SOUPS AND STEWS
• Because there is little evaporation, soups and stews require less liquid
• If too thick, add additional liquid in last ½ hour of cooking or at serving time.
• Condensed soups and dry soup mixes add great flavor and body to sauces
• Fresh herbs should be added at the end of the cooking cycle. If cooked too
long they lose their color and flavor.
• Dried herbs work well in the slow cooker and can be added at the
beginning. They can become stronger on longer cooking; begin with less
and add at end, if needed.
• Some spices and dried herbs, such as cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and whole
peppercorns can become quite intense with long cooking, so use sparingly.
• If using bay leaves, remember to remove before serving.
• The higher the fat content, the less liquid is needed. Also, place thickly sliced
onions under fattier meat to keep the meat above the drippings.
• Browning before cooking on the slow cooker settings is not necessary.
However, lightly coating meat with flour and browning it, gives more body
and flavor to sauces. This works for ground meat as well.
• Make sure the top of the meat does not touch the lid.
• Cooking times will vary depending upon the size and cut of the meat. Meat
with bone-in will take longer to cook. Lean meats and poultry will cook faster.
• Meats slow cooked in liquids develop great flavor with a minimum of effort.
• Use High for more tender cuts of meat; use Low for tougher cuts.
• Always thoroughly thaw meats before slow cooking them.
• Place vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, and beets at the very
bottom of the cooking pot and always cover them with liquids. They usually
take longer to cook than most meat.
• Vegetables cook well; they develop better flavor and don't break down as
they would in an oven.
• Canned beans are the perfect substitute for dried beans.
• Fish cooks quickly; add it for the last 15 minutes.