Slow cookers, also known as crockpots, have become an essential tool in the kitchen. It’s easy to see why. A slow cooker allows you to make wonderful dishes with minimal effort. After all, who doesn’t want to cook a warm, tasty meal in one pot?
You might have just gotten yourself a new slow cooker. But you might be wondering what can and cannot be prepared in a slow cooker.
What can you cook in a slow cooker?
Don’t worry; we’ve found all that out and put it here in this article for you.
What to Cook in a Slow Cooker
There are a lot of delicious slow cooker recipes that are great for using a slow cooker. In particular, slow cookers are fantastic for cooking stews and tough meat cuts. These cuts include brisket, beef chunks, and pork shoulders.
Slow cooking is ideal when cooking delicious cuts of meat. The tough meat that would normally be hard to swallow will become deliciously tender. This means that you will have a dish that will melt in your mouth.
Best Slow Cooker Recipes
Nowadays, there are plenty of slow cooker recipes for various meals that you can cook in a slow cooker. Slow cooker recipes are especially popular with people who have a busy schedule and who want a hot meal waiting for them at home.
Knowing what you can cook in a slow cooker will help you decide what recipes to keep and which ones to toss out. Also, having a slow cooker recipe or two will help you make the best slow cooker meals for when you come home after a long day at work.
Slow-Cooked Beef Stew
Just imagine that you come home from a long day at the office. You walk into your kitchen, and a delicious warm beef stew is waiting for you. With a slow cooker or crockpot, you can get just that.
You can start to slow-cook your beef stew in the morning before you head off to work. Your beef stew will be slowly cooked and ready for you and will save your weeknight dinners. Not only that, but you use your slow cooker’s timer to adjust the heat to keep your stew warm until you get home.
Slow-Cooked Butter Chicken
If you’re a lover of Indian cuisine, you will have even more reason to have a slow cooker in your kitchen. A slow-cooked butter chicken is another slow-cooker recipe that can be left to cook on its own.
Cooking your butter chicken in a slow cooker will enhance the delicious flavours. You’ll even be able to make enough for yourself and any guests you might have. A slow-cooked butter chicken is also a great option if you want to have food for an extra night.
Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks
If you’re looking for a simple meal that will keep you warm in winter, you should try cooking lamb shanks in your slow cooker. This is another simple dish where you can put the ingredients in the pot and let the slow cooker do its function.
You can even add a red wine sauce to your lamb shanks. In addition, you can serve the deliciously cooked lamb shanks with some nutritious green vegetables or even lovely mashed potatoes. All enough to keep your belly full on a cold winter’s day.
Slow-Cooked Black Bean-And-Chili Soup
A Black bean-and-chilli soup is a simple, savoury chilli dish that can be easily done in your slow cooker. The slow cooker version would take five or ten minutes to pop your ingredients in the slow cooker. You need to wait patiently while the soup cooks on low heat.
A slow-cooked lasagne might seem unconventional and possibly even sacrilegious to some. But there is a way to make delicious lasagne in your slow cooker.
The tricky business is you’ll have to keep an eye on the moisture content of your lasagne. If there’s a lot of moisture, you can leave the lid of your slow cooker ajar to let the steam out.
Surprisingly, slow cooker recipes aren’t just for warm winter meals but also for dessert. Slow cookers can be used to make your favourite cake, like a chocolate cake for a birthday party. You can even use your slow cooker to make a tasty cheesecake.
What You Can’t Cook in a Slow Cooker
Like any cooking tool, it’s important to know how to properly use a slow cooker. This includes knowing what you can and can’t cook in a slow cooker. There are some dishes you should be cooking carefully in your slow cooker.
Boneless Chicken Breast
Chicken breasts are lean meats. You’ll end up with a chicken breast that is dry and tough. You’ll have a tough time chewing your meal.
If you want to have slow cooker chicken, it’s best to cook a chicken thigh after searing it. Instead of putting it in your slow cooker, you can also roast, sauté, and grill your boneless chicken breast.
Cooking your couscous in a slow cooker can have a disastrous effect. Your couscous will end up sloppy and just bland. Remember, you want your couscous to be grainy, almost like rice.
The best way to prepare your couscous is to do it separately. You can do this by adding boiling water and fluffing it with a fork. You can add it to your meal right before you’re ready to serve it when it’s ready.
It’s a bad idea to try to cook any dairy products in a slow cooker. Things like yoghurt, cheese, cream, milk, and sour cream could curdle. This means that there is the risk of your food tasting sour.
If you have too much in your slow-cooked meal, it will be difficult to control how your meal will come out. It’s best to eliminate any extra fat that you might have in your meal. Your meal will be lighter and properly cooked thanks to this.
Cooking delicate or fragile vegetables in a slow cooker is not ideal: these include vegetables such as eggplants, chopped tomatoes, peas, spinach, zucchini or courgette, and asparagus. You can add these to the meal at the last minute.
For a slow-cooked meal, you should add potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. These vegetables can handle being in the heat for a long time.
Pasta and a slow cooker are just a horrendously bad combination. Any cook, worth their salt, would look at a slow-cooker lasagne recipe and rightly say, ugh.
No matter what you try, you will have a tragically slippery, soppy bowl of pasta. This is something that you will have to cook separately and add to your meal at the end.
Trying to cook rice in a slow cooker is something you want to avoid. You’ll end up with unevenly cooked rice. Some of your rice will even be undercooked.
Rice needs a short time to be cooked. So, you can cook it in a saucepan for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remember, with cooking rice, extra time is the enemy.
Just like rice, you can cook seafood in minutes. This is why seafood and slow cooking are bad mates. This can include salmon, shrimp, and scallops.
Remember that cooking seafood for too long in a slow cooker can make your food feel tough and chewy. Your seafood will even be bland and tasteless.
Any alcohol, such as wine that is cooked in a meal needs a way to escape. If slow-cooked, alcohol won’t have a way to escape.
This means that the alcohol won’t cook off and evaporate. Also, note that you’ll have a bitter meal with the alcohol still very much, making you feel tipsy.
Can You Put Raw Meat in a Slow Cooker?
Raw meat can be safely and easily cooked in your slow cooker. But it’s not like you can drop a slab of meat in your slow cooker and hope for the best. Certain things need you to know how to do it.
You need to make sure that your meat is at least room temperature. You can either do this by letting your meat thaw or defrosting it in a microwave.
You’ll also want to sear your meat in a pan before putting it in a slow cooker. In this case, make sure you don’t overcook it. Instead, sear it enough to have a nice brown crust.
Is a Slow Cooker Worth It?
There are many advantages to having a slow cooker. One of the most significant advantages is that you can start cooking a pot of soup in the morning before you go to work. Then when you come home to a warm home-cooked soup.
Cooking your meat slowly in a slow cooker will make it tender and extra tasty, especially if you put in some soy sauce. In addition, the slow cooker will render down the connective tissue into gelatine. This will leave you with delectable meat that will melt in your mouth with every bite.
There is also an environmental benefit to cooking with a slow cooker. The slow cooker is energy efficient because it simmers the food.
If you’re a person who likes cooking delicious food but doesn’t like the clean-up afterwards, then the slow cooker is definitely for you. It’s all done in one pot, so you won’t have as many dishes to wash.
Slow Cooker Can Make Your Cooking Life Easy!
Having a slow cooker in your kitchen is a game-changer for your dishes. The slow cooker is handy for cooking various meals, and it can be used for batch cooking. It doesn’t just cook stews and lamb shanks that will keep you warm in winter.
Not only that, but the best slow cooker can also make cooking easy and stress-free. A slow cooker is also a fantastic tool for anyone who loves cooking and wants to keep a low-energy kitchen. With all the slow cooker recipes available and how easily you can cook various dishes, what’s stopping you from making your next hearty stew?