How to Convert Your Favorite Recipes Into Slow Cooker Recipes

How to Convert Your Favorite Recipes Into Slow Cooker Recipes

Do you have recipes that you want to convert to use with your slow cooker? There are a few things you’ll need to take into account when converting your favorite recipes.

Please note that not all dishes can be easily converted to slow cooker dishes. If a original recipe is supposed to be cooked or baked uncovered, chances are it will not be successfully transformed to a slow cooker recipe. This is true even if the original recipe calls for liquid.

This is because the food won’t brown and the liquid won’t evaporate in a slow cooker. The other consideration is that when you add the ingredients and the quantity of ingredients also changes when converting recipes. Here’s a quick run down on how to convert them.

Recipe Time Conversions

If conventional time is 15 – 30 minutes – slow cooker time on Low is 4-6 hrs
If conventional time is 35 – 45 minutes – slow cooker time on Low is 6-8 hrs
If conventional time is 50 min – 3 hrs – slow cooker time on Low is 8-16 hrs

Cooking on low for 8 hours is a good way to cook vegetable and meat combinations. This gives for all the flavors to blend, the meat time to tenderize and vegetables time to soften. If you put it on high heat it will make your meat and poultry tough and stringy.

You can see that there’s quite a difference in times on the low settings listed above. This is because slow cooker heat settings vary between each crockpot/slowcooker brand. You can check if your meat is done after three hours of cooking on either low or high. The easiest way to do this is to use an instant-read thermometer and then consult a chart of desirable cooking temperatures.

Other Hints on Converting Recipes

If you’ve got stews or pot roast recipes and you want to convert to a slow cooker you should brown the meat or poultry first. Use a large skillet or dutch oven and add your favorite herbs as well as onions and garlic.

How to convert slow cooker recipesStews and other braised dishes – Cut the amount of liquid used in half- There is no evaporation in the slow cooker unlike cooking in the oven or on the stove top. If the food is not completely covered with liquid when you start to cook in your slow cooker, this is normal. Your ingredients…vegetables, chicken and meat give off their own juices as they cook.

Soups – If your original recipe says to simmer uncovered, cut back the amount of liquid by 1/3. If your original recipe says to simmer covered, cut back the amount of liquid by 1/4. Even when covered on the stove, a soup that is simmering has more evaporation than one cooked in the slow cooker.

Position your slow cooker ingredients differently -Root vegetables take longer to cook in a slow cooker. So cut them into pieces no larger that 1 inch (2.5 cm). Place them in the slow cooker first at the bottom.

Herbs and spices need to be applied differently – If you can, use the leaf versions of herbs rather than the ground versions. Two leaf favorites are thyme and rosemary. The ground herbs tend to lose potency during many hours in the slow cooker. Also, add an extra bit more right before you serve your slow cooker dish. Season the dishes with pepper at the end of cooking otherwise it tends to be to harsh, dominant flavor in your dish.

Add dairy products near the end of the cooking to prevent them from separating.

Don’t lift the lid or stir the dish while it’s cooking – This will drastically drops the temperature and increases the cooking time. Of course if your slow cooker is new and you want to get a good reading on when your meat is done, you can instant-read thermometer after three hours, as listed above.

Converting your favorite recipes is fairly straight forward once you get the hang of it. Would you like to find more slow cooker recipe tips? You’ll find lots more here!

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