Assembly of Words | Slow Cooker for Healthy Living
Slow Cooker for Healthy Living
By: David Urmann
A slow cooker (also called a crock pot) is a time saver and a convenient cooking device. You can prepare a meal in the morning and when you arrive from work it is ready to be served. It can enhance the nutritional content of foods also. With slower cooking, more vitamins and minerals are retained in the food.
Meals cooked with the use of crock pots can be very delicious. The food flavors sink in deeply and gradually. The flavors of the herbs and stock are also well absorbed. Moist heat tenderizes the meat.
A properly working slow cooker and a strict adherence to recommended cooking procedures make meals cooked with slow cooker perfectly safe to be consumed. Slow cooking eliminates any bacteria.
Cheaper cuts of red meat or white meat are cooked better in crock pot or slow cooker plus it saves you some money. They have less fat content compared to expensive cuts that make them more suitable for slow cookers. It normally requires eight hours to cook most meat.
Place food from one half up to two thirds of the crock pot's capacity only. Slow cooker filled to its full capacity will not properly cook food. However, food will be cooked quite fast when the liquid and its level is lower than the usual.
Foods on the bottom will be more moist and will cook faster because of the simmering fluid. Cut too much fat from meat and take out the skin of meat from poultry. Long, slow cooking will melt fats and give the finished dish an unpleasant feel.
Remove the cover and shift to high setting during the last half hour of cooking time to thicken the juice and concentrate the flavors.
As tips to slow cooking, add seafood only in the final one hour of cooking time to avoid overcooking it, overcooked seafood has a gristly texture.
Ground meats should be pan-fried first before cooking it in slow cooker to get the best result. You can brown large cuts of meat before cooking it in the crock pot, although this step is not really needed, browning the meat can add color and further develop the flavor.
Vegetables easily cooked such as tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms should be added on the last 45 minutes to avoid overcooking them.
Use just a small amount of Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper and put them in the crock pot at the end of required cooking time to avoid a bitter taste. In general, spices should come in the last hour so as not to lose its tasty flavor if cooked together with other ingredients during the duration of cooking time.
Add dairy products at the final half hour of desired cooking time except when the recipe requires differently.
If you are planning to cook with a recipe not specifically made for the slow cooker, cut the liquid down by one third or one half, because liquid does not easily boil away from the crock pot.
Generally, slow cookers are safer to use for cooking because it works on lower temperatures, and the lids are always closed. This prevents accidents that may result to fires. There are also certain types of meat that are more conducive to slow cooking above other methods. Author Resource:->
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