May 1, 2012 at 10:51 am
by Heather Eng
A question our readers sometimes ask, during our Facebook slow cooker chats, is: “Why does all slow cooker food taste the same?”
I’ll admit that I’ve wondered the same thing, especially when I started slow cooking. The very first meals I made were good, but they all seemed to have similar flavors–despite the fact that some were vegetarian, some were chicken and others were pork. Eventually, I stopped having that problem, but I never determined its exact cause.
In a recent slow cooker chat, Michael, our associate food editor and slow cooker guru, shed some light on the issue. When a reader complained that her slow cooker heats too fast and her family claims that everything tastes the same, Michael replied:
Slow cookers are cooking at higher temps in general these days. Cut timing back. Also, when things seem to all to taste the same, they are probably overcooked–another reason to cut back cooking time.
That’s the answer! It seems so obvious now. And when I think about it, that was exactly my problem. My slow cooker cooks very quickly and, with practice, I learned to only use the low setting and shave several hours off every recipe. I also started following Michael’s advice and reinforcing seasoning toward the end of cook time–which further enhanced the flavor in each dish.
What’s been your biggest slow cooker problem? And how did you solve it? Share in the comments below.