A Slow-Cooker Can Speed Up A Thanksgiving Meal Your best helper for the big Thanksgiving Day meal may be your overlooked slow-cooker (you may know it as a Crock Pot).
If you put extra stuffing in the slow-cooker when you put the turkey in the oven, it will be ready when the turkey's done.
Such side dishes could also easily be assigned to family members to bring from home in their own slow-cookers.
One advantage of the cooker is that if you are delayed or the rest of the meal is not ready, an hour of extra cooking time won't make much difference in most recipes cooking on low.
Also, the food will stay warm longer when on a buffet table in a cooker.
There are two temperature levels on most slow-cookers -low (200 degrees) and high (300 degrees). When you leave a cooker unattended, it's best to have It on low. Some recipes start out on high for one hour and then are turned to low. If you are at home and everyone is eager for dinner, turn the control to high for the last hour or two of cooking.
As long as the cooker is plugged in and cooking, the food in it should be at a safe temperature. Do not put frozen foods in a slow-cooker; thaw them first. The outside surface of frozen food heats quickly, but the inside takes much longer to rise to a safe temperature, increasing the chances of bacterial growth.
A thin coat of nonstick cooking spray on the bottom and sides of the cooker will speed cleanup.