Slow Cooked Meals - A Time Saver
Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2008
Nothing is better than returning home after a busy day to the aroma of dinner cooking. That is the advantage of using your slow cooker. Add a salad and loaf of your favorite artisan bread, and dinner can be on the table in minutes. All it takes is a little planning the evening before and assembling the ingredients in the slow cooker before you leave for the day. Follow these suggestions for successful preparation of some classic family favorites.
- People often wonder if cooking meat in the slow cooker is safe. Since bacteria are killed at a temperature of 165°F, there is no need for concern. Beef reaches an internal temperature of 170°F, and poultry reaches 190°F by the end of the suggested cooking time in a slow cooker. For food safety, follow the recommended cooking times and keep the cover on during the cooking process.
- Removing the lid from the slow cooker for stirring, or to "peek", can cause the loss of a significant amount of heat and extend the cooking time.
- Milk and sour cream should be added during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Seafood only needs an hour of cooking at the end.
- Pasta should be cooked separately and added to the slow cooker during the last half hour of cooking.
- For best results, always use long grain converted rice in a slow cooker recipe.