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Apr 18, 2009 05:59 PM

Slow cooker advice

Hello! I am making 2 beef roasts for a dinner party tomorrow. I used my slow cooker for one, and then borrowed a friend's.

The borrowed slow cooker has a hole in the top for a probe and 2 vent holes. Since steam will escape, do I need to adjust my recipe because of the venting at the top? Or, do you have a suggestion on something to put over the top of the slow cooker but under the lid to make it more air tight (such as plastic wrap or aluminum foil)?

Thanks! Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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  1. I usually place aluminum foil over the whole slow cooker and push down a bit in the center so stream drops back down. Put the lid on over the foil. Thank Molly Stevens for that one :-)

    1. Yeah, Molly Stevens is awesome--I usually use parchment paper since the aluminum can react with some things.

      I usually just skip the slow cooker and do it in the oven. Always seems to come out better.

      1. I just purchased a slow cooker that has a hole for a thermometer probe. The instructions don't mention anything about covering it up when not using the probe. I think you can safely leave it uncovered.

        1. I am doing a beef roast with red wine, garlic, onions, & mushrooms braised for 10 hours on low. Do you think that aluminum foil will react with that? I have used foil to cook meat in the oven, so I don't imagine that the reduced heat of the slow cooker (200 degrees) would cause a bad reaction.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Main Line Tracey

            Aluminum foil reacts with acidic things--maybe bases as well. Definitely place the shiny side down--it might react with the wine. I use parchment paper. A few posts ago, someone praise Molly Stevens for the use of aluminum to seal--she usually recommends putting a piece of parchment under the aluminum.

          2. I wouldn't cover it if you're using a regular non slow cooker recipe. If you use a slow cooker for braising, you need to reduce the liquids anyway. You want some evaporation which you get in the stove and the oven. So the holes actually sound perfect for what you want. If you really want, you use a kitchen towel folded in half which would absorb water that evaporates but leave the flavor in the stew.