THE SLOW-COOKER TEST
My slow-cooker seems to cook sporadically. I cook everything on LOW in the time it takes to cook things on HIGH. I keep wondering what's up???
If age or malfunctioning is causing sporadically cooked food in your kitchen too, this test will tell you whether its time to replace your cooker. You'll also be able to gauge whether food is reaching proper temperature in the two-hour window of safe time.
To perform the test, pour two quarts of cold water into the cooker. Heat, covered, on LOW for two hours. Using an accurate thermometer, check the temperature quickly (the temperature will drop 10-15 degrees when the lid is removed). The water temperature should be between 185-200 F.
If your cooker is not heating up to these temperatures in that two hour period, it will not heat food hot or fast enough to avoid food safety troubles. You can either purchase a new cooker or apply the tricks in Bean Pot to ensure your food heats up faster.
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *