Slow cookers are great for people on the go. You can throw a pot roast into the cooker before you leave for work and it will be done when you get home. Cooking with a slow cooker is easy, and as its name suggests, the food cooks slowly over a long period of time. Of course, a bigger piece of meat will require a longer cooking time than a smaller portion. Cooking in a slow cooker is a relatively basic process.
Choosing Your Roast
When using a slow cooker, don't choose the biggest roast in the meat case. You will need to allow room around the roast inside of the cooker so the heat can reach all parts of the meat. Slow cookers can make even a tough piece of meat tender, so the cut is not that important. Choose a 3-to-4 lb. pound chuck, bottom or round roast to place into the cooker.
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Preparing Your Vegetables
Choose any type of vegetables to cook with your roast. Two stalks of chopped celery, a couple of medium onions sliced in half, two to three chopped carrots and several chopped potatoes are basic pot roast vegetables. Wash the veggies and chop them so they will cook thoroughly.
Prepare the Slow Cooker
Most new styles of slow cookers have a removable insert for easy cleaning. Even so, you might want to spray the inside of the cooker with cooking spray. This will make the job of cleaning up the cooked-on food even easier. Set your slow cooker on a stable surface away from the edge of the counter so it won't get knocked off.
Filling the Slow Cooker
Since the vegetables will cook quicker, place them on the bottom of the slow cooker. If you want to cook your pot roast whole, place it in the cooker on top of the vegetables. You can also chop the meat up into chunks, if you desire. Add a package of onion soup mix, garlic, rosemary, pepper and any other spice you prefer. Fill the cooker two-thirds with water or stock. Place the lid on the cooker.
Cooking the Pot Roast
If you will be around the house for awhile, set your slow cooker to high and allow the roast to cook for one hour. This will get the cooking process started a little quicker. Once the hour is up, set the cooker to low. Cooking a tougher cut of meat on low will guarantee its tenderness. Do not lift the lid during the cooking process or you will lose approximately 20 minutes of heat. A pot roast that would normally take one to three hours in the oven will take approximately eight hours to cook in the slow cooker on low, or four to six hours on high. Test the meat with a meat thermometer to check for doneness. A medium-rare roast will register at 145 degrees F, a medium roast will register at 160 degrees F and a well-done roast will register at 170 degrees F.