7 Hints and Tips for getting the most out of a Slow Cooker

Well it’s Thursday again and I thought I would do another 7 Hints and Tips, as it’s been a while. This time it’s for using a slow cooker and some easy recipe ideas to go with it.
Earlier in the year we bought a slow cooker, and it has been a life saver with a new baby. I am sure we wouldn’t have been eating as healthy if we did not have it.
We have found we can eat so much more cheaply while using a slow cooker, great if you are on a strict food budget.
Beef and Vegetables

I have put together a 7 Hints and Tips list to help you make the most of your slow cooker, and maybe persuade you to buy one if you don’t have one already. I highly recommend it.
  1. Save Time – There is not a lot of prep involved with a slow cooker, just peeling veg really and browning the meat then you just throw it all in. It can be slow cooking all day while you are out. The smell is amazing when you walk back in the door later on in the day.
  2. Save Money – I have found the cheaper cuts of meat like brisket, chicken thighs or pork shoulder steaks work much better in a slow cooker. Plus bulk cooking is very economical. We have made enough bolognese in ours for a few nights, or you can freeze if you don’t want it four nights running!
  3. Limit the liquid added – Adding to much liquid over half full will make your meal too wet and you will have lost that deep flavour. Vegetables contain a lot of water so that will contribute to what you have already added, plus in slow cookers the water doesn’t evaporate.
  4. Low Heat – As much as possible use the low heating setting because this will keep all the nutrients locked in and those rich flavours.
  5. Leave Alone – You must not take the lid off while the food is cooking as this will lose all the heat and increase the cooking time – not something you want to do if it take 8 hours to cook!
  6. Cleaning – Afterwards you may find the pot has burnt on little bits of veg, these bits are so hard to get off! A really handy tip is to use white vinegar and baking soda.
  7. Second Day – I have found that most food cooked in a slow cooker tastes better on the second day as it’s had more time for the flavours to develop.
Vegetables
Here is where you can find my quick and easy Slow Cooker with Beef and Vegetables recipe. I have a Cookworks 6.5litre family slow cooker with a black ceramic bowl and its fantastic. We use it most weeks so it’s really good for heavy use.
Slow Cooker
What slow cooker recipes are your favourites?
 
 
 

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26 Comments

  1. April 29, 2016 / 5:11 am

    Thanks so much for the wonderful tips on slow cooker. There is always lots of delicious recipes to try on slow cooker. Appreciate you stopping by the blog. Have a lovely day.

  2. April 28, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    I love our slow cooker its such a time saver. Ive got out of the babit of using it since we moved so this has inspired me to get using it again. Thanks for linking to #picknmix

  3. April 28, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    Ooooooh great tips! I've been thinking about getting one as I keep hearing about friends using them. They sound so easy and healthy #kcacols

  4. April 27, 2016 / 3:18 am

    I've just started really using my slow cooker and I think these are WONDERFUL tips! I have also found that using the low heat always turns out better, but sometimes I just forget to put dinner on early enough. Definitely giving the vinegar and baking soda a try, I HATE that little ring that gets around the inside of the crockpot after something has been cooking for awhile. Thanks for sharing x #KCACOLS

  5. April 25, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    I love our slow cookers (yes we have 3, of varying size for different meals)! They are great, I didn't know the cleaning bit with vinegar will be using that. That tip may save my Hubby's life (he once threw one out becaues he couldn't get it clean and I wasn't home). #KCACOLS

  6. April 25, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    We have a slow cooker and don't use it as much as we should. There are great tips on why to use it here. I should really get it outl.

  7. April 25, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    Yay! This was a perfect post for me! I love my slow cooker and I want to make a beef stew tomorrow…I have the meat and veg and was going to find a recipe and now you have provided one! I didn't realise about some of those tips…The liquid one is really helpful to know. Thanks so much for sharing! #KCACOLS

  8. April 25, 2016 / 9:19 am

    I love my slow cooker it is amazing for cooking whole chickens too if you haven't tried it much better than my oven! For someone who can't/hates to cook this is perfect for me. My daughter loves me to make chicken soup with left over chicken from a roast dinner
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  9. April 24, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Love slow cookers – they're brilliant. Means my wife can leave something on during the afternoon while she works for me to dish up when I get home 🙂 #KCACOLS

    • April 24, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      I put it on during the day for my husband to dish up

  10. April 24, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Great tips.I have been umming and ahhing sometime now over getting a slow cooker and I'm still undecided. Is there loads of different vegatarian options you can make in here or are they limited? Xx #KCACOLS

    • April 24, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      There are lots of vegetarian options. You can make veggie curries, soups, pasta dishes (just remember to add the pasta near the end into the sauce) you can also make cakes, poached pears and fudge in a slow cooker. Think I will have to write another post on slow cooker recipes! Thanks for commenting xx

  11. April 24, 2016 / 10:56 am

    I have a slow cooker but only really use it for stews although I love cooking gammon in it so easy. #kcacols lifeinthemumslane

    • April 24, 2016 / 3:50 pm

      Oh I have never tried doing a gammon in mine! Something I will have to try! Xx

  12. April 24, 2016 / 10:56 am

    I have a slow cooker but only really use it for stews although I love cooking gammon in it so easy. #kcacols lifeinthemumslane

  13. April 24, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Ah this was a very timely post as am just about to prep a spanish chicken and chorizo slow cooked dish before I go out and spend most of the day at a rugby tournament – will be the best thing when I come back later to smell that dinner is cooked! I am a big slow cooker fan! #KCACOL

  14. April 23, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    my sister has a slow cooker and swears by it, she makes all sorts. I need to get myself one #KCACOLS

  15. April 23, 2016 / 5:55 am

    Hi Rachel, slow cookers are such life savers (okay, so that maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but they are handy). I've had one for a while, but an use it often, but this has been the first winter when I have made soups in it and I can totally recommend.

    I used to swear by my pressure cooker for knocking up a soup, but in the slow cooker it's much tastier and we walk into to a nice hot dinner.

    Beef stew and dumplings has to be my favorite in the slow cooker.

    xx

    • April 24, 2016 / 3:52 pm

      Thanks for the comment, I love making soups in it as well x

  16. April 23, 2016 / 5:44 am

    We've just started to experiment with a slow cooker. Definitely agree about things tasting even better the second day and not putting too much liquid in! #puddinglove

  17. April 22, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    I don't have a slow cooker but have always wanted to try one! The issue I have is seeing one in the shop and then thinking "do I actually need this.." If it's going to save money in the long-run and with a baby on the way – I think you have answered my own question!

  18. April 22, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Very useful. My teenager is about to start study leave and the slow cooker is the answer to my problem of when I am not around to feed him midst revision. #picknmix

  19. April 22, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Love my slow cooker, especially in winter for all those stews. Have perfected a fantastic moroccan lamb dish and the cooking of dumplings in the stews. Baking soda tip is handy – we usually give the bowl to the dog and then lob it through the dishwasher…. Thanks for linking again! #PuddingLove

  20. April 21, 2016 / 1:59 pm

    Oooh – fab tips. I love slow cooking in the oven and I am very tempted to buy an actual slow cooker. Thanks for sharing.

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