The Reason You Should Never Overfill Your Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are a great tool to have in your kitchen arsenal. Not only does it cook food low and slow, but it also contains everything in one pot, making it easier to clean up. They are great to use when you simply want to set it and forget it. If you've got a busy day of work or running errands, you can add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, turn it on, and have dinner waiting for you when you return.

Slow cookers come in handy when you're cooking a tougher cut of meat. Birria de res tacos are the perfect slow cooker recipe since it uses chuck roast (via Muy Bueno Cookbook). According to Clover Meadows Beef, chuck roast is typically tougher, so by slow cooking it, it gets fork tender. While it may seem like slow cookers only work for dinners, it's also an excellent tool for making delicious desserts without the hassle of turning on the oven. For example, you can start making cheesecake in the slow cooker since the water bath helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking. The best part is the slow cooker is a natural water bath, eliminating the need to deal with pouring water into a pan in the hot oven.

Even though slow cookers are relatively simple to use, there are some basic tips to follow to ensure cooking success.

Overfilling causes overcooked food

According to Insider, slow cookers work best when filled about halfway to three-quarters. If it's filled all the way up to the top, there is a risk that the food will bubble over and spill out. If all the liquid spills out, you may find the remnants burned and stuck to the bottom of the pan. If it's too full, you also risk your food not cooking evenly, resulting in dry or overcooked meat.

One of the best ways to avoid overfilling the pot is to read the recipe and prep your ingredients before cooking. If you need to cook a larger amount of food than your slow cooker can handle, it's recommended to cook in batches. If you want to make specific components of a meal or different dishes at the same time, you can use a slow cooker liner. It's essentially a plastic bag that holds the food and allows steam to escape from a hole in the top (per Metro). While this method is convenient, make sure you still don't fill the slow cooker more than three-quarters of the way.