A handy chart for converting your favorite traditional recipes to crockpot meals.
Most traditional recipes can be converted to use in your crockpot, however, there are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind when going from stovetop to crockpot:
- Reduce the amount of liquid the recipe calls for by about half. The slow cooking process will produce more liquid that won’t get boiled away.
- If the recipe does not include liquid or sauce of any kind, you should add 1/2 cup of water because moisture is needed to produce steam for the slow cooker to reach the appropriate cooking temperatures.
- Browning the meat before adding to the slow cooker will enhance the flavor of the dish.
- If the recipe calls for vegetables, be sure to cut them into consistent size pieces and layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- More delicate vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, peas, and summer squash should be added towards the end of the cooking time.
- Recipes for soup and stew containing milk, cheese, or other dairy products, should have these ingredients added in the last 30 to 60 minutes of cooking time.
- To avoid rice and pasta from becoming sticky, cook them on the stovetop and add in at the end of the cooking time just long enough to be heated through.
- At the end of cooking, if there seems to be too much liquid, remove the lid and turn the pot up to high, allowing some of the water to cook out.
- If you’d like to thicken or enrich the sauce, stir in cream, sour cream, shredded cheese, or a mixture of cornstarch and cold water.
- Brighten up flavors with salt and pepper, lemon juice, or vinegar, and maybe a handful of fresh chopped parsley, basil, or cilantro.