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.
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 ...
the newer pots cook at a higher temp i think. i have been cooking frozen meats in a crock pot for 10 years or better. never had any problems.
“but leaving my stove or oven on all day when I’m not home is a fire hazard”
I assume you have an electric stove. So when was the last time your house caught on fire when running your oven at 180 degrees F? Most home fires are caused by electrical shorts and gas leaks not ovens.
I agree. We cook frozen meats all the time. Maybe that was a remark matched to the recipe.
I have two sizes and yeah, they take forever. I have always wanted to try the oatmeal in the small one, but, I just pop it in the microwave.
I do have a recipe for stuffing in the crockpot that’s ok, though.
We have HTML Sandboxes - maybe we need a basic punctuation sandbox. Most of us are ‘making it up’ as we go along - if you know what I mean...
And if I don’t have all day, there’s always the pressure cooker...
For me it is alot more expensive to use the stove oven than to pop something in the slow cooker. An added benefit is the meat is not dry, it is tender- and I make gravy from the liquid remaining. I buy the cheapest cut of meat and it comes out very tender.
Why is fall crockpot weather. You would think that in the fall and winter it would be time to use the oven, and that crockpot weather would be summer when you don’t want the oven on.
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