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Thread: Secrets for the slow cooker?

  1. #1

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    Default Secrets for the slow cooker?

    I need help from the guru's of slow cooking! I have a slow cooker, I have had it for 5 years...I have used it twice!! I would love to use it more but don't know how! I have slow cooker recipies, but what I really want is to convert normal recipies for use in the slow cooker. I have heard you decrease the liquid? I have heard that you need to decrease the amount of spices? I have no idea. I know there are a lot of people on here who love their slow cooker, if you could pass on your expertise and tips and hints on how to use it on a day to day basis, I would be very much appreciative! Thanks very much.


  2. #2

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    Rachel,

    I use ours a fair amount come winter and summer....if you go but have been using it for so long now 9about 5 years) that I guess my recipes have morphed of their own accord.

    My tips would be:

    ~ Even sized pieces of meat and veg
    ~ Use liquid from cold
    ~ Same amount of spices herbs and seasoning that you would generally use
    ~ As a rough guide, use enough ciquid to cover the other ingrediants.

    Once you have slow cooked, then look at what you need to do to it.......for example, I make a lemon chicken, but the sauce is really thin. So I know I need to drain off the liquid and whisk a butter/flour paste into it to thicken it etc.

    I am sounding vague, sorry! I guess the recipes evolve over time!

    Have you seen this thread?
    http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/...ad.php?t=17924

    Also, I notice in t he supermaket that McCormick have just releassed a new range of recipe base mixes specifically for slow cookers.......and it was a fairly good range:

    Beef & Mushroom Ragout
    Beef & Red Wine Casserole
    Garlic & Herb Lamb Shanks
    Mediterranean Chicken
    Mild Chicken Curry
    Tomato & Onion Sausages


    This might be a good starting point?
    Last edited by Lucy; February 10th, 2008 at 02:06 PM.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Lucy! Hadn't seen the new range at the supermarket, will be checking it out today for sure.

    If I have a recipie that i would normally put liquid in but it would evaporate off during cooking, would i reduce the amount of liquid from the start as it wouldn't evaporate in the slow cooker? I worry if i drained it off that it would lose flavour.

    Thanks

  4. #4

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    Hi Rachel

    I am far from a guru of the SC, I've only just really begun to get the hang of it myself. I know I was first really turned off it as things seemed to end up watery. As Lucy said, once it's cooked you'll still need to do something to it probably, most of the time I need to thicken the sauce with flour/water paste as taking the lid off and blasting it on high for a while isn't enough if ykwim?

    As far as the recipe with the liquid, I'd reduce it down to probably a third of what you would normally use ( I think???!!!) I know my SC seems to create extra liquid as the heat condenses into water which runs down the sides.

    Oooh, I'm really no expert, I'm still learning and I'm the same as you, I'd love to convert my most used recipes into SC ones. I am doing a lamb casserole tonight that I was going to try in the SC but I just don't have the money this week to stuff it up at all so I'm playing it safe and doing it in the oven the old way

    Check out the SC chatter thread, it might help.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
    Also, I notice in t he supermaket that McCormick have just releassed a new range of recipe base mixes specifically for slow cookers.......and it was a fairly good range:

    Beef & Mushroom Ragout
    Beef & Red Wine Casserole
    Garlic & Herb Lamb Shanks
    Mediterranean Chicken
    Mild Chicken Curry
    Tomato & Onion Sausages


    This might be a good starting point?
    Just wondering roughly how much these are and if you have to add much other stuff?

  6. #6

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    I am not sure........I haven't bought any......i just noticed them as a new item in teh supermarket the other day......check out the McCormicks website perhaps?

    Rachel, in terms of draining off the liquid, I sometimes take the lid off the sc at around about 5.30 pm and put it on high for an hour or so, so let up reduce a little. And I KEEP the drained off liquid for the sauce so no flavour lost.....

  7. #7

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    I think they were around $1.20, we used the sausage one the other day & it was really yummy

  8. #8

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    Thanks Lucy, I went to the supermarket and checked out the McCormick dinner things...I made the sausage one today..it was so easy and yummy and DD loves it too.

    Nat, the packet was around $1.50, you still have to add your meat and veges and it seems most of them include a tin of tomatoes, You could probably add as much or as little as you want to.

    Thanks again ladies, i'll try out a few of these msCormick things to build my confidance then hopefully by winter i'll be a whizz at it and be cooking up a storm!

  9. #9

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    Ohhh I might have to try those slow cooker packets as well. Will be quick and easy for those days I'm at uni lol! Thanks for the tip Lucy!

  10. #10

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    I have them on my list.......I am a fan of McCormicks......I don't usually go for packet mixes, but theirs actually taste good (some of the others taste all the same and a bit chemically?)

    Last weeks wintry weather in Adelaide makes me yearn for slow cooker comfort food.......

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