A slow cooker is a great appliance for busy people because it essentially does the cooking while you are away. If you are new to slow cooker cooking or want to get re-acquainted with one you already have, then the following information is just for you!
10 Tips for Safe Slow Cooking
Make sure your slow cooker cooks safe food for you and your family. Use these simple rules to help prevent foodborne illness:
- Always start with a clean cooker, utensils and work area.
- Wash hands before and during food preparation, especially after handling raw meat and poultry.
- Refrigerate perishable foods until preparation time. You can chop meat and vegetables in advance, but they must be stored separately in covered containers in the refrigerator.
- Use only thawed meat or poultry.
- Do not place large pieces of meat or a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Instead, cut into small pieces. Otherwise, the food will cook so slowly that it could stay in the danger zone (for bacterial growth) too long.
- Fill the cooker between ½ and 2/3 full. Vegetables cook slower than meat or poultry so place them on the bottom, add the meat, then cover with liquid (broth or sauce).
- Don't peek! Every time you remove the lid, it can take 20 minutes to regain the lost heat.
- If you are not home during the entire slow-cooking process and the power goes out, throw out the food, even if it looks done!
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry dishes have reached a safe internal temperature.
- Store leftovers in shallow covered containers and refrigerate within two hours after cooking.
Easy Beef Stew
- 2 lb. stew meat
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1 - 14.5oz. can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 ½ c. water 1 onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 - 6 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 - 4 potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 - 14.5 oz. can green beans
- 1 - 14.5 oz. can corn