I have been pondering over the decision to purchase a slow cooker for a long time, not due to the expense really as you can get some great ones online for less that £25. However was it just going to be yet another gadget that takes up room?
I finally took the plunge on New Years day feeling like I needed a kitchen project, I purchased a Morphy Richards slow cooker and a handy little 200 page recipe book to get me started and off I went.
I have to say my slow cooker journey although in its infancy has been a COMPLETE success and something I would recommend to all.
One thing I couldn’t find on the net was a basic guide to the do’s and don’t’s of slow cooking and therefore I wanted to share a few with you to get you started. Subscribe to my website for my top slow cooker recipes including my Thai chicken curry melt in your mouth slow cooker stew…
My top 10 tips
1) DO sear your meat on a hob prior to placing in the slow cooker. This is important, as your slow cooker doesn’t reach a high enough temperature to sear and seal meat.
2) Do SLOW COOK, don’t be tempted to peak or pull out your meal early the whole point of a slow cooker is that is makes your meat deliciously tender and draws on flavours not usually achieved in a short amount of cooking time.
3) DO follow a recipe or at least the basis of one. Every time I have gone off tangent it hasn’t been as good.
4) DON’T use too much alcohol, the slow cooker cant burn it off like it does on a hob so you can tend to taste the alcohol more.
5) DON’T just stick to stews you can make all kinds of wonderful things including, soups, curries and even oatmeal!
6) DON’T forget to cover your meat with liquid; if it isn’t all covered then your meat doesn’t cook evenly.
7) DON’T always use lean cuts of meat the whole point of a slow cooker is that it tenderises even cheap cuts.
8) DON’T add too many herbs and dairy at the beginning. Herbs can lose their flavour, so it’s best to half the dose and add the pot in the last hour. Dairy is also better off an hour before the end as it can curdle.
9) DON’T overcook just because you can cook for a long time. Try to stick to the guideline.
10) DON’T overfill or under-fill your pot with liquid, you will be left with a burnt mess!