As a slow cooker aficionado, I was surprised to learn that some foods are not recommended for cooking in a slow cooker.
After doing some research, I compiled this list of 11 foods that cannot be cooked in a slow cooker.
Whether it’s because they turn out mushy or lack flavor, these foods just don’t work well in a slow cooker.
If you’re looking to make the most of your slow cooker, avoid making these dishes!
What Cannot Be Cooked in A Slow Cooker?
There are a few things that you should not cook in a slow cooker, such as raw meat, dairy, and too much liquid. Raw meat will not cook properly in a slow cooker and can cause food poisoning. Dairy can curdle in a slow cooker and too much liquid can prevent the food from cooking properly.
Keep scrolling for the complete list of foods that cannot be cooked in a slow cooker:
1. Lean Meat
Lean meats are a bit tricky to cook in a slow cooker.
The problem is that the lean meat dries out, so it’s important to use a liquid to keep it moist.
The best way to do this is by adding some kind of sauce that has been thickened with flour or cornstarch.
If you’re cooking lean meats, it’s best if they are cooked on low heat for at least 8 hours.
This will allow the meat to cook through without burning and drying out.
If you like meat, then don’t forget to check out this post called Crockpot Keto Recipes.
2. Raw Meat
If you try to cook raw meat in your slow cooker, you can get sick.
The bacteria in the meat will get into the vegetables and other ingredients and make them unsafe to eat.
You could also use your slow cooker to cook chicken, but it should be cooked through before being added to the dish.
3. Too Much Liquid
Slow cookers are designed to cook with a relatively small amount of liquid, and it’s important to use the right amount.
If there’s too much, your food will be undercooked, and if there’s not enough, it’ll be overcooked.
4. Delicate Vegetables
You can’t cook delicate vegetables in a slow cooker.
That’s because they’ll turn to mush, or at best, become overcooked and lose their flavor.
And if you have a large amount of delicate vegetables in your slow cooker, you’re guaranteed not to like the end result of what comes out.
So what’s a person who wants to cook delicate vegetables in a slow cooker supposed to do?
Well, you could steam them first—then add them to the slow cooker with other ingredients.
Or you could roast them—then add them to the slow cooker with other ingredients.
Or you could eat them raw, which is probably the healthiest option anyway!
5. Too Much Spice
Spices are a great way to add flavor to your food, but some spices can be too strong when added to slow cooker recipes.
If you add too much spice to your dish, it will overpower the other ingredients and make your meal taste too spicy.
While this might not be a problem for some people, others might prefer their food to have a milder flavor.
If you’re one of these people, then you should avoid using spicy ingredients in your slow cooker recipes.
Dairy products such as milk, cream and cheese cannot be cooked in a slow cooker.
The slow cooker is not designed to heat milk and other dairy products to the temperatures required for cooking them.
Dairy products are easily spoiled when they are overheated.
For example, if you leave milk boiling on the stove for too long it will start to curdle and separate into a solid mass of curds and whey—the same thing would happen in your slow cooker if you tried to cook it for too long.
Even if you could cook the dairy product for long enough in the slow cooker, the heating element is not strong enough to bring the milk up to a high enough temperature without scorching or burning it on the bottom of the pot.
7. Too Much Booze
If you’re a fan of cooking with alcohol, you might be wondering why it’s not safe to cook with it in a slow cooker.
Well, the reason is simple: alcohol doesn’t evaporate at the same rate as water does.
This means that if you try to cook with too much booze, there’s no way for it all to evaporate and leave only the flavor behind.
The best way to avoid this is to just keep your recipes simple.
Stay away from recipes that have more than one cup of liquid, and stick with recipes that don’t require much more than 1/2 cup of booze.
8. Meat with Skin on
The skin on meat is a no-go for a slow cooker because it will be too difficult to remove once the cooking process is complete.
The skin will become tough and chewy, and it may even start to stick to the walls of the slow cooker.
9. Soft Fresh Herbs
Soft fresh herbs, like basil and cilantro, should not be cooked in a slow cooker.
The high heat and long cooking time of the slow cooker is not good for soft herbs. They will lose their flavor and turn brown.
Seafood is the one food that most often cannot be cooked in a slow cooker.
The problem is that seafood has a tendency to be overcooked, which can cause it to become dry and lose its flavor.
If you want to make seafood in your slow cooker, you’ll need to cook it on low heat for less than two hours.
If you cook it longer than that, the fish will become rubbery or dry out completely.
There are some exceptions to this rule: shrimp and scallops can be cooked in a slow cooker on high for about 20 minutes or until they turn pink (if they don’t turn pink, they’re not done).
11. Pasta and Rice
Pasta and rice are two foods that should NOT be cooked in a slow cooker.
Because pasta and rice are both starchy and absorbent, which means that the water in the pot will be absorbed by them.
This can lead to clumping, which is not something you want in your dish!
Another reason is that these foods require precise timing to ensure that they are perfectly cooked—and you can’t get that with a slow cooker.