How To Cook Gammon Joint In Slow Cooker? Learn More!

Can You Cook Gammon Joint Using Slow Cooker?

As most people know, gammon is a cured and smoked ham used primarily for cooking. The good news is that if you are going to cook gammon, the process is pretty easy.

In fact, the easiest way to cook a gammon joint is in a slow cooker. That’s all there is to it. We all love Gammon Joint.

And we all love a good piece of gammon meat. But it is often difficult to find the right recipe to produce a good-quality joint.

You can cook gammon in a slow cooker. You must wrap the joint in foil and then cook it on the low setting for 4 hours.

Gammon joint can be cooked in a slow cooker, but remember that this cut of meat is very lean so great care needs to be taken when cooking it.

Cooking your gammon joint in a slow cooker is quite easy and will make your gammon joint taste so much better.

Can you cook gammon joint in a slow cooker? You can bake gammon joint and vegetables in a slow cooker.

Remove the gammon joint from the packet and season it. Place gammon joint, vegetables and stock into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

I’ve got several family recipes for you that you can follow at home, which can be cooked in your slow cooker. But let’s tackle first what exactly is gammon joint.

What is Gammon Joint?

Gammon joint is a dish that’s typical to the British Isles, and some people like to prepare it as a part of their Sunday family meal.

It is a very easy dish to prepare, and it looks like a large ham, with the same shape and colour. The dish is made from the thigh portion of a pig, and some people use the shoulder which is the same as a gammon joint.

Gammon meat is a cured ham from the hind leg of a pig. It is more closely related to bacon than to the other types of ham. It is made by curing the meat with salt, nitrates, and sugar.

The curing process also adds flavour, colour, and texture.

Ways to Cook Gammon Joint in a Slow Cooker

Slow cooking meat is a great way to make meals that are healthy, tasty, and relatively inexpensive. We’ve had a few requests recently to share how to make gammon joint in the slow cooking process, so here’s a few delicious recipe and friendly recipe to get you started.

Slow Cooker Gammon In Apple Juice

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • Regular size gammon joint
  • 1 onion,
  • Chopped 2 apples,
  • cored and chopped
  • 4 tbsps. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Cups Apple juice (sweet apple juice)

Cooking Time:

1. Preheated oven to 200 degrees C. Then heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and brown the gammon joint all over. Transfer to the slow cooker.

2. Fry the onion in the pan for 5 minutes until soft, then transfer to the slow cooker.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Place it in a large casserole dish.

4. Pour over the apple juice, stir well and cover with a lid or tinfoil, making sure there are a few holes poked in the top. 

5. Cook for 4-6 hours on the lowest possible temperature. Then serve!

Slow Cooker Gammon In Coke

Cook your gammon in Diet coke to give it a tender, crispy texture. Make sure to use proper coke flavor.


  • A can of diet coke (147g/5oz) or sugary coke
  • 175-200g uncooked gammon meat
  • Chopped Onions
  • Brown sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Beef stock
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Cooking Time:

1. In a large slow cooker place ham, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, stock, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, mustard powder, and sugar. Add all the ingredients.

2. Pour 500ml of Coca-Cola into a slow cooker. Place the lid on and set to low for 3-4 hours. Then serve!

How Can You Tell if Gammon is Cooked?

Gammon is a pig that is usually sold as part of a joint of bacon, but is also used in a wide variety of dishes including casseroles, stews, and roasts.

When gammon is cooked:

  • It becomes very soft and is often eaten in slices with some form of sauce, like gravy, horseradish, or tomato sauce.
  • A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 155 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
  • When the gammon is cooked, the texture will be slightly moist and flaky.
  • The best way to tell if gammon is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The meat thermometer should read 71 degrees Celsius in the middle of the joint.

Benefits of using slow cooker to cook gammon joint

A slow cooker is a type of electric countertop cooking appliance, and it’s often referred to as a crock pot. It is used for stewing, particularly meat stews, and it is widely used in homes in the United States.

If you’re looking for a cheap, flavoursome, and easy on the pocket meal, then a slow cooker is the perfect way to get it done.

Here are common benefits of using slow cooker:

1. Offers tender meat

The main benefit of slow cooking gammon joint is that it offers tender succulent meat with the absence of fat. Slow cooking gammon joint requires very little preparation and is an ideal method of cooking for those who cannot stand the sight of blood.

2. Flavour retention

Slow cookers help retain all their juices and natural flavours by using a low temperature and an airtight environment. 

Healthy foods like vegetables and lean meat are cooked over a long period without losing flavour.

3. Healthy cooking

Slow cookers are a great tool for healthy eating. The slow cooker is a healthy cooker that does not require adding fat or oil to the food.

You can cook the vegetables, then serve them with a protein of your choice—or even alongside other vegetables—and the slow cooker will take care of the rest.

4. Energy saving

A slow cooker is an appliance that cooks food using heat and pressure, so it does not need to be constantly monitored.

It works the way the Sun does; the energy that makes up the light that gives us our day comes from the Sun, but a slow cooker is the opposite.

It does not give us energy, instead it takes it from the food you put into it and converts it into heat.

5. Safe cooking

A slow cooker is a countertop cooking appliance that warms food at a low temperature, safe to leave unattended. It is also known as a crock-pot, or a Crocker.

Slow cookers are safe to use when handled properly, but when used incorrectly they can be dangerous.

Can You Cook Pasta In A Slow Cooker? Find Out!

Cooking pasta in a slow cooker isn’t as difficult as you might think, but the results can be a bit unpredictable.

If you are looking for a stove top alternative to cooking pasta, you may have heard that you can use a slow cooker to prepare pasta instead of a large pot of boiling water and a big pot holder. Cooking pasta in a slow cooker can be tricky. 

If you cook pasta on low-heat for hours, you are likely to end up with a soggy mess. Instead, high-heat settings can be used and you may cook the pasta directly in sauces you have prepared in the slow cooker.

For starters, you’ll need to use a slow cooker that has a removable ceramic insert, since off-set models can’t be used for cooking pasta. And, keep in mind that pasta takes more water to cook than most other foods.

Finally, the thickness of your pasta will affect the cooking time, so spaghetti will take longer to cook than angel hair pasta. Yes, you can cook pasta in a slow cooker.

The key is to make sure the pasta is added at the end of the cook time so that it doesn’t absorb too much liquid and get mushy. Typically pasta is added to the slow cooker about 15-20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

You can try it but don’t expect the results to be the same as if you had cooked the pasta on the stove. But if you are strapped for time and need to put something together quickly, the slow cooker might just do the job!  

How long can you cook pasta in a slow cooker?

How long can you cook pasta in a slow cooker? That depends on how much you would like to enjoy a hot dish of pasta! You see, the longer you cook pasta in a slow cooker, the softer the pasta will be.

Of course, you can always cook the pasta longer, but the texture will change. Some dishes need soft pasta while others need firm pasta.

When you are planning a pasta dish, you want to keep in mind how long you can cook pasta in the slow cooker. This is important because if you do not cook it sufficiently, it will be like jello when you go to eat it.

The only way to ensure that your pasta reaches the correct texture is to test it with a toothpick.

One of the easiest things to get right is the pasta-to-liquid ratio, which should be around 1 cup of water for every 6 ounces of pasta. Any more water than that and your pasta may be too watery, while less water and you’ll be left with clumpy, overcooked pasta.

Be sure that all of the pasta is completely covered with liquid when you put it into the slow cooker so it softens with the heat and moisture; any pasta that sticks out of the liquid will not cook properly and will be too tough and hard.

You’ll also be able to save time, effort and money, because you won’t have to run the stove and use all the pots and pans. It’s not difficult to make pasta in a slow cooker, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Just cook it until the pasta is al dente or “to the tooth.” That means the pasta is tender, but still firm. The center of each thin strand should be opaque, not white, and the pasta should taste cooked.

Can You Put A Slow Cooker Pot In The Oven? Find Out!

Your slow cooker is a versatile tool: you can use it to make soup, cook a roast, simmer sauces, and more. But, can you put a slow cooker pot in the oven? The short answer is, yes, you can put your slow cooker in the oven.

The ceramic pots isn’t recommended for oven use, but it is oven-safe up to 300°F for up to an hour. The lids are not oven-safe. Whether it’s a ceramic or metal slow cooker, most manufacturers advise against putting your slow cooker in the oven if it exceeds 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

But you may want to avoid cooking in the slow cooker if that is your only option. Your slow cooker is designed to cook food slowly and at a low temperature. Baking in a slow cooker will make your food dry out, and it may cause the ceramic pot to crack if you do not choose the right setting.

A slow cooker pot can be a real game-changer in the kitchen. It’s no secret that life gets chaotic, however, still cooking home cooked meals allows you to stick to a certain budget or continue to fulfill your dietary requirements.

You can speed up the cooking process of slow cooker pot by moving it into the oven. Slow cooker pot ceramic interiors are oven safe. Just be sure to remove the lid. The slow cooker pot will be hot if it’s been on for a number of hours so when moving it from the electrical outlet to the oven you’ll need oven gloves.

How hot do slow cooker gets?

A common misconception about slow cooking pot is that the high setting cooks at a higher temperature than the low setting.

The truth is, both the high and low reach the same maximum temperature: 209°F. It’s just a matter of how fast they reach that temperature. When you use the high setting, it takes 3 to 4 hours to stabilize at 209°F. But on the low setting, it takes 7 to 8 hours.

If you use the warm setting, the temperature remains between 165°F and 175°F.

If a recipe calls for temperatures over 209°F, you may want to use a different pan and roast in the oven.

But if you need to add more heat in the beginning or at the end of a long slow roast, it’s safe to put the pot insert into the oven up to 400°F.

Some other brands allow you to set the slow cooker’s temperature, but most don’t exceed 300°F.

What are precautions to take when you put slow cooker pot in oven?

Although a slow cooker pot is oven-safe, there are some precautions you should take to maintain safety.

  • Always follow the recommended oven-safe temperatures. Do not exceed 400°F.
  • Use potholders and two hands when moving the insert to and from the oven.
  • Don’t overfill the Crock-Pot.
  • Avoid drastic temperature changes. Don’t put a cold insert (say, from the refrigerator) directly into a hot oven. Likewise, let the stoneware completely cool before placing it into the fridge.

How to convert slow cooking time into oven cooking time?

The low setting on a slow cooker is generally 190 degrees Fahrenheit and the high setting usually sits at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this may vary with different models, but these are general guidelines to help you convert the cooking time from slow cooker to oven.

It is important to understand the difference between stove top cooking temperature, oven cooking temperature and Crock-Pot temperature. A simmer on the stove top is typically around 209 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slow cookers take seven to eight hours on low to reach simmer and three to four hours on high. Cooking in the oven or on the stove top will take significantly less time.

If you don’t have eight hours to spare or don’t want to leave your oven or stove top on for an extended period of time, it is possible to convert the high slow cooker times to low to shorten the time until your food is done.

What are the advantages on cooking with a slow cooker?

Different types of dishes do well exclusively in a slow cooker or oven, and some can taste delicious with either type of cooking. The advantages of using a slow cooker may come down to space and hands-off time.

Using a slow cooker allows you to free up your oven space for other foods, such as desserts or breads. The slow cooker can cook while you are not at home, whereas you must be home when an oven is on in the house.

The slow cooker may also come in handy during the summer when you crave that slow cooked flavor, but you don’t want to heat up your house with the oven.

As a result of the long, low-temperature cooking, slow cookers help tenderize less-expensive cuts of meat. A slow cooker brings out the flavor in foods.

A wide variety of foods can be cooked in a slow cooker, including one pot meals, soups, stews and casseroles. A slow cooker uses less electricity than an oven.

What are the advantages on cooking in an oven?

One of the biggest advantages of using the oven, is time saved for some dishes. In addition, when using a Dutch oven, it is possible to sear off meats on the stove top, transfer directly to the oven, and cover to seal in the moisture.

Most slow cookers do not have the ability to sear meats, which helps lock in the flavor. Baked foods have certain advantages that may not be found with meals prepared by other methods. Here are some of these benefits:

  1. Low in fat

    Baked foods are considered healthy because of their low-fat content. The food only requires a little amount of oil to jump start the baking process. Since baking occurs in a closed environment, no heat is lost.

    This heat helps to burn the natural fat inside the food, releasing most of it by the time the food is cooked. Sometimes, no oil is required in baking at all. You can substitute apple sauce for oil when baking cookies and cake.
  2. More nutrients

    Since minerals and some vitamins are water-soluble. They can be lost through boiling as they leech into the water. Baking on the other hand uses dry heat thus preserving these minerals and vitamins like vitamins B and C.
    Also, baking is advantageous to frying because it uses very little oil.

    Baking hence preserves the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K which would otherwise leech into the cooking oil when frying. As a result, baked foods are more nutritious.
  3. Management of weight

    When food is deep fried, oil is absorbed into the food. When ingested, deep fried food increases both fat and calorific content in the body, hence contributing to weight gain and obesity.

    As already mentioned, baking requires little to no oil and releases most of the natural fat in the food. As a consumer of baked foods, you are guaranteed to ingest less oil lowering the risk of fat deposition in your body is very low. Thus, you can count on baked foods to slow down the addition of weight and prevent obesity.
  4. Appetizing

    Studies have linked food appearance to the level of appetite. If food stimulates your senses, you eat more of it. Baked foods are very appealing to both your eyes and your mouth.

How To Make Stew In Slow Cooker? Check This Out!

Stews are among the easiest of all slow cooker recipes. Slow cookers are great for cooking stew because they allow the meat, vegetables and broth to simmer gently, so there is very little evaporation.

The simmering process breaks down the connective tissue in the meat, making it tender and easy to digest, and gives the stew a rich, complex flavor.

Making stew in slow cooker is quite easy and convenient way to make delicious stew. The slow cooker sets and forget method of cooking allows you to leave the house and come back to a ready meal. 

Stew is a really easy meal to make in a slow cooker. You don’t have to worry about anything burning or overcooking. Just throw your ingredients in the slow cooker and go about your day. That’s one of the best things about slow cooker meals—you can do other things while they are cooking and not worry that food will get overcooked.

Slow cooker meals are so popular right now with good reason. We have less time with school and holidays and the weather is so cold we all want food that is hearty and comforting.

It will cook all day while you’re gone and when you get home you have the most amazing smell going through your kitchen. 

Traditional beef stew is basically tender beef simmered in beef broth with potatoes, fresh herbs and a variety of veggies like carrots, celery & onion. We’re jazzing this beef stew recipe up with dry red wine and Worcestershire sauce for extra delicious flavor.

What is stewing?

On a cold, damp day, few things are more pleasing than a rich and steaming bowl of stew. But, what exactly is “stew”? Stew is not only the name of a dish, but it is also its cooking method.

Stewing is the process of cooking ingredients slowly in a flavorful simmering liquid in a closed container which obviously requires a leak-proof vessel for cooking. Cooking by boiling has occurred for literally tens of thousands of years. In fact, primitive tribes are thought to have used conch or turtle shells to boil water.

The development of pottery some 10,000 years ago was the impetus for the development of several dishes named for the container used to prepare them including (but not limited to) tagines, casseroles, and stews.

In a stew, the meat is generally cut into smaller pieces rather than left whole and in a braise, the liquid might only come halfway up the sides of the meat whereas the meat is immersed in cooking liquid when stewed.

The general method of preparing a stew is to sear meat on all sides in a little oil in a Dutch oven (or whatever pan you’ll be stewing in) until deep brown and then setting the meat aside.

In the same pan, chopped mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) or trinity (onions, celery and green pepper) are cooked until golden brown. Dried herbs and spices are added at this point. The pan is deglazed with liquid (stock, water, wine, beer, etc.)

The meat is added back to the pan and liquid is added to cover the meat, and bring it to a simmer. Frequently, a starchy ingredient is added to thicken the stew before serving.
Examples of these include potatoes, beans, corn, and rice, or in the case of gumbo and burgoo, fresh cut okra.

What are the types of stewing?

Types of stews exist all over the world which are referred to by a variety of names: French Cassoulet, Italian Cioppino, Beef Bourguignon, Pot au Feu, Kentucky’s burgoo, Louisiana’s gumbo, and even Chili con Carne. While stewing is easily confused with braising, there are a few distinctions between the two.

In a stew, the meat is generally cut into smaller pieces rather than left whole and in a braise, the liquid might only come halfway up the sides of the meat whereas the meat is immersed in cooking liquid when stewed.

What ingredients you will need in making a slow cooker beef stew?

This easy slow cooker beef stew recipe is filled with savory flavors, hearty potatoes and veggies to make it filling and delicious. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Beef chuck: you’ll need about 3 pounds of beef chuck, which will end up about 2 1/2 pounds once you trim the excess fat off.
  • Beef broth: you can use beef broth or beef bone broth in this recipe.
  • Dry red wine: my recommendations are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. If you don’t to use red wine, you can feel free to use more beef broth.
  • Tomato paste: you’ll use some tomato paste to help thicken the broth and to give it a nice tang of sweetness.
  • Worcestershire: the wonderful addition of worcestershire gives this beef stew recipe an incredible savory umami flavor.
  • Balsamic vinegar: helps to give the beef stew a little tang and sweetness.
  • Fresh herbs: both garlic and thyme are used!
  • Vegetables: onions, carrots, potatoes and peas are forever my favorite.
  • Flour: this helps to thicken the stew once it’s done. You can use regular, whole wheat or gluten free all purpose flour.

What are the steps in making a slow cooker beef stew?

Making this slow cooker beef stew is easier than you think!

  1. Prepare your beef. First, you’ll need to trim the beef of excess fat. After that you’ll saute the beef in a skillet until seared (you don’t need to cook it all the way); browning the meat just helps to create additional flavor so please don’t skip it.
  2. Add the liquids. Pour your beef broth, dry red wine, tomato paste, worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper into the bowl of your slow cooker. Stir together with the beef until combined.
  3. Veg it up. Next stir in the garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. The longer it cooks, the better and more tender the stew will be.
  4. Thicken it. Once the stew is done, you’ll add in the flour and the peas and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes until the stew thickens up. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add a splash of beef broth!
  5. Enjoy! Serve with cornbread, crackers or biscuits. Enjoy a big bowl of deliciousness.

What are some tips in making a slow cooker beef stew?

  • Sear your beef beforehand. 
    This is important! Browning the beef in a skillet beforehand will bring out even more flavor.
  • Cook it on low. 
    While many slow cooker recipes can be made on high for 3-4 hours, I highly recommend cooking this beef stew on low for the full 7-8 hours. This will ensure that the beef gets nice and tender.
  • Thicken your stew properly. 
    When it’s time to add your flour to thicken the beef stew, remove 1 cup of beef broth from the slow cooker and add it to a bowl. You’ll then whisk in ¼ cup flour until there aren’t any lumps, add back to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Be sure you don’t add flour straight to the slow cooker as it will become lumpy.

What kind of meat is best for beef stew?

For beef stew, there is no better cut of meat than chuck! Buy a thick chuck pot roast and cut it into chunks for the best tender flavor.

Chuck roast is a tougher cut of meat than sirloin or rib roast which really benefits from pressure cooking or slow cooking making the best beef stew! Pressure cooking or slow cooking breaks down tough fibers so the beef pieces become melt in your mouth tender.

Stew Meat is also a good option for the busy and budget-conscious cook. As beef stew meat tends to be a mixture of bits and pieces some bits can have a different texture when stewing.

What are the best cuts of meat for stew?

The following are some of the best cuts of beef for stewing, yielding meat that’s juicy and tender even after long cooking:


When I talk about the chuck here, though, I’m talking specifically about the meat from around the shoulder and not the arm or neck portions. It’s a relatively cheap cut, with good flavor and lots of connective tissue and fat, making it a very appealing choice for stews.

The downside is that chuck is made up of many different muscles, so you’re more likely to get irregular pieces—some leaner, some fattier, some tenderer, some tougher. Overall, it averages out in a good way.

Bone-in short rib

Short ribs come from a primal cut on the underside of the cow called the plate, not, as one might expect, from the rib primal. They are, in essence, the ribs right down where they get close to the belly.

They tend to be more expensive than chuck, and you have to consider that some of what you’re paying for is bone weight, but what they offer is a deep beefy flavor with a beautiful, even grain throughout.

Bohemian (Bottom Sirloin Flap)

This cut is a little harder to find unless you go to a good butcher. It comes from the sirloin, the part of the cow right in front of its hind legs. According to one butchery book I have, it used to be left attached to T-bone steaks (it made the steaks look like they had long, thin tails), but these days it’s sold separately.

A lot of sources recommend high, dry heat for the cut, like grilling, and indeed it’s delicious that way—meaty and buttery. But it turns out to work well as a stew meat, too. If I had to describe the taste and texture, it’s almost like the love child of a hanger steak and a short rib, tender enough but still with some chew.


Oxtails are, to my taste, one of the most delicious cuts to come from a cow—if not the most delicious. (It’s a toss-up between them and tongue for me; I can’t pick a favorite.) They pack more gelatin and fat than any other cut I can think of, and their flavor…oh boy, their flavor!

Each cross section of the tail has a bone in the center that’s filled with marrow. As they cook, rendered fat from the marrow seeps out, basting the meat and flavoring everything in amazing ways.

The downside, though, is that those bones make up a good deal of their weight, and they add quite a bit of labor, too: If you want a stew made from oxtails, be prepared to fish them all out of the sauce at the end, flake the meat off, and discard the bones before returning it to the pot.

The fact that you have to pull the meat from the bones also means you’re not likely to get nice little cubes of beef in the final stew; morsels and shreds are mostly what you’ll end up with.

Fatty brisket (“point” or “second cut”)

Brisket comes from the breast of a cow and is most often smoked for barbecue and cured to make pastrami. It’s divided into two parts: the leaner flat (or “first cut”) and fattier point (“second cut” or “deckle”).

The lean flat is far easier to find than the point, which is a shame because the point is far juicier and moister, thanks to all that fat in it. For stews, I’d steer clear of the flat, since it’ll end up tough and dry, which means that hard-to-find point is what you’d need.

One of the best things about brisket is how cheap it is—it cost less than the chuck. After a couple of hours in the stew pot, it was moist and had a pronounced beef tallow flavor, much more so than the other cuts due to its ample fat. The muscle fibers themselves are thick verging on ropy, which I didn’t love in a stew context.

Cross-cut shanks

This cut is best known for its use in osso buco, though it traditionally comes from veal in that dish. It’s a cross section of the cow’s legs, which is why you get that single big bone in the center.

Beef shanks aren’t usually cheap, and on top of that, you have to account for the fact that a good third of each piece is bone weight (though, as a bonus, you get to eat the marrow after!).

Some of the muscles in the shank have more visible threads of connective tissue than others; those lacking them can come out a little on the dry side after long cooking, though overall the meat is pleasantly moist.

Those thicker strands of connective tissue, though, require longer cooking than average—mine took about three hours of simmering to soften up.

What are few tips on stewing in a slow cooker?

  • Make sure you cut your items to the same size to ensure even cooking. If you are cooking small pieces of meat as well as vegetables, make sure they will all cook at the same time, which may mean the vegetables are cut to a larger size than the meat.
  • Searing the meat and vegetables and deglazing the pan are recommended as it will provide more flavor. 
  • Use a heavy gauge stockpot or cast iron pan with a tight cover.
  • Cooking temperatures are very low with stewing, usually keeping the liquid at a simmer (about 180-200°F).
  • The best test for doneness is using a fork to pull the meat or vegetables apart, if it comes apart easily with little resistance, it’s done.
  • Use at least one acidic liquid when stewing. Tomatoes, vinegar or wine help break down connective tissue and tenderize tougher meats.
  • Season your liquid with salt at the end only. The liquid will reduce and can lead to a very high concentration of salt at the end.

Make sure you use a tight-fitting lid and keep it on while stewing to prevent moisture and heat loss, which can impact cooking time.

Can You Dry Cook In A Slow Cooker? Read More.

How to Dry Cook Using A Slow Cooker?

While the slow cooker is usually used to cook food that needs a long time to cook, some recipes can be cooked quickly or even “dry” in the slow cooker. In this case, the food cooks in the cooker with nothing added to it.

Some ingredients may be added during cooking, such as a liquid to cook rice, but the food will still cook with no added liquid.

Yes, you can dry cook in a slow cooker!  When dry cooking in slow cookers, use foods that already contain a considerable amount of natural liquid. The liquid creates the needed steam to cook the food.

I’ve already named some types of meat that can be dry cooked in a slow cooker. These meats have two things in common: they have lots of natural moisture and fat.

When dry cooking meat, you can also create steam by adding minimal amounts of liquids to it. These could be from the vinegar or the sauce used for marinating, a little beer or wine, or even a small amount of broth.

Root vegetables are also suitable for dry cooking in a pot. The commonly dry cooked root vegetables are carrots, onions, and potatoes.

All these contain enough liquid to form the steam for dry cooking.

What will happen if I use too much liquid in a slow cooker?

If you add too much liquid to a slow cooker, your food might be overcooked or have a bland taste.

If the food you’re cooking requires a limited amount of liquid, here are several ways you can pre-empt the dryness without adding too much liquid:

  • Defrost food before cooking. Frozen food accumulates extra liquid if it’s not tightly sealed during storage. The extra liquid will increase the intended amount during cooking.
  • Allow the frozen food to thaw before placing it in the slow cooker.
  • Cover meats and vegetables with flour. Dipping meat or high-fluid vegetables (georgettes, eggplants, etc.) in flour before placing them in the slow cooker will reduce the amount of liquid they release. Adding a little oil will also give the meat or vegetable a crispy taste similar to that of pan-cooked food.
  • Drain the liquid. If your food is cooked and you still have a lot of liquid in the slow cooker, remove the lid and cook on high until the extra liquid is gone. You can also drain the extra liquid manually and use it for cooking other foods.
  • Add a thickener. Thickening the liquid will redeem some of the lost taste. You can thicken the extra liquid with cornstarch or tapioca.
  • Adjust the seasoning. If you’re afraid that the extra liquid has watered down the flavor of your food, you can add a bit of seasoning to ensure to boost the taste.

Does meat need to submerge on liquid when drying?

It all depends on how you want your end product. If you want your meat to break apart easily, don’t dry cook it in the pot. Submerge your meat in liquid if you want it to be extra tender.

Leaner meats also need to be submerged in a liquid when prepared in a slow cooker. When cooked dry, they become tough and stringy, which defeats the tenderizing intent of simmering meat in a pot.

If you are using a dry meat recipe, dry cooking works perfectly. The only liquid you’ll need is that which creates the steam.

Dry cooking fatty pieces give them a great flavor while keeping them moist. In the past, many cooks have been burned by slow cooker recipes that call for too much liquid.

When you add too much liquid, your food gets waterlogged, and the result is bland and soggy. Not to mention that you may have to cook longer to get your food tender.  

That’s why it’s so important to keep your liquid to solids ratio in check. Slow cooker recipes typically call for liquid in ratios of 2 to 1, or 3 to 1.

For 2 to 1, that means using 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dry ingredients.

What tips to remember when cooking in a slow cooker?

There are a few things to know about using a slow cooker, like how much liquid to use and when to lift the lid.

If you’re not careful, any of the following things could seriously wreck the perfect meal you had planned. Know what you should avoid so you can have a tasty hot meal ready when dinner rolls around.

Don’t overfill or under fill the slow cooker

Perhaps second to a Dutch oven and a just-hot-enough oven, slow cookers are the ultimate braising machines.

They cook up perfect pot roasts and brisket so tender you could eat it with a spoon. The key to getting that kind of result out of the machine is filling it with the right amount of food and liquid.

Never start with frozen meat

While you can start with frozen meat when using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, the same doesn’t go for your slow cooker. Frozen meat should never be cooked in a slow cooker.

Because slow cookers operate at a lower temperature, food is likely to be in the temperature danger zone (temperature range between 40 and 140°F) for too long when starting with frozen meat, which increases the risk of harmful bacteria.

Don’t open the lid during cooking

It’s mighty tempting to lift the lid to see what’s going on inside, or even to take a taste, but try to avoid this.

Slow cookers work by trapping heat and cooking food over a long period of time. Every time you remove the lid, the slow cooker loses heat, and it takes a while to heat back up.

Don’t add too much wine or liquor.

Adding dairy products like milk, cheese, or sour cream too soon will cause them to curdle. Wine, milk or any type of dairy product will not alter the flavor of your wine or milk.

The acidity of wine, however, does change when it comes into contact with dairy. 

Do not add herbs too soon

When food simmers for a long time, the flavors soften and mellow, and some herbs aren’t strong enough to survive to the end. Wait until the end of the cooking time to add soft herbs like parsley and chives.

Hearty herbs like rosemary or thyme can go in at the beginning and the flavor will carry through, though you may still want to add a bit more before serving, especially if the recipe has been cooking all day.

Add enough flavorful ingredients. 

We’ve already established that slow cooking mellows out flavors. This means that if you want a flavor to stay strong and carry through to the end, you need to add a little more of it than you normally would.

If you’re cooking a dish with garlic, for example, put in more at the beginning or throughout if you want to taste the flavor at the end.

You overcook vegetables

Few things wreck a dish like mushy, flavorless veggies. To avoid this, cut hearty vegetables like onions and carrots into bigger chunks than you normally would, and add delicate vegetables like spinach toward the end of the cooking time. Just leave them in there long enough to be heated through.

You overcook the recipe

Many slow cooker recipes like roasts and soups can take eight or more hours to cook. (It’s called a “slow cooker” for a reason.)

However, thicker recipes that don’t have a lot of liquid (such as casseroles or meatloaves) can burn on the edges after just a few hours. Save these dishes for your day off so you don’t come home to a burned dinner.

You add all the ingredients at once

If you throw a handful of ingredients in the slow cooker and come home several hours later expecting a ready-to-serve meal, you may be disappointed. Instead, think about layering the ingredients over time so you get a nice blend of textures and flavors.

It can be as simple as adding ingredients at the very beginning and then topping off the recipe with a layer of ingredients at the end. It’s not adding a bunch of work or time, it’s being thoughtful about tasting before you serve.

Things like herbs, nuts, seeds, and soft vegetables all make great last-minute additions.