Slow Cooking Guide
McCORMICK Slowcookers provide great flavour bases so try experimenting with different cuts of meat or adding different vegetables. Root vegetables, capsicums and tomatoes work really well, and while adding fresh herbs to finish the dish helps to boost and freshen the flavour. Also look out for cheaper cuts of meat as the slow cooking process is ideal for turning tough meat into delicious, fall-apart dishes.
Filling the pot
Take care not to fill the insert so much that the lid doesn't fit tightly. Without a tight fit a vacuum will not form, and that can dramatically affect cooking time. It's very important to clean the insert completely between uses. Built-up food stains are challenging to remove. Try putting the inserts in the dishwasher (check your slow cooker's instructions to be sure it's dishwasher-safe.)
Once you've placed ingredients in the slow cooker and turned it on, it is neither necessary nor advisable to lift the lid to stir the mixture. The steam generated in the cooking creates a vacuum that seals the lid. Every time you open the lid some steam and heat dissipate, which can prolong the cooking time. In some recipes we do instruct you to stir halfway through the cooking time or toward the end, which we have taken into account, but otherwise it's best to leave the lid in place.
At high altitude be sure to allow an additional 30 minutes for each hour of cooking time specified in the recipe. Legumes typically take twice as long to cook at high altitude as at sea level. Cooking on the low heat setting generally - but not always - takes about twice the time of high heat.
Moisture droplets will form in the lid. To avoid dripping the condensation onto the food, always lift the lid gently, straight up, without tilting it, until it is away from the insert.
Brown meat and some cuts of poultry before placing them in the slow cooker adds to the finished flavour. While some foods will brown during the cooking process (particularly if they are not submerged in liquid), they will not develop the same colour and flavour that they get when browned first on the stovetop. If you can find the time for this step, the results are worth the effort.
Leftovers to reheat or freezing leftovers is a perfect fit for slow cooked roasts, and these leftovers can remain frozen for up to 3 months.