Skip to comments.Slow-cook crock pot a real timesaver
Posted on 10/20/2010 1:23:38 PM PDT by JoeProBono
Slow-cooker cooking is a rite of fall.
In this hurry-up society, cooking a hot, nutritious meal seems almost a thing of the past. But, if you have the discipline to think about dinner at breakfast time, your reward can be a meal thats ready when you get home.
The slow-cook crock pot not only improves the variety and flavor of the food you serve, but it can cut the time you spend in the kitchen almost in half. The slow cooker wont replace the stove top or the oven because it cooks foods in a different way. Main dishes, casseroles and soups are particularly adaptable to this method.
Slow cookers can be purchased in a variety of sizes. There is a one-quart model for singles and a 12-quart roaster oven that not only slow cooks, but performs a variety of other cooking functions. So slow cooking can fit any familys needs.
Here are a few tips for using your slow cooker:
The slow cooker should be 1/2 to 3/4 full when in use.
Liquids do not boil away, so the liquid amount should be reduced by half from what an oven or stove top recipe requires.
Keep the lid on the slow cooker while it is in use. There is no need to stir the food once cooking has started. Do not remove the lid until you are adding final ingredients during the last half hour of cooking or the cooking process is done.
It is not safe to use the slow cooker to thaw or cook frozen meats.
All Day Crockpot Delight
Ingredients: 2 to 3 pounds stew beef or lean chuck, cut in cubes 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup butter 1 medium onion, sliced 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 12 ounces beer 1/4 cup flour Preparation: Coat beef cubes with the 1/2 cup flour. Brown in skillet in the butter. Drain off excess fat. In slow cooker, combine browned meat with onion, salt, pepper, garlic and beer. Cover and cook on low 6 to 9 hours, or until meat is tender. Turn control to high. Dissolve remaining 1/4 cup flour in small amount of cold water. Stir into meat mixture, cook on high 30-40 minutes longer. Serve with rice and salad.
We are big fans of our slow cooker. It is so old it is almond coloured with cute little mushrooms painted as decor.
A question for you. From the article the text says “Slow-cooker cooking is a rite of fall.” Do we no longer capitalize Spring and Fall to denote seasons? Shouldn’t this be “ a rite of Fall”? Or am I an anachronism....
I like the convenience, but crock pots tend to dry out whatever meat is being cooked.
I use mine year round. In fact I have several.
One of my easiest favorites: take a 3 lb or so pork roast, put in the slow cooker. One can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, one packet of dry onion soup mix (can be cheap store brand). Mix the onion soup stuff into the mushroom, then add approx 1 can of water, combine this well. Pour over the roast. Put the lid on, set on medium/medium high. Go to work. YUM If you want to be fancy, stick some potato chunks and carrots down around the edges.
Our grammar textbooks teach us that we don’t capitalize the seasons.
All depends on how much water you add.
Tasty variation: marinate the beef, cubed, in Merlot or , Sauvignon overnight. Then, follow the recipe above exactly, only instead of beer, add 12 oz. of Merlot/Cabernet. Essentially, a poor-man’s beef Bourginon.
It seems contrary to logic, but the seasons are not capitalized.
I haven't found very many recipes that I like from a crock pot. Takes longer than just coking it on the stove or oven and as you pointed out, tough meat. My sil used to do her roasts in the crock pot all the time. They were tough.
Although I still have my old Presto Harvest Gold pot ... the original, I don’t like the way crock pot recipes come out.
They are all overcooked and too much liquid.
Yes, you have to avoid lean cuts of meat, such as pork tenderloin. It works fine for pork or beef roast, though.
My favorite slow-cooker recipe is "Ultimate Crock-Pot Oatmeal" from mrbreakfast.com. I heavily doctor it with extra apple and dried fruit and use steel-cut oats (they don't turn to mush as easily). Definitely worth a try.
crock pots tend to dry out whatever meat is being cooked.
I have the crock pot pictured above. It must be defective because it cooks food in about half the listed time. On low, a pot roast is done in 4-5 hours, not the 7-9 listed in the manual. I was very disapointed in my roasts until I stopped cooking one after 4 hours and it was perfect (160deg). If I tried to cook longer than my work day, all the fooods came out dry or overcooked. anyway, my $.02.
Don’t use too much water either, allow the fat in the meat to do it’s job and not float to the top of water that you might pour off.
SUPER easy recipe here: take country style pork ribs, put them in the crock pot. Pour 1 large can of sauerkraut over them and cook all day. Super simple, super yummy!!!!
I bought a Rival model that features a digital timer. When you set it on low, it cooks it in 4-5 hours and then lowers the temperature to where food doesn’t overcook.
I had Summer jobs at a regional retail chain in college. You could tell what the big Christmas items were going to be because of the massive influx of the “same” item from different vendors. Crock pots from Rival, Sunbeam, etc. Shower heads, curling irons, and toaster ovens bring back memories. (Finding legal room to store luggage was the worst.)
Almond was the alternative color at the time to Harvest Gold or Avocado Green. “Platinum” was the classy synonym for “Almond” used by some vendors.
>>>They were tough.
Then she’s not doin’ it right. I take about a 4 pound pork shoulder, put some dry rub on it - then put it in the crock with some carrot, celery, and onion under it - and dump in a can of cola - and let it go for 8+ hours... couldn’t slice it if I wanted to because it falls apart.
all of which are greasy cuts of meat.
A quick trip through a boiling water bath can eliminate
some of the fat content.
You know you can just buy a dutch oven and use it in your oven as a slow cooker. A lot cheaper than buying a counter top slow cooker.
Well whaddya know...news of the crockpot has come to Richmond.
CHUCKWAGON BUFFALO STEW
Pulled pork, yum!
It is not safe to use the slow cooker to thaw or cook frozen meats.
I used to cook frozen roast in there regularly. Done to perfection in 10 hours.
Just don’t include carrots, at least not until toward the end; or everything will be carrot flavored.
Is it possible that those roasts that turned out tough may have been put into the crock pot frozen? Methinks meat should be fresh or completely thawed if it had been frozen, before putting them in contact with salt, spices, etc., or applying heat. FWIW
Bump for some more great recipes; this one sounds Great!
Like I mentioned, its way faster to just put it in the oven or cook on the stove. I seldom use my crockpot. Every time I try it because some recipes looks good, its always a disappointment.
I have two older crock pots and use them year round. Soup, stew, chili, cheap cuts of meat, etc are easy with these.
I was taught to capitalize the seasons, but these days the MS Word spell checker identifies capitalized seasons as spelling errors.
Or should the quotation marks be outside the punctuation?
At my house it's a "rite of fall," because the last time I used the crock pot, I slipped and fell in the kitchen. On my 3-month-old replacement hip....
I learned something that’s either new, or I’ve forgotten over the eons since I was in school. :)
“Seasons start with a capital letter when they go with another noun or when they personify. Here they function as proper nouns: “Autumn Open House”; “I think Spring is showing her colors”; “Old Man Winter”. However, in the general sense, they do not start with a capital letter: “This summer was very hot.”
I have a dutch oven too, but leaving my stove or oven on all day when I'm not home is a fire hazard. On the other hand, leaving the slow cooker on low all day is perfectly safe.
I got a little ‘personal’ crock pot when I was in college and I still use it today. One of the first things I learned to make was putting a pork tenderloin with bar-b-q sauce, onion, and some sprite and letting it slow cook all day. Got home from long day of classes and that tenderloin had turned into basically pulled pork. Makes for great sandwiches.
I actually use a slow cooker (oblong metal pan with glass lid that sits on base). I have never had a crock pot. I would love the pork ribs with sauerkraut, but those who live with me would protest the odor, I am afraid.
A fast/easy chili for those who can lower themselves to a fast/easy chili: 1.5 lbs or more ground beef, browned. 1 green pepper, chopped kind of coarsely, 1 onion chopped kind of coarsely. Add 2 cans beans, not drained (I like to use one can kidney and one can pinto), large can of chopped style tomatoes, not drained (the 28 oz can), and 3-4 TBSP chili powder. Mix all togther in the slow cooker, put in fridge overnight. Put it on the base (covered) in the morning.
Liquids do too cook off!
I count on it to make my apple butter! I fill the crock pot with home made, sugar free apple sauce. Add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon Apple Pie Spice, and cook on low overnight. I give it a stir every time I get up to go potty.
In the morning, it has reduced by half, and is wonderful, sugar free apple butter.
If you have never canned before, but are interested in learning how to preserve this wonderful stuff, shoot me a PM, and I’ll tell you what you need to know, and also give you some links that I rely on for good canning information.
I skip the meat and use my crock pot to cook pinto beans and minestrone soup
I suggest that instead of passing out EBT cards and food stamps, the government should merely give out pinto beans, rice, and perhaps cheese. Deadbeats would be healthier, and less people would sign up for the benefits.
I’m pretty sure they were thawed. You are not supposed to put frozen meat in the crockpot.
My sister puts a frozen meatloaf in hers, a couple carrots under it to keep it off the bottom. Says it’s done perfectly in about 10 hours. I have not tired this, though.
I have a roast cooking in the electric frypan right now!
The problem I have with the crock pot is that it takes forever and a day to actually start cooking. If I have 12 hours to kill, that’s fine. But it usually takes about 6 hours for the doggone thing to get to an almost-simmer. Just a little more heat and a warmup mode would be great.
The bachelor’s best friend.
Pot Roast: Add a chuck roast and a can of Campbell’s French onion soup. Carrots and potatoes if you have them. Cook overnight or all day while you are at work. Excellent for football Saturdays.
Barbecue Pork: Add a pork roast and very little chicken broth or water and cook all day. Chop up the meat, remove any bones and add sauce. Put onto sandwich buns. Eat.
Chili: Add ground beef, browned if you want to, diced tomatoes, chili powder, hot pepper, an onion, beans, frozen corn and salt. Cook 6 to 12 hours. Good with cheese and chips.
Why is it unsafe to use frozen meat? I almost always do. I do most crock pot cooking overnight for 10 hours typically. I figure any bacteria would be dead after that.
Guidelines help you get the most from your slow-cooker
Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 12:00 AM Updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 8:52 AM Katherine Miller, The Oregonian
It's officially slow-cooker weather, and even though it seems as if this appliance is no more complicated than a toaster, there are some guidelines you should follow -- some for the sake of safety, others for quality. Here are some tips from the USDA and Taste of Home magazine:
Don't put frozen or partially thawed meat or poultry into a slow-cooker. They take longer to get to 165 degrees (the temperature at which illness-causing bacteria are killed) and they can also cool everything down in the cooker. That's a recipe for a bacteria playground.
To cook food properly and safely, fill at least half full but not more than two-thirds full. Veggies cook slower than meat or poultry, so put them on the bottom and sides of the cooker surrounding the meat or poultry, then cover with your liquid. Most meat with vegetables take at least 8 hours on low to cook thoroughly.
If converting a conventional recipe, reduce the amount of liquid you use by half -- unless you're cooking uncooked beans, rice or pasta, which soak up a lot of liquid.
To avoid overcooking tender vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms, add them about 45 minutes before serving. For rice or pasta, allow 45 to 60 minutes.
Resist opening the lid. Every time you do, you increase the cooking time by 20 to 30 minutes.
There's no need to preheat a slow-cooker. However, if possible, set the cooker to its highest setting for the first hour, then lower it to your desired temperature.
Although browning meat is not necessary, it allows you to reduce the fat content and enhances the color and flavor of the meat.
I do that too, but I use a lot more seasonings.
ahem ... it’s actually OK to place the question mark outside a verbatim quote to explicitly note that the question mark is part of the author’s text, and not part of the quotation.
I think Obama is despicable for thrice omitting “endowed by our Creator”!
At least I was taught that YEARS ago ...
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