Cooking your family’s dinner in a slow cooker allows you to be frugal and wise about time. If you don’t know how to cook in a slow cooker, it can take some getting used to, but I promise it’s well worth it! Check out these slow cooker tips that are designed to help you in all of your cooking endeavors.
4 Slow Cooker Cooking Tips
Keep your slow cooker in a safe place.
Since most people don’t watch their slow cooker for the eight hours that it’s cooking, it’s important to ensure it’s plugged into a safe outlet. Make sure there’s nothing surrounding your slow cooker so that everything stays safe the entire time your food is cooking.
Make sure you have the correct size slow cooker.
Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes measuring in quarts from 1 to 7 quarts. Slow cookers work best when they are filled at least half full so trying to make something in the wrong size slow cooker is ineffective and can alter the cooking times drastically on your recipe.
Layer wisely when cooking in a slow cooker.
As you’re preparing your food to be cooked in a slow cooker, layering the food is always best. The way you layer the food helps it cook correctly. Of course, some recipes don’t matter but others depend on being layered well.
Spices and herbs work wonders in a slow cooker.
Feel free to add any spices and herbs you’d like to a slow cooker meal. These special ingredients help bring your meal to life. You don’t need a lot added into the slow cooker, just a tiny bit will do. It’s important to use good quality spices, so that your food keeps that awesome taste you love.
My Families Favorite Slow Cooker
Recently I was sent the new Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach and it has quickly become my favorite slow cooker. My last one wasn’t quite big enough for my family and while yes it got the job done it didn’t have any features other than low & high. The Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker has some amazing features I was always jealous of and I can’t believe I didn’t upgrade sooner. It’s really been a lifesaver for me as I cook in my slow cooker several times a week.
Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker Features
~ Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual
~ Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature
~ Thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel
~ Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating
~ The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
~ 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast
~ Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
~ Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
~ Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
~ Questions are supported by a toll-free call center located in the U.S.
~ Backed with a one-year warranty
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe
- Favorite chicken seasoning or salt and pepper
- Large whole chicken - innards removed sometimes these can be found in a bag within the chicken. Toss or save for gravy
- 2-4 tablespoons of butter
- Turn crock pot on high and let 1 tablespoon of butter melt in the bottom of the crock pot while your preparing your chicken.
- Rinse and pat dry chicken
- Place pats of butter between skin and meat on chicken. This skin might offer a little bit of resistance but that's ok give it a little tug. You don't want to remove the skin as it helps keep the moisture in. Flavored butters work well for this as well like this Chive Butter (link in butter recipe).
- Rub favorite chicken seasoning on the outside of the chicken. You don't want to get this to thick but this will flavor your chicken and your broth for gravy if you decide to make gravy or stock. Suggested flavors could be lemon pepper, kick n chicken seasoning, salt &pepper, seasoning salt, or here is a good homemade blend. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-seasoning-blend/
- 4. Place prepared chicken in crock pot once butter is melted. DO NOT ADD LIQUID.
- Cook chicken on on high for 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours. This will vary according to the size of your chicken. To confirm doneness cook until the internal temp of your chicken is 165 F.
- Once chicken is cooked thoroughly you can roast it under the broiler for 10-15 minutes (but I would only cook your chicken in the crock pot till 160 F) if your family likes roasted skin. Usually this isn't a concern for me so I don't worry about this step.
Win A Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker
Great news! Hamilton Beach is giving one Farmer’s Wife Rambles reader their own Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Enter on the form below and good luck!