January 5, 2022 | View PDF
As temperatures are dropping, it can be nice to come home to a home cooked meal that you put little effort into. This is where a slow cooker comes to the rescue. From dinners, desserts, breakfast, and more, the slow cooker can help you create delicious dishes that save you time to do other things throughout the day. Plus, some of your favorite recipes you bake in the oven or simmer on the stove might be able to be cooked in a slow cooker.
According to Siew Guan Lee, Susan Ettesvold, and Cammie Jayo, University of Idaho Extension in their article, "Slow Cooking from Start to Finish" (2020), they have suggested time conversions for these recipes. Such as if the recipe takes 15-30 minutes in the oven or on the stovetop, it might take 4-6 hours on a low setting or 1.5-2 hours on a high setting for your slow cooker. For 35-45 minutes in the oven or on the stovetop, it might take 6-10 hours on a low setting or 3-4 hours on a high setting. Then for 50 minutes-3 hours in the oven or on the stovetop, it might take 8-16 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. As noted by Guan Lee, Ettesvold, and Jayo (2020), these are estimated times and will vary depending on the brand of your slow cooker.
Another thing to note is if you are taking one of your favorite recipes and trying to make it in your slow cooker; according to Julie Garden-Robinson, and Kendra Otto for North Dakota State University Extension in Slow Cooker Meals! (2021): when slow cooking, recipes do not boil away, and for most cases, you can reduce liquids by a third to half, then for soups, this will not matter. Another suggestion from Garden-Robinson and Otto (2021), is when a recipe calls for pasta, add it near the end of the cooking process to help keep it from becoming mushy or cook it separately and add it just before you are ready to serve. Garden-Robinson and Otto (2021) also suggest waiting to add milk, cheese, and cream till an hour before you are ready to serve. One last suggestion from Guan Lee, Ettesvold, and Jayo (2020) is if your original non-slow cooker recipe does not have a liquid or sauce is to add half a cup of water to help create steam for the cooking process.
The slow cooker is more of a convenient, timesaving kitchen tool that is found in some households. However, even if you do not have a slow cooker at home, you can still use your other appliances to make the same dishes. So next time you are short on time and want to make one of your favorite recipes or try something new, reach for your slow cooker to help you save some time while making dinner.
For more information on slow cookers/soups or recipes, check out the Richland County Nutrition Coalition Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/1rcnc1, and the Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/1rcnc1.