Slow cookers are one of the best ways to cook delicious, cheap, and easy meals. But you need to make sure that you keep an eye on food safety, or you could end up with more than you bargained for! Here are our six top tips on how to keep your crock pot creating great food with no fuss and completely food safety:
Slow cooker food safety tips:
1. Defrost all meat properly
Meat that hasn’t defrosted properly will definitely not cook properly, leaving uncooked meat in the middle. Depending on the meat, this could give you a variety of sicknesses – and that is not what you want to be feeding yourself, your family or your friends.
2. Prepare meat and vegetables separately
You want to avoid any sort of contamination that could occur, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to use different chopping boards for vegetables and meat. This will keep any uncooked meat juices out of your crock pot, keeping it clean and safe for you to use.
3. Cut meat into small pieces
The beauty of a crock pot is that it almost doesn’t look like your meat is cooking at all – but that’s the genius. However, if you put huge chucks of meat into a slow cooker, there simply won’t be enough time for the meat to cook properly.
4. Refrigerate leftovers
Many people love slow cookers because of the plentiful leftovers that you will always end up, providing you with easy meals to follow. But those meals will become breeding grounds for bacteria if you leave it sitting in your slow cooker. As soon as you know you’re not going to eat it, put it in a Tupperware, leave it to cool, and then put it in the fridge.
5. Don’t keep food if you lose power
Sadly, if you return home looking forward to the taste of a home cooked meal with none of the hassle, but find that at some point during the day you lost power, there’s nothing for it. You don’t know how much time the bacteria has had to grow in your slow cooker, and so you’ll have to throw the food out.
6. Clean your slow cooker after every use
The last thing you want is to discover moldy ends of meals at the bottom of your slow cooker, so after each and every meal, clean out your slow cooker properly in hot water. And voila! Safe slow cooking.