Slow Cooker Hack: Add Canned Milk to Creamy Soups
If you’re craving comfort food, the slow cooker is a great place to turn. Among its many uses, churning out hearty soups and stews ranks high at the top. These soups and stews are even more comforting when made creamy, but that usually involves stirring in heavy cream, which can actually separate and make the broth grainy in the slow cooker. Luckily, there’s a $1 solution to the problem: a can of evaporated milk.
Lose the Cream and Opt for Canned Milk
The trouble with using heavy cream in slow cooker soups and stews is that since they cook for hours, you’ll run the risk of the dairy separating. To avoid this, recipes will instruct you to stir in the cream at the very end of cooking, right before you’ll serve it. That’s fine, but it would be nicer if you could simply add it at the beginning of cooking so you can get to the eating part at the end a bit faster.
That’s where evaporated milk comes in. Since evaporated milk is made by heating milk until about 60 percent of its water content has evaporated, it won’t actually separate in the slow cooker. You can dump it in at the start of cooking and it will simmer along with the other ingredients just fine. The results will be just as rich and creamy as they would be if you used heavy cream, if not more so, since the other ingredients have had hours to soak up some of that evaporated milk.
An equal amount of evaporated milk can be swapped in for heavy cream in any slow cooker recipe. Just add it at the beginning of cooking instead of stirring in any cream at the end.