Crockpot cooking is convenient and easier than ever before. Safeguards are in place that allow you to go about your day without worry knowing that your crockpot is doing what it is designed to do. Cleaning up after cooking with your crockpot is the best part, it is simple and is much easier to do.
Alot of your favorite stove top recipes can be successfully modified for use with your crockpot. There are some basic time and temperature guidelines for converting recipes. There are some right ways and wrong ways to use specific ingredients. Here are a few ways for making your crockpot meals more flavorful.
Pasta and Rice
Recipes that list cooked pasta or rice to be added or included, should be cooked until tender before being placed in your crockpot. Add 1-quarter extra liquid for every 1-quarter cup uncooked rice and best to use long grain rice for optimal results. Add already cooked rice for longer cooking recipes, before serving.
Liquids should be decreased when slow cooking. A good rule of thumb would be to use 1/2 the called amount, that is unless the recipe asks for rice or pasta, 1 cup of liquid will usually suffice.
Spices tend to evaporate over long cooking periods, the best time to add them would be when cooking is almost complete. Whole herbs and spices would be a good choice to use for your crockpot cooking, since their flavor last over a longer period of time. Taste the seasoning before serving so you can modify as necessary.
Beans should be soft before adding them to your crockpot, so it would be best to soak them thoughly first. Beans that have been softened first cook better before adding other ingredients.
Milk and Dairy Products
Milk and sour cream should be placed in the crockpot during the last hour of cooking. They will break down over extended periods of cooking. Cream soups are are a nice substitute for milk and are able to be cooked for a longer time period. Reduced fat cream soups can be used as a substitute for any recipe. Cheeses won’t normally hold up in a slow cooker over long periods of time, so they should be included when your meal is almost done. Processed cheeses and dairy items can also be used.
Water should be added to your crockpot only to cover soup ingredients. If you want a thinner soup more water can be added after cooking. Add one or two cups of water with milk based soups. Stir in milk or cream the last hour of cooking.
Vegetables like potatoes and carrots should be sliced no larger than one inch thick. These item take longer to cook, so place them at the bottom of your crockpot first. That will allow them to cook thoughly and be tender when your meal is finished. Vegetable Crockpot Recipes are very nutrious and makes a great meal just by themselves.