The cover of the slow cooker does not form a tight seal on the crock but should be centered on the crock for best results. Do not remove the cover unnecessarily - this results in major heat loss.
The crock is microwave safe and oven proof, but never heat the crock when empty. Never place the crock on a burner or stovetop. Do not place the lid in microwave, the oven, or on a hot stove top.
Stirring is not necessary when slow cooking. However, if cooking on High, you may want to stir occasionally.
Slow cooking retains most of the moisture in foods. If a recipe results in too much liquid at the end of the cooking time, remove the cover, turn control knob to High and reduce the liquid by simmering. This will take 30 to 45 minutes.
The slow cooker should be at least half-filled for best results.
If cooking soups or stews, leave a 2 inch space between the top of the crock and the food so that the recipe can come to a simmer. If cooking a soup or a stew on High, keep checking the progress, as some soups will reach a boil when cooked on 2 (High).
When removing the cover, tilt so that opening faces away from you to avoid being burned by steam.
The sides of the base of the slow cooker get very warm because the heating elements are located here. Use the handles on the base if necessary. Use hot mitts to remove the crock.
Some recipe ingredients are not suited for extended cooking in the slow cooker. Pasta, rice, seafood, milk, cream, or sour cream should be added 2 hours before serving. Evaporated milk or condensed soups are perfect for the slow cooker.
Many things can affect how quickly a recipe will cook. The water and fat content of a food, the temperature of the food, and the size of the food will all affect the cooking time. Food cut into pieces will cook faster than whole roasts or poultry.
Most meat and vegetable combinations require at least 7 hours on Low.
The higher the fat content of the meat, the less liquid is needed. If cooking meat with a high fat content, use thick onion slices underneath, so the meat will not sit and cook in the fat.
Some recipes call for browning the meat before slow cooking. This is only to remove excess fat or for color; it is not necessary for successful cooking.
Slow cookers have very little evaporation. If making your favorite soup, stew, or sauce reduce liquid or water called for in the original recipe. If too thick, liquids can be added later.
If cooking a vegetable-type casserole, there will need to be liquid in the recipe to prevent scorching on the sides of the crock.
Notes on These Recipes
The recipes shown here are a sample of the variety of foods that can be cooked in either a 4 quart or 6 quart model. If the ingredient listed gives a range of amount (3 to 4 pounds) choose the smaller amount (3 pounds) when cooking in a 4 quart slow cooker.
Most recipes can be cooked on any of the 3 settings. These recipes list each setting, and the time required.
How to Clean the Slow Cooker
Turn control knob to Off and unplug cord from outlet
Remove crock and cover from base and let cool.
Wash the crock and the cover in hot, soapy water. Rinse and dry. The crock and the cover may also be washed in the dishwasher.
Wipe the base witha damp cloth. Do not use abrasive cleansers.
Caution: To reduce the risk of electric shock, do not immerse base in water.
Crock and Glass Cover Precautions
Do not store food in the crock in the refrigerator, and reheat in the heating base. The sudden temperature change may crack the crock. Please handle the crock and cover carefully to ensure long life. Avoid sudden, extreme temperature changes. For example, do not place a hot cover or crock into cold water, or onto a cold, wet surface. Avoid hitting the crock and cover against the faucet or other hard surfaces. Do not use crock or cover if chipped, cracked, or severely scratched. Do not use abrasive cleansers or metal scouring pads.
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