January is National Slow Cooker Month, and what better time of year is there to settle in with some cozy one-pot comfort foods to keep you warm? Of course, your slow cooker offers big benefits well beyond winter, neighbor. Read on for some handy tips you can put to good use in any weather.
Prep the Night Before
Slow cookers are nothing if not, well, slow. They’ll take some time to get the job done, and since most slow cooker recipes require multiple ingredients, it’s a good idea to prepare everything you’ll need for your dish the night before, to save time. If you’re making a hearty soup, cut up all your vegetables, add your meat and pour in broth and any other ingredients before covering and storing in the fridge overnight. Bonus Tip: Leave the slow cooker out on the counter for about 20 minutes before turning it on, so the ingredients have time to get back to room temperature.
Less Meat is More
When it comes to slow cooking, the recipe possibilities are endless. But there’s a big difference when it comes to adding meat to your one-pot recipes: You don’t need as much! Slow cooking extracts the flavor of meats like brisket, pork and chicken, allowing it to permeate the entire dish and giving you the option to load up on more vegetables instead.
Cook it Slow, on Low
It’s time to sit back and let your slow cooker do its thing. One of the best-kept secrets of slow cooker recipes is to use the “low” setting for your dishes as much as you’re able. The flavors of your meal will really pop when they’re given the time to simmer on low heat for several hours. Using this method when slow cooking also allows you to set it and forget it. You can head out for the day without worrying that your food will be overcooked when you return.
Resist the Urge to Peek
Your slow cooker has everything under control, so there’s no need to keep lifting the lid to check on your ingredients. When you do, you’re allowing heat to escape, meaning your food may take longer to cook. Consult your recipe to make sure the timing is right, and from there, just trust the process!
Feeling inspired to break out the slow cooker and whip up something warm and flavorful? Food Town has everything you need to help you make it happen. Head to your Houston neighborhood grocery store to stock up on the best ingredients at the lowest prices. We can’t wait to see you!
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