pumpkin stew isolated image by Andrew Brown from Fotolia.com

Slow cookers are commonly used for stews, meats and vegetable dishes of all styles and cuisines. Slow cookers lock in moisture, and their slow cooking time makes them convenient for preparing a large meal for a family or group without spending a lot of time in front of the stove. All-Clad slow cookers can be set between eight and 20 hours, allowing you to add ingredients and return after work or nearly a day later to a fully prepared meal.

Before Using the Slow Cooker

Wipe down the outer metal housing of the slow cooker with a damp cloth.

Wash the ceramic insert and lid with hot, soapy water.

Thoroughly rinse the ceramic insert and lid with warm water.

Dry the insert and lid with a clean towel or allow the items to dry in a dish rack before use.

Set the Cooking Mode and Time

Push the "Power" button on the front display panel until it illuminates.

Push the “Set” button to choose between high, low and warm settings on the slow cooker. Select the high mode for two to eight hours and the low mode for four to 20 hours.

Push the “Up” or “Down” buttons to select your cooking time.

Push the “Start” button once you have selected the correct cooking time and mode. A single beep will sound to indicate that the slow cooker has been set.

Push the “Power” button again when you have finished cooking. Unplug the slow cooker from the wall outlet when you are finished cooking and before cleaning the unit.

Slow Cooker Basics

Cut vegetables to small or medium size, as they often take longer to cook than meats. Place vegetables at the bottom of the slow cooker.

Trim the fat off of meat before adding it to the slow cooker. Alternately, you can brown the meat in a sauté pan to remove some of the fat if desired.

Use fresh or dried herbs instead of ground ones. Fresh and dried herbs retain more of their flavor when cooked for long periods of time.

Avoid filling the slow cooker more than three-quarters full during operation.


Place a heatproof pad under the removable insert if you plan on putting it on the table for serving purposes to avoid damaging the table.

Always cook food with the cover on. Removing the cover will add approximately 15 to 20 minutes to your total cooking time and may allow much-needed moisture to escape.


Do not put any padding under the slow cooker while heating. This could be a potential fire hazard.

About the Author

Christopher Godwin

Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."