Summer Slow Cooker Recipes
Cool and convenient, the slow cooker is perfect for preparing warm-weather meals.
3 Slow Cooker Food Safety Tips
Food safety is a special concern in the summer, when warmer temperatures can
speed bacteria growth. To make sure your slow cooker meal is safe, follow these
- Get It Hot. In order to avoid possible food poisoning, foods in your
slow cooker need to reach 140 degrees quickly, notes Kay Lovett, MEd, an
educator with the University of Minnesota Extension office. To ensure this
happens, Lovett recommends beginning with thawed foods, as frozen or partially
frozen food will take much longer to reach this temperature. If you want to
heat up the crock contents right away, turn your slow cooker to HIGH for the
first hour, then bring it down to LOW to finish the cooking.
- Store Leftovers Correctly. Remove leftover food from the slow cooker
right after the meal and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator (to
get the food to a cooler temperature, where bacteria is less likely to
- Keep a Lid on It. “Keep the lid on the pot,” says Lovett. “Each time
you peek, you lose heat and lower the temperature of the food in the slow
cooker.” Remove the lid only to check for doneness, stir, or add an ingredient
toward the end of cooking.