While slow cooking turns tougher, sinewy joints of meat (think beef shin, oxtail, pork shoulder) into tender morsels, lean cuts (chicken breast, pork fillet, fillet steak) cook down to tough leather. It’s better to leave these pieces of meat for frying or grilling.
A crockpot’s gentle heat means meat will never get a chance to brown, but it’s the golden colour from frying that gives it depth of flavour. If you don’t want your stew to taste bland, brown the meat first, then put it in the slow cooker.
Too much liquid
Slow cookers are excellent at retaining their moisture, so pouring in too much stock or water will mean your casserole tastes insipid. If you’re using a stew recipe that wasn’t written for the slow cooker (and please do – it’s a great idea!), reduce the liquid quantity by roughly half.
You can always top it up during the cooking time if it looks dry.
Delicate vegetables, Long cooking is great for softening hard root veg, but it's a brutal treatment for delicate vegetables like courgettes, asparagus and peas, and will render them mushy. Don’t add them to the slow cooker until near the end of the cooking time.
Too much spice
Resist temptation to get silly with the chillies – fiery ingredients become increasingly hotter the longer they’re cooked.Sprinkling them in with everything at the beginning is only for total spice fiends. For everyone else, it’s best to stir them in at the last minute.
Slow cookers are a great way to make the most of pulses, but don’t cook raw dried beans in them because you can make your diners ill.Lots of types of dried beans, especially kidney beans, contain a toxic substance that needs to be destroyed first by cooking them at a high temperature to make them safe to eat. Most crockpots cook too gently to do this, so briskly boil the beans first for 10min on the hob, drain, rinse, then add to your slow cooker.
Too much booze
As mentioned before, slow cookers don’t evaporate much liquid, so putting large glugs of wine or beer straight into to your crockpot is not a great idea. Alcohol needs to evaporate a little to taste appealing and not acrid, so try reducing it in a separate pan on the hob first.
Meat that has the skin on
Skin-on cuts of meat need the dry heat of roasting or grilling to crisp up. Cook them in a crockpot and you’ll end up picking unappetising, flubbery bits of skin out of your casserole.
Soft fresh herbs
Unless you’re using woody herbs like rosemary or thyme (and if you use these, use them sparingly as they’re potent), cooking soft herbs like basil or coriander for too long will obliterate their delightful fragrant properties.
Stir them in just before serving.
Seafood, Just like lean cuts of meat, fish and shellfish need to be cooked for a very short time or risk being destroyed. The only exceptions are squid and octopus, which can benefit from a slow braise to tenderise them to perfection.
Spesifikasi Idealife Slow Cooker 2.5L - IL-325
- Diameter: 26Cm
- Capacity: 2.5 Litre
- White Removeable inner ROUND ceramic Pot
- OFF/WARM/LOW/HIGH settings
- Red Power Indicator Light
- Tempered Clear Glass Lid
- Cool Touch Handles and Knobs
- Brushed stainless steel body
- Cord: 1.2m
- Lid and Ceramic Pot both Dishwasher Safe
- Wattage : 160Watt