How do chefs at home get maximum value from their slow cooker?
These brands are easy to source, but not everyone knows how they should be best used.
They can be applied to a variety of ingredients and meals, including raw meats, vegetables, pasta, noodles, dairy and much more.
Here we will outline some insider tips to reveal best practice for using these brands in the kitchen.
Preheat The Cooker First
There are some parallels that can be found between a slow cooker and an oven. Whilst many home chefs will be eager to throw all of the ingredients into the mixture straight away, the item has to actually be warmed up and sitting at a hot temperature first. This will allow for the foundation to be set earlier and to expedite the process, ensuring that the elements are not sitting cold and exposed while waiting for the heating to occur.
Remove The Lid If There Is Too Much Residual Liquid
It can be difficult to get the portions 100% accurate when using a slow cooker. If the process has been completed and there is residual liquid sitting within the meal, it is advised to open the lid to let it reduce. No patron wants to consume a rice, stir fry or noodle mixture that is drenched in sauce, so it is important to consider how much liquid there is as part of the mixture. You don’t want to lose all of the juice and bypass all of that succulent flavour to produce a dry dish, but too much juice is unnecessary and easily corrected.
Separate The Meats and Sauces From The Extras
There are essentially two elements within a slow cooker that can be allowed to ferment and sit for the duration – meats and sauces. Meats in particular like shanks and ribs are at their best when included in these outlets. Yet there are other ingredients that will compromise for quality and threaten the integrity of the dish if they are included for the duration of the cook as well. This will include any pasta, beans, diary products or vegetables. Keep those items for the final 5-10 minutes rather than including each ingredient all in one hit.
Have a Notification/Checking Schedule Ready
Fortunately in 2019 there are a myriad of ways that you can be informed about the progress of your slow cooker. There are smart devices that are enabled for Wi-Fi access to give those immediate digital alerts in real time. Others will invest in a cooker that is equipped with an automated timer. Then there is the good old-fashioned means of returning every hour or two to check on the progress of the slow cook. Whatever method is used, have experience by practicing with this strategy and know when you need to engage in the checks.
Clean With White Vinegar and Baking Soda
One of the worst parts of using a slow cooker is having to deal with the food stains that are left in the aftermath. To bypass this issue, apply white vinegar and baking soda to the base of the cooker to provide a deep clean for the product. The health and integrity of the brand does matter and is far from just an aesthetic concern because it speaks to the lifespan of the item as well as the quality of the cook and the integrity of the meal served on the plate.
A slow cooker is a great investment if it is used correctly by owners. So many consumers will make the purchase and fail to understand what types of cuisine it can be applied to. When there is that lack of knowledge, it feels like another appliance that is taking up space inside the kitchen. Follow these simple steps to ensure that it is an asset for the entire household, satisfying meal time for lunches, dinners and leftovers.