Crock-pot slow cookers

Follow these simple slow cooker basics to make your slow-cooked recipes taste even better.

  1. Brown meats, poultry and other proteins before adding them to the slow cooker. Browning builds the flavor of a dish.
  2. Sautéing onions, garlic, dried herbs and spices before adding them into the cooker gives a balanced flavor.
  3. Use dried rather than fresh herbs when slow cooking. If at the end of the cooking time you want to refresh a flavor, add fresh herbs at that time.
  4. As a general rule, dishes cooked on low can be cooked safely on high for half the time.
  5. Keep the lid on. Slow cookers can lose 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time when the lid is removed.
  6. Don’t place frozen foods in a slow cooker; make sure foods are totally defrosted to be food safe.
  7. Never fill a slow cooker more than ⅔ full and no less than halfway, for optimum performance.
  8. Always brown ground meats before adding to a slow cooker.
  9. Layer ingredients so those that are the densest and take the longest to cook (such as potatoes) are on the bottom.
  10. For best results, remove excess fat from meats and the skin from poultry before putting it into a slow cooker.
  11. After a dish is cooked, strain, then boil the braising liquid in a saucepan over high heat to concentrate the flavor.
  12. A squeeze of lime juice or a drizzle of vinegar added at the last minute will enhance the flavors in almost any dish. Add flavor, color and texture by finishing a dish with a scattering of fresh herbs – chopped basil, dill parsley or oregano, or a finely diced, crunchy vegetable such as red bell pepper, jicama, fennel or cucumber.
See Also:  Recipe Roundup: 12 Days of Christmas Cravings


  1. Hi Charlyn,
    What a great article! And I love the list I know it’ll help crock pot cookers every where.
    Stop by, your more then welcome to stop by. There’s a ton of recipes, that I think you’ll love!

    I’ve alreday bookmarked your post.

  2. I will freeze my meats then put them in the crockpot so they can cook slow for 8 hours without getting over cooked. The whole idea of crockpot cooking is so you can fill the pot and forget it for several hours like while you’re at work for 8 hours but it’s rare to find recipes that require cooking for that long. They usually require 5-6 hours. That’s why I freeze the meats before cooking in the crockpot. It prolongs the cooking. Is that unsafe?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here