What you need to know
Top slow-cooker tips
- Brown beef in small batches over moderately high heat before slow-cooking to intensify the flavour of your dish.
- Fill slow cooker with your ingredients to half way and no more than ¾ capacity. Too full, the meal won’t cook properly; not full enough, and the dish may overcook.
- Ensure the liquid doesn’t cover the food completely as steam during cooking will add to the liquid.
- Cook on high setting for 4–5 hours, occasionally stirring if you can for good flavour distribution.
- Heading out for the day? Cook on low setting for 8–10 hours.
- Keep the lid on during cooking to maintain temperature.
How to adapt your favourite beef recipes
1. Find a similar recipe
Slow cookers usually come with a recipe booklet. Find a similar recipe to the one you want to adapt and use it as a guide.
2. Check your ingredient quantities
Smaller-size slow cookers take a recipe for 4–6 people. You may need to double your ingredients for larger ones.
3. Fill your slow cooker correctly
Your ingredients should reach half way and no more than ¾ capacity.
4. Check your liquid quantity
There's little evaporation using a slow cooker, so you may need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe. Use flour or cornflour to thicken if necessary. Too much liquid after cooking? Remove the lid and cook on the high setting for a further 30–40 minutes.
5. Convert your cooking time
As a guide, 1 hour of simmering on the cooktop or in the oven equates to about 5–6 hours on low or 2–2½ hours on high in a slow cooker.
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