharing some of the finest tips and tricks to help you slow-cook like a pro. They’re a necessity if you desire to clean up quicker, make your food taste incredible, and save time. So take a peak and let me know what you think!
Condensation can be quite frustrating when you are baking crumbles, brownies or breads in your slow cooker. Placing a towel beneath the lid can catch unwanted drips and keep your recipe dry. Who wants a soggy brownie?
Last week, I shared my take on Slow Cooker Fruit Crisp, where we put this theory into action to create a crispy crumble. It worked like a charm!
Freezer Meals For The Win
One of my absolute favorite things about slow cookers meals is that they are almost always freezer-friendly, meaning you can arrange them in advance, place them in your freezer, then toss them in your slow cooker to cook whenever you want. Many slow cookers are programmable these days, making it extremely easy to toss dinner in before work and come home to perfectly cooked dish after a long day.
This is an impressive idea for busy days when you don’t have much time to spend in your kitchen. With baby M on the way, I plan to share many of these wonderful recipes with you.
BONUS – it will keep you from ordering takeout and make sure your dinners are healthy and economically friendly.
Check out New Leaf Wellness for 31 fantastically healthy and delicious freezer meal ideas!
Melting chocolate can be a tedious task. Especially when you are trying to maintain the perfect consistency while working with truffles, cookies, or cake pops – Hello frustration! Your crock pot can serve as the perfect double boiler too. Simply fill up mason jars with different types of chocolate, fill your slow cooker halfway with hot water and turn the cooker on high. After a little time, you’ll have melted chocolate that remains at the right temperature without having to stop to re-warm or whisk.
Some recipes are simply better when paired with a crusty loaf of Artisan bread to slice up and serve on the side. Nonna’s marinara? White wine mussels? Cheddar broccoli soup? These dense loaves can be on the pricey side at your local bakery. But you already have everything you need to make an effortless Rosemary Olive Oil loaf with the ingredients hiding away in your pantry. Just place your dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper, and place into the slow cooker. It’s fresher, cheaper, and requires very little effort.
Slow cookers are notorious for overcooking your favorite cuts of meat and diluting the flavour! If you are hoping for a richer meat flavor for your dish, sear your meat first on a grill or cast iron pan before placing them in a crock-pot. Searing before slow roasting will crisp up the fatty areas and compel the juices to remain inside of the meat, resulting in a more flavourful dish.
It is a very common misconception that you can only cook one thing in your slow cooker at a time. By wrapping individual foods in aluminum foil, you can cook two or more dishes at the same time and still retain their original flavors. Try cooking dry rub ribs and buttery baked potatoes using your slow cooker. Delicious!
Easy Clean Up
We all get it – that disgusting white film that sticks to the sides of our crock pot. Here’s a solution: add about 3 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap (or vinegar) to your pot, and fill it up with hot water. Turn your slow cooker on low for a few hours. Then, pour out the water and use a non-abrasive sponge and a bit more baking soda to scrub away the film. Rinse and your slow cooker should look like new!