Slow-Cooker Beef Stew Tips
Can you put raw beef in the slow cooker?
It is perfectly safe to add raw beef to a slow cooker
. However, if the beef is frozen, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight to ensure safe cooking temperatures
Do I have to brown beef before slow cooking?
While beef can certainly be added directly to a slow cooker, stew meat that has been browned first gets added flavor from the caramelization that happens during browning. Searing the meat also helps to lock in the juices to keep it from drying out. Beef that has been dredged in flour before browning aids in thickening the stew as well. Try one of our most popular beef stew recipes for your slow cooker
Does beef stew get more tender the longer it cooks?
Yes. The meat used in beef stew and other braises
needs a long and slow cooking time. This ensures delicious, fork-tender results. Acid—from canned tomatoes, wine or a little vinegar—can also help break down the meat fibers when you’re braising.
Can you overcook stew in a slow cooker?
A slow-cooked stew
is pretty forgiving, but cooking beyond the point of tenderness can dry out the meat as well as the cooking juices and sauce. If serving is delayed, switch your slow cooker to warm until you're ready to eat.
What should I serve with beef stew?
Nothing beats hot homemade bread with a bowl of stew, and you don’t have to be an expert baker to make a loaf
. Mashed potatoes, polenta and other delicious side dishes for beef stew
abound. Research contributed by Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager and Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Book Editor