Slow cookers are probably one of the most popular kitchen appliances on the planet. Who doesn’t love the idea of throwing a bunch of ingredients into the cooker, turning it on in the morning and having a delicious meal ready when you get home in the evening? It’s like a dream come true! But that dream can quickly become a nightmare if we make these mistakes that ruin the entire meal.
10 Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Slow Cooker Meals:
1. Putting food in the slow cooker in the wrong order.
Layering in the proper order is important so that all the food cooks evenly. Place items that take the longest to cook on the bottom and layer the rest accordingly.
2. Adding dairy products too soon.
Putting your dairy products in too early will cause them to curdle and ruin the whole dish. Milk, cheese, sour cream, and yogurts are best added during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
3. Not covering the meat.
Slow cookers work best when all the ingredients are submerged. Not only does this help the food cook evenly, but if you place the meat on top and uncovered, it will dry out leaving you with a meat brick.
4. Cooking chicken with the skin.
Love the taste of a rubbery, gelatinous mess? Leave the skin on, if not, remove it before you put it in the cooker.
5. Not searing meat prior to putting in the slow cooker.
Browning the meat in a cast iron skillet on the stove caramelizes the flavor and seals in the juices. Obviously, you can add raw meat, it just won’t have the same flavor.
6. Using the wrong meat.
The slow cooker is the perfect place to use less expensive and less tender cuts of meat. Save the pricier cuts for the grill.
7. Raising the lid before your meal is done.
You cannot peek. Seriously. A slow cooker is designed to cook over a long period of time. When you raise the lid, it allows heat that has built up over time, to escape.
8. Cooking meals too long.
We know it will let you cook something for 10 hours, but that doesn’t mean you should.
9. Over or underfilling.
To ensure your yummy meal doesn’t burn, fill the slow cooker at least halfway, but no more than two-thirds full.
10. Adding too much alcohol.
When you add liquor to things you are cooking on the stove, the alcohol cooks off. In a slow cooker, that doesn’t happen. Adding too much booze means you bascially end up with a liquor soup.
We hope this helps make your next slow cooker meal a great one.
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