Crock-pot cooking can be an easy way to prepare some delicious meals and desserts for individuals and families. However some basic guidelines should be followed when cooking with a crock-pot.
The first thing to know is that you should be careful not to over stir your food in crock-pot cooking. You should only stir the food if it clearly indicates that in the recipe because taking the lid off causes large amounts of heat to be lost.
Some ingredients can only be added to the crock-pot at the end of the cooking time. For example, milk and sour cream only need to be added in about the last fifteen minutes of cooking time. Seafood only needs to be added in about the last hour of cooking unless the recipe states differently.
Pasta and rice cook differently in crock-pot cooking. For the best results when using pasta, cook in boiling water first until just tender, and then add to the dish during the last half hour of cooking. The best rice to use is crock-pot cooking is long grain converted rice. You can add another cup to cup and a half of liquid per cup of rice if the rice does not seem cooked completely through. Be sure when using beans that they are boiled before being added to the crock-pot for cooking.
Frozen foods can be used when crock-pot cooking. If you are putting frozen meat in the crock-pot you should use at least one cup of warm liquid with the meat. Also meals using frozen meat need to be cooked for an additional four to six hours on low or two hours on high.
Donít worry about cooking raw meat in the crock-pot, it is safe to do so. The meatís internal temperature reaches one hundred seventy degrees in beef and one hundred ninety degrees in poultry. There are two important things to remember about cooking meat in the crock-pot. The first one is to cook the meat for its entire recommend time, and do not remove the lid on the slow cooker. The second thing is meat does not need to be browned beforehand unless the individual prefers the look and flavor of browned meat.
In crock-pot cooking, using whole herbs and spices bring out the best flavors. Crushed herbs and spices quickly lose their flavor during the extended cooking time, however whole spices retain their flavor during the entire cooking time because it takes longer to release their flavor.
You can also use your crock-pot to make desserts and baked goods. Be careful not to over beat breads and cakes before putting them in the slow cooker. Be sure to follow the recommended recipe guidelines. Do not add water to the crock-pot unless it specifically states to in the recipe. Allow cakes and breads to sit and cool for five minutes before removing them from the pan so they have a chance to set.
When some basic guidelines are followed, crock-pot cooking can be delicious for meals and desserts. Itís easy too!
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