Slow cookers, also known as crock pots, are designed to cook ingredients slowly during the day while people are away at work or pursuing their activites. Modern slowly cookers heat contents thoroughly, are safe, retain heat well, and come in a variety of sizes.

For safe and successful cooking

  • Always follow manufacturer's directions.
  • Never let food sit more than two hours before turning on the crock pot.
  • Keep the lid on. It can take 20 minutes to regain the heat lost from removing the lid. If the recipe calls for stirring or adding ingredients, replace the lids as soon as possible. 
  • Fill the crock pot at least half full and no more than two-thirds full.
  • Thaw frozen meats and vegetables before placing in the crock pot.
  • Place dense vegetables in crock pot first, such as carrots and potatoes, since they take longer than meats to cook.
  • Dry beans can be cooked in the crock pot by following these simple guidelines: Precook beans in the slow cooker overnight with just enough water to cover, then drain. Or 10 minutes and then drain. Place in the slow cooker with other ingredients, including fresh water. The water should cover the beans by about two inches.
  • Change cooking times depending on your schedule. One hour on HIGH generally equals two hours on LOW.
  • Add pasta at the end of the cooking process or it may become mushy. You may want to cook pasta seperatly and add it just before serving.

Adapting recipes

Most of your favorite recipes can be adapted to the slow cooker. Reduce the liquid when converting a non-slow cooker recipe. Use about half the liquid called for in the original recipe. Liquids will not "boil away" as in conventional cooking. You can always add more liquid later if needed. The only exception to this rule is for soups.

Slow cooking is “one step” cooking and many steps in the recipe can be deleted. Everything can usually go into the cooker at one time with the exception of some dairy products. Milk, cheese, and cream should be added one hour before serving. Most uncooked meat and vegetable combinations will require at least 8 hours of cooking on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH.

Time Chart for Adapting Recipes
If the recipe says:
Cook on LOW:
Cook on HIGH:
15-30 minutes
4-6 hours
1 1/2-2 hours
35-45 minutes
6-10 hours
3-4 hours
50 minutes to 3 hours
8-16 hours
4-6 hours

Featured Recipes

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Mix all ingredients together in slow cooker. Cookon LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5

hours. Serve hot with whole grain crackers or bread.

slow cooker

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

Chop onion and place in slow cooker.Place chicken breasts on top of onion.Pour the can of pineapple (juice and all) over the

chicken.Add the soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch.Cover and cook on high in the slow cooker for 4-5hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

 slow cooker