Slow Cooking Tips and Tidbits

Slow Cooking Tips and Tidbits from the The Crockin’ Community

 

Browning Ground Beef in the Slow Cooker

“ I am a freezer cooking fan, I hardly ever brown just a pound of ground beef.  I buy it on sale, usually, about 5 lbs at a time.  5 pounds fits perfectly in 6 quart cookers.  Basically, all you need to do is add 1 cup of water, but I generally add onions, jalepenos, garlic salt…anything that will help it smell better while cooking.  4 hours on high does the trick (never low as it doesn’t reach a high enough temperature, from what I have heard).  Now, when it is done, be forewarned that it is a huge glump of pale meat.  It doesn’t look awesome when steamed, but I guarantee it tastes just the same.  I have a Pampered Chef hamburger smasher-upper (looks like a star on the end) and I drain and smash the meat all into pieces.  Works like a charm.  Then I dump it back into the slow cooker and add any ingredients that I choose.”

Beth I Wadsworth
Eat Cake For Dinner

Just Wing It

Sear Before You Simmer

“A tip for all the Crockin’ goddesses out there. Searing your meat on the outside only before putting it into your warm slow cooker is a must! Your meat will be much juicier if you sear it first.”
Sheila Lee Sibley

By Degrees

“Don’t forget to put hot ingredients into a warm slow cooker and cold ingredients into a cold slow cooker. If you forget, you could decrease the life of your slow cooker!”
Sheila Lee Sibley

Cindy’s Slow Cooker Chicken

“Wash whole chicken and rub with butter. Insert a peeled whole onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in slow cooker and cook. I usually cook it all day while I’m at work. I made gravy and serve with rice. Tastes just like roast chicken but is oh so tender!”
Cindy Mooneyhan Carpenter

Liner Notes

“If your slow cooker has a takeout liner, put all of your ingredients into the liner the night before and put it in the refrigerator. The next morning, all you have to do is pop it in and turn it on. This saves a lot of time during the busy mornings.”
Jacquie Singletary Martin

To-Do for Tender Tummies

“My daughter has celiac disease, and I would die without my slow cooker. I can make all her favorites and thicken with cornstarch instead of flour.”
Terrie Daughenbaugh Moore

Sweet and Sauer

“One of my favorite recipes is slow cooker pork chops and kraut. In your slow cooker, put 6 to 8 chops. Layer with a bit of pepper and put a couple of tablespoons of sauerkraut (fresh if you can get it) on each chop. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low.”

Melissa Hunt

Secret Ingredient

“Put roast, potatoes and onions in a slow cooker. Add dry onion soup mix and then good, old Coca-Cola. Place top on slow cooker and leave until you get home. Tastes great!”

Robin Cater

Loafing Around

I set my slow cooker on the low setting without using the ceramic liner to raise my bread. The first raise is done by setting the bowl on the heater, the second by setting two pans on the heater. It works great!”

Louie Plank

Hello, Bison

“I made the taco stew yesterday. I used ground bison, and since it’s so lean, I didn’t even brown it first. I cooked it six hours, and it was delicious!”

Robin Hamann

A Turkey Day Do!

“For Thanksgiving, I’m going to do a turkey roast and the stuffing in slow cookers this year. I can’t wait!”

Anne-Marie O’Connell

One-Dish Delish

“Last night, I did chicken strips seasoned to taste in orange juice, balsamic vinegar salad dressing and chicken broth with onions. We steamed veggies and put it over rice with soy sauce. Four hours on high. Everyone cleaned their plates!”

Michelle Dunajcik

Pasta Perfection

“Just a little contribution: One-inch swirl noodles boiled until tender, added to a slow cooker full of potatoes with a jar cheese or Velveeta cheese. And you can add onions if you are an onion lover. It’s very yummy!”
Brandy Lynn

No Fuss, No Muss

“Using the Mr. Clean Eraser on your slow cooker is amazing! Makes cleaning a breeze.”
Kim Brown

Fun Food Fiesta

“Chicken queso is super simple and very yummy. Even my kids like it.

Ingredients:

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts;

1 cup picante sauce; 1 can cheddar cheese soup

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Mix together picante sauce and cheese soup. Pour over chicken. Cook on low 5 to 6 hours. Serve with rice, shredded cheddar cheese and warm tortillas. Also good for scooping with tortilla chips! Hope someone can also enjoy this super simple meal tonight!”

Sarah Misiak

Monday–Friday Meals

“We prepare a family-size package of chicken for the week that we use for wraps, salads or whatever. Just put approximately 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker with 2 packages of taco seasoning and fill with chicken broth. Let it stew for about 8 or 9 hours until done. We put them in a Rubbermaid container and heat them throughout the week. It works out great since we are always on the go!”

Susan Tillman

Stick to This

“Spraying your slow cooker with cooking spray makes cleanup easier too!”

Leslie Stocker

Travel Easy

“Liners are also great when you need to take your slow cooker somewhere for a potluck. All you have to do is tie up the bag, and no worries. It won’t slosh out of the slow cooker while taking a ride in the car!”

Kenya

Do a Double-take

“A good rule of thumb I use is to double the time. So for 2 to 3 hours on high, I would cook it for 4 to 6 hours on low.”
Julene

Power Through the Hours

“I start my slow cooker meals before I go to the office. In about 9 to 10 hours, everyone is home for dinner, so I cook my meals on low for 9 to 10 hours and they always turn out great!”
This Mom Cooks

Just (Don’t!) Add Water

“I have learned over the years not to add water to meat recipes from the cookbooks that come with slow cookers. Meats make their own juices, and you dilute the flavor and toughen the meat when you add water.”
Tammy

Baking Soda Solution

“I just cleaned my slow cooker with baking soda, and it worked really well. It made my pot smooth again.”

Becky

Taste Spuds

“We did baked potatoes in the slow cooker, and they were yummy! We poked holes in them and rubbed them with oil and kosher salt, then wrapped them in foil and put them in slow cooker for about 4 to 5 hours until soft. So yummy!”
Crockin’ Girls

Safe and Secure

“Note to self: When taking a slow cooker of macaroni & beef to the next soccer team potluck, secure the cooker in the car a little bit better!”
Rachelle Campbell

“I read a great idea the other day that if you have used a slow cooker liner, close the liner with a twist tie when transporting the slow cooker.”
Lois Firmin Templeton

Crunch-Tastic!

“Want Mexican restaurant-style chips? Pour your chips in a slow cooker and put on warm. They are just like those warm chips that come to your table! Yum!
Julie Leet-May

Make It Your Own

“Brown sugar-glazed pork loin today, only this time I’m adding sweet potatoes; my mother-in-law gave me the idea. Thought I would throw in some baby carrots, too. Should be good with the brown sugar!”
Kelly Glover Lavigne

“Mmmm!! Have chicken and dumplin’ recipe in my slow cooker now, but this time I’m going to add Reames noodles instead of the dumplin’s. Smells sooo good!”
Serena Brown

The Roast with the Most

“Parents arriving tomorrow. I’m making the Coke pot roast and adding potatoes, carrots and celery to make it Yankee pot roast style, as that’s how us New Englanders make our roasts. Veggies cook in with the roast.”

Fab Fajitas

“I like to make either chicken with salsa or some thin steaks cut like fajitas with some verde (green) salsa and use them for multiple meals—maybe tacos/fajitas, then quesadillas, or on baked potatoes, and as salad toppings. If I have the meat ready, it is such a simple meal!”
Jenna

Make It With Makeovers

“Slow-cook a roast the first night, then mix the ‘makeover’ beef with barbecue sauce and serve as sandwiches the next night! So easy and zero stress!”
Jenna

Keep on Truckin’ (and Crockin’!)

“We have truckers who like to slow cook! They hook up to an inverter and use liners for easy cleanup. Then they just cook away while they’re driving down the highway!”
Crockin’ Girls

Home Cooking for Heroes

“We have had people in the military tell us that the slow cooker is one of the only appliances they are allowed to bring with them; they use it to cook home-cooked meals! How cool is that!”
Crockin’ Girls

Go Gluten-Free

“I made the slow cooker lasagna with gluten-free buckwheat pasta and it worked great!”

Elizabeth Warner

Two-for-One Special

“I made the chicken and potatoes recipe one night this week. Had some chicken left. I then made the broccoli and cheese soup recipe and added in the leftover chicken diced up. It was great!”
Sue Brashar

Hot Tips

Made the Crockin’ Girls’ beef tip recipe last night. Amazing, simple and oh so yummy! 3 pounds beef tips, 2 cans chicken soup, 1 can mushroom soup, 1 package dry onion soup mix. Cooked on low for 9 hours, then left on warm for another 2. I mixed it all up the night before and left it in the fridge overnight, so the crock was cold when I started it in the morning. They were so tender. Turned out great!
Lindsay Shimek Anhalt

Pizza Pasta!

“I have pepperoni, cheese, pizza sauce, pasta. What can I make with this? Need a recipe, please.”
Pam Ulven

“We would do something like a spaghetti with pepperoni instead of ground beef. According to how well your pizza sauce is seasoned, you may have to add some more garlic and basil. If you have a can of chopped tomatoes, that would be good too. Put the cheese on the last 30 minutes of the cooking time.”

Crockin’ Girls

It’s a Smash

“Thank you so much for the garlic smashed potatoes recipe. I cooked them for Thanksgiving, and they were a huge hit. I will never make regular mashed again!”

Diana Goodrow Domings

Special Delivery

“If your store doesn’t carry a specific item, you can go to customer service and ask them to order it! Most of the time they’ll even call you when it comes in!”
Crockin’ Girls

No Peeking!

As tempting as it may be, don’t take off the lid while your slow cooker is working. Doing so results in extreme heat loss, which can totally skew your cooking time.

Give It a Twirl

“At our dance studio, we moms take turn making dinner for a large group of hungry dancers. Your recipes have saved me on more than one occasion. Our competition team dancers are at the studio several hours most nights, so we bring in a home-cooked meal for the team and the studio owner provides a study area for them, plus one mom a night stays to help with studying and homework. It has worked out great. We all are fans of your Facebook page. You will often hear, ‘This is a Crockin’ Girls recipe. They saved me again tonight!’ Thanks so much!”

Cinamon Jessell Kopicki

 

(Sourced from Facebook and website)