Can You Stop and Restart a Slow Cooker

A kitchen is said to be incomplete without a cooker since it is one of the most essential pieces of cookware equipment in the kitchen. We all know how handy a cooker is and how many different recipes we can make with it.

Slow cooking is an art form, and it is needed if you want all of the flavor and nutrients in your food. A slow cooker can be used to prepare a variety of delicious meals. Simply place it on the stovetop or induction plate, operate or go outdoors, and your recipe will be ready when you get home. A slow cooker will help you a lot if you want to try slow cooking, it is an appliance that you just need to set on the gas top and then forget for 4-8 hours. Time can be a major problem in slow cooking as one needs to be patient.

If you are going somewhere outside and if you have wondered to stop your cooker and then restart it later on after coming back home then this is generally not a very good idea. You should not stop and restart a slow cooker. This thing can lead to the risk of bacteria formation as the food will sit at a room temperature that can allow the bacteria to enter. If you consume food that contains bacteria it might give you food poisoning.

Therefore it is for the best that one should never turn off their slow cooker and then restart it after some time. However, you can try some of the alternative ways of doing this. Today we are going to talk in deep about slow cooking and why one should not stop their slow cooker. If you have a slow cooker and you perform slow cooking a lot then you must read this article very carefully.

Why should you avoid Stopping and Restarting your slow cooker?

One thing to be kept in mind with any type of cooking method is that the danger of bacteria formation is high and this can make you fall ill. Bacteria can be present in a temperature range from 41 degrees F and 145 degrees F.

This simply means that the refrigerator and your slow cooker is a safe place for the food to be as the refrigerator has a very low temperature and it is very cold and the slow cooker is very hot so the bacteria gets killed.

The cold does not kill the bacteria and some will withstand the cooking warmth, the temperatures are too extreme to raise. This ensures that the food can already have hazardous bacteria waiting for the right conditions to replicate or become safe even after cooling and heating.

The food can comfortably stay more or less forever at the heat in the slow cooker, so as soon as the heat comes off, it’s either consumed or needs to be cooled down again. If you remove the food from the slow cooker that means from the heat then you are giving the bacteria a chance and letting your food get exposed to the danger zone. Any bacteria that is present will easily develop and this will certainly be very dangerous and also cause problems such as illness and food poisoning.

Things you can try

It is surely not safe to remove your food temporarily from the heat which means one should not stop the slow cooker, then what other things can you try? Here are some of the things you can do.

Let it cook for a long time

Most of the cooking times for recipes prepared in a slow cooker are less than the actual cooking time. You can try allowing your food to get more time for cooking and in some dishes, the taste will be improved.

The slow cooker will hold the temperature levels at the prescribed level which will prevent anything from burning and the lid will trap all the steam so that the meat won’t dry out too. In general, the slow cooker would not hurt much for an extra hour or two. If your slow cooker has a warm feature, you should change the temperature to drop at the end while leaving the contents high enough to prevent contamination. When cooking longer, kindly update the slow cooker from high to low to allow the dish more time to cook.

Start afterward

The best thing you can do so that you won’t have to stop or restart it is to pick up the right time to start cooking before your mealtime. This will generally eliminate any stopping or restarting the cooker and you don’t have to worry about bacteria.

Use a programmable cooker

There are many programmable cookers available in the market nowadays and you can try investing in one of them as the problem with a slow cooker is such that you need to manually start or stop them.

If you aren’t present while the slow cooker needs to be stopped then this will spoil things and create a problem. A programmable cooker has timers that will allow them to switch off the cooker on its own and also put it on keep-warm settings so that bacteria isn’t formed.

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Safety tips to follow for slow cooking

Below listed are some of the tips you can follow if you do not want to get engaged in any sort of problems using slow cookers or performing slow cooking.

  • It is very important to preheat your slow cooker so do not forget to preheat it. You should let your cooker go for extra 20 minutes. You should do it when you are going to cook meat or poultry in your slow cooker.
  • Make sure that the vegetables are placed at the side of the bottom as they are the slowest when it comes to cooking.
  • Never remove the lid. A slow cooker needs to retain the heat and therefore you should never try removing the lid before everything is cooked and ready.
  • If you have perishable items you should keep them for as much time as possible. This will eliminate the risk of creating bacteria. Keep them refrigerated before cooking.
  • Make sure to properly cut the meat before adding it to your slow cooker.
  • Clean the cooking area, utensils and also make sure to wash your hands before starting to cook.

Conclusion

Slow cookers help to prepare some of the best dishes and if you want to retain all the nutrients and taste then slow cooking is the best way to cook.

One should never stop a slow cooker and take out the food to restart it again this will cause bacteria build-up and this can be very problematic. You can try doing some of the alternatives mentioned above. I hope this article was useful and relevant.

Reference

https://themodemag.com/can-you-stop-and-start-a-slow-cooker/

https://kitchensnitches.com/can-you-stop-and-restart-a-slow-cooker/