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Best Slow Cookers |

Best Slow Cookers

 

Most basic recipes call for cooks to place their raw food — meat, poultry, vegetables, and so on — in the ceramic bowl that sits in the body of the slow cooker. A liquid in the form of water, wine, stock, beer, or even juice is added to provide the food a moist environment for cooking.


While slow cookers vary in terms of minimum and maximum temperatures, generally, they reach a steady temperature between 174°F and 199°F for optimal cooking.

Recipes differ, but one thing is constant: all meat must be kept and reheated to a minimal internal temperature of 141°F to be considered safe to eat. The best way to determine whether your meat, poultry, or fish is cooked sufficiently is to use a temperature probe.

The good news is that a number of slow cookers come with a temperature probe that can be inserted into the food when you begin your prep. Using that safety net, you can set your cooker to a desired doneness that coordinates with a specific internal temperature. For example, a well-done roast will have an internal temperature of 160°F.

Slow cooker fare is not limited to the recipes designed specifically for this type of appliance. Almost any main meal recipe can be adapted for slow cooking as long as the principle of keeping moist ingredients in the ceramic bowl remains. And yes, you can even bake a cake in a slow cooker. Spray the bowl with oil, place your mixed ingredients in the ceramic vessel, cover, and cook on low heat for about three hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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