10 Slow-Cooker Tips Everyone Should Know

Slow cookers have become a kitchen staple for everyone from beginner cooks to those of us who have been in the kitchen for many years! This kitchen gadget makes cooking a breeze. Minimal effort cooking is something that we at eMeals enjoy a lot and we know our members do too. Because of this simple fact, we wanted to share a few crockpot tips to help make your crockpot go from trusty acquaintance to new best friend!

Tips for Crockpot Cooking:

  1. Brown your meat before placing in the crockpot. This will sear the meat and keep it tender and moist.
  2. Buy crockpot liners for quick and easy cleanup! If unavailable, spray the inside with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Make it ahead. You can put all of the ingredients in the ceramic insert the night before and place it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning all you have to do it put the insert into the base and turn it on.
  4. Timing is key! 2 hours on low means one hour on high.
  5. Thicken it up. If your slow cooker recipe is starting to get a little too soupy or runny, you can always taking off the lid and cooking on high for the last half hour or so.
  6. Don’t reheat leftovers in your crockpot. This method of reheating will not get the food heated quickly enough and can increase your risk for contamination from bacteria.
  7. Even things out. Try to cut meats and veggies into similar sizes so they cook through evenly.
  8. Fill ‘er up. Or not! Most crockpots cook best when they are ½ to ¾ of the way full.
  9. Use cheaper cuts of meat. Believe it or not, these meats work better in the slow cooker. These meat have less fat and make for moist, long cooking times that result in a super tender dinner.
  10. Keep a lid on it! Each time you remove the cover, you allow heat to escape the crockpot. Try to leave it alone as much as possible and if you do take off the lid a lot, you may need to extend your cooking time.

Don’t forget that right now you can download our FREE 7 meal crockpot menu complete with a grocery list with the purchase of any new eMeals plan!

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13 thoughts on “10 Slow-Cooker Tips Everyone Should Know

  1. Heidi (@MamaNibbles)

    I think that searing in all honesty does absolutely nothing for sealing in moisture or making meat more tender. Searing does however make the meat more flavorful as long as the pan is deglazed after use and poured into the crock pot. Just my opinion though. wink Having a crockpot that has a good lid seal is important! I have a lid that clamps onto my crockpot very tightly and I’ve noticed that my meals cook faster and less moisture escapes.

  2. heather

    love these! An addition to #5 to help thicken up your sauce, combine 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 3 Tbsp water, wisk it together, then add to the sauce. 🙂

  3. Corey

    #11 Don’t set your crock pot on the stovetop while it waits for you to wash the crock… It’s only a matter of time before you turn on the wrong burner and melt the power cord 🙁

  4. Jennifer Blot

    Did you know you can make mashed potatoes ahead of time and place them in a crock pot, set on low? Now you can have hot steamy potatoes to go with your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, but not be stressed out in the last few minutes trying to get everything to the table. I’ve even made the potatoes early in the morning and serve them later in the day after the turkey was done!

  5. Millie

    Sorry but crock pot liners are a crock. They rip and are expensive. Just use cooking spray or oil and put the crock in the dishwasher. Also, avoid crock pots with plastic lids. I had one and it went on me only after a few years. The lids aren’t heavy enough to hold in the heat properly and I had to cook everything on high all the time. But, from what I see in the store lately, all crock pots have the heavy glass lids.

    1. NancyMc

      OOOOoooo… I hate it when that happens =(
      Here are a couple tips to try next time:
      1.Remove crock from frig and set on the counter for 20-30 mins.
      2.Make sure your crock heating base is at room temperature before putting crock in.
      3.If you are going to cook on HIGH, start the temp on low for 10 or so mins to warm the crock a little. Best of luck !!!

  6. Michelle

    I just signed up for eMeals — thanks Groupon and Dave Ramsey! I love Crockpot meal ideas, and several look delicious. However, I have do a question about them — what size crockpot should we use? The recipes seem to be for a large crockpot (6-7 quarts), but I haven’t been able to find the size specified in the recipes or on your website.

    Thanks for the mealtime help!

  7. Ken and Leslie Hill

    my TIP for thickening agent. When making soups or chili etc, that you wish to be thicker, in a blender (allow food to cool a bit) then place in blender and puree a portion of the starchy foods. Like, you have Beef and Vegetable soup with potatoes, and you want the base to be a little thicker and nutritious, puree some potatoes. Chili is delish this way, when you use 2 cans of pinto beans, puree one of the cans w/liquid.

  8. Tina

    Putting foil on the lid? I’m going to try that to deter suspicious eyes and hands from lifting the lid! Also if it keeps heat in better than yay!

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