I wanted to share with you Hints and Tips for Using Crockpots. I love using my crockpot in the summer. It keeps my kitchen cool and reduces my time in the kitchen when the kids are home for summer break! We have baseball during the summer too, so this helps when my family has to eat at odd times.
Hints and Tips for Using Crockpots:
Pasta and Rice:
For best rice results, use long grain converted rice or a specialty rice as the recipe calls for. If the rice is not cooked completely after the suggested time, add an extra 1 to 1 ½ cups of liquid per cup of cooked rice and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes. For best pasta results, first partially cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water until just tender. Add the pasta to the crockpot during the last 30 minutes.
Beans must be softened completely before combining with sugar and/or acidic foods. Sugar and acid have a hardening effect on beans and will prevent them from softening. Dried beans, especially red kidney beans, should be boiled before adding to a recipe. Fully cooked canned beans may be used as a substitute for dried beans in any recipe.
Many vegetables benefit from slow cooking and are able to develop their full flavor. They tend not to overcook in your slow cooker as they might in your oven or on your stove top. When cooking recipes with vegetables and meat, place vegetables in slow cooker on bottom and meat on top. Vegetables usually cook slower than meat. Place vegetables near the sides or bottom of your stoneware to facilitate cooking.
Herbs and Spices:
Fresh herbs add flavor and color but should be added at the end of the cooking cycle as the flavor will dissipate over long cooking times. Ground and/or dried herbs and spices work well in slow cooking and may be added at the beginning. The flavor power of all herbs and spices can vary greatly depending on their particular strength and shelf life. Use herbs sparingly, taste at end of cook cycle and adjust seasonings just before serving.
Milk, cream and sour cream break down during extended cooking. When possible, add during the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking. Condensed soups may be substituted for milk and can cook for extended times.
Check out these amazing Crockpot recipes:
Shelley is a boy mom, marine wife, and is blessed with an amazing family. She loves sharing recipes, travel reviews and tips that focus on helping busy families make memories.