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Crock Pot 101 Betty Greer, PhD, RD Professor Nutrition Specialist
Crock Pot = Time-Saving Appliance • When purchasing a new crock pot • A removable liner (also called an insert)makes clean-up easier • For easy clean-up • Line non-removable liner with a cooking bag • Spray inside of liner with cooking spray
Food Safety for Crock Pot • Low setting is about 200o F • minimum safe temperature is 140o F • For most foods, start on high for the first hour to reach 140o quickly • Remove food from the liner before refrigerating leftovers. • Food won’t cool as quickly in the liner • Generally, 1 hour cooking on high = 2 hours cooking on low
Cooking Tips • Fill crock pot only 1/2 to 2/3 full • Food will not cook properly if the appliance is too full • Foods on the bottom of the crock pot cook faster than foods higher in the pot
Cooking Tips - continued • Remove skin from poultry and trim excess fat from meat • Fats melt with long cooking times and add unpleasant texture to the food • Fatty foods cook more quickly than non-fatty foods • Cheaper cuts of meat work better in the crock pot because they generally have less fat
Cooking Tips – continued • Place vegetables on bottom • Lifting the lid will extend the cooking time by about 20 minutes • For best results, cook ground meats in a skillet before adding to the crock pot • Drain fat • Add seafood during the last hour of cooking
Cooking Tips – continued • Browning large pieces of meat prior to adding them to the crock pot adds color and aids flavor development • Add dairy foods during the last 30 minutes of cooking • Add tender vegetables (tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini) during the last 45 minutes of cooking
Cooking Tips – continued • Liquids do not boil away in crock pot • Reduce liquid by 1/3 to 1/2 if using a recipe not developed for crock pots (unless it is for soup or rice) • Cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce should be added towards end of cooking time
Recipes • There are a wealth of recipes available for the crock pot • Recipes attached to this lesson came from • The American Heart Association’s cookbook on Healthy Crock Pot recipes • FCE members who shared recipes • Numerous recipes on the web (web sites below are suggestions. You can google “crock pot recipes” and find other options • http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/preparation/slow-cooker-recipes • http://www.publix.com/aprons/meals/CookingStyle/RecipeList.do#Slow%20Cooker