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Atchison County

Slow Cookers - Still Hot Slow Cooker

Convenience and good home cooking go together when using a slow cooker. Introduced in the 1970's, this appliance saves money and time as it uses less electricity than your oven. Just combine ingredients in the cooker before you go to work or at lunchtime, turn it on, and come home to a hearty homemade supper. While many recipes are designed for this appliance, you can adapt most conventional recipes that have some moisture for the slow cooker.

Why use a slow cooker?

There are many reasons with these being the ones cited most often:

  • Excellent nutritional content of foods prepared in them
  • Family meals can be prepared “from scratch”
  • Good cooking method for many foods, especially less-tender meats
  • Long term cooking develops flavors in foods
  • Convenient, saves time and money
     

Adapting Recipes        Recipe Card

Here are some tips to convert traditional recipes to use in a slow cooker:

  • Cut liquid amounts in half, except for soup, sauce, chili and chowder.
  • For every hour of conventional cooking, allow 8 hours on the low setting in the slow cooker or 4 hours on the high setting.
  • Add tender vegetables, cooked pasta and seasonings during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • If there is too much liquid, remove the lid and turn the cooker on high to allow evaporation.
  • Add thickeners, sour cream or cheese at the end of cooking.
  • Test your slow cooker occasionally to make sure it is working properly.

Test Your Slow Cooker        Test Slow Cooker

Slow cookers cook slowly but fast enough to keep food out of the temperature danger zone (40-140°F).  Between these temperatures, bacteria that may be present can grow rapidly.  Test your slow cooker with the following steps:

  • Fill cooker with two quarts of water.
  • Heat on low for 8 hours.
  • Check the water temperature after 2 to 3 hours (it should reach 140°F) and after 8 hours (it should reach 185°F). 

Other Uses        

  • Prepare rice
  • Cook oatmeal for breakfast
  • Use as a fondue pot
  • Heat hot beverages
  • Heat dinner rolls

A health initiative presented by Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service