Slow Cook Everything!

Who doesn’t have a few favorite recipes that they wish could be put together in a slow cooker? Searching the internet for converted recipes doesn’t always yield the results we’d like. Many recipes can easily be converted for a slow cooker. We like the tips from iVillage for creating a recipe with great flavor and texture, and the cooking time conversion chart from Taste of Home. Our favorite highlights are below.

Vegetable Soup in a Slow Cooker
Vegetable Soup in a Slow Cooker

Don’t add extra liquid. Remember that slow cookers don’t evaporate most of the liquid, and that many ingredients will actually release liquid as they cook. If anything, start with a bit less liquid than the recipe calls for and keep extra on hand to adjust towards the end of cooking, as needed.

Do include some liquid. If you’re making a dish that normally would have no liquid, add about half a cup to start to keep your dish from drying out.

Layer everything. As a general rule of thumb, the ingredients that take longer to cook should go on the bottom. For soups and stews, this generally means the vegetables should go in first, followed by the meat.

Leave the lid on. Every time you remove the lid, enough heat is lost that you should add 20 minutes to the final cooking time. Turn the lid to remove condensation so you can see into the crock, but leave it on unless you have a good reason to intervene.

Flavor twice. Include herbs and spices throughout the entire recipe, and in the last half hour of cooking, taste the dish and adjust your seasonings again.