A crock pot or a slow cooker is an instrument which makes the process of cooking food more convenient and also helps to reduce the time involved in performing the process of cooking. The ingredients required to cook the meal can be placed in the cooker in the morning and the food is cooked and ready to be served once you return from work in the evening. This slow cooker also helps to retain the nutritive content of the food that is being cooked. Since the food is being cooked slowly, the vitamins, minerals and the other nourishment contained in the food is not lost.
Food will be even tastier when it is cooked inside a slow cooker or a crock-pot. The flavor of the food that is cooked can be enjoyed since it still contains the goodness of the herbs and the stock that have been used for cooking the meal. The meat that is cooked in a crock-pot also becomes nice, soft and tender due to the moist heat. The cooker should be functioning in a proper manner and the rules regarding cooking using a slow cooker should be followed correctly. This makes the food that is cooked perfectly safe and bacteria free.
Cheap cuts of red meat and white meat get cooked in a much better manner when they cooked in a slow cooker. They also help in saving money compared to expensive cuts of meat. The fat content in cheap cuts of meat is much less than that of expensive cuts of meat. This reduced fat content makes them suitable to be cooked in a slow cooker. A time period of eight hours is required to cook meat properly in a slow cooker.
The crock-pot should be filled with food only up to two-thirds of its total capacity. If a slow cooker is filled up to the brim with food, then it will not be cooked properly. But food will be cooked in a much quicker manner when the liquid level is lesser than normal. Food that is placed in the bottom half of the slow cooker will get cooked faster due to the presence of the simmering fluid. When meat has to be cooked, the fat should be removed and the skin of poultry that has to be cooked in the slow cooker should also be removed. Due to the long and slow cooking process, the fat in meat will melt and the completed dish will not taste good. During the last thirty minutes of the cooking process, the setting of the slow cooker should be changed to a high setting so that the juices involved in the cooking process will become thicker and the flavor of the food will be concentrated.
Seafood like fish, which has to be cooked in a slow cooker, should be added only in the last hour of cooking. This will prevent the seafood from getting overcooked. Seafood that has been cooked for too long will have not have a good texture. Ground meats that have to be cooked in a slow cooker should first be fried in pan before being placed in the cooker. Large cuts of meat can be turned brown in this manner before being placed in the cooker, though this is not an essential step. This only helps to give a special flavor to the meat. Vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini should be added in the last forty-five minutes of the cooking process to prevent them from being overcooked. A small amount of Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper should be added after the cooking time has been completed so that the food does not get a bitter taste. Spices should also be added to the food at the fag end of the cooking duration so that their flavor is not lost when they are mixed with the other ingredients that are needed to cook the meal. Normally, dairy products like curd, milk or butter should be added towards the end of the cooking duration unless the recipe states something different.
If the recipe for the meal does not state that a slow cooker should be used to cook the meal, then the amount of liquid used should reduced by half or at least one third since the liquid in the crock pot does not boil so soon. Slow cookers are easy to use since they can cook food on low temperatures and the lid of the cooker is closed all the time. This helps to avoid cooking accidents like a fire. There are certain types of meat that will get cooked better when they are cooked slowly in a slow cooker.