There's nothing like opening the door to the enticing aroma of a hearty beef meal after a busy day. Slow cookers are absolute one-pot wonders – here's how to use one to create deliciously tender beef every time. Now that’s worth coming home to!

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.


Need more help? 

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Handy slow-cooking ingredients

Master recipe: the greatest slow-cooked beef

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