full crock pot

Illustrations: David Wyffels

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Myth #2: The Pot Must Be Two-Thirds Full at All Times
We've seen this advice in countless slow-cooker recipes, and O'Dea explains why: The cooking time is partially determined by how much food is in the pot. A standard slow cooker holds six quarts, so if you're only making enough food for two people, the ingredients will probably only fill one-third of the pot—and they'll cook a lot faster than they would if you had more in there. So, it's not a problem to turn the appliance on with a small amount of food in it; just adjust the cooking time. Or, O'Dea suggests, put the ingredients in a smaller, one- to two-quart oven-safe casserole dish (such as CorningWare or Pyrex) and set that inside the slow cooker.