5 Essential Cooking Tips
Can I place ingredients in the slow cooker the night before and leave it in the refrigerator?
Yes, but it is very important to understand that starting to cook with cold stoneware and cold food will affect the ramp up time of the slow cooker. Always add sufficient time into the cook time to ensure food is safe, as well as tender. It is recommended to use an instant read thermometer when cooking with chilled stoneware and chilled food to ensure food temperatures reach well above 165°F and food becomes tender. Never place your stoneware (whether it has been refrigerated or is at room temperature) in a pre-heated slow cooker base.
How do I test my slow cooker’s cooking temperature?
Using an instant read thermometer will ensure that your unit is up to temperature. Crock-Pot® SlowCcookers reach the simmer point and stabilize on both "High" and "Low" at about 209°F.
My food seems to be cooking too fast – what should I do?
If cooking with the high setting and food has been cooking for less than 5-6 hours, then turn the setting to low to slow down the cooking process.
Can I reheat in my Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker?
Reheating is not recommended. However, the stoneware is microwave safe and oven proof, up to 400°F. Many slow cooker dishes are just as good the day after, before the flavors have had time to blend together.
Can I stir when the food is slow cooking?
Due to the nature of a slow cooker, there is no need to stir the food unless it specifically says to in your recipe. In fact, taking the lid off to stir food causes the slow cooker to lose a significant amount of heat, extending the cooking time required. Therefore, it is best not to remove the lid for stirring.
Can I use the Cook & Carry™ locking lid when my slow cooker is cooking?
If your Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker includes the Cook & Carry™ slow cooker locking lid feature on the glass lid, the unit should not be in the locked position while cooking.
Can the Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker be used unattended?
Yes. Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers are safe for countertop cooking for extended periods of time. If holding food on the warm setting for a long time, cut back on the cook time accordingly to reduce overcooking.
Does the lid have to be on the entire cooking time?
Always cook with the lid on for the recommended time. Do not remove the lid during the first two hours of cooking unless the recipe calls for lid removal.
Does the water evaporate in a Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers have very little evaporation. If making a stove top recipe for a soup, stew, or sauce, reduce the liquid or water. If the meal result is too thick, liquids can be added later.
How do I avoid over- or under-cooking?
To avoid over- or under-cooking, always fill the stoneware ½ to ¾ full to conform to recommended cook times with the exception of certain cakes and custards, and as guided in our slow cooker recipes.
How do I choose the correct time to set my Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker?
For recipes that require a range of times and quart sizes, select the low-range time for smaller quart size and the high-range time for larger quart size.