It may seem like a contradiction in terms to refer to saving time cooking with a slow cooker, as it takes several hours for a meal to cook using this cooking method. However, cooking with a slow cooker can actually save you time and energy spent in the kitchen if you follow some quick and easy cooking methods.
Prepare Slow Cooker Ingredients in Advance
One of the reasons why so many recipes end up being so time consuming is because of the time needed to prepare ingredients such as chopping onions, dicing tomatoes and preparing other ingredients ready to add to the slow cooker.
But if you want to save time when cooking with a slow cooker, prepare the slow cooker ingredients the night before. Marinade the meat overnight for a succulent, tender taste. Chop and dice vegetables and pour stocks, broths and other seasoning methods into a plastic container ready to be poured into the slow cooker the next day.
Ensure Even Cooking
Follow slow cooker recipes, or adapt recipes accordingly, so that the ingredients will cook evenly and thoroughly. When cooking meat in the slow cooker find out whether the recipe calls for the meat to be browned first in a pan or if you can add it straight to the slow cooker. Careless mistakes can add, rather than save time, as you prepare a meal in a slow cooker.
Advance preparation can help to shave time off the cooking process, when cooking with a slow cooker. Prepare slow cooker ingredients the night before and place them in the fridge. Then when you get up the next day, add all the ingredients, stir them and set the temperature. This can all be accomplished within a few moments as you prepare to head out the door to work. When you return home later in the day, a piping hot, fully cooked meal will be waiting for you. Another method involves ensuring even cooking by pre-cooking ingredients that need to be browned for a recipe, such as beef, and chopping or dicing ingredients fine enough to where they will cook evenly.
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