How to Slow Cooker

How to Slow Cooker

[♪INTRO] Hello. Today we’re here to talk about one of the
simplest and handiest kitchen appliances around. The slow cooker. [Typewriter DING] Which you might also hear sometimes called a Crock-Pot, but that’s just one of those super pervasive brand names like Band-Aid or Kleenex. Slow cookers are wonderful for cooking big
batches of deliciousness with relatively little hands-on attention. They’re awesome for cooking for a crowd,
bringing to potlucks or just prepping like, a whole weeks-worth of lunches. So here’s some pro tips on how to get the most out
of your slow cooker. Tip 1: Think ahead. As the name implies, these appliances are
slow, so you want to plan your recipe at least 3 to 12 hours ahead. If you want something cooked in an hour, then
a rice cooker or instant pot might be a better option for you. Some slow cookers come with only a few buttons,
like “low,” “high” and “warm” that you’ll have to adjust manually according
to the time specified by the recipe. But programmable slow cookers are designed
to be turned on to either low or high for a set amount of time, before automatically
turning to “warm.” Tip 2: Preheat! All that said, you can preheat your slow cooker
while you prep your ingredients to get them to a good cooking temperature quicker. Don’t leave it preheating for longer than
20 minutes or so, though, to avoid scorching the insert. And yeah, they call the pot inside the slow
cooker an “insert.” Apparently appliance manufacturers were going
through, like, a really straightforward phase when they were naming slow cookers. Tip #3: To Dump or not to Dump. Slow cookers aren’t the most hands-on appliances,
but they’re not totally hands-free. You may have seen a late-night infomercial
or cookbook advertising “Dump” recipes. These recipes tell you you can just dump in
all the ingredients and everything will turn out deliciously. Well, slow cookers are magic, but they’re
not THAT magic. If you have the time, most slow cooker recipes
benefit from a little bit of advance legwork to make your ingredients the best ingredients
they can be. Most slow cookers cannot sear or saute, and
those are important ways to build flavor. Big pieces of meat should be seared
on the stovetop first. Aromatics like onions and garlic benefit from
a little sizzle in the pan before they get added to a stew. Pasta, seafood, and other delicate items should
not be added until close to the end of the cooking time. If your recipe calls for a few extra steps
like these, it’s probably for a good reason. But aside from boosting the flavor-factor,
it’s also very important to thaw your ingredients before you pop them in. Slow cookers cook slowly, so you run the
risk of having your ingredients hang out in a dangerous temperature range for too long
if you don’t thaw them first. Tip #4: Cooking times may vary. If you’re not following a recipe super closely,
expect your cook time to vary. A slow cooker that’s, like, half full it’s going to cook
a lot faster than a slow cooker that’s full all the way to the top. The first couple times you’re playing with
your slow cooker, it’s a good idea to do it while you can check it every couple hours
or so to see if everything is progressing the way that you expected. Tip 5: Cook at night! Don’t forget that you can use your slow
cooker at night—just prep before you go to bed! There are even slow-cooker friendly brunch
recipes, which are great for weekends. But if you live in a small apartment, be aware
that the smell of anything you’re cooking will permeate the place. That might be a lovely thing, but It’s something to consider if your roommate, like, really hates the smell of cooked beans. Tip 6: Finish your recipe! You know what often makes the difference between
a home-cooked meal and something you eat in a fancy restaurant? It’s whether the dish was finished. Finishing a dish means adding a couple extra
flourishes to boost and brighten the flavor. Think of like, squeezed lemon juice, or a sprinkling
of chopped parsley, stirring in an extra pat of butter. Finishing is a small extra step but it will
make all the difference, especially with a slow-cooker meal that may have lost some of its more subtle flavors over the hours. If you’ve got some slow cooker tips or
recipes you’d like to share, we would love to see them down in the comments. And if you’ve got some extra time while
you’re waiting for your slow cooker to finish, check out the rest of our channel, and subscribe at [indeterminate sound] Let’s make a video!! Hi. Today we’re here to talk about one of the simplest and handiest— Uhhh The slow cooker! Which you might hear sometimes called a Crock-Pot, but that’s just one of those super brevas—ppvvffss Hello! Today we’re here to talk about one of the simplest and handiest kitchen appliances in the world… Liriope… is the name of this plant, actually. I know that. We’re actually talking about slow cookers. [Hank grunts] The first couple of times you pl— [off screen]
Let’s do without the [grunt] [laughter] You can cut it out… [laughter] The first couple times you’re playing with a slow cooker, it’s a good idea to do it [accidental midwestern accent?]
when you can check it every coupla hours or so [quiet laughter] really hates the cooked of baked be—cook be—smell of cooked… the cooked of baked… cookedecookedecookedbook. Uh… I’m hungry now. [off screen]
All done!

36 thoughts on “How to Slow Cooker

  • I love my slow-cooker, but there's a dearth of good vegetarian recipes. Mostly I use mine now for making hot-process soap.

  • Contentious, maybe: don't pre-heat. Almost every slowcooker recipe you'll follow is written without the addition of pre-heating, and the resulting change in variables means things may not turn out the way you're hoping. Don't sear pulled pork or chicken. Aromatics often benefit from being added later in the recipe. Likewise, if your recipe calls for carrots or parsnips, try adding these in the last hour of cooking. They'll retain their flavor and texture.

  • "The Vegan Slow Cooker' by Kathy Hester" I lived out of this book for like two years. So many amazing recipes! Slow-cookers are really for people who need to eat a lot, cheaply, and just cant be bothered with a lot of prep time. This is one area of adulting I had down quick. haha

  • Does anyone else get really excited when they see it’s a Hank episode? He’s engaging and doesn’t seem like he’s talking down at me.

  • I didn't realize a crockpot was a brand name! Imma call it a slow cooker from now on then… Which is handy to know considering I bought one yesterday!

  • Also, a how to live alone video would be fantastic. Just bought my own apartment! It's super close to friends but it'll be the first time living without roommates!

  • I love using my slow cooker to make broths. I don't have to worry about stuff scorching to the bottom of the vessel, so I can let my chicken broth go for as long as i can to get out all of the flavor. Same thing with veggie broth! Just throw in your bones and/or veggie scraps, cover with water, and let it simmer for a while (I usually go for at least 24 hours. As long as the temp is high enough, you don't have to worry about germs/spoilage).

  • If you can, buy an oval slow cooker so you can fit in wider pieces of meat like baby back ribs.

    You want your meat to thaw, but adding a bag of frozen peas half-way through the cooking time is good. Otherwise, the peas get too mushy from overcooking.

    Layer your ingredients. You want the hard root veggies (carrots, potatoes, etc) on the bottom and things like onions, peas, tomatoes up on top.

    Use spices. Things like bay leaves and cinnamon sticks work great in a slow cooker. (Adding a cinnamon stick to beef stew is wonderful, don't knock it until you try it.)

  • Slow cooker liners are a life saver. They save me so much time. Not terribly economical or environmentally friendly, but they save me so much time on scrubbing, soaking, and rinsing out my slow cooker insert.

  • There's a blog called 365 days of crock pot and my favorite, a year of slow cooking. As the names imply, you'll find a plethora of recipes. My favorite is the Indian chicken curry. I make it without chicken sometimes and just add extra sweet potato or eggplant and it's delicious.

  • We use ours a couple times each week. I will see about sauteing onions though. That sounds like a solid tip.

  • Get liners for your crock pot! Reynolds makes them, you can find them in the ziplock bag & plastic wrap section of the store. They’re safe to cook in and when you get your food out there’s no crusted on mess to scrape off the insert.

  • Depending on the slow cooker you own, you can take the insert and use it on the stove top directly, to sear your meat or sauté your veggies. Doing this directly in the insert keeps all the flavours in the slow cooker because you don’t lose any flavour that would have stuck to the pan. Don’t forget to deglaze before you put it back in the slow cooker, just to avoid burning anything onto the bottom.

  • Another thing to consider when it comes to smell. In the past I have left my slow cooker on while at work and have come home to a very upset dog, who sat in front of the slow cooker smelling the delicious meat all day. I try to bring the dog with me so she isn’t drooling in front of it all day long.

  • I never pre-heat & almost never thaw…but I'm a huge fan of the "dump" recopies. Throw a bunch of stuff in, come home from work, and there's dinner. Yum. Slow cookers are the best!

  • Slice onions and use them to line the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay 4 boneless pork chops on top. Pour a 14 oz jar of sour kraut on top and add another 14 oz of water. Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 2.5.

    So easy and so good with some mashed potatoes!

  • you can prep a lot of slow cooker meals ahead of time and freeze them. pull them out the night before to defrost in the fridge, then pop them in the cooker in the morning before you leave for work.

  • I love the idea of a slow cooker but I am terrified of the idea of leaving a hot appliance on all day when I leave for work. Electrical fires!!!

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