Inside Out (Australia)




Perfectly melt chocolate and prevent burning. Add the chocolate to glass jars, place them in the slow cooker, then pour in enough water to come three-quarters of the way up the jars. Cook on low for 1 hour.


Swap out stock for beer or even coffee for a stronger, heartier flavour in less time.


Try poaching in it There’s no danger of water boiling in your slow cooker, so it makes an ideal environmen­t for gentle poaching. Think of it as a pseudo sous-vide machine.


Use it as a smoker While you are never going to achieve the same authentic smoky flavour as using a proper smoker or barbecue, you can introduce a smoky flavour to your cooking by incorporat­ing wood chips at the base of your cooker as part of the braising process. Here’s how I do it: Soak 1–2 cups wood chips (I like hickory) in water for about 30 minutes, then drain. Place the chips on a sheet of baking paper, gathering up the edges to enclose the chips, and make a packet that will sit in the base of the cooker. Make a few small incisions in the bag with a sharp knife or pair of scissors to allow the steam to escape. Place the bag in the base of the cooker and put your protein, or whatever you are cooking, directly on top. Pour 250ml

(1 cup) liquid into the base of the cooker to create a little steam, but not enough to swamp the wood chips. 5

Try eggs for binding Eggs will always help to bind a sauce and are best suited to white, creamy sauces. Mix an egg with some flour to create a roux before adding liquid to make a sauce, or simply whisk in an egg yolk to help bind and thicken your sauces or soups. 6

Use it for proving Fill your slow cooker halfway up with water and put on the low setting. Place the lid on the cooker upside down, lay a tea towel (dish towel) on top, then set your bowl of dough in the lid. The radiant heat from the hot water below will help the dough to rise. 7

Do your own brining Brine leaner cuts of meat before cooking to stop them drying out during the low, slow cook. For a very basic brine, add 80g salt to 1 litre (4 cups) water and stir to dissolve. You can also add aromatics. Brine the meat in the fridge overnight. 8

Add a steaming basket and some water to the base of the slow-cooker bowl and use to steam things like dumplings. Or simply load a bunch of herbs and greens directly into the steamer basket and place a piece of fish on top. The fish will steam in the moisture from the herbs below – no liquid required. 9

Use it as a large steamer Build a platform (most slow cookers come with a stand or platform insert that can be used for this) in the slow cooker’s bowl, place the food on top, then fill with water until just under the top of the platform.

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