Why You Should Almost Always Grease Your Slow Cooker

It's a well-known fact that each cooking appliance operates by a different set of rules. But, knowing what each kitchen gadget or device requires can be tough to remember, particularly when it comes to low-maintenance appliances like a blender or slow cooker. If you've been tossing ingredients into your slow cooker without abandon, you may have missed one tiny step. To maximize the benefit of cooking food low and slow, you should actually be greasing your slow cooker. Yes, it's news to us, too.

In addition, certain slow cookers do not come with a removable interior, making the chore of cleaning up stubborn stains and food residue challenging. Depending on the food cooked, you may have to soak the slow cooker before attacking the leftover remnants inside with soap and a sponge. That's where greasing your slow cooker beforehand comes in handy. However, you can probably skip this step for soup and stew dishes since they contain a liquid base. 

Greasing with cooking oils helps preserve the slow cooker

According to The Kitchn, you should typically grease your slow cooker when you're cooking something starchy. Think: mashed potatoes or pasta. These dishes can easily stick to the sides and bottom when cooking or left overnight in the fridge, creating a congealed mess and a much bigger headache during clean-up. If you're accustomed to cooking most of your meals in a slow cooker, you may find that your device's interior finish is a bit worn and that foods stick to the walls of the innermost interior a lot more. 

Per The Kitchn, greasing your slow cooker can help slow down this process and preserve the shiny or ceramic finish of your slow cooker. As for the best oils to use to keep your slow cooker intact when simmering? That part isn't quite as complicated as removing tough meat or white residues. The Kitchn suggests using a nonstick cooking spray to spray the interior of your slow cooker or rubbing cooking oil all over it before cooking. Recommended oils include canola oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. So the next time you break out the slow cooker, don't forget to grease it, then set it and forget it, to make clean-up easier!