Monday, August 1, 2011
Crock Pot tips as promised
Adapting a recipe to a slow cooker
regular cooking time 15-30 min = Low 4-6 hours, or High 1.5-2 hrs
35-45 min = Low 6-10 hrs, or High 3-4 hrs
50 min-3 hrs = Low 8-15 hrs, or High 4-6 hrs
It's a wide range due to sizes and shapes of crock pots, how much it is filled, and how hot yours runs. Generally Low is 200 degrees and High is 300 degrees. I have a newer one and it runs a little hotter I think as a recipe I use quite often gets done sooner in this one.
if you want to use a regular recipe in a crock pot remember NOT to add extra liquid as it doesn't boil away as in regular cooking. For example, I have a soup recipe that I add extra water to and simmer it for 3-4 hours on the stove top. To make that in the crock pot, I would leave out the extra water and even cut back on the amount of water it called for in the first place.
most crock pots will tell you (umm, the book not the actual pot) to fill more than half full but not more than 2/3 to 3/4 full.
If you are cooking vegetables and meat together, place the vegetables on the bottom with the meat on top. The longer you plan to cook, the larger the chunks of your vegetables, especially potatoes.
One of the best things about the new crock pots is the removable liner. This way you can get everything ready the night before, put it in the frig, then simply put it in the pot and turn it on the next morning.
And, finally, resist the temptation to take the lid off and check on it. When you take the lid off the temperature reduces rapidly and it takes a while for it to get back up once you replace the lid. Manuals say it adds 20-30 minutes cooking time when you remove the lid. Recipes don't need stirred or turned like they do with conventional cooking. Peek through the glass or plastic lid and try not to open it. Of course when I'm learning the new times in my new cooker sometimes I do open it, just be sure to write down any modifications you've made to your time.
I hope that helps some, and I would love to hear some of your tips, so please leave a comment!
Until next time......