The “one-pot wonder” has come a long way since its debut in 1971 – born from a redesign of a simple bean cooker. In fact, the experts over atAmerica’s Test Kitchen recently dedicated an episode to slow cooking, and one of Crock-Pot’s digital models won their “hands down favourite” title. And if you need convincing that slow cooking is nothing if not cool, Crock-Pot has its own app with hundreds of recipes right at your fingertips. If that’s not enough, film star Reese Witherspoon gushed about her own Crock-Pot during an appearance on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Food and entertaining expert Korey Kealey of www.foodthought.com(Follow them on twitter @Foodthought) works with the brand to develop recipes and promote the annual homage to slow cooking. At a recent event, she shared some tips:
Remove the lid and set to high for the last 15 to 20 minutes to simmer off any excess liquid.
Always cut vegetables the same size to ensure uniform cooking and place them on the bottom, under meat, as they take longer to cook.
Use fresh herbs, lemon zest or chopped green onions as a garnish to “brighten and freshen up” the dish.
The lid is glass so you can peak at the progress without releasing moisture. Kealey warns that every time you lift the lid, you add an extra 15 minutes to the cooking time
Use your slow cooker to both heat up and keep food warm (even dinner rolls) when the oven is busy: it can be especially handy when entertaining a crowd and Crock-Pot offers an insulated travel bag as well as a Cook & Carry model with locking lid so there’s no spills on the way and no need to commandeer your hosts’ oven upon arrival.
Kealey, a hockey mom, most often makes pulled pork in one of her many slow cookers for the team and their parents, but her favourite new recipe is Spicy Peanut Chicken, from Crock-Pot.ca, which she described as “so good and easy, easy, easy.” That’s our kind of endorsement!