Using the West Bend All-Purpose FAMILIE-SLO COOKER Base - Care Use Instructions & Recipes
Using the West Bend All-Purpose FAMILIE-SLO COOKER Base.
Edited by Chef Charles Knight
No, I did not spell FAMILIE or SLO incorrectly… someone at West Bend did that, either by accident or on purpose. Not sure. But they did copyright the name so let us assume that someone spelled the word FAMILIE and SLO incorrectly on purpose. Now that we have that out of the way.
The “Familie” Cooker unit typically came with a 4-quart saucepot with cover, the Slow-Cooker Base, electric cord, and the Instruction Recipe Booklet.
To begin cooking
- Place the slow-cooker heating base on a dry, level heat-resistance surface away from any counter or table edge. Do not block air flow under slow-cooker base.
- Place foods in the pan, cover and place the pan on Slow-Cooker Heating Base. (If you plan to brown (sear) or precook any foods before slow cooking, place the pan directly on the range top over medium heat 275ᵒ After you have cooked, browned and/or seared the food, transfer the pan to the Slow-Cooker Heating Base.
- Attach cord to base, then plug cord into a 120-volt AC electrical outlet ONLY.
- There are four numbered heat settings on the Slow-Cooker Heating Base 1 to 4. Heat Setting #1 is to WARM foods, like baked goods, dinner rolls, muffins, or to keep cooked foods warm for serving. Settings #2, #3 and #4 are for actual cooking of foods.
- Set the dial directly at the numbered heat setting or midway between the numbered heat setting for more temperature control.
DO NOT USE A HEAT SETTING BELOW #2 FOR ACTUAL COOKING OF RAW FOODS AS SLOW COOKER DOES NOT GET HOT ENOUGH TO COOK FOODS ON SETTING #1.
Set heat setting and cook for recommended time as given in recipe. As a general guideline, most meat and vegetable combinations need the following.
- #2 LOW Setting SIX to TEN Hours
- #3 MEDIUM Setting FOUR to SIX HOURS
- #4 HIGH Setting TWO to THREE hours
Meats will become the most tender when cooked for the longer time at the lower heat setting. Avoid removing cover when slow cooking as cooking time will be increase due to loss of temperature. Remove cover only when needed to stir occasionally or when adding ingredients.
ALWAYS USE POTHOLDERS WHEN HANDLING COVER AND POT. BE CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING COVER TO AVOID STEAM BURNS.
After you have cooked the food, reduce the heat to LOW Setting #1 or unplug the cord from outlet to turn off the unit. Allow Pan and All-Purpose Cooker base to cool before cleaning.
You can use following cooking tools on the stainless-steel pan interior cooking surface. Nylon, silicon rubber, wooden and smooth edge stainless steel. Do not hit cooking tools against the rim of the cooking pan. Do not cut or chop foods in the cooking pan.
Using Cooking Pan on Top of the Range.
You can use the All-Purpose Cooking Pot without the electric Base for range top waterless or minimum moisture cooking. A method of cooking that allows you to cook fresh or frozen vegetables in their own natural juices without adding additional water or a liquid. The Pot LID fits snugly on the pot rim (water-well) to form a “water or vapor seal.”
To cook the waterless or minimum moisture way; place the vegetables in the pan rinse with purified water and pour off the excess water. The moisture that clings to the vegetables is sufficient for cooking the waterless way. Place the pan on medium heat 275ᵒF with the vent open. When steam begins to escape and/or the whistle valve sounds, turn the heat to low 175ᵒF.
Waterless Cooking Forming the Water or Vapor Seal
As the food begins to cook over medium heat, the natural moisture in fruits and vegetables begins to turn to vapor. The vapor condenses on the inside of the cover and forms a “water or vapor-seal” between the rim of the pan and the lid. If the pot has a vapor vent or whistle vent, open the vent, when steam begins to escape or the whistle sounds, close the vent and turn the heat to low.
Medium to low is all you need to know. Medium until steam escapes, or the whistle sounds, turn the heat to low, the vapor-seal will form, and the lid will spin free on a cushion of moisture.
When using a gas range, do not let the flame extend up the side of the pot. Begin cooking on medium heat with the lid on. After 3 to 5 minutes vapor will begin to escape from the vented lid or from around the rim if your pan does not have a vented lid. Reduce the heat to low and do not remove the lid from the pan. The vapor seal has formed when the lid spins freely on a cushion of water.
Most fruits and vegetables contain enough moisture for “minimum-moisture” waterless cooking. When you are preparing vegetables that do not have enough natural moisture like cauliflower or corn on the cob must be rinsed then cooked in ¼ cup of purified water.
The exception to waterless cooking. You must add liquid when preparing soups, rice, pasta, dried cereals, and dried fruits.