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Updated: December 13, 2017
An evening made easy.
Most slow cookers have two or three settings. When using the low setting, food will cook in six to 10 hours. Using the high setting allows food to cook in four to six hours. If possible, turn the slow cooker on the high setting for the first hour of cooking time and then use the setting that fits your needs. One hour on high is about equal to two hours on low. One hour in the oven at 350 degrees F is equivalent to about 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low. Similarly, 3 hours in the oven is equivalent to 4-6 hours on high and 8-16 hours on low.
Slow cookers vary in size from 1 to 7 quarts. Smaller slow cookers are good for dips or sauces and larger cookers are great for large cuts of meats and soups. A 3.5-4 quart size slow cooker is best if you'll be cooking for four or fewer people. A 5-7 quart size or larger slower cooker is best if you'll be cooking for five or more people or you want leftovers.
If you are hesitant to have your slow cooker on and cooking while you are away throughout the day, consider cooking foods during alternate hours that you are home, even while you sleep. Cool down the foods when they are finished cooking, storing it in the refrigerator prior to reheating it in the stove or oven for a meal later.
Here are some basic tips and safety rules to follow when using a slow cooker:
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