Slow cooking

12 slow-cooker hacks to up your kitchen game

Who knew you could make porridge in your slow cooker?

By Charlotte Brouwer, 25 October 2016
12 slow-cooker hacks to up your kitchen game

Slow cookers are a lifesaver on busy weeknights as you can make soup, stews and chilli recipes, but they can also come in handy for porridge, lasagne or even gravy too.

You could also try cooking a delicious chicken stew or tasty sausage stew with one of our new easy-to-use kits.  

To help up your slow-cooking game, we've rounded up a range of handy tips and tricks.

1. Always trim your meat  

To avoid ending up with a thick layer of fat at the top in your slow cooker, trim your meats first to remove the fat before you cook it.

2. Get your cooker hot

If you're cooking meat, it's important to raise the temperature quickly to destroy harmful bacteria, so either bring the food to boiling point on the hob first or preheat the slow cooker before you put the meat in.

3. Opt for cheaper cuts of meat

Meat can be expensive, but tougher cuts such as oxtail, shin of beef or lamb shanks tend to be cheaper and are delicious when slow cooked!

4. Leave your stew alone

Fight any temptation to take the lid off your slow cooker or give it a stir, as it takes a while for the temperature to come back up afterwards, and unlike cooking on a hob, there won’t be any hot spots!

5. Always, always, always add dairy last

Add dairy products at the end of your cooking time to avoid any potential curdling fails. 

6. try new recipes

Remember a slow cooker isn’t just for dinner. Switch on your slow cooker overnight to enjoy a bowl of warming porridge for breakfast. You could also try making dessert - put cookie dough in your slow cooker and it will come out like half cake, half cookie and totally delicious. Serve with a dollop of ice cream.

7. Try cooking rice

Yes, you can cook rice in the slow cooker. Long grain or basmati tends to work better, and always rinse the rice first in cold water to make it less starchy. Cook on a low setting and check after 90 minutes. Instead of water, you could try cooking in stock and add flavourings like garlic, onion, spices and herbs to make your rice beautifully aromatic. 

8. Make your Mulled wine

Make your mulled wine in a slow cooker this year for ultimate flavour! Try our white mulled wine recipe.

9. Whip up some Gravy

You can use the broth from the slow cooker as gravy by just adding a cooked roux, flour or cornstarch mixture to thicken it.

10. Try making your own Lasagne

Layer uncooked lasagne sheets with filling and let your slow cooker do all the work! The slow cooker will also keep your lasagne warm throughout the meal, in case you want seconds.

11. Go two-thirds

Your meat needs room to cook, so only fill your slow cooker up halfway to two-thirds full.

12. Keep it clean

Get rid of stubborn stains easily with white vinegar and baking soda.

Tempted to invest in your own slow cooker now you've read all the ways you can use it? Pick up our George Home slow cooker online or in store.