How to adapt a recipe for the slow cooker

Article by: Allrecipes  |  Picture by: Linda
How to adapt a recipe for the slow cooker
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You can adapt many conventional recipes for the slow cooker. Any oven or stovetop recipe that has some moisture in it, whether it is water, stock, wine or sauce, will work in your slow cooker.

Halve the liquid amounts
Because slow cookers work at low temperatures with lids on, there is hardly any liquid lost during cooking. With most cooking methods, the liquid in a dish turns to steam and evaporates, with a slow cooker the steam collects on the lid. So if you're inventing your own slow cooker recipes or adapting your favorite stovetop and oven recipes for the slow cooker, you need to decrease the amount of liquid you use.
Adjust Cooking Time
For every hour you'd cook something in the oven or on the stove, allow 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. (When in doubt, turn it on low and leave it all day or overnight.) The LOW setting on a slow cooker is approximately 95 degrees C and HIGH is about 150 degrees C.
Cuts of Meat and Chicken
While you can cook just about any kind of meat in the slow cooker, some cuts are better than others. Chicken on the bone, as well as cheaper cuts of beef, lamb and pork work really well in the slow cooker.
Towards the end of the cooking time you can reduce any excess liquid by removing the lid and turning the slow cooker up to high. This is also the time to thicken the sauce or to stir in cream, sour cream or grated cheese and to adjust seasonings or add fresh ingredients like chopped herbs or lemon juice.
It's generally not a good idea to store food in the fridge in the slow cooker pot or to reheat food in your slow cooker. Use it just for cooking and keeping food warm immediately after its finished cooking.
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›› More reviews (13)
  • Comment: demi3977

    Awesome. Im about to start working full time and I need to make sure I always have dinner sorted before leaving in the mornings. I've always loved my slow cooker but I thought I was limited to the slow cooker recipe bases you get in the supermarket. I'm so glad I came across this article. Thanks
    Posted: 12 Sep 2013
    • demi3977
    • Experienced
    • wantirna, Australia
    Comment:happy-cook Excellent info for adapting favorite recipes. I wish I had seen this before!
    Posted: 02 Jul 2013 Easy

    Comment: jodes17

    awesome information for lovers of the slow cooker
    Posted: 05 Aug 2012
    • jodes17
    • Intermediate
    • mornington, Australia


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