slow cooker

The benefits of a slow cooker

The Crockpot or slow cooker is one of the best time-saving appliances in the kitchen.  It is a great appliance to learn to use because it is so easy. Just throw in the ingredients and turn it on.  Hours later you have a meal waiting for you.

It is great for warm summer days, as it doesn’t heat your whole kitchen up.  Also, it is good for days that you are going to be out of the home, but still need a meal to come home to at dinner time.  I like to use it for ease.  I like to throw all my dinner materials in it early in the morning, and then go about my day knowing dinner is slowly cooking away.

Some tips for the Crockpot:

  • Spray the inside of your Crockpot with nonstick cooking spray to make clean up a breeze.
  • The low setting on a Crockpot is about 200 degrees, the high 300 degrees.
  • One hour on high is equal to 2 hours on low.
  • Foods cooked on the bottom of the slow cooker cook faster and will be moister because they are immersed in the simmering liquid.
  • Only fill the Crockpot one half to two-thirds full. The foods will not cook properly if the appliance is filled to the brim. If the food and liquid level is lower, the foods will cook too quickly.
  • Follow the layering instructions carefully. Vegetables do not cook as quickly as meat, so they should be placed in the bottom of the appliance.
  • Don’t lift the lid to stir, especially if you are cooking on the low setting. Each time you lift the lid, enough heat will escape that the cooking time should be extended by 20 minutes to half an hour.
  • Most meats require 8 hours of cooking on LOW. Use cheaper cuts of meat – not only do you save money, but these meats work better in the slow cooker.  Moist, long cooking times result in very tender meats.
  • For best results, ground meats must be cooked in a skillet before cooking in the Crockpot.
  • Dairy products should be added during the last 30 minutes of cooking time, unless the recipes states otherwise because they will curdle.


Slow cooker cheat sheet

Slow cooker recipes averages 6-10 hours of cook time.  If you want to convert your favorite recipes to the slow cooker, use the following guidelines:


Cooking times

Regular recipe (350 oven)

Slow cooker, low setting

Slow cooker, high setting

45 minutes

6-10 hours

3-4 hours

50-60 minutes

8-10 hours

4-5 hours