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.
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.
We have two pressure cookers. I do most of the Thanksgiving cooking (gives my wife a break) and actually employ TWO pressure cookers from Wed - Thursday AM. ;-)
BTW, my wife DOES insist on making the stuffing.
My wife does something similar.
She puts a pork shoulder in the pot, adds some type of cola, ginger ale.
Cooks it all day , takes it out, shreds it, adds BBQ sauce. Good.
The recipe calls for an eye round roast. Stores in my area usually cut these in half into approx. 2.5 pound pieces, so this is the size I usually make. You can serve this as a hot roast with potatoes or other side dishes, or let it cool and slice it thinly for sandwiches. This cut of beef sells for about $4.49/lb, so it's a good inexpensive dinner.
The eye round can be a bit chewy, so there are two steps that are required to naturally tenderize the roast. The first step involved an overnight seasoning in the refrigerator, so this dish will require preparation 1 day in advance.
Step 1: Salt the roast and let it sit for 18 - 24 hours in the refrigerator. I use a "heaping" tablespoon of kosher salt. You might even go to 1.5 tbs. I rub the salt all over the roast until it feels grainy from the salt. Some of the salt will begin to dissolve, so don't stop when it feels grainy -- keep going until the measured salt is used up. Wrap the roast in plastic and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
The salt will do the following:
Overnight, the salt will draw the moisture out from the center of the roast towards the salt. The salt will then dissolve into the moisture, which then absorbs back into the roast. The salt will begin breaking down the meat and tenderizing.
Step 2: The next day, brown the sides of the roast in a skillet. The browning does not help the tenderizing, but will add some flavor to the roast.
Step 3. Insert a remote thermometer in the roast before placing it in the crock pot. You will need to monitor the internal temperature of the roast as it cooks.
Step 4: Cook the roast in the crock pot on LOW power until the internal temperature reaches about 112 degrees F. Then shut off the crock pot until the roast reaches 122 degrees F from residual heat.
This is the second step in naturally tenderizing this cut. The roast will naturally tenderize until its internal temperature reaches 122 degrees F, and will then just cook after that. To maximize tenderizing, try to keep the roast under 122 degrees F for as long as possible.
Step 5: Once the roast reaches 122 degrees F, turn the crock pot back onto LOW and let it resume cooking until the internal temperature reaches 132 degrees F. Shut the crock pot off again after 132 degrees F.
Step 6. Keep the roast in the crock pot until its internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F (for a medium rare roast). I often go to 142 degrees, or when the residual heat no longer raises the internal temperature. Once the roast reaches 140-142 degrees F, remove it from the crock pot and let it sit for 15 minutes (I cover it with a foil tent to capture the remaining heat).
Step 7: Thinly slice the roast and serve.
Cooking time for a 2.5 lb eye round roast is about 3 hours. Note that the ends are usually tapered, so the roast will be more well done on one end than on the other.
The original recipe uses the main oven set at 200 degrees F. They only shut off the oven once the internal temperature of the roast reaches 130 degrees F. By using the crock pot, I'm not tying up the oven and I can use the on/off of the crock pot to slow down the early cooking. The remote thermometer lets me keep the lid on the crock pot at all times (the small cord on the probe doesn't interfere with the lid).
I think of fall and winter as crock pot time because that is when I make stews and roasts and such.
Last thing I want in summer is a roast, I want salads and fruit and lighter, colder foods.
This was a vey amateurish arcticle. By an intern perhaps?
Wow That sounds so good:)
winter, spring, summer, or fall. All you got to do is call.
Crock-Pot is perfect for seasonal stews and chilies
By SUSAN M. SELASKY, McClatchy-Tribune October 20, 2010
Slow-cooker cooking is a rite of fall.
The appliance is ideal for making soups, chilies or stews. You can even make oatmeal overnight so breakfast is ready when you wake up.
The trusty slow cooker (also known by the trademarked name Crock-Pot) is 39 years old and keeps getting better with age -thanks to evolving techniques and more recipes packed with flavour or international flair.
Beef and Wine Stew
This comes from Jonathan John of Monroe, Mich. For John, the slow cooker's appeal lies in its convenience and versatility. He also likes that slow cookers offer affordable ways to make a meal, especially with meats. "You can use lesser or inexpensive cuts of meat, slow-cook them and it tastes just as good as the more expensive cuts."
1 pound (500 g) bacon, cut into pieces
3 pounds (1.5 kg) boneless beef roast, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1/2 cup (125 mL) flour, lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) sliced shallots 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
8 ounces (225 g) cremini or white mushrooms, wiped clean, cut in half if large
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
11/2 cups (375 mL) full-bodied red wine or 12 ounces (350 mL) stout beer 1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
Cooked noodles or rice or garlic mashed potatoes (optional for serving)
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until just crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces, leaving the drippings in the skillet and keep heated over medium heat. Reserve the bacon for another use. Place the beef cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with the seasoned flour. Toss to coat the beef cubes lightly with the flour.
Working in batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides in the bacon drippings. Remove to the slow cooker. In the same skillet, saute the shallots, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic until just lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and stir. Cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours on the low setting (or 4 hours on the high setting).
The meat should be fall-apart tender. About 30 minutes before serving, if the sauce needs thickening, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cover and continue cooking until thickened. Remove the bay leaf and serve the stew with some sauce over cooked noodles, cooked rice or mashed potatoes.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
This recipe is adapted from Food Network Kitchens.
2 tablespoons (30 mL) canola oil
2 pounds (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 11/2-inch (4 cm) pieces
3 tablespoons (45 mL) flour
2 teaspoons (10 mL) cumin, divided
3 tablespoons (45 mL) chili powder plus 3 teaspoons (15 mL), divided
1 medium poblano pepper, seeded, diced
1 can (19 ounces / 540 mL) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 ounces / 540 mL) white beans, drained and rinsed
3 cans (14 ounces / 398 mL each) diced tomatoes (with green chilies if possible)
2 cups (500 mL) fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons (45 mL) instant tapioca
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) onion powder
2 teaspoons (10 mL) granulated garlic
1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 175 mL) lager-style beer (optional) Toppings (optional): sour cream, shredded cheddar or jack cheese, chopped green onions, chopped pickled jalapenos
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour, 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cumin and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) chili powder. Toss to coat the pieces with the flour mixture. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on each side. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the diced poblano pepper to the skillet and saute 3 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients -including 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cumin and 3 tablespoons chili powder -except the beer to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours or until the chicken is fall-apart tender.
About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the beer if using.
Just before serving, stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons (10 mL) chili powder, taste and adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the chili among warm bowls. Serve with the topping of your choice.
African-Style Braised Chicken in Peanut Sauce
From Delicious & Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes Created for America's Kitchens, by Judith Finlayson.
1 tablespoon (15 mL) vegetable oil
3 pounds (1.5 kg) chicken pieces, washed and patted dry; skin-on breast, skinless legs and thighs
2 onions, peeled, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced 1/2 to 1 long red or green chili pepper, minced
2 teaspoons (10 mL) curry powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
1/2 cup (125 mL) condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce 1 bay leaf
1/2 cup (125 mL) peanut butter
2 tablespoons (30 mL) sherry or lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
Hot cooked rice (about 3/4 cup / 175 mL per serving)
In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring until softened. Add the garlic, chili pepper, curry powder, oregano, salt and peppercorns. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, tomato sauce and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken pieces in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
In a bowl, combine the peanut butter and sherry. Add a little cooking liquid and stir to blend. Add to slow cooker along with the red bell pepper. Cover and cook on high for 20 minutes, until the pepper is tender.
Discard the bay leaf and serve the chicken over hot white rice.
I make soups and stews year round. Hubby says salads and fruits don't keep him full at work. Go figure.
“For me it is alot more expensive to use the stove oven than to pop something in the slow cooker.”
I have looked at them, but since most of my slow cook meals are done during the weekend, I find using the dutch oven from stove top to oven works best. Also, the aroma is to die for.
I use our crockpot mostly for our meat. If we end up with tough venison, I will slow cook it for hours until it is shreds and then add seasonings. It is great in Mexican food.
Another thing I do is throw in pork (we raise our own)..any kind, even pork chops..and cover it with a homemade BBQ sauce and let it slow cook. I end up with great ribs, chops or roasts that way. Some times I will pour huckleberry or raspberry jam in the BBQ sauce. A favorite it adding cranberry sauce to the BBQ sauce. Tangy and sweet.
A quick trip through a boiling water bath can eliminate
some of the fat content....
I make a weeks worth of meals
I think the concern is not the bacteria themselves but their waste products. Botullisim poisoning would be an example (although not for crockpot cooking) of the damage being caused by the output of the bacteria rather than the actual bugs.
We use ours a lot.
What i don’t see anymore are pressure cookers.
My granny used to always use one to cook her potatos.
I miss that whistling sound...
Put meat into crock pot, if its still frozen this is fine
Pressure cookers are awesome. And there are some great modern models. They cook the BEST beans!
Peel and core 2-3 apples and coarsely chop. Coarsely chop a medium Vidalia type sweet onion. Combine the apples and onion in the bottom of the slow cooker with 2T apple cider vinegar and 2T apple jelly. Place a piece of boneless pork loin on top..fat side up. Salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low about 5-6 hours. Serve apple/onion sauce on the side.
Just last weekend i had some slooooow cooked Chicken Cacciatore over white rice from the Crockpot.
I’t was reallllly goood.
I want some now!
...and the vegetables tend to loose their integrity.
Apple and Pear Butter in the Crock Pot / Slow Cooker
Ingredients 8 Pears 5 Apples 1 cup Water or apple cider 1 cup Brown Sugar 2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves Put all the ingredients into the crock pot / slow cooker. I had frozen up left over pieces of apple and pear from the girls PreSchool snacks, the bits they hadnt eaten. Much of it was not peeled even and I worried that would effect the end result but it didnt at all. So now I know not to waste time peeling all the apples and pears. Cook on low for 6 hours stirring occasionally. Leave a toothpick or chopstick under the lid to vent some of the steam and help the liquid reduce. After 6 hours use a stick blender to mush everything together until it is smooth and spreadable. Cook in the crock pot / slow cooker for a couple more hours on low with a tooth pick or chopstick in the side to vent the steam. Basically at this point I was aiming to make it really thick, if you prefer a thinner consistency you could stop after blending and move straight onto bottling. Once finished you can bottle it up to give away as gifts or keep it all for yourself and dont share the yummy goodness. Tastes great on toast, sandwiches or as a spread for roast pork.
There are much better ways to use that tenderloin, like dry heat of charcoal...
My GF made uf a batch of Boston Baked Beans in the Crockpot a few months back.
It was Reallly good.
Lot’s of great recipes for stuff like that out there.
“crock pots tend to dry out whatever meat is being cooked.”
Then you’re not using it right. Keepp trying, you’ll find the food is great and easy too!...red
save for great recipes for later
I agree. Tried corn once and hated it. We do add beans to ours though. It must be a regional thing.
Crockpot Baked Beans With Leftover Pulled Pork
Just made a batch of that myself last night! Full apple/sugar recipe.
LOL baked beans in the crock pot was the second to last failure. I did however do them in the oven after that and they were awesome. I do think the crockpot recipe called for too much liquid, but the oven was way faster. Going to have them for Thanksgiving in fact.
Thaks Joe.. I use mine all the time.. for my food & pup’s food which I make.
Love to do soups year round.. I am a vegetarian so the only meat I cook is for Josy/Toby.. but the frangrances of the onions,garlic, spices when the crock pot is cooking.. well, just wonderful.
The smells of the meats for dog, make me sick! LOL
Too much good stuff here, BTTT for later reading.
Thanks for this interesting way to cook an eye of round. I’ve always been told not to salt beef before cooking as it dries it out, but I can see the logic for inexpensive cuts of beef and I had no idea an overnight salting would tenderize. So, I’m definitely going to give your method a try.
By the way, if you want that extra special flavor for your beef roasts, the secret is to heavily season the outside with nutmeg, do not be skimpy. Of course, use your other favorite seasonings, too.
DollyCali, I’m a vegetarian myself and cook food for my cats. I use the vegecat supplement on this site:
And they have ones for dogs as well. It’s actually easier for dogs to be healthy vegetarians since they are techincally omnivores, whereas cats are straight carnivores. The coyote and fox scat around here often has plant materials in it, grape and blackberry seeds, etc; whereas the cougar and other cat scat (lynx? bobcats?) is strictly animal stuff like fur.
I checked with the vet and he said my cats were well-nourished and healthy and the diet with the supplement was good.
I’ve used the vegecat stuff for quite a few years and their basic diet is lentils and rice although I do often cook garbanzos which they love, plus they eat all kinds of leftovers that are good for them and they love many vegetables. I add in addition to the vegecat powder, yeast, kelp, oil, a bit of mineral salt (aka “Real Salt”), often parsely. They also catch rodents and lizards here and there so get additional amino acids, but not much in winter.
Cats use 1 t. of vegecat a day, I haven’t looked into the vegedog but since dogs vary in size so much I’m sure good directions are there.
I’ve made cat kibble too, they really loved it.
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