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Slow cooker - help needed please


Loves living in the sun
hi everyone

I have just bought a slow cooker - been wanting one for ages and have my first dinner in cooking!

I've taken a few recipes from this website and mostly they seem to say put everything in at the start.

However, reading the instructions for the sc it says when using tinned beans/tomatoes you put in about an hour before cooking finishes.

So have left out my tin of toms from my casserole.

Does anyone else do this? Would it matter if they went in with all the rest of the food at the start? Does it make any difference?
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Nope not me, for me the beans/tomatoes would be most of the liquid part of the recipe and i always put them in at the start.

The only things I tend to add towards the end are some softer type veggies, like mushrooms, peppers, courgettes as I think these would disintegrate into nothing in comparison to potatoes, carrots, swede etc.


Loves living in the sun
Thanks for that, will put my toms in to start with. Didn't think about mushrooms, they went in at the start, so could be non-existant by the time its finished!
I only add stuff later if its possible (mainly if I'm using the cooker at the weekend) If I'm at work all day, it all goes in anyway, you tend to lose the veggies to mush, but it still tastes good and counts towards your superfree.

When I use it when at work I dont bother browning the meet either - some think this is important, but I dont find it necessary. I just chop up everthing I need the night before, make whatever sauce I'm using then keep it in the fridge til the next day when I bung it in the cooker and switch on. The point is its supposed to make it easier to cook food while you are out at work all day - there's no way I'm getting out the frying pan at 7 oclock in the morning!


Loves living in the sun
Thanks everyone.

Well my first slow cooker meal turned out lovely, even putting the can of tomatoes in later (in future will be putting them in with everything else).

Meat was much more tender than normal.

Next up might be a whole chicken!
When I cook a chicken in the slow cooker, I put in a couple of carrots cut into big chunks to balance the chicken on, then I add just enough boiling water to cover the base of the cooker to a depth of about a quarter of an inch. All the juices from the chicken drip into the water, and when the chicken is cooked I chill the juices, take the fat off the top, and it makes a lovely gravy.

When I cook my other favourite slow cooker dish, which is sliced leeks, butternut squash cut into chunks, and boneless skinless chicken thighs, I also add just a tiny amount of boiling water at the bottom of the dish. I find this stops things sticking at the bottom. The vegetables make a lot of their own juice, and I don't like things to be too wet.

Also, I don't add any stock cubes or concentrate when I use the slow cooker as I find that the cooking process makes the taste too concentrated. But that's a matter of personal taste.


Loves living in the sun
Just to keep you updated on the slow cooker ...

Have now cooked 2 casseroles, really enjoyed both and so easy to do.

Chicken, oh my god, wow! Thanks for all your advice. Put it on scrunched up foil and put a small amount of water in the bottom and then stuffed chicken with some lemon (not a whole one as they are huge out here), salt and peppered and sprayed fry light over it and put it on low for 8 1/2 hours.

The apartment smelt wonderful all day, the chicken came out falling apart (literally) and I was surprised it was brown, was expecting it to come out white. OK not as brown as if you had roasted in oven, but a very pleasant pale brown (so it wasn't enemic!).

The taste was absolutely lovely, very moist and delicious.

Why I didn't buy a slow cooker years ago I don't know, but I am glad I have one now (best early Christmas present!).

Thanks to everyone for the advice and the tips I've picked up on here and the recipes (have lots to try out). My slow cooker will be one gadget in the kitchen that will be used to its maximum.
A big thank you to those who recommended cooking chicken in a slow cooker. We did this at the weekend & it was delicous, the smell was amazing. I'm now wondering if I can cook my christmas turkey in there (it's big enough), how yummy will that be!

I've tried cooking a cake in the slow cooker, which worked well & stews, casseroles etc but never before cooked chicken.

Avisk I like the idea of placing carrots underneath, think I'll try that next time.

Happy cooking, and eating:D
I must admit I've never tried to cook a chicken in my slow-cooker. I love braising steak and also a joint of beef, its so much better than in the oven. The meat doesn't dry out.

My slow-cooker was a present from my MIL. Its the best thing she's ever bought me.
Mmm, my mouth is watering!! I ordered a slow cooker the other day, and can't wait to try out the chicken! One question I have though is this....do you remove the skin of the chicken before or after cooking? Not sure I could resist the skin once it's all cooked and yummy, lol! Then again, I presume leaving the skin on whilst cooking is what would keep it moist....any advice would be fab! Thanks xx

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