The Bella slow cooker is a popular kitchen appliance that allows you to cook foods slowly over a long period of time. This method of “low and slow” cooking tenderizes meats and marries flavors. The Bella slow cooker has multiple temperature settings to accommodate different recipes and cooking times. One of the key settings on the Bella slow cooker is the “high” setting.
What Does the High Setting Mean?
The high setting on the Bella slow cooker cooks food faster than the lower settings. When set to high, the slow cooker reaches temperatures between 200°F and 300°F. This allows food to cook up to twice as fast as on the low setting.
The high setting brings liquids to a simmer and allows meat and veggies to cook through within 4-6 hours. It’s ideal for cooking recipes with a shorter cook time like soups, curries, and chili. The high heat helps break down fibers in tougher, cheaper cuts of meat. It also extracts more flavor from aromatics like onions, garlic, and spices.
When to Use the High Setting
Here are some tips on when to use the high setting on your Bella slow cooker:
- Recipes with a cook time of 4-6 hours – The high setting works well when you need dinner ready faster. Choose it for recipes like pot roasts, beans, and bone-in chicken pieces.
- Quick-cooking cuts of meat – Tender meats like chicken breasts, pork chops, shrimp and fish fillets cook faster. The high setting prevents overcooking.
- Stews and chilis with lots of liquid – The high heat keeps broth bubbling for more concentrated flavor.
- Dried beans – The high temperature softens beans faster before lowering the heat.
- Making dips and fondues – The high setting gets cheese sauces silky smooth.
Potential Drawbacks of High
While the high setting has benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Can overcook some foods – Delicate seafood, dairy-based dishes and some vegetables cook quickly. They may overcook on high if left unattended.
- Requires monitoring – Food at a simmer needs the occasional stir and taste check.
- Can burn some ingredients – High heat and evaporation may cause food to stick and burn.
- Uses more electricity – Maintaining higher heat for hours uses more energy.
To prevent food from scorching or drying out on the high setting, check it occasionally and add extra liquid if needed. Also avoid lifting the lid frequently, which releases heat and moisture.
How to Use the High Setting Successfully
Follow these tips to safely use the high setting and achieve delicious results:
- Sauté aromatics first – Browning onions, garlic, spices in oil builds flavor.
- Cut food uniformly – Even sizes result in even cooking.
- Layer firmer ingredients at bottom – Place veggies and potatoes under meat to prevent burning.
- Add enough liquid – Use at least 1 cup for 4-6 hour recipes to prevent drying.
- Stir and check doneness – Taste test dishes and adjust seasoning.
- Allow natural release – Don’t quick release pressure after cooking to prevent spattering.
Ideal Foods for High
The high heat of the Bella slow cooker works well for many heartier ingredients including:
- Less tender cuts of beef – Chuck roast, beef brisket, short ribs
- Pork – Shoulder, ribs, sausage
- Chicken – Drumsticks, thighs, wings, whole bird
- Plant-based proteins – Chickpeas, lentils, beans, soy curls, seitan
- Hard squashes – Butternut, acorn, pumpkin
- Root vegetables – Potatoes, carrots, parsnips
When cooking these foods on high, add extra liquid and monitor doneness with a thermometer for best results.
High Setting Timing Chart
Use this chart as a guide when converting traditional cook times to the Bella slow cooker’s high setting:
|Food||Oven/Stovetop Time||Bella Slow Cooker Time (High)|
|Chicken pieces||45-60 minutes||4-6 hours|
|Pork chops||30 minutes||2-4 hours|
|Stew meat||2-3 hours||4-6 hours|
|Dry beans||2-3 hours||4-6 hours (after soaking)|
|Soup or chili||30-45 minutes||4 hours|
As you can see, the high setting significantly decreases traditional cook times. Monitor food closely and adjust timing as needed based on the specific recipe and quantity.
The high setting on the Bella slow cooker runs between 200°F-300°F to cook foods faster than the low setting. It’s ideal for recipes that need 4-6 hours of cooking time. While high heat has benefits like quick cooking and intense flavor, it also requires monitoring to prevent overcooking. With some tried and true tips, you can use the high setting successfully for many heartier meats, beans and veggies. Adjust traditional cook times and keep an eye on food to make the most of the Bella’s high setting.