Long-cooking slow cooker recipes that cook for at least 9 to 10 hours are a necessity for today's busy cook. Full work days plus commuting time usually add up to at least 9 to 10 hours. Recipes that cook in 5 to 6 hours, even on low, just won't work for many families. See cooking tips and recipes for these needs.
Programming Your Slow Cooker for Long Cooking Recipes
These days, many slow cookers and multi cookers are programmable. Many offer settings that allow you to delay the start time... for up to 2 hours, and they automatically switch to a "keep warm" setting. Because food might be in the danger zone—between 40 F and 140 F—for up to 2 hours, many people consider a delay start unsafe. Even if the cooker offers delay start, you might want to think twice about using it, especially if one of your family members is in a high-risk group for food poisoning. That high-risk group includes young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic health problems and compromised immune systems. The keep warm temperature should keep the food at a safe temperature. To ensure the food is safe, test it with a reliable food thermometer. Look for a temperature of 165 F in most slow cooker dishes. For roasts—other than poultry—the temperature of the meat can be as low as 145 F.
Cooking Tips for Long Cooking Recipes
- Always start with fully chilled meats and vegetables.
- Don't use frozen ingredients. Safely defrost frozen ingredients in the refrigerator before you begin.
- Prep ingredients the night before and refrigerate them in containers until you're ready to cook. Don't refrigerate the ingredients in the slow cooker insert. If the slow cooker insert is cold, it will take longer to bring the food to a safe temperature.
- Get to know your crockpot, check the crockpot cooking temperature, and be sure you understand its timing and heat before you use these recipes.
- Read recipes carefully; some might use more fragile ingredients that shouldn't be added until the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time.
- If you're at home, many of these recipes can be cooked on the high setting in far less time. If the recipe doesn't give a specific time for the high setting, subtract about 3 to 4 hours.
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This vegetarian black bean chili is an excellent all-day recipe. Some of the vegetables and spices require about 10 minutes of stovetop cooking time, but that can be done the night before and refrigerated until it's time to fill the slow cooker.
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This recipe for classic corned beef and cabbage is delicious and super easy. It's an all-day recipe you throw together in the slow cooker. Just set it and forget it!
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The pot roast is the ideal meat for low and slow cooking. Make sure you use a tougher cut of meat, such as chuck, bottom round, or rump. These cuts have connective tissue that dissolves and makes the meat tender and juicy after the long period of moist cooking.
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Make this stew with pasta or with the more traditional potatoes. It cooks all day long, so the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender when you're ready to serve. Enjoy it with some crusty rolls and a salad.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Apple juice, brown sugar, and ginger make up the tasty glaze for this slow cooker pork loin. You'll enjoy this juicy and tender entree.
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Beef chuck and chicken thighs team up to make this a scrumptious stew. The chicken thighs hold up well in the slow cooker, and they add texture and flavor to the dish. All you have to do when you get home is add the thickening mixture.
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These baked beans make a delicious side dish for a picnic or cookout or enjoy them as a main dish with freshly baked cornbread and a green salad. The recipe calls for pinto beans or kidney beans. The beans require overnight soaking, so plan accordingly.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Lamb shanks are another excellent choice for the slow cooker. Browning the lamb shanks first adds to the flavor, color, and texture of the dish, but feel free to skip that step if you're short on time. The dish will still be delicious!
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This all-day creamy meatball stew includes frozen meatballs, potatoes, and carrots. Cook the stew for up to 11 hours. It's perfect for a busy day!
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Whether you're cooking a family meal or a big dinner for friends and extended family, you can't go wrong with tender, melt-in-your-mouth short ribs. Barbecue sauce and red wine add flavor to these delicious beef ribs.