Quick Solutions To Slow Cooker Recipe Dilemmas

Quick Solutions To Slow Cooker Recipe Dilemmas

Slow cookers are fairly easy to use but every now and again you can have recipe problems. Here’s a run down of some common issues and how to fix them in a jiffy! They include uneven cooking, watery and bland food, food sticking or burning and having a power outage while slow cooking.

Problem 1- The food comes out cooked unevenly.

Typical Solutions – The meat and vegetables need to be cut into even, bite sized pieces. Unlike conventional cooking, you’ll need to place to food into the slow cooker in the proper order. Usually it’s the meat that’s placed on the bottom so that it’s in direct contact with the cooking container. All vegetables should go on top of the meat.

Problem 2 – Food is too watery and bland.

Typical Solutions – You have too much cooking liquid and you’ll need to use dried leaf herbs instead of ground herbs. Since there’s so little evaporation that takes place in slow cooker you need 50% less water than oven or stove top cooking. If you find that your food is too liquidy do the following… One hour before your foods finished cooking put it on the high setting and remove the lid so that the cooking liquid can thicken and evaporate.

Use dried leaf herbs rather than ground dry or fresh herbs because it will keep the flavor better during the long cooking time. If you do use fresh herbs only add them to the dish during the last hour of cooking. Also right before serving you can taste and adjust some more.

Problem 3-  Food is sticking or burning to the slow cooker insert.

Typical Solutions – Cook with a bit more liquid. It could also be that you’re cooking with the lid off or peaking under the lid while your cooking. For the slow cooker to cook properly you’ll need to have some liquid in your dish. Usually if you use the right recipe for the size of your slow cooker, they will have the liquid amount needed in the recipe. Only lift the lid if you’re trying to to thicken up the cooking liquid toward the end of the cooking process. Otherwise, too much liquid evaporates out and food ends up getting burnt.

Problem 4 –  The power went out or your slow cooker cord gets unplugged while your food is cooking in the slow cooker.

Typical Solutions – The general guidelines for food safety is to not let your food sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Otherwise, unfortunately you’ll need to throw out the food.  If it’s less than two hours and the power comes back on, you can keep cooking in the slow cooker. If it’s around the 2 hour mark when the power comes back on, take the food out of the slow cooker and use the stove top or oven to finish cooking it. If you come home and notice a power outage, it’s best to be safe and through out the uncooked food.

Slow Cooker problems may also be due to issues with your appliance. Here are some more slow cooker tips if you find these happening to you.

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