Taking the lid off your slow cooker, even just to give it a stir, drastically reduces the heat and extends the cooking time. Only lift the lid if instructed to do so in the recipe.
Fill the removable stoneware container with the recipe ingredients as directed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to start the slow cooker.
It is best to use fresh or whole herbs and spices in the slow cooker due to the long cooking time. Ground spices and herbs tend to lose their flavor.
Keeping it Safe
Meat reaches temperatures of up to 190°F in the slow cooker and is therefore a perfectly safe method of cooking. Be sure to follow the temperature and time specified in the recipe.
The slow cooker does not brown meat. If you prefer the look and taste of browned meat, quickly stir-fry it before adding to the slow cooker.
No Pre-Heating Required
A slow cooker should never be pre-heated. Simply put the stoneware container in the slow cooker base, cover and set the temperature.
To speed the cleanup, spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray before filling with ingredients.
Less expensive meat cuts yield excellent results in the slow cooker due to long slow cooking process.
Slow Cooker Care
After using the slow cooker, do not add cold water to it. Adding cold water immediately after cooking could cause the slow cooker to crack. Either add warm soapy water or let the slow cooker come to room temperature before cleaning.
Using a slow cooker is electrically economical. It requires less energy to cook the same the recipe in a slow cooker than on the stove or in the oven.
Keeping it Safe
Use only thawed meat in the slow cooker.