Slow Cooker Cooking Tips

A slow cooker is convenient, easy to use and saves time. With advanced planning, a meal can be prepared in the morning and be ready to eat in the evening. Here are a few cooking tips to help you prepare delicious meals safely.

  • Keep perishable foods refrigerated until preparation time. Refrigeration assures that bacteria, which multiply rapidly at room temperature, will not get a "head start" in the first few hours of slow cooking.
  • If you cut up meat and vegetables in advance, store them separately in the refrigerator.
  • For a shorter cooking time and food safety concerns it is recommended to thaw frozen meat and poultry in the refrigerator before adding to cooker. You can also thaw frozen foods on the "defrost" setting in your microwave. Never thaw foods at room temperature.
  • Cut meat, poultry and vegetables into medium to small uniform pieces to ensure rapid heat transfer.
  • Since root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes cook the slowest, place them near the heat, at the bottom or sides. Then add meat, seasonings, and other vegetables and liquid on top of the root vegetables.
  • Cook pasta by traditional methods and add near the end of the cooking time, as it may become gummy or fall apart. Small pasta shapes, such as macaroni or shells can be added to soups 20-30 minutes before end of cooking.
  • Add dairy products near the end of the slow cooking period so they do not curdle.
  • Fresh or thawed fish and seafood will fall apart during long hours of cooking. Add these ingredients an hour before serving.
  • It is not necessary to brown meat before adding to the slow cooker, except for ground meats which need to be fully cooked before adding to the cooker.
  • Do not overload your cooker. Fill to a minimum of 1/2 full and a maximum of 3/4 full. If you fill less than half full, suggested cooking times should be reduced.
  • Do not lift the lid any more than absolutely necessary during the cooking cycle. Each time the lid is raised, the internal temperature drops by 10 to 15 degrees and the cooking process is slowed by 20-30 minutes.
  • Cooked food can be held up to an hour on the low setting without overcooking.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into roasts, hams or whole chickens to ensure meats are cooked to the recommended internal temperature. The new USDA safe internal cooking temperatures are: Whole meats (steaks, roasts, chops) should be cooked to 145 degrees F. All ground meats should be cooked to 160 degrees F. and all poultry should be cooked to at least 165 degrees F.
  • Dried herbs are often better to use in a slow cooker than fresh herbs as they have a stronger flavor and will release their flavor slowly. Fresh herbs can be added about 30 minutes before the end of cooking or just before serving.

Cooking Tips

You open the cookbook and see a recipe title or a photo that tempts your taste buds. Then you start to read the recipe, realize the preparation is more difficult than you first thought, and put the book back on the shelf.

Sound Familiar? Well here's a simple cooking tip to help get you started:

1. Abbreviations for Measuring

Tsp. = teaspoon

Tbsp. = tablespoon, which equals 3 teaspoons

C = cup.

Cooking Tip:

Get a set of measuring spoons. The set will usually have 1/4 tsp., 1/3 tsp., 1/2 tsp., 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon.

Dry measure cups look like little saucepans and can be leveled off with a knife or other straight-edged tool. They come in sets like the measuring spoons. Liquid measuring cups have ounce marking lines so you can measure however many ounces you need.

Cooking Tip: Some recipes require exact measurements to turn out right so learn to measure correctly.

2. Common Ingredients

Make sure you know what you need.

Cooking Tips:

Baking powder and baking soda are not the same.

Ask the produce manager at the market about fruits and vegetables, the meat manager about cuts of meat.

When trying something new, buy ONE. You can always go back for more if it turns out well.

3. Common Terminology


Dry heat in the oven. Set oven control to the desired temperature while you're preparing the dish to be baked. Once the light that says it's heating turns off, the oven is at the proper temperature. Then put in the food--for best results, center it in the oven.


Heat a liquid until it bubbles. The faster the bubbles rise and the more bubbles you get, the hotter the liquid. Some recipes call for a gentle boil--barely bubbling--or a rolling boil--just short of boiling over. Watch so it doesn't boil over.


A moist cooking method using a little liquid that barely bubbles on the top of the stove or in the oven. This is a good way to tenderize cheaper cuts of meat. The pan should be heavy and shallow with a tight-fitting lid to keep the liquid from boiling away. There's a lot that can be done for flavoring in your choice of liquid and of vegetables to cook with the meat.


Turn the oven to its highest setting. Put the food on broiler pan--a 2 piece pan that allows the grease to drain away from the food. In an electric oven on the broil setting only the upper element heats, and you can regulate how fast the food cooks by how close to the element you place it. Watch your cooking time--it's easy to overcook food in the broiler.


Cook until the food gets light brown. Usually used for frying or baking. Ground beef should usually be browned (use a frying pan) and have the grease drained before adding it to a casserole or meat sauce.


A gentle mixing method that moves the spoon down to the bottom of the bowl and then sweeps up, folding what was on the bottom up over the top. This is used to mix delicate ingredients such as whipped cream or beaten egg whites. These ingredients just had air whipped into them, so you don't want to reverse that process by mixing too vigorously.


Heat to just the start of a boil and keep it at that point for as long as the recipe requires. The recipe will usually call for either constant stirring or stirring at certain intervals.

Now you are ready to do the shopping and prepare that recipe that you've always wanted to try!

Happy cooking...

Top 5 Cooking Tips For Pasta

Pasta can be a very quick and simple dish to whip together for a meal. It is especially easy to cook in high volumes and therefore perfect for feeding a large group of people. Though cooking pasta is generally a fairly fun, simple and straight forward task, there are a few pasta cooking tips which can help even the most decorated pasta veteran to improve their dishes.

The water in which the pasta is cooked can greatly impact the way the dish turns out. Make sure there is enough water in your pot because cooking pasta in too little water can cause it to stick together. If you are afraid this may be the case, add a tablespoon of oil to help eliminate sticking.

Adding salt to the water can also help with firmness and bring out the natural flavor.

Fresh pasta is a bit of a different ball game than processed pasta. Remember that when cooking pasta that is made fresh, it tends to cook quicker, so be sure to keep an eye on it. Test it frequently to ensure that it does not overcook. Do not cover the pot while the pasta is cooking as this will cause it to overcook.

To ensure that the pasta is as fresh as possible when it reaches the table, it is a good idea to serve it in a warm bowl because pasta cools very quickly. The best way to do this is by placing a bowl under the colander where the pasta is drained. After the bowl is emptied of water it can be filled with pasta and served fresh.

Though it is a simple dish to prepare, there are a few pasta cooking tips which can cause a dish to go above and beyond. Pasta can be used in a variety of dishes and making sure that it is cooked perfectly goes a long way towards creating a delicious meal. Following these simple pasta tips can help to make a dish spectacular.

A Few Cooking Tips For Newbies

As straightforward as it would sound, you might turn your whole cooking style around with two cooking tips. Cooking ideas can aid in making preparing dishes way easier and side step the various obstacles in cooking. Ideas can make a larger difference than experience, patience, and information mixed in making you seem like a master cook. Many of us put a large amount of religion in experience, patience, and data in cooking, but you will be stunned at how much difference some recommendations can make.

Always buy fresh is rule number one in getting great tasting food. It's crucial to check each item in the greengrocer or produce market to insure that it is as fresh or as ripe as you should purchase. Packed foods can be judged by an expiry date, whilst fruits and veg must be looked at individually.It's also a smart idea to familiarize yourself with general produce and the art of spotting top spec produce in your local supermarket.It is also vital to makes sure your beef purchases of meat, chickens, or fish, are fresh too. When working with beef, always keep frozen until you are prepared to be used, and always wash your implements with water and soap.

All meals that include beef should be cooked all of the way through and to a safe cooking temperature. Ensure that you cook your meats to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.And employ a cooking thermometer to test this. Similarly , if you are cooking up a chilled food, you need to do so at a temperature that is less than forty degrees F. Correct mechanics will use correct tools to mend the precise sort of automobile they are working on.Knowing this, you most likely agree that it is a vital cooking idea to keep your kitchen stocked with items that help you make dishes quickly and efficiently. This encompasses a good set of knives, pots, pans and measuring cups so you may also need to take a position in a pleasant blender and Kenwood.

In contrast to favored belief, food does not have to sample tasteless simply because it is low-fat. However, it's been proved again and again again that low fat dishes can be made in a way that makes them colorful, colourful, and tasty. The trick is to use a selection of fresh spices, herbs, olive oil and put some thought into the dishes you choose. Use a touch of oil with lean cuts of meat and pork, and you can make just about any meal low fat.In general, chicken and turkey are sometimes fat free and fish is also a great option for any low in calorie dish. Meals contains more than simply food, and a vital cooking proposal to bear in mind is to incorporate a drink as well as food. Most meals can be improved with a careful application of a drink to your meal.The tone and flavour of your meal can be modified seriously through adding wine, sparkling mineral water, or maybe a cocktail.

Basic Cooking Tips

Gourmet cooking is an art form, and some people just have a natural knack at making food fabulous. Anyone can become a decent cook, however, with just a few simple cooking tips:

Don't Rush Through With The Cooking Process

Most cooking errors come when people get in too big of a hurry. Give yourself plenty time to cook, especially when you are cooking a dish for the first time. Making sure you have ample time will help ensure that each dish can be tended to properly and will all be at the perfect temperature when the meal is served. Often food isn't at its very best because it is slightly undercooked. Allow yourself enough time so that everything is browned properly and cooked through. Nothing will turn guests away from your food like a cold spot!

One Thing At A Time

While you may have no choice but to multi-task a bit when preparing an entire meal, try not to get too many complicated things going on at the same time. This is a sure fire way to get food stuck to the pan or dry it out. Paying too much attention to one dish while ignoring another is a definite recipe for disaster. Plan ahead and consider which items will take the longest to cook and which items need the most attention while cooking. This will help you determine what order to prepare each dish so that each gets the time it requires.

Always use a timer! Rarely does an item take exactly the amount of time the recipe says it will, but that is usually at least a good place to start! Try setting your timer 5 or 10 minutes before the recipe says the dish should be done and check it. If it still isn't finished, you will have a good visual way to estimate how much more time is required. If it is done, you just saved yourself from burning it!