Many Dream Dinners cook deliciously in a Crock Pot. Don’t you love the aroma of all day cooking in the house when you get home from a long day, it’s so comforting.
Here are a few tips we have learned:
- One hour on High is equal to 1 1/2 to 2 hrs of cooking time on Low.
- Always cook with the lid on and don’t lift the lid for the first 2 hrs of cooking.
- Cut your vegetables in larger pieces than you would if cooking on the stove top. They benefit from slow cooking to develop a richer flavor and will shrink. At the smallest, a 2 inch raw cut of any vegetable is best.
- Fresh herbs should only be added in the last 5 – 10 min of cooking, the flavors will dissipate if you slow cook them. It is best to use dried herbs and add them when you start the cooking. They simmer and hydrate into the dish, imparting richer flavor.
- Only add milk, cream or sour cream in the last 15 – 20 min of cooking time or it can break down and separate.
- When cooking frozen meats or dinner, add 1 cup of room temp or warm liquid to thaw food evenly before it begins to cook. Use stock, beer, red or white wine depending on what the dinner is.
- You can add a cup or so of beans, barley or other fiber rich grains to what ever dinner you are cooking. Its easy and we all need more fiber!
- Always fill the crock 1/2 to 3/4 full.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before cleaning the crock or the lid. Water on a hot surface can cause it to break.
Crock Pot Temperatures: You should check you crock pot during cooking to verify the cooking temperatures. Low setting should cook foods in 4 hours to 160 – 180 degrees. High should cook the food to 160 – 200 in 3 hours. Not all crock pots cook at those even temperatures and knowing your crock pot temp will help you adjust your cooking times and settings.