Crockpot Tips I

Course : Crockpot
Serves: 1
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Preparation / Directions:

The crockpot is ideal for working people who must be away from home all day (or for those days when you must run errands or attend meetings, or for when you're entertaining and want to get the food preparation done early.) The food will simmer for 10 to 12 hours on Low if you must be gone all day or you may cook the food in 5 to 6 hours on High. If you are single, you can purchase a Crockpot as small as 1-quart size. It is a very simple appliance to operate and you will find that the cooked food is very tasty. If you a working person or one who knows they will have a very busy day, you can do most of the chopping and measuring the night before. Then refrigerate these ingredients until the next morning. If your crockpot has a REMOVABLE liner, you can assemble and refrigerate the food right in the liner which will be easy to pop in the crockpot the next a.m. Be sure you don't fill the crockpot so full that the food pushes up on the lid. The crockpot depends on the heat that builds up in the container itself. The lid must stay securely on the crockpot while it cooks. Resist the temptation to take a quick peek or stir frequently. Protect the crockery liner. Do not subject it to sudden temp. changes. Do not preheat the cooker and then add food. Do not pour cool water into the crockery liner while it is still hot after food has been removed. The crockpot is great for cooking less expensive cuts of meat such as beef chuck pot roasts, brisket, and pork shoulder roasts, because the long cooking at low heat tenderizes the meat. The low temp. also keeps the meat from shrinking as much as it does during other cooking methods. For recipes that call for small cuts of meat (especially recipes reduced to fit into 1 quart cookers), keep your eyes peeled for specials at the meat counter. When meat is on sale, it's usually sold in lg. pieces. Buy these cuts and divide them into smaller portions. Wrap individually, label and freeze for later use. Also be on the lookout for packed smaller cuts of meat. If your store offers only lg. roasts, ask the butcher to cut a 1 to 1 1/2 lb. piece for you. Freezing chicken pieces before cooking in the crockpot slows cooking of the chicken and assures tenderness without overcooking when the rest of the foods are

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