You probably wonder how you can adapt your traditional recipes to crockpot recipes now since you’ve started to use your slow pot cooker regularly.
The simplicity of preparing a meal with a crockpot a.k.a. slow cooker has completely transformed the lifestyle of busy families. Families are now eating healthier and consuming less fatty, fast food with the assistance of their slow cookers.
Is a crockpot the same as a slow cooker
While a Crockpot is a type of slow cooker, not all slow cookers are Crockpots. So, a crockpot is typically a slow cooker with different heat distribution.
Crockpot uses stoneware, ceramic, or even porcelain pots rather than metal pots. Slow cookers generally heat up slower than crackpots because the pots of the slow cookers sit on the bottom
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8 Things You Should avoid cooking in the slow cooker (crockpot)
- Food with an excessive amount of liquid – Because slow cookers are great at retaining moisture, adding too much stock or water will result in a tasteless casserole. Reduce the liquid quantity by half if you’re using a stew recipe that wasn’t designed for the slow cooker. If it appears to be dry, you can always top it up during the cooking process.
- A bit too much spice – Fight the urge to play with the chillies! Sprinkling fiery ingredients in with everything at the start is only for true spice junkies. It’s best to add them last minute for everyone else.
- Vegetables that are delicate – long cooking softens hard root vegetables, but it’s harsh on delicate vegetables like zucchinis, asparagus, and peas, turning them mushy. Put them in the slow cooker right before the end of the cooking process.
- Dairy – Dairy Adding milk, cream, or yogurt to crockpots at the start of cooking guarantees a grainy, runny mess at the end. When the recipe is done cooking, stir it in.
- Seafood – Fish and shellfish, like lean cuts of meat, must be cooked quick and for a short period or risk being destroyed. Squid and octopus are the only exceptions, as a slow braise can tenderize them to perfection.
- Rice and pasta – It may appear to be a lot more convenient to combine these pantry staples with your crockpot stew, but doing so will result in a gloopy, curdled mess – they’re excessively starchy and cook too fast. It’s better to cook pasta and rice independently and serve them alongside your dish once it’s nearly done.
- Meats that are lean – Slow cooking tenderizes tougher, stringy joints of meat, while lean cuts like chicken breast, pork fillet, and fillet steak cook down to tough leather. These cuts of meat should be reserved for grilling or frying.
- Meat that is raw– The gentle heat of a crockpot prevents meat from browning, but the golden color from frying adds depth of flavor. Brown the meat first, then place it in the slow cooker, if you don’t want your stew to taste bland.
Here are six suggestions to help you adapt your most beloved traditional recipes to crockpot recipes.
1. For vegetables like peas and broccoli, add them to your recipe in the last 15 – 60 minutes. This will help them to retain their vibrant color and avoid over-cooking them. On the other hand, if you’re are going to use frozen vegetables, don’t forget to add them to your crockpot recipe during the last 30 minutes of your cooking.
2. Always ensure you soak your dried beans so that they are completely softened before adding them to any of your recipes. If your recipe includes ingredients like tomatoes, salt, or sugar, then your beans should definitely be soaked before cooking.
3. Whenever the recipe calls for pasta, shellfish, milk, or other dairy items, wait until the last 60 minutes of cooking to add them, and only cook pasta until barely soft before adding it to the cooker. Because they can endure extended cooking times, condensed cream soups are a viable substitute for dairy products.
4. For every 1/4 cup of rice used in a dish, add an additional 1/4 cup liquid.
5. When using a traditional recipe in your crockpot, always remember to cut the liquid in half.
6. When making vegetable-heavy stews and soups, layer the vegetables on the bottom and sides of the slow cooker before adding the meat on top.
Traditional Recipe Adapted for the Slow Cooker:
15–30 minutes traditional = 1.5–2 hours high or 4-6 hours low in the Crockpot
35 – 45 minutes traditional = 3 – 4 hours High or 6 -10 hours low in the Crockpot
50 minutes – 3 hours traditional = 4 – 6 hours High or 8 -18 hours low in the Crockpot
If you’re like most families, your slow cooker makes a large amount of food per meal, so you’ll almost certainly have leftovers.
Always keep in mind that you should never reheat leftovers in the crockpot. One of the additional benefits of slow cooking is the ability to prepare a large amount of food and freeze it for future meals.
If you Loved these tips, check out more tips on “How to make the Perfect Rice Every Time” or even “The Secret Ingredients For an Amazing Thai Curry Recipe“
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Happy slow cooking!