To cook food properly and safely, fill your slow cooker at least half full, but no more than two-thirds full.
Although it is tempting, each time you remove the lid you increase the cooking time by about 20 minutes.
Unlike a conventional oven, there is no need to preheat your slow cooker. You can even place all ingredients in the crock the night before, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning place the crock in the slow cooker and you're ready to cook!
For safety reasons slow cookers should not be used to reheat leftovers. Use a microwave, stove top or conventional oven to reheat leftovers to 165°.
Milk based products may break down when cooked in the slow cooker. If dairy products are part of the recipe try to add them toward the end of the cooking period.
For best results, meats should be completely thawed prior to placing in the slow cooker.
Cooking on low heat takes about twice as long as cooking on high heat. Generally the low heat setting means about 200° and the high heat setting is about 300°.
Vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and other root veggies tend to cook slower than meat. Place these vegetables on the bottom and around the sides of the slow cooker then place your meat on top. Add tender veggies that you'd prefer to be crisp/tender during the last 15-45 minutes.
Oats and rice can be cooked in the slow cooker. Pasta can become sticky so it is recommended to cook the pasta according to its package and add into the slow cooker just prior to serving.
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