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Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Convert Recipes to a Slow Cooker

Sometimes life can get hectic, when that happens it is hard to find time to cook. We've discussed how slow cookers help save time, but what if you have a favorite recipe and can't find a version of it for your crock pot? Here are some tips on how to convert recipes to a slow cooker.

The majority of recipes out there can be converted to a crock pot/slow cooker recipe. The easiest to convert are going to be soups, stews, casseroles, and chilies.

In most recipes that you convert you will want to reduce the amount of liquid that you use since the slow cooker holds in moisture. The only time you will want to use the same amount of liquid that the original non-slow cooker recipe calls for is in the case of recipes that have rice, beans, or pasta in them.

To convert the amount of time that your recipe will need to cook in the crock pot follow the following times:

Oven/Stovetop Cook Time from orig. recipe Cooking on Low Time Conversion Cooking on High Time Conversion
15-30 min. 4-6 hours 1.5 - 2.5 hours
35-45 min. 6-8 hours 3 - 4 hours
50 min. to 3 hours 8-16 hours 4 - 6 hours

If cooking raw meats, you will want to cook until your kitchen thermometer reads the appropriate temperature for doneness when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. You can brown the meat before placing into the slow cooker, this helps to cut down on fats.

When cooking vegetables, keep in mind that in the crock pot/slow cooker they take longer to cook than meats. For your vegetables to cook evenly you will want them cut to about the same size and placed in the bottom of the cooker.

When converting recipes it make take a few times to get it just right as the liquid may need to be increased or decreased.

For more ideas on what to cook in your crock pot you should visit our blog 101 Recipes for the slow cooker.
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