Illustration: Lisa Greene

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1. How Long Should I Cook It?
Most slow cookers have just two settings: "Low" and "High" (if only everything in life were so simple). When time allows, we prefer to use "Low," since food tends to cook better on the more gentle heat over a longer period of time. But if you're time-pressed, go ahead and use "High"; slow cookers are pretty forgiving. Just remember that variables such as the meat's fat content and density, the amount of liquid, the size and type of the vegetables and the quantity of food will all affect the cooking time, so these times are approximate.

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