Why You Should Use Less Liquid In A Slow Cooker, According To The Good Dish

For many home cooks, a slow cooker is a must-have kitchen appliance. Whether you don't like to cook, don't really know how to, or simply don't have the time, a trusty Crock-Pot can put a homemade meal on the table with very little effort (or skill) required on your part. The countertop appliances have been around for more than 80 years, and continue to be as popular as ever among Americans (via Smithsonian Mag).

However, despite how easy slow cookers are designed to be, there are some common mistakes everyone makes when using them. One frequent faux pas has to do with the amount of liquid. Pour in too much, and you'll end up with a sloppy mess. But add too little and your dish will be all dried-up. What's a chef to do? To help you, Gail Simmons recently took to Instagram to share her secret to nailing how much liquid to use in a slow cooker — and it's less than you might think. Here's what the Bravo TV star and host of "The Good Dish" suggests trying next time you fire up the Crock-Pot.

The liquid won't evaporate

Just because she's a "Top Chef" judge and expert food writer doesn't mean Gail Simmons doesn't make mistakes like the rest of us. Even she understands the struggle of trying to figure out just how much liquid to add to your slow cooker. On her new daily show "The Good Dish" — where she shares recipes, cooking tutorials, and other helpful tricks alongside co-hosts Daphne Oz and Jamika Pessoa — Simmons recently shared some of her go-to hacks for slow cooking. When it comes to the liquid, she says less is more. "Liquid management is key to a slow cooker's success," she explained in an Instagram clip. "You need about half the amount of liquid you would otherwise use on the stove."

Why is that the case? According to Simmons, because the lid of your slow cooker is sealed so tightly, moisture doesn't escape or evaporate. Thus, BBC Good Food says you should decrease the amount of liquid by about a third — and never fill it up more than three quarters full — before you set it and forget it.