Do you have to brown lamb before slow cooking?

Do you have to brown lamb before slow cooking? And what does browning the meat do to the final dish? Find out!

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Do you have to brown lamb before slow cooking?

No, you don’t have to brown lamb before slow cooking. The meat will still become moist and fall-off-the-bone tender. However, the slow cooker will never be hot enough to brown the meat, so if you decide to skip this step be aware that the finished dish may look paler than expected.
Browning the meat doesn’t take long and has some advantages, including a good looking, caramelised surface and richer coloured dish. It can also give a deeper flavour, and some say a better texture.

How to brown meat for slow cooking

Follow these tips to brown a large cut of meat before slow cooking. It only takes a few minutes:
  1. Pre-heat a pan on high heat with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. 
  2. Sear each side of the meat for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown all over. 
  3. Remove meat. It can be placed directly into the slow cooker.
You only want to give colour to the outside, and the rest will cook in the slow cooker. This is why it’s okay to use a nice high heat.

More slow cooking tips

Looking for more tips? Learn more below:

Slow cooker recipes

Get lots more succulent slow cooking recipes below! 

Get the recipe: Sri Lankan Lamb Shank Curry

Cook lamb shanks with eggplant and Sri Lankan curry sauce for a fantastically warming winter meal.

Get the recipe: Korma Marinated Lamb Shoulder with Spinach Lentils

This lamb shoulder is slow-cooked in the oven, so it doesn't need to be browned before roasting.

Get the recipe: Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

Lamb shoulder can be slow cooked in lots of different ways, try them all this slow cooker season.

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