Slow cooking is a great way to prepare tasty meals with minimal effort. All you need is a slow cooker like the Farberware Programmable Slow Cooker and you can come home to a hot, ready-to-eat dinner. Slow cookers utilize low heat over a long period of time to tenderize meats and meld flavors. Follow these tips and techniques to get the most out of slow cooking on your Farberware slow cooker.
Benefits of Slow Cooking
There are many benefits to using a slow cooker for meals:
- Convenience – Just throw in ingredients in the morning and dinner cooks itself. No need to slave over the stove after a long day.
- Tender, juicy meat – The low heat over many hours makes meats incredibly tender.
- Deep flavor – Slow cooking gives time for flavors to develop and meld.
- Nutritious – Cooking at lower temperatures preserves nutrients better than high-heat methods.
- Energy efficient – Slow cookers use less energy than an oven or stovetop.
- Safe – The enclosed heat minimizes burns and spills.
- Versatile – Most recipes can be adapted for the slow cooker.
With the Farberware Programmable Slow Cooker, you get all these benefits in an affordable and easy-to-use appliance.
Choosing the Right Slow Cooker
When selecting a slow cooker, there are a few key features to look for:
- Programmable Timer – Allows you to set cooking times.
- Multiple Heat Settings – Low, high, and warm settings provide flexibility.
- Auto Shut-Off – For safety when cooking is done.
- Dishwasher-Safe Removable Insert – For easy cleanup.
- Oval or Round Shape – The shape depends on your cooking needs.
- Lid Lock – Prevents spills when transporting.
- Clear Lid – To monitor cooking progress.
The Farberware Programmable Slow Cooker has all of these useful features. With a 6-quart capacity, it can cook for groups and families. The programmable timer allows you to customize the cooking time from 30 minutes up to 10 hours. It has an auto shut-off for safety when cooking is complete. The lid locks for easy transport to potlucks or parties. With low, high and keep warm settings, it provides flexibility for all types of recipes.
Prep Your Ingredients
Proper prep is key for delicious slow cooker meals. Here are some tips:
- Cut meat and vegetables into uniform pieces for even cooking.
- Brown or sear meats first for better flavor.
- Deglaze the pan after searing to scrape up browned bits.
- Soak dried beans before cooking.
- Add tender vegetables near the end to avoid overcooking.
- Cut root vegetables slightly smaller since they cook slower.
Take a little time up front to prep and you will get tastier results.
Slow Cooking Tips
Follow these handy guidelines when using your Farberware slow cooker:
- Don’t lift the lid unnecessarily – Escaping steam will increase cooking time.
- Fill 1/2 to 3/4 full for best results.
- Add enough liquid like broth, tomatoes or water.
- Layer ingredients with denser items on bottom.
- Use the low setting for 8+ hours, high for 4-6 hours.
- Stir and taste periodically, adjust seasonings.
- Add dairy products near the end.
- Allow natural pressure release before removing lid.
By mastering these simple techniques, you will become an expert slow cooker chef.
Cleaning Your Farberware Slow Cooker
Regular cleaning keeps your slow cooker in tip-top condition.
- Unplug and allow to cool fully before cleaning.
- Remove the lid and stoneware insert.
- Wash with warm soapy water, do not immerse base in water.
- Avoid using abrasive scouring pads or cleaners.
- If food is stuck on, soak for 20 minutes before scrubbing.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly.
The stoneware insert can also go in the dishwasher for cleaning convenience. Wipe down exterior with a damp cloth. Proper cleaning removes bacteria and keeps your cooker looking brand new.
Slow Cooker Troubleshooting
Occasionally an issue pops up when using a slow cooker. Here are some common problems and solutions:
|Food is undercooked||Did not cook on low long enough. Next time cook 1-2 hrs longer.|
|Food is overcooked or burned||Cooked too long. Use less time next attempt.|
|Too much liquid||Next time use less liquid or thicken with cornstarch at end.|
|Not enough liquid||Check liquid level sooner and add more if needed.|
|Inconsistent cooking||Cut food same size and layer ingredients evenly.|
|Vegetables overcooked||Add more delicate veggies later in cycle.|
With some trial and error, you can adjust cooking times and ingredients to make perfect slow cooker meals every time.
10 Amazing Farberware Slow Cooker Recipes
Your Farberware Programmable Slow Cooker can make a wide variety of delicious dishes. Here are 10 great recipes to try:
1. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This flavorful Mexican-inspired chicken soup loaded with vegetables, beans and tortillas is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning for dinner ready at 6 p.m.
2. Rustic Beef Stew
Fall apart tender beef and potatoes in a rich sauce. An easy meal that cooks itself all day long.
3. Balsamic Pork Roast
Pork shoulder roast gets infused with flavor from apple cider, brown sugar and balsamic for a tangy sweet dish. Easy and elegant.
4. Chili Con Carne
Ground beef and beans simmered in a tomato-based sauce with the perfect blend of spices. Top with shredded cheese, onions and sour cream.
5. Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Exotic Moroccan spices like cumin, turmeric and gingerflavor this savory chicken dish with apricots and chickpeas.
6. Hawaiian Pulled Pork
Pork roast is infused with pineapple, brown sugar and spices then shredded for tasty sandwiches.
7. Teriyaki Beef Tips
Tender strips of beef and mushrooms cook up with a sweet teriyaki glaze. Delicious served over rice.
8. Vegetable Pot Pie
A medley of vegetables in a rich creamy sauce topped with flaky puff pastry for a comforting cool weather meal.
9. Pesto Chicken Lasagna
Layers of cheesy goodness with pesto, tomatoes and spinach for an easy crowd-pleasing casserole.
10. Classic Pot Roast
Melt in your mouth beef pot roast and vegetables in gravy. An old-fashioned comfort food favorite.
Common Slow Cooker Mistakes
When first starting out with a slow cooker, there are some typical mistakes to avoid:
- Not browning or searing meat – This adds great flavor.
- Not adding enough liquid – Food can burn or dry out.
- Not prepping veggies correctly – Cut uniformly for even cooking.
- Overcrowding – Allows proper airflow for even heating.
- Lifting the lid frequently – Escaping steam will increase cooking time.
- Forgetting to add dairy at end – Prevent curdling.
- Letting food cool in cooker – Transfers heat to keep food safe.
With experience, you will learn how to avoid these common mistakes and cook like a pro.
The Farberware Programmable Slow Cooker is a handy appliance that makes cooking wholesome dinners easy. With programmable controls, appropriate prep and layering, and proper cooking time, you can create amazing stews, roasts, soups and other dishes with minimal hands-on effort. Avoid common mistakes and turn out delicious meals every time. Experiment with different recipes and soon the slow cooker will become one of your favorite kitchen tools. Happy and hassle-free slow cooking!