Why You Should Never Add Frozen Meat To Your Slow Cooker

Using a slow cooker to make a meal is supposed to save time. But sometimes, trying to speed up the process of making a mouth-watering dinner too much can backfire. In fact, some of the biggest mistakes made when using a slow cooker happen when things are done too early or in a hurry. With something like adding fresh herbs too soon, it's typically best to add them close to the end of the cooking process, so they don't wilt. While it's also great to have a meal with lots of leftovers to keep you well-fed during the week, overfilling a crockpot is another no-no because all of the food may not get cooked through, per Boss The Kitchen.

When it comes to how long it takes to cook meat in a slow cooker, there is no set time. The times range anywhere from 5 to 9 ½ hours depending on how much you're working with and the temperature selected, according to Oprah. That can be a long time, especially if you were late defrosting it for that night's dinner. However, as tempting as it is in those situations to put your still-frozen pot roast or pork loin in the crock pot, Two Healthy Kitchens says that it's a bad idea.

Enjoy properly cooked meat

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises that meat and poultry should be thawed before being placed in a slow cooker with other ingredients. According to Taste of Home, the danger of frozen meat is that it could take too long to get to a temperature at which bacteria won't grow, and that critical number is above 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you put frozen meat in the crockpot, most of the time goes to thawing it instead of cooking it. And when meat hangs out at temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria multiply quickly, per USDA. Another benefit of using thawed meat and chicken guarantees that you'll end up with more evenly cooked ingredients. That's why the USDA also recommends trimming larger cuts of thawed meat down into smaller pieces before throwing them in. So, in the end, as much as you have been looking forward to that slow cooker pork loin roast, it's best to wait a day versus using a large piece of frozen meat for your meal.