Easy - hassle-free - delicious meals on-the-go... Slow cooking is the key to low-maintenance meal prep on a budget.
Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur with a slow cooker or it's your first time using one, Kimber's give you our 9 sizzling secrets to improving your slow cooking skills right now!
#1. Opt for inexpensive meats. When filling your slow cooker, you can get away with cheaper, tougher, lower quality products which will have more time during the cooking process to break down without drying out - unlike those leaner and more luxurious cuts... This is great news if you're working on a budget!
#2. Make sure your slow cooker is the right size. Relative to the meal you're creating, your slow cooker should be at least one half to two thirds full, so ensure your slow cooker size matches the quantities of ingredients you're using.
#3. Looking for better flavour? Brown your meat first. It's a myth to assume that this is a mandatory step required for food safety, however, browning the meat will enhance the richness of the flavour of your dish. Minced meat should be browned to avoid an excessively greasy end result.
#4. You don't need to add oil to a slow cooker. It's a moisture heavy environment as it is inside a slow cooker, so you can trim away fat and put away your olive oil... This will also make your meal far more healthy as a result.
#5. Don't put frozen food in your slow cooker. Slow cooking is a protracted process by definition and adding anything frozen will not only need a lot longer to cook, you could also increase the risk of producing something that is completely unsafe to eat.
#6. Know your controls. Cook tender meats on HIGH for a shorter amount of time. Cook tougher, cheaper cuts on LOW for a longer amount of time.
#7. Don't overdo the spices! If you put too many potent flavours in your slow cooker they can overpower your dish during the long cooking process, so go easy on things like peppercorns and cinnamon.
#8. Don't stir, inspect or play around with the contents of your slow cooker. Every time the lid is removed, heat will escape and impact the internal temperature of the cooker and it may take as much as half an hour for the heat to stabilise. Nearly all modern slow cookers have a viewing window to remove the need for lid removal, but it's good to bear this tip in mind if you're prone to peeking!
#9. Only add a little liquid. If you're cooking with lots of vegetables, it's even less necessary to add liquid. But it's important to remember that slow cookers produce steam which will keep your delicious dish moist and juicy. If you're trying to turn an on-the-hob meal into a slow-cooking-speciality, take away around 50% of the liquid you would usually use.