Slow cookers are a family’s best cooking appliance that makes work easier. They are cheaper, efficient, and need little effort. You can let your dinner cook away for hours without close monitoring.
However, if you use such appliances in the wrong way, they can be dangerous. That is why you need to understand the ins and outs before using them to enhance the safety of your home. Below are the 10 Things To Know About Using A Slow Cooker:
1.What To Do In Case The Power Goes Out?
In case you are at home when the power goes out or the appliance is otherwise interrupted, you should resume cooking as soon as possible and allow the temperature to get back to where it left off. If necessary, put the food in an oven or a stove to complete the cooking. In case you come home and find that there is a power outage, you should throw away all the food in a slow cooker. Even if they seem cooked, you should throw them away to avoid the spread of food-borne illnesses.
In case you come home and find that there is a power outage, you should throw away all the food in a slow cooker. Even if they seem cooked, you should throw them away to avoid the spread of food-borne illnesses.
2.What To Do With The Leftovers
It is often the case that you cannot consume all the food, and there will be leftovers. You have to reheat or refrigerate all the food in the slow cooker within two hours. When you place the basin of your cooker into the fridge, you should allow it to warm to the ambient temperature before re-heating the container. This is to allow for uniform and gradual heating to protect possible damage to the container because of sudden expansion.
3.Can The Slow Cooker Be Left On The Whole Day?
Yes, You can leave the programmable slow cookers throughout the day because they use low-wattage. You can set them so that it can switch to warm when the food is ready and this means that the food will be okay even if the appliance is on throughout the day. However, it is advisable to use it when you are at home to enhance safety. Your presence is important in case something happens which needs your attention.
4.The Use Of The Warm Setting
This is an important aspect when it comes to the use of this appliance. You can always use the warm setting of the appliance to warm the cooked food. You should not use it to cook the raw food.
5.The Bean Rules
This is an important rule that every user of this device should know. It is advisable that when using a slow cooker to cook raw beans, soak them first for 12 hours before cooking. Alternatively, you can use the “quick soak” method by bringing the beans to a boil then cut the heat and let them sit for 1 hr.
This preparation is not to make the beans cook faster but to prevent the release of natural toxins to your food.
6.The Proper Cooking Of Raw Foods
The University of Minnesota recommends that before cooking meat, it is important to make sure that it is completely thawed before being added to the slow cooker. The frozen meat may not cook fast to obtain the proper temperatures. In addition, you should follow the basic kitchen rules such as washing hands properly and sanitizing the cooking and preparation surfaces. It is also recommended that you should preheat your slow cooker so as to speed up the cooking times.
7.Basic Slow Cooker Safety Rules
You should use it on a flat surface. Also be sure to locate the cooker away from the edge of the table or counter to prevent the possibility of accidents. Furthermore, place the cords and other accessible parts out-of-the-way of small kids. This is for safety purposes because a small mistake can cause burns!
8.Test The Temperature After Every Six Months
The design of such appliances is that they are able to cook at low temperatures so that you can leave the food unattended for some time. It must also be hot enough to make sure that the food cooks properly. You should keep checking the temperatures of your slow cooker after every six months. To test, fill the insert with two quarts of water and heat for about eight hours then insert the thermometer. The recommended temperature is 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
9.Check Regularly The Condition Of Your Slow Cooker (Cracks And Breaks)
You should check for cracks and breaks in the basin of your cooker. The cracks and breaks weaken the interior of the cooker. You should also be checking the frayed cords and if the plug is damaged, you should get rid of it.
10.Maintenance And Disposal Of Slow Cooker
You can wash most of the interior parts with a dishwasher. However, you should not submerge the heating element. Use a damp towel to wash the exterior of your cooker. You can dispose the broken parts of your slow cooker in the garbage or sell the parts to a recycling company.