Are you a fan of slow cooking? Ensure that the food you slow cook isn’t just easy and delicious, but also safe to feed your family with these seven tips.
7 Tips for Safe Slow Cooking
- Thaw meat or poultry thoroughly to ensure proper cooking time.
- When using a commercially frozen meal, follow the instructions from proper cooking.
- Fill slow cooker one-half to two-thirds full for best results.
- Follow safe food handling guidelines according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA 2012) and remember to wash, keep food chilled, and separate foods—especially if using meat
- Preheat the slow cooker before adding food, or cook on high for the first hour to provide a rapid heat start, shortening food’s exposure to the temperature danger zone.
- Place vegetables on the bottom or around the side with the meat on top because vegetables take longer to cook.
- Use a calibrated thermometer to test for doneness. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone. Safe internal temperatures include 165℉ for poultry, 160℉ for ground beef, pork, and lamb, and 145ºF for whole cuts of beef, pork, and lamb with a 3 minute resting time (USDA FSIS, 2011).
Learn more about slow cooking here.
Source: Using the Convenient Slow Cooker Safely by Susan Haws, Associate Professor, Utah State University, Summit County