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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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