Whether it’s a busy day or wanting to have a meal ready when we return from church, crockpots are often the answer.  Today, we would like to help you get the most from your crockpot.  We’ll give you a few tips and a handy time chart that will help you convert your conventional recipes to the crockpot.

Crockpot Tips

1. Soak beans overnight before cooking in the crockpot.  Do not add salt, sugar, or tomatoes until the beans are cooked.  (Salt and acidic foods tend to toughen beans and make them hard to cook.)
2. For extra flavor and less fat, brown meats before adding them to the crockpot.  Always brown hamburger first.
3. Root vegetables like potatoes and carrots take longer to cook.  Cut them into smaller pieces and place them on the bottom of the pot where it is hottest.
4. Herbs and spices tend to weaken in flavor over long cooking times.  Add them at the end.  Taste and adjust the amount as needed.
5. At the lower temperatures of the crockpot, it takes less liquid.  Try cutting the liquid in half.
6. Try cooking the pasta or rice separately and add to the crockpot just before serving.
7. Dairy products tend to break down over long cooking times.  Add them at the end.  Consider using dried milk when you can.

A Time Guide for Converting Conventional Recipes to the Crockpot

If the conventional recipe calls for 30 minutes on medium heat:
• Cook in the crockpot for four to six hours at low heat
• Cook in the crockpot for 1 1/2 to two hours at high heat

If the conventional recipe calls for 45 minutes on medium heat:
• Cook in the crockpot for six to ten hours at low heat
• Cook in the crockpot for three to four hours at high heat

If the conventional recipe calls for 60 minutes on medium heat:
• Cook in the crockpot for eight to ten hours at low heat
• Cook in the crockpot for four to six hours at high heat

See the printable version.

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