Cooking in a crock-pot is safe. Slow cookers reach a simmer temperature of 209°F, that along with the cooking in a moist environment over a long period of time safely kills common bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and botulism. Be sure to follow the cooking times for the recipe you are following to be sure to cook your foods, especially meats for the required times.
Both High and Low stabilize at the same temperature, it is just a matter of how long it takes to reach the simmer point. Once food reaches the simmer point, total cook time is dependent on cut and weight of meat to reach the point of maximum flavor and texture potential. (Most dishes can be prepared on either High or Low.)
Slow cookers have very little evaporation. When converting a recipe designed for the stove top remember that your final product may be thicker, adding additional water during or at the end of cooking will help thin it out.
It is not recommended to open the lid of your slow cooker while cooking as this can reduce the temperature inside your crock-pot, thus causing you to need to cook your dish longer. Unless your recipe requires you to stir, resist the temptation to open your slow cooker.
We don’t recommend reheating foods in your crock-pot. However most crocks that come with most slow cookers are oven and microwave safe. Please read your instruction manual that came with your slow cooker to see if the crock can go in the microwave or oven.
We suggest that you follow the recipe if it calls for pre-browning then go ahead and brown it up. While this is an added step it is usually included to create a more flavorful product and to get rid of excess fat that may alter the flavor of the end result of the the dish.
If your power was out for less than 1 hour your food is probably safe to resume cooking and to eat. However if your power was out for more than an hour or you don’t know how long you were without power it is better to be safe than sorry and we do not suggest that you attempt to eat it. Remember, when it doubt, throw it out!
In most cases you can, however you will need to adjust the cooking time to compensate for the frozen meat. Allow an additional 4-6 hours on low or 2 hours on high when using frozen meat. Do not place frozen meat inside a dry pre-heated crock-pot as the quick change in temperature can crack your crock.
No way Jose! The stoneware cannot withstand the extreme direct heat and will break if placed on a stove top burner. You may use the stoneware in the microwave or oven. However, the tempered glass lid is not suitable for microwave or oven use.
This will depend partially on the number of people you are cooking for and partially on the type of cooking you are doing. For singles a 1 – 1 1/2 quart is ideal. For a couple a 2 1/2- 3 1/2 quart is perfect. For a family of 3 – 4 choose a 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 quart. For families of 4 – 5 choose a 4 1/2 – 5 quart unit. For feeding 6 or more people a 6 quart is the best option. Of course a larger size is a great choice if you want to have leftovers to freeze and serve later. Most roasts also fit better in a 5 quart or larger unit. Check out Crock-Pot Ladies Amazon store for a vast selection of Crock-Pots and slow cookers.
You sure can! Some recipes even call for wrapping meat and other ingredients in foil and then placing in the stoneware for cooking. It is also fine to place ingredients in baking bags, place in stoneware, cook and then lift the bag our of the stoneware for serving.
Most modern stoneware crock-pot inserts (the actual crock part of your slow cooker) can be used in the microwave. Keep in mind however that the lid is usually not microwave safe and never put the actual heating element in the microwave! If you are in doubt please refer to the owners manual to the specific crock-pot you own.
Often times foods that are high in sugar (such as desserts or dishes with a sweet sauce can burn in the crock-pot if left to cook too long. If you find yourself with a burnt on mess to clean up it should not be that difficult to tackle. First start with soaking your crock-pot insert in hot soapy water and see if that works. If soaking for a couple of hours is just not doing the trick then we suggest filling your crock-pot insert again with hot soapy water and placing the insert in the heating element, covering the crock-pot and cooking on high for a couple of hours. The combination of heat and a bit of soap should do the trick. However if you find you still have some stuck on food try scrubbing with a paste made out of baking soda and water and maybe just a few drops of dish-washing soap. This really should do the trick, however as a last resort you can use oven cleaner. It may take a few tries if your burnt something really bad but it should come off. Prevent burnt on messes when cooking sticky sweet foods by using a crock-pot liner. These specially designed liners make clean up so easy!
Hi we are Heidi, Katie & Sarah and together we are the Crock-Pot Ladies here to save the day with easy slow cooker recipes that everyone will enjoy! We love cooking and experimenting in our crockpots and sharing our creations with you, our readers!