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Product Help | KitchenAid

Tips for Best Results in a Slow Cooker

Tips for KitchenAid® Slow Cooker

Ceramic pot tips

Here are a few simple tips to ensure your slow cooker gives you years of service.

  • This is a large-capacity slow cooker, and it is recommended that you cook with at least one qt (1 L) of food in the ceramic pot.  There is a "minimum" fill line marked inside select models.
  • Do not store the ceramic pot in the refrigerator.
    • If the ceramic pot has been inadvertently left in the refrigerator, do not immediately fill with hot or warm liquids. Wait until the pot is at room temperature.
  • If assembling a recipe in advance of cooking, store ingredients in a covered, separate container.
  • For best cooking results, the ceramic pot should be at least half-filled. If less than half-filled, check for appropriate temperature 1 to 2 hours earlier than recipe states. 
  • Allow the slow cooker to cool completely before cleaning. 

Food temperature

  • Refrigerated foods should be added at their refrigerated temperature.
  •  Frozen food should be thawed before adding to the Slow Cooker.
  •  Do not partially cook and then refrigerate meat before adding.
    • If meat or poultry needs to be seared, sear it just before adding to the Slow Cooker.
    • Do not sear or partially cook and then refrigerate before cooking.

Liquids

  • The temperature of added liquids is important.
    • Avoid adding liquids colder than average refrigerated temperatures.
    • Adding near-freezing liquid to a warm or hot pot may damage the pot.
  •  Use less liquid in most recipes.
  • Slow Cookers use a food's moisture for cooking the food.
    • With the lid kept on while cooking, very little moisture evaporates, and natural juices from the food accumulate.
    • For that reason, use less liquid when using your favorite traditional recipes for slow cooking.

Herbs and seasonings

  • Increase amounts of herbs and seasonings to offset the effect of longer cooking times.
  • Add garnishes, fresh herbs, and quick-cooking vegetables toward the end of the cooking cycle. For example, peas, corn, and freshly sliced squash can be added in the last 10 - 20 minutes of cooking time.

Food size and other considerations

  • Consider the differences between related ingredients when cooking for extended times.
    • Dark meat poultry will retain moisture better than white meat in recipes cooked more than 7 to 9 hours.
    • Whole grain rice, like brown or wild rice, retains its texture better than white rice when it's slow-cooked.
    • Overextended periods, white rice can overcook and become mushy.
  • Cut food to the proper size.
    • To assure uniformity of cooking, cut vegetables of similar density, such as potatoes, carrots, and parsnips into similar-sized pieces.
    • In general dense vegetables should be slightly smaller than more tender vegetables.
    • Cutting meats into large pieces allows longer cooking times and avoids overcooking.

Reheating leftovers

  • Heat leftovers before adding to the Slow Cooker. Before placing in the Slow Cooker, leftovers should be thoroughly heated to 165º F (74ºC), and sauces and soups should be brought to a rolling boil, and then kept warm in the Slow Cooker on buffet setting. Re-heating of leftovers in the Slow Cooker is not recommended. A microwave is ideal for this function.

Slow cooker liners

  • We do not recommend using a slow cooker liner. 
    • While the bags will not harm the product itself, they can be a hazard to the user or people around the user if they are mishandled.
    • For that reason, we cannot encourage our customers to use the cooking liners since we do not manufacture them and therefore cannot control the quality.
  • Non-stick cooking spray can be sprayed on the pot before cooking thick mixtures.
    • This coating will help make cleanup easier after cooking.

If you would like to download or view product literature for your appliance, please visit our Manuals and Literature page.

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