5 Tips for Slow Cooker Success

Campbell's Slow Cooker Success

I have had quite a few successes and failures when it comes to slow cookers. So much so that I realize I haven’t even shared a lot of my slow cooker recipes on this blog.

Well… that also may be because most of my slow cooker meals do NOT look pretty when plated. And I usually make them during the winter when I have zero light in the evenings when we eat them.

But I’ve come to realize that there’s an art to slow cooking. And when you get that down, most meals turn out amazingly well. Yes… most.

1. Make sure the size of your crock pot and the recipe you use match

One of my biggest problems is that my meat dries out or that I burn my dish because I don’t consider the size of my crock pot and what I’m putting inside it.

If you’re making chicken and only throw in two breasts, adjust the time you’re cooking it for if you have a large slow cooker.

Also, remember that you need to have enough liquid/sauce in there to cook up your meal.

Campbell's Slow Cooker Success brown meat

2. Brown your meat first

When I’m lazy I always skip this step but when I want an amazing slow cooker meal I try and brown my meat first. This helps give the meat more flavor and a better texture. And I’m all about textures.

If you’re serving picky eaters, this may help pursued them to try it. My son always refused pot roast when I made it in the slow cooker but gobbled it up when I made it in the oven. Now that I brown my pot roast he gobbles both up!

3. Adjust the temperature and set a timer

If you are using your slow cooker while away from home always make sure to use the programming feature on the newer models of slow cookers to change the temperature setting from high/low to warm.

If a dish only needs 7-8 hours and you’re away from home for 9+ hours you may come home to a mess and will end up ordering take out. Yes… I speak from experience!

Don’t have one of those new fancy programmable slow cookers? Just pick up a plug in outlet timer. These are great for your coffee makers, lights, and other plug in devices you don’t want on all the time.

Campbell's Slow Cooker Success roasted sides

4. Cook your veggies on the side

Unless you’re making a casserole type dish in the slow cooker, try to prepare your veggies in that last hour before you serve your slow cooker meal. That way you don’t have overcooked mush for veggies.

If you love to save time and are making rice in your rice cooker just throw your veggies in there to lessen the amount of dishes you do. When I make teriyaki chicken in the slow cooker I get my rice cooker going with brown rice and broccoli.

And if you do want to add veggies to your meal, prep them first! Saute and add in with about an hour to go so that they can fully cook in the meal but not get over cooked.

5. Resist temptation to open the lid while your meal is cooking

I know it’s hard but I’ve found that each peek you take will add an additional 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time.
If you do want to check in on your meal first look through the lid to see if you can spot any signs of the food drying out or needed more liquid.
And curb your urge to stir; it’s usually not necessary.

Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauces tavern style pot roast and veggies

Remember that slow cookers are a great tool in the kitchen! Not only are they awesome for weeknight suppers but they can also provide leftovers to be used in other meals. We love cooking up big batches of chicken on the weekend to use in enchiladas, tacos, casseroles and much more during the week.

You can also find great seasonings and sauces to go in your slow cooker now that make prep a breeze!

What are your tips for slow cooker success?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

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  1. I LOVE my slow cooker! Just used it last week to make pulled pork. I have not see these Campbells products yet. I will have to keep my eye out in the grocery store. Your dinner looks delicious!

  2. I love using my slow cooker but I haven’t seen these yet! I will definitely be trying them!

  3. I haven’t tried these mixes yet, but I use my slow cooker a lot. Looks delicious!

  4. I love, love, love my slow cooker! I try to use it at least once a week – my favorite thing to make is a simple whole chicken. I find that chicken can often be bland (you know – tastes like chicken!), but cooking it in the slow cooker bumps up the flavor quite a bit!

  5. My slow cooker is my best friend! Really great tips!

  6. Looks really good. With a large famiy and lots of children, this looks great for dinner.

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