In most cases, all ingredients can go into your Crock Pot in the beginningand cook all day. Many prepetory steps are unnecessary when using thecrock pot. A few hints:
1. Allow sufficient cooking time
2. Cook with cover on
3. Remember liquids don’t “boil away” as in conventional cooking. Usuallyyou’ll have more liquid at the end of cooking instead of less.
4. It’s “one step” cooking: many steps in the recipe may be deleted.Simply add ingredients to the crock pot at one time and cook 8 to 12 hours (add any liquid last)
5. Vegetables do not over-cook as they do when boiled in your oven or in your range. Therefore, everything can go into your crock pot at one time. Exception: milk, sour cream or cream should be added during the last hour.
If recipe says:15 to 30 minutes: 1 1/2 to 2 hours on HIGH, or 4 to 6 hours on LOW
*35 to 45 minutes: 3 to 4 hours on HIGH, or 6 to 10 hours on LOW
*50 minutes to 3 hours: 4 to 6 hours on HIGH, or 8 to 18 hours on LOW*
*Most uncooked meat and vegetable combinations will require at least 8 hours on low.
Liquids :Use less in slow cooking — usually about half the recommended amount. Onecup liquid is enough for any recipes unless it contains rice or pasta.
Herbs and Spices: Leaf or whole herbs and spices are preferred, but their flavour power may increase — use half recommended amount. If you use ground herbs and spices, add during the last hour of cooking.
Beans: Dried beans, especially red kidney beans, should be boiled before adding toa recipe. cover the beans with 3 times their volume of unsalted water and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes. Discard water after boiling. Beans must be softened completely before combining with sugar and/or acid foods. Note: \Sugar and acid have a hardening affect on beans and will prevent softening.) After boiling beans 10 min., reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer 1 1 /2 hours or until beans are tender. Soaking in water, if desired, should becompleted before boiling. Discard water after soaking or boiling.
Sautéing vegetables: Generally not necessary. Stir in chopped or sliced vegetables with other ingredients. Only exception: Egg plant should be par-boiled or sautéed,due to strong flavour. Since vegetables develop their full flavour potential with slow cooking, expect delicious results even when you reduce quantities. Because vegetables take longer to cook than meat, slice or chop them when possible.
Pasta and rice: If recipes calls for cooking noodles, macaroni, etc. cook before adding tocrock pot. Don’t overcook – just till slightly tender. If cooked rice iscalled for, stir in with other ingredients. Add 1/4 cup extra liquid per1/4 cup of raw rice. Use long grain converted rice for best cookingresults in all-day cooking.
Milk: Milk, cream and sour cream tend to break down during extended cooking. When possible add during last hour of cooking. Condensed soups may be substituted for milk etc and can cook for extended times.
Soups: Some soup recipes call for 2 to 3 quarts of water. Add soup ingredients to crock pot then add water only to cover. If thinner soup is desired, addmore liquid at serving time. If Milk-based recipes have no other liquid for initial cooking, add 1 to 2 cups water. Then during last hour of cooking, stir in milk or cream as called for.