My Truths #96 (slow cooking)

by Stephanie

Cooking meat in a slow cooker is an art and I’m no artist!  I have tried over and over again to cook cheaper cuts of meat in my slow cooker but it always turns out dry.  “Low & slow” seems to be the secret to tenderizing many tougher cuts but so far it’s not working for me.

My slow cooker has 5 heat settings. The instruction manual says you should not cook on the lowest because that’s only for keeping foods warm and does not heat food enough to cook it and kill bacteria so I have used the next lowest heat setting. On that setting food still seems to simmer quite quickly and I believe that is why my recipes are not turning out “melt in your mouth” like the recipes promise. I’ve tried cooking for less time and more time and I’m never thrilled with the results. It makes me so sad to ruin a good piece of meat!

The slow cooker was a wedding gift and is lined with Teflon. I worry about using Teflon so I’m tempted to just throw the thing away or donate it. The question then is…do I buy another, different brand, of slow cooker and keep trying? Or do I invest in a good “dutch oven” instead?  I think what I’m trying to accomplish with my slow cooker can also be achieve in my oven using a nice cast iron Dutch oven and I’ve always wanted one!