Crockpot meals are easy to prepare, can usually be cooked all day while you are at work and for the most part are "set it and forget it" meals. If you are anything like me, you will love coming home to the aroma of a crockpot meal. It always reminds me of the way the house smelled when I was a kid.
Everyone today is so busy, with two worker households and the kids involved in numerous extra-curricular activities, many people are turning to "slow cookers" or crockpots to prepare nutritious and delicious family dinners. I actually have four slow cookers but only one is actually a Crockpot. I should explain that a "Crockpot" is actually the name of a slow cooker that is sold by the Rival Company and made famous sometime in the 1970s. It was such a success that crockpot became a household word and is used interchangeably with slow cooker. For more details visit to www.july4-recipes.com. Crockpots come in various sizes and are usable for preparing meats such as beef, chicken and fish in the larger sizes and side dishes, soups and desserts in the smaller ones.
Before you start to cook with a crockpot, there are quite a few tips that will make your experience easy and rewarding. Here are some of the more important ones:
Tip 1: Lightly greasing the inside of your crockpot or using a non-stick cooking spray will help to make cleanup a breeze and will keep food from sticking to the sides of your crockpot.
Tip 2: If you haven't already purchased your crockpot or received one as a gift, try to choose one that has a removable "crock" for easier cleanup and serving. I still have the Freeware crockpot that I received 30 years ago as a wedding present. In those days the crock was not removable, but it's still my favorite!
Tip 3: Once you have added all of the ingredients, don't lift the lid to check on the progress of your meal. Remember this is a "slow" cooker; it's going to take quite a while. Have faith in the recipe and leave that lid on. You may need to add up to 20 minutes of additional cooking time for each time you lift that lid and let the heat and steam out.
Tip 4: Follow the recipe exactly when it comes to layering instructions. Items such as potatoes and vegetables take more time to get tender in a crockpot and the recipes will instruct you to place these on the bottom with any meats and/or sauces layered on top.
Tip 5: I don't usually use regular milk in my crockpot recipes. I have found that due to the extremely long cooking time that regular milk tends to want to curdle. I will recommend that you use evaporated milk, scalded milk or half and half and that you only add milk during the last 30 minutes of cooking time. This rule is not chipped in stone and you are certainly welcome to experiment for yourself.
Tip 6: Remember if you leave the lid on the crockpot, very little of the liquid will be able to boil away. To know more logon to www.apples-recipes.com. Some recipes will add a thickening agent such as flour or arrowroot powder to the recipe to thicken the liquid while it cooks, but I generally recommend just taking some of the liquid and thickening it in a sauce pan with some cornstarch right before serving.
Tip 7: Choose the correct sized crockpot for the quantity of food that you are preparing. As a general rule of thumb, try to assure that your crockpot is filled at least halfway to the top. This will help to prevent over-cooking or under-cooking and will give you room to stir and serve without fear of spilling.
These 7 tips should give you a good start toward enjoying your own fabulous Crockpot Creations and the many thanks for scrumptious meals that your family will give you. There are thousands of recipes available for every occasion, try a few each week and you will soon develop your own favorites.
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