Top 5 Crock Pot Tips

Slow cookers are a great tool of convenience for new cooks and busy people alike. Though electric crocks were invented in the 50's, the brand name "Crockpot" exploded on the market in the early 70's. It has been used to make a million recipes from meat stews, roasts, ribs, soups and sauces, rice, breads, beans, grains, baby food, hot beverages and even yogurt.

I like slow cookers, but I hate the way people use them. Most recipes want you to just throw in raw meat, veggies, seasonings and liquid (mostly water), and stand back for an awesome meal. The fact is if you follow a couple of easy cooking techniques, you will increase the flavor of your foods and cook like a pro.

Follow some of these easy tip and crush your next potluck dinner!

Now Get Cracking! Chef Egg

  • 1. Season meats and vegetables well with kosher salt and fresh pepper, then brown in a hot skillet before tossing in the slow cooker. This will caramelize the ingredients and increase the flavor big time!
  • 2. Instead of adding water to the crock, add flavorful liquids like prepared stock (no salt versions), apple cider, soda (Coke, Sprite, root beer, ginger ale and Dr. pepper work great), beer or wine (for adults). The liquids will flavor and tenderize the food while it cooks and make your broth or sauce awesome.
  • 3. Remove meat from the cooking liquid when tender and reduce the juices by 1/4 - 1/2. This will intensify the flavor of your broth without adding too much salt.
  • 4. Season your final dish with a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar, then add a squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar to boost flavor. You can also add more flavor by garnishing with fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley and French tarragon.
  • 5. Do not overcook the food. Overcooked meat can become very dry and veggies will turn to mush. When the vegetables are soft and the meat is tender, the food is done.
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