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Volume II
February 3, 2007

Using Your Slow Cooker
By Amanda Formaro

Slow cookers are wonderful for recipes you would normally prepare on the stove top, such as soups and stews, sauces, chili, etc. By preparing these types of things in the slow cooker, you free time to make other dishes or sides.

Always put vegetables in first. Vegetables take longer to cook than meat does, so for layering purposes, start with vegetables, then meat, and finally seasonings and small amounts of liquid.

Pastas or instant rice should only be added during the last 30 minutes of cooking time, or as your recipe directs.

Slow cookers are designed to do just what you would expect, cook slowly. Most recipes will call for cooking times of 8-10 hours on the low setting. If you simply do not have that much time, you can adjust your cooking time down by 2-3 hours and increase the temperature to high.

Always begin with fresh or thawed meats, do not use meat that is still frozen. Rather than large cuts or roasts, cut meat into chunks. For poultry, do not use a whole chicken, but rather pieces (legs, thighs, breasts, etc).

Cook meat on high for the first hour, turn slow cooker down to low for the remaining time. This allows the cooker to heat up quickly and "heat down" gradually.

Recipes should include some form of liquid. If a recipe does not include a liquid, consider adding 1/2 cup of water or broth, or simply not using the recipe at all.

If you have any additional doubling tips that you'd like to add, please post them on the Cook'n Club Forum (if you're a Cook'n Club Member)...or e-mail them to

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