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3 mistakes you are making with your slow cooker 

As the weather gets cooler, it’s the perfect time to dust off your slow cooker and prepare delicious and hearty meals. Before you start cooking, make sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes.  

Mistake #1: Constantly opening the lid 

It’s called a slow cooker for a reason. While you can peep at your food in the oven without doing much damage, you cannot do the same with your slow cooker. The food in your slow cooker is being prepared at a much lower temperature than your oven, so every time you lift the lid to check on your food, the cooking process takes even longer. So, resist the urge to stir – most times, it’s not even necessary. 

Also read: Slow cooked bacon jam

Mistake #2: Adding delicate vegetables at the same time as your meat 

Owing to the lengthy cooking time, you should not add delicate vegetables in with ingredients that need longer to cook, like meat. Your vegetables will become mushy and overcooked by the time your meal is done. “It is best to microwave tender vegetables and then add them a few minutes before serving to finish the dish and maintain the nutritional value,” advises Fred Tiess, master instructor at the College of Food Innovation and Technology at Johnson & Wales University. 

Mistake #3: Not reducing your liquids 

Are you using the same amount of liquid for your soup or stew as you would when making it on the stove? When using your slow cooker, the liquid doesn’t evaporate as much as on the stovetop. “Because of the tight seal on slow cookers, steam and juices will accumulate as the food warms,” says restaurant chef Traci Weintraub. She advises that most slow cooker recipes only need between ½ to 1 cup of liquid as your slow cooker preserves the natural juices of your ingredients. 

Also read: The ultimate tips for homemade stock

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