As with any piece of kitchen equipment, it's important to gain a good feel of how to best operate your slow cooker. While each of our meal comes with instructions and recommended slow cooker sizes, you may have to adjust a little bit to cook the meal just right.
A few pieces to consider and know:
1) Know your slow cooker's brand
Though we use the term Crockpot frequently, it's actually one of many brands of slow cookers. It's important to understand how your specific crockpot, or slow cooker, may cook compared to the instructions.
2) Know the size of your slow cooker
Each of our meals comes with a recommended Crockpot size. This is important to note as cooking in a bigger or smaller Crockpot than recommended may influence cooking results.
Compare this to baking brownies, if the recipes calls for 8x8 inch baking pan but you only have a 9x13 inch baking pan, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time as the extra surface space will cause the brownies to cook much more quickly than instructed.
This is the same with slow cookers. If the recipe calls for a 3-quart slow cooker but is cooked in a 6-quart slow cooker, you’ll need to adjust for the extra surface space or the meal may become overcooked.
3) Are you cooking from frozen or thawed?
While our meals can be cooked from either, it's important to note the different cooking times for either thawed or frozen. Additional time may be needed for meals cooked from frozen.
Another helpful tip when cooking from frozen is you may need to run the plastic bag under cool water to break up the ingredients before placing inside your slow cooker to help fit.
4) Know your slow cooker's features
It's common to see both basic nob dials and advanced digital controls in slow cookers these days. It's important to understand these features especially when it comes to cooking times to make sure the meal doesn't overcook.
If you are ever in the market for a new slow cooker I highly recommend looking into one with a digital screen and controls that allow the user to put in the exact cooking time before the slow cooker automatically switches itself over to "keep warm". This will insure your meals are cooked at the correct temperate for the right amount of time and minimize dry, overcooked meals.
5) Are you using a slow cooker or pressure cooker?
Cooking instructions will vary widely from cooking in a Crockpot vs an Instapot. It's important to understand these differences and adjust accordingly.
The more you cook with us, the more you should become more comfortable with understanding your individual slow cooker. As always, we want you to have the best experience possible so feel free to reach out if you have any questions in how to best cook our meals.