How to use a slow cooker
- No liquid escapes from a slow cooker, so when adapting a recipe not specifically written for a slow cooker, reduce any added liquid by a third.
- Don’t remove the lid too often to avoid heat loss.
- The inner pot needs to be at room temperature before you start cooking. If you’ve kept a slow cooker dish in the fridge, you must wait for it to warm up before turning it on.
- Slow cookers vary considerably, so follow your manufacturer’s manual for guidelines on temperatures and cooking times.
- Rice and pasta dishes work best cooked on high for the shortest time possible. Always use easy-cook rice, rinsed well first – the more starch you rinse from the rice, the better the finished result.
- Take time to brown your meat really well. Slow cookers tend to leach meat of its colour, so it’s important for appearance and flavour that they are well browned to start with. Flavours won’t become more concentrated because the liquid doesn’t reduce, so try to pack in as much flavour as you can.