How much time will you spend reading this article?

Too much? We’re all trying to save time in today’s busy world. Doing things faster is the name of the game!

But maybe we should be slowing down

It’s easy to forget, but there is value in patience. One way to rediscover that value in at least one part of your life is by using your slow cooker more! This awesome device is a great example of “good things come to those who wait.”

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your slow cooker!

  • Use the right cut of meat. You don’t need expensive cuts of meat to make a great slow cooked meal. The best meats to use are normally tough and sinewy cuts that will soften up after hours in the slow cooker. Try using shank, shoulder, rump or round.
  • Thaw out frozen items completely before adding to the cooker. This is important for food safety. If you don’t thaw out items they might not heat up to a safe (bacteria killing) temperature quickly enough.
  • Don’t overfill the pot. Food Network recommends filling between ½ and 2/3 full for the best possible results. And of course make sure that you have the right sized slow cooker for what you’re trying to make!
  • Try adding seasonings or juice at the very end of a sizzle. Waiting until your meal is just about done to add some seasonings can give it that extra kick it needs!
  • Don’t peek! Each time you crack your slow cooker’s lid you’re letting out valuable heat and potentially adding 15-20 minutes per peek!
  • Try using a lower setting when you cook. Though each recipe calls for something specific sometimes you can get a little more flavor by being patient and cooking at a cooler temperature
  • Trim the fat! Cut fat off your meat and remove the skin from chicken. This  will ensure a good cook and avoid oily residue.
  • Use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup! Megan from Great Groceries loves this quick tip. Using a liner will keep your cooker clean and make the entire process that much easier.

Okay, so what should I make with my new found slow cooker skills?

Here are some of our favorite slow cooker recipes from the Great Groceries archive!

Stop by your local Sparkle Market and pick up all of your slow cooker recipe needs!