How to use a Crockpot

How to Use a Slow Cooker

Four Parts:

A slow cooker is an electronic pot that cooks food at a low temperature for a long period of time. They are also referred to as "crock pots," which is a popular brand name for a slow cooker. Food sits in the slow cooker for between 4 and 12 hours at temperatures between 175 and 280 degrees Fahrenheit (79 to 82 degrees Celsius). Learn how to use a crock pot.


Prepare Your Kitchen

  1. Remove your crock pot from the package.Wash the interior ceramic section and the top glass portion with dish soap and warm water.
  2. Clear a space on your counter.Your slow cooker emits heat, so safety is a priority. Make sure there is plenty of room on all sides, including the top, to vent off the heat for the duration of cooking.
    • You can store your clean slow cooker in a cupboard when it is unplugged. If you choose to do this, you should clear space every time you remove it for use.
  3. Choose a slow cooker that has a "warm" setting, if you plan to leave it to cook when you are not home.Older crock pots may not automatically use this setting after the time is finished.
  4. Read your slow cooker instruction manual.Different brands of slow cooker have slightly different settings and cleaning instructions.
  5. Find a recipe to use in your slow cooker.
    • Find a recipe that is made for a slow cooker. You can find cookbooks or online recipes that list the heat and cooking times along with the correct amount of ingredients. Keep in mind, that you should plan to fill at least half of your crock pot in order for slow cooking times to be correct for the recipe. If you have a very large or small slow cooker, you may want to change the portions. Most recipes are intended for 5 to 6 qt. (4.7 to 5.7l) slow cookers.
    • Find a normal recipe intended for dry heat and adjust it for a slow cooker. In order to properly adjust it, you will want to cut the liquid ingredients by 1/2, because liquid does not escape from the pot. You should also place things that are roasted or baked on high heat on the "high" setting and things roasted or baked on lower heats on the "low" setting. You will need to experiment with cooking times, but cook recipes for at least 4 to 6 hours.

Prepare Ingredients for Slow Cooking

  1. Prepare your ingredients the night before, if you want to cook the meal during a work day.You can chop vegetables or meat and make sauce the night before. This will allow you to pour the ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and set the temperature to cook all day.
  2. Cut vegetables into larger pieces, if your recipe calls for you to cook it for more than 6 hours on a low setting.If you want smaller pieces that are firmer, add the vegetables later in the cooking time.
  3. Brown your meat before placing it in the crock pot.Placing your meat in a hot pan with a little olive oil to brown all the sides will seal the juices inside, creating a richer flavor.
    • This is true with large roasts and diced meats. Ensure you cook it quickly and turn it on all sides.
  4. Heat the sauce before placing it in the slow cooker.This will shorten the cook time and ensure the sauce is mixed properly.
    • If you prepared your ingredients the night before, pre-mix the sauce and place it in the microwave for a minute before placing it in the slow cooker.
  5. Use fattier cuts of meat in a crock pot.
    • Pork shoulder and chicken thighs are cheaper than breasts and chops. The long, slow cook time allows the fat to be released into the meat, making it just as tasty as more expensive cuts.
    • Buying more marbled cuts of meat will also keep your meat dishes from drying out.
  6. Reduce the amount of herbs and spices you use.The long cooking times will make strong spices stronger. This is especially important if you are adjusting a regular recipe for use in a slow cooker.

Crock Pot Cooking Tips

  1. Use the crock pot to keep sauces, soups and appetizers warm for parties.Place the cooker on the low setting to keep the temperature steady while people are opening it frequently.
  2. Use trial and error with recipes.Start with the recommended cooking times and adjust later.
  3. Place the crock pot on the "warm" setting if it is done cooking, but you are not ready to serve.
  4. Resist the urge to open the crock pot during cooking.Opening it before the last 30 minutes of cooking will let the heat escape and increase the cook time.
    • Some experts also believe that opening the lid when cooking meat will allow bacteria to enter your kitchen. Since the crock pot keeps low heats, food, like chicken, pork or fish, that has not yet achieved a high enough heat to kill bacteria can spread bacteria on utensils, counters and floors.
  5. Unplug the crock pot after using.Allow the crock pot to cool down completely before cleaning.

Cleaning your Crock Pot

  1. Remove leftover food from your crock pot.It is recommended that you store it in a smaller Tupperware container, so that you can clean food off the crock pot just after it cools down.
    • If your crock pot has a removable stoneware container, remove it from the heating portion to cool. Place it on a stove top.
    • If you cannot remove the inner portion of the crock pot, you must make sure the device is unplugged and cooled completely before cleaning with water.
  2. Clean with warm soap and water.Crock pots should be fairly easy to clean. If there is baked on food, allow it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes in warm soapy water.
    • Removable stoneware containers can also be cleaned in the dishwasher.
    • If you have repeated problems with hard to remove food, you may be cooking the ingredients for too long.
    • Do not use scouring pads to clean the crock pot, or it may damage the surface.
  3. Wipe the heating base with a soft cloth dipped in warm, soapy water.Wipe dry.
  4. Remove water spots with vinegar.Wipe dry after cleaning to reduce the likelihood of spots.
  5. Finished.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Do I need to put water in the outer container of a slow cooker?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, do not put water or anything in outer part. Your slow cooker usually comes with an inner "pot" to cook in. That's where you put your liquid.
  • Question
    Do I put cold water in pot with chopped veggies and minced meat, then start the slow cooker?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
  • Question
    The cooker is almost full. Is that all right?
    Community Answer
    Yes. It will cook down.
  • Question
    Can you heat already cooked meat in a slow cooker?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
  • Question
    How long does it take the cooker to start simmering on high heat?
    Community Answer
    About 2 hours.
  • Question
    Do I need to set a timer for a Go Wise USA slow cooker?
    Community Answer
    No. Just put it on slow cook or fast cook.
  • Question
    Do you need to add water to the heating pan?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, you should always add some type of liquid to cook in a crock pot to aid in the cooking process and help the food stay moist.
  • Question
    Is it best to use a cooking spray at the bottom of a slow cooker?
    Community Answer
  • Question
    How long does it take to prime a new slow cooker?
    Community Answer
    It takes about 3 times of use.
  • Question
    I have a slow cooker. Am I supposed to use both liners?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You only need to use one cooking liner for the inner part of your slow cooker. If the item you're cooking is very heavy and you're worried it might tear, you can use two, but it's not necessary.
Unanswered Questions
  • How long do I leave a ham in a slow cooker?
  • Why does my pot leak water underneath while cooking food?
  • Can I reheat my stew?
  • How to heat a cooked ham in slow cooker?
  • Should I put water in the bottom of my slow cooker?
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Quick Summary

To use a crock pot for slow cooking, find a slow cooker recipe and prepare your ingredients ahead of time. On the day that you want to use the crock pot, place the ingredients in the pot. If you’re using vegetables, cut them a little larger, and brown meat before placing it in the pot. Plug in the crock pot and select a cook time, such as 4, 6 or 8 hours. If the crock pot is finished cooking before you’re ready to eat, put it on the “warm” setting to keep the food warm in the meantime!

Did this summary help you?


  • Do not cook frozen meat in your crock pot. These meats are unlikely to heat past 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Meats between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (4 and 60 degrees Celsius) carry harmful food-borne bacteria.
  • Do not clean a warm lid or stoneware crock pot container with cold water if it is hot. It cannot handle large changes in temperature.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Instruction manual
  • Large vegetable pieces
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Frying pan for browning
  • Slow cooker recipes
  • Soft cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwasher

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Date: 10.12.2018, 13:48 / Views: 75562