This Sunday marks the first day of fall, which means it's time to dust off your rakes, coats and best of all, slow cookers.
Cooking in a slow cooker is usually as easy as throwing in a few ingredients, turning it on and walking away - but don't forget proper food safety before you close that lid.
Even though food prepared in a slow cooker is cooked at a lower temperature (usually between 170°F and 208°F), the food is safe because lengthy moist heat kills bacteria. Set your slow cooker on high until the food begins to bubble, and then turn to simmer or low. Cover and check the internal temperature of your food, which should reach at least 165°F when done cooking.
When using a slow cooker, it's also important to remember to:
Always choose a recipe with a liquid.
Use small, thawed pieces of meat or poultry.
Fill the cooker from half to two-thirds full.
If the power goes out on the cooker and you're not home, throw away the food!
Remember, slow cooking is not to be used for reheating food.