Slow Cooker Cooking Tips

Cold, wintry days are perfect for putting your slow cooker to good use. They can be used for soups, stews, casseroles and much more. Everything you could possibly want to warm you up in winter. Whether you’re cooking a meaty stew or looking for a way to use up some left over vegetables, there’s plenty of options for you to cook.

Can You Put Tenderstem® Broccoli in a Slow Cooker?

You can put Tenderstem® broccoli in a slow cooker, but the trick is to get the timing right. Tenderstem® only needs a short amount of time to cook. So if you throw it in with your carrots and onions at the beginning of the recipe, you won’t benefit so much from Tenderstem®’s delicious flavours and textures.

Instead, add it towards the end. Half an hour should be plenty of time to cook Tenderstem® broccoli in a slow cooker.

Does Frozen Tenderstem® Broccoli Work in a Slow Cooker?

If you have any frozen Tenderstem® broccoli, you can also cook this in your slow cooker. The cooking instructions are much the same as fresh Tenderstem® in a slow cooker – half an hour or so should be plenty time.

Top Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker:

  • Load up in the right order – root vegetables at the bottom and if you’re cooking meat, layer this on top. Add your stock, wine or other sauces and away you go. Seafood or delicate vegetables can be added towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Set and forget – once you’ve added all your ingredients, you shouldn’t need to keep checking on your recipe. Use a low setting and let the cooker do the work. That is until you need to add some Tenderstem® to the pot…
  • Add Tenderstem® broccoli near the end – Tenderstem® is best when it retains a little bit of crunch, often providing a great contrast in texture when you’re cooking a stew or casserole in the slow cooker. The last half an hour will be more than enough time for your Tenderstem® broccoli to cook through.
  • Chop the stems up and add them sooner – if you want to chop up your Tenderstem® broccoli into bite size chunks, you can chop up the stems and throw them into your slow cooker at any point. Just keep the delicate florets to the side for warming through at the end of the cooking process.
  • Alternatively, keep your Tenderstem® separate – a stew or casserole in the slow cooker will be beautifully tender by the time it’s ready. Tenderstem® broccoli will make a delicious side dish cooked on its own. Click here to see all the different ways you can cook Tenderstem®.
  • Choose cheaper cuts of meat – if you’re cooking a meaty dish, some of the cheaper cuts such as beef brisket, chicken thighs and lamb shoulder are great to use. The slow cooker will really tenderise this meat, providing you with a delicious meal without needing to spend too much.
  • Don’t add so much liquid – if you’re adapting a recipe written for cooking on the hob or in the oven and it calls for adding stock or water, do so cautiously. Slow cookers retain moisture, so you shouldn’t need so much liquid.
  • Thicken with flour – if your slow cooker dish is looking a little too thin, a couple of teaspoons of cornflour should thicken it up nicely. Alternatively, prepare your cuts of meat with standard flour before adding it to the pot.
  • Use frozen vegetables – have you got a few bags of frozen vegetables that you’ve forgotten about? Slow cookers are perfect for using these up and infusing them with fantastic flavours. We’d always recommend having a bag of frozen Tenderstem® on hand for just an occasion.
  • Dried herbs work best – fresh herbs don’t work so well in a slow cooker environment. They’ll go limp and soggy. Rather, it’s perfect for dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, bay leaves and sage.

Best Slow Cooker Recipes with Tenderstem® Broccoli

Here's a selection of recipes you can easily adapt for your slow cooker at home.