Not long after I got married, my Mum and Dad bought me a slow cooker. At first I couldn't understand why people would need one or what it could do that a saucepan on the stove couldn't do. It didn't help that there was no instruction booklet in the box.
That slow cooker sat in the back of a kitchen cupboard unused for 9 years. Then the internet came about and suddenly there were recipes and books on the subject everywhere.
Here are a few ideas and tips to get the most out of your slow cooker.
* Turn your slow cooker on first to preheat it before putting anything in. This helps to bring the temperature of the food to a slow boiling point much quicker and prevent food poisoning.
* Lightly spray or grease the slow cooker insert to help with cleaning up after eating.
* Brown beef in a frypan then transfer to the slow cooker for juicy meat and extra flavour.
* Reserve beef juices to make a delicious gravy. Mix a little flour and cold water in a cup , add a couple of spoonfuls of hot juices to the flour and water. Mix well then slowly add to the slow cooker and whisk well.
* Keep the lid on during cooking and only lift it to stir if really necessary. Every time you lift the lid precious heat escapes and it takes longer to come back to a slow boil.
* Use cheaper cuts of meat. Inexpensive cuts of meat can be high in fat and connective tissue which is broken down during the moist slow cooking process.
|One of my slow cookers from an op shop|