PDA

View Full Version : No idea what to do with a slow-cooker



Dez
09 Nov 2010, 10:17
Rafe posted on Facebook about making ribs in her slow-cooker, and I realized that while I have one, I have no clue what to do with it!

I make two things in my slow-cooker: Cracked wheat or oatmeal that I start the night before, or beans.

Can someone please enlighten me about the other options out there?

magusphredde
09 Nov 2010, 10:36
Roasts, stews, spaghetti sauce, chili, soups, Bar-b-que meats, creamed corn, etc ...

volcaniclastic
09 Nov 2010, 10:37
Anytime you would roast a meat in the oven, do it in the slow-cooker. 10 million times tastier.

Amber
09 Nov 2010, 10:37
I absolutly LOVE slowcooker cooking!!!!!!

I make all sorts of roasts in their (pot roast the most). I do alot of chicken dishes because you can put the chicken in their frozen and cook it on low all day. Hubby and I both work full time so dinner time can be a hassle for us!

Check out this blog! Its awesome!

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

thalassa
09 Nov 2010, 10:44
I do everything from make yogurt to (more speedily) infuse oils in mine, in addition to making meals. Roasts w/ veggies, Soups, stews, meats, sausages...even desserts (http://www.tasteofhome.com/Simple---Delicious-Magazine/Slow-Cooker-Desserts). The regional specialty around here wouldn't be half as good without a couple hours in the crock pot--grill up some pork steaks, dump a good sauce over them and keep 'em on low until its dinner time.

And the best part is that you stick stuff in there, and largely forget about it. In fact...for the most part, the longer your forget about it, the better it is.

volcaniclastic
09 Nov 2010, 10:51
I do everything from make yogurt to (more speedily) infuse oils in mine, in addition to making meals. Roasts w/ veggies, Soups, stews, meats, sausages...even desserts (http://www.tasteofhome.com/Simple---Delicious-Magazine/Slow-Cooker-Desserts). The regional specialty around here wouldn't be half as good without a couple hours in the crock pot--grill up some pork steaks, dump a good sauce over them and keep 'em on low until its dinner time.

And the best part is that you stick stuff in there, and largely forget about it. In fact...for the most part, the longer your forget about it, the better it is.


I must admit, desserts is a new one for me...

*clicks link*

thalassa
09 Nov 2010, 11:39
I must admit, desserts is a new one for me...

*clicks link*


I haven't tried these (I've only done cobblers)...but here's some more:

Chocolate pudding cake. (http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotdessertrecipes/r/bl82c1.htm)
crockpot cheesecake (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/slow-cooker-sour-cream-cheesecake)
banana nut bread (http://bread.betterrecipes.com/crock-pot-banana-nut-bread.html)

Dez
09 Nov 2010, 12:05
You guys are awesome!! I,m looking forward to getting home so I can actually click links.

Ophidia
09 Nov 2010, 12:28
I have a slow cooker, but I've got to admit that I'm afraid of it. I have trust issues when it comes to meat cooked at too-low temperatures. My slow-cookers always just don't seem like they get hot enough.

Dez
09 Nov 2010, 12:40
Perz,that would make me nervous,to...plus no browning doesn't make for the most yummy meat. Perhaps browning it first, in a pan or under the broiler, then putting it in?

Amber
09 Nov 2010, 12:43
You can brown your meat first! But when its on for 9 hours your not going to get anything but well done! You put liquids in with the meat and it stews pretty much and makes it super tender and moist.

Believe me, those things even on low get SUPER hot! No worries about doneness :)

Tylluan Penry
09 Nov 2010, 12:46
Perz,that would make me nervous,to...plus no browning doesn't make for the most yummy meat. Perhaps browning it first, in a pan or under the broiler, then putting it in?


I always brown the meat first otherwise it looks unappetising. And to get the slo-cooker up to heat quickly I put it on High setting, then as soon as it starts to look as though it's boiling (generally about an hour or so) turn it down to low. Give things a stir every few hours to make sure the middle is cooked. Makes great doughboys for a stew, too!

thalassa
09 Nov 2010, 13:48
Slow cookers get pretty damn hot...as in, boiling liquid. I've never worried about meat not being properly done...tbh, if you are talking about the hours and hours that the food is in there in the first place, undone meat a helluva lot more likely to happen on a grill or skillet, or even in the oven if you aren't using a meat thermometer every time you cook. Depending on what you are making, browning is pretty unnecessary for a good stew...but great for a roast.

Amber
09 Nov 2010, 13:54
Slow cookers get pretty damn hot...as in, boiling liquid. I've never worried about meat not being properly done...tbh, if you are talking about the hours and hours that the food is in there in the first place, undone meat a helluva lot more likely to happen on a grill or skillet, or even in the oven if you aren't using a meat thermometer every time you cook. Depending on what you are making, browning is pretty unnecessary for a good stew...but great for a roast.


QFT!!!

LiadanWillows
09 Nov 2010, 18:45
since i look up everything online

http://www.slowandsimple.com/

i usually make roast beef or pork roast. but i have also made goulash or sloppy joes (if its for a lot of people).

ChainLightning
09 Nov 2010, 19:50
Yeah, quantity is a key indicator. I have several different sizes, from a small 1-person crock pot to a huge 18 quart 'family size'.

I've made all sorts of things, ranging from BBQ meatballs and/or cocktail wieners to Buffalo Stew to Swedish Meatballs to Spaghetti and meatballs to chili or even rich homemade chicken noodle soup.

In essence? I think it's the slow and easy (aka: convenient) replacement for a Dutch Oven. Perfect for just about anything but frying, broiling or rotisserie.

Ophidia
09 Nov 2010, 23:16
I've never actually gotten anything to come to a boil in a slow cooker. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or if I am just buying crappy slow cookers or something. Usually, I use them for work potlucks - I cook stuff in the oven & put it in the crockpot to keep it warm.

magusphredde
10 Nov 2010, 00:07
Slow cooker works for wild rice too ... But my fav is a roast, potatoes, onions, celery, cherry tomatoes, garlic and black pepper ... If it is pork then a bit of mint and no garlic ... Tiny new potatoes work best ... Not bad for bear either ... Gets rid of some of the gamey flavor ...

ThorsSon
10 Nov 2010, 00:14
I cook pork loin in mine often... whether I'm cooking a roast or making pulled-pork.
A pork loin, cream of mushroom soup, some potatoes and carrots + a slow cooker = awesome!
I use it to make cheese dip a lot: velveeta, a can or two of extra hot rotell and some browned hamburger meat or sausage. oh-yeah.

magusphredde
10 Nov 2010, 00:20
Tanx for reminding me of the carrots ... You can dice up any meat, toss in all your veggies and make a killer soup too ... Or thicken it and make a stew ...

LiadanWillows
10 Nov 2010, 14:35
I've never actually gotten anything to come to a boil in a slow cooker. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or if I am just buying crappy slow cookers or something. Usually, I use them for work potlucks - I cook stuff in the oven & put it in the crockpot to keep it warm.


the point of a slow cooker is to cook for a long time at a low temp i don't think they get hot enough to boil... i could be mistaken though.

ChainLightning
10 Nov 2010, 14:39
Huh. I think it might depend on the slow cooker. You won't get a "rolling boil" but it will start bubbling. I've been able to thicken up a stew by letting it simmer (low boil) uncovered. It certainly gets hot enough, on the high setting, to actually burn food.

thalassa
10 Nov 2010, 17:34
Huh. I think it might depend on the slow cooker. You won't get a "rolling boil" but it will start bubbling. I've been able to thicken up a stew by letting it simmer (low boil) uncovered. It certainly gets hot enough, on the high setting, to actually burn food.


Yeah, I've never had a slow cooker that didn't do a nice slow bubble...roiling boil, no...but a good simmer is all you need anyhow.

cesara
10 Nov 2010, 18:18
Yeah, I've never had a slow cooker that didn't do a nice slow bubble...roiling boil, no...but a good simmer is all you need anyhow.


Ditto.

I love my slow cooker and don't use it nearly enough! (incidentally, it earned a place on my counter at all times!)

Those desserts look awwwwwesome....gonna hafta try that!

Celest
22 Nov 2010, 15:35
I've never actually gotten anything to come to a boil in a slow cooker. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or if I am just buying crappy slow cookers or something. Usually, I use them for work potlucks - I cook stuff in the oven & put it in the crockpot to keep it warm.


it should be able to boil, at least gently. Make sure the lid fits tightly, and it stays covered while warming up. If it doesn't boil on high after an hour or so, you might want to ask santa for a new one.

Crynnath
22 Nov 2010, 17:21
One of my favorite recipes for a slow cooker is little smokies http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/little-smokies/Detail.aspx

Freyja
15 Dec 2010, 11:56
Rafe posted on Facebook about making ribs in her slow-cooker, and I realized that while I have one, I have no clue what to do with it!

I make two things in my slow-cooker: Cracked wheat or oatmeal that I start the night before, or beans.

Can someone please enlighten me about the other options out there?


put food it it and turn it on? :P. Just pick out a soup or stew recipe from a cookbook and put it on low before you go to work is all :)

Dez
15 Dec 2010, 13:31
put food it it and turn it on? :P. Just pick out a soup or stew recipe from a cookbook and put it on low before you go to work is all :)


Heh, thanks for the humor, Freyja...there have been some really excellent ideas in this thread. I've been really impressed with the ways that people use a slow-cooker! You might want to take a read through the responses.

Freyja
15 Dec 2010, 14:33
Heh, thanks for the humor, Freyja...there have been some really excellent ideas in this thread. I've been really impressed with the ways that people use a slow-cooker! You might want to take a read through the responses.


I aim to please with my humor ;)

Monk
15 Jan 2011, 07:22
One of the cook books I use is called SLOW GOOD by Weight Watchers. I use my slow cooker a lot in the winter months so my wife can have a dinner when she gets home from her job and I'm at mine.

P.S. No implications because it Weight Watchers. I just like their cook books.

Hawkfeathers
01 Sep 2013, 13:52
I'm necro-ing this thread because I've fallen in love with my slow-cooker! I have a 6 quart HAmilton Beach one, and I think I'm gonna get a smaller one as well. I've learned that an hour on high = 2 on low, and I absolutely love this one pot roast recipe I found. I made it once on low and once on high in half the time, I think it came out the same. I don't brown the roast first - it's falling apart as it should and looks fine! My neighbor put carrots, celery, potatoes in the bottom of hers, topped with a turkey breast. It was like Thanksgiving dinner! I'm gonna try that.

The only thing I wasn't 100% on board with was spaghetti sauce - but that's just me because I'm Italian and can tell that it hasn't evaporated and thickened on its own. You don't lose liquid in a crockpot. (Plus half the fun is stirring the big pot on the stove and TASTING every half hour or so LOL)

This is the pot roast recipe I really liked, from the Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Cookbook:

New England Pot Roast

3 to 3 1/2 lb. beef boneless chuck roast
8 small potatoes, cut in half (I used red potatoes and left the skins on)
3 cups baby cut carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 oz. prepared horseradish
1 teasp. salt
1/2 teasp. pepper
1 cup water

The original recipe has you brown the roast in a skillet in a tbsp. of vegetable oil. I skip this.

Place potatoes, carrots, & onions in 4 - 6 quart crockpot. Place beef on top. Mix horseradish, salt & pepper and spread over beef.
Pour water over beef & veggies.
Cook on low 8 - 10 hours or high 4 -5

****The horseradish loses its heat but keeps its flavor, which is AWESOME!****

Heka
01 Sep 2013, 14:04
My hubby does a lot of his game meats in the slow cooker. Goat curries and the like. Amazing meat apparently. But I'm vegetarian. Unfortunately vego food doesn't take 8 hours (no putting it on in the morning and coming home to dinner!) it takes more like 3. So it's not getting as much use as it should, but I'm still so glad we have it.

volcaniclastic
01 Sep 2013, 15:56
Unfortunately vego food doesn't take 8 hours (no putting it on in the morning and coming home to dinner!) it takes more like 3. So it's not getting as much use as it should, but I'm still so glad we have it.

Please. I'm a vegetarian, and I use mine all the time! Soups and stews, baked beans, cabbage dishes, chili, etc. If it fits in a bowl, it cooks in the slow-cooker! Even porridge!

Heka
02 Sep 2013, 01:49
But ours is a huge one, and putting veggies cooks in like 3 hours. I'm complaining that I don't get the same "put it in before work and get home and dinner is ready". Cos it'd all be burnt.

or else you need to educate me.

volcaniclastic
02 Sep 2013, 05:55
But ours is a huge one, and putting veggies cooks in like 3 hours. I'm complaining that I don't get the same "put it in before work and get home and dinner is ready". Cos it'd all be burnt.

or else you need to educate me.

I am about to start this (http://omnomally.com/2013/08/30/african-peanut-stew-benefits-of-sweet-potatoes/) in the slow cooker, because I'm going on an all day hike today, and I will be hungry when I get home. Mine's a big one, too! Just cook stuff on low! :)

Raphaeline
02 Sep 2013, 06:09
I come bearing links! I love trying out new recipes (I kind of have a reputation of making dishes one time and getting bored with them) and so I collect a lot of them.

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas (http://www.stacymakescents.com/fix-and-forget-friday-crock-pot-chicken-fajitas) - I'm hoping to try these soon because they look incredible.

100 Days of No-Processed Meals, Crock Pot Style (http://www.stacymakescents.com/100-days-of-no-processed-meals-crock-pot-style)

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (http://www.foodiefotos.net/blog/slow-cooker-butter-chicken/)

Over 60 Amazing Slow Cooker Recipes (http://www.chef-in-training.com/2013/08/60-amazing-slow-cooker-recipes/)

Keep in mind I haven't tried any of these yet! I'm just getting started with these - I saved the links only a couple of days ago, actually - but for anyone else interested in cooking with a slow cooker, I thought these might be useful!

Erika
02 Sep 2013, 06:37
Oh, and now I need to find my mom's brisket recipe - I remember her experimenting with the slow cooker all the time when I was a kid, and that was one of the meals that really stood out.

Ooh, shiny links... The fajitas look fantastic; if I can sell the rest of the family on Mexican food, I'll be set!

anunitu
15 Feb 2014, 05:34
I am thinking about getting a slow cooker..I love pork slow cooked where it almost melts in your mouth. Anyone recommend a brand of slow cooker?..Or they all pretty much the same?

Denarius
15 Feb 2014, 05:58
Anyone recommend a brand of slow cooker?..Or they all pretty much the same?

It's all in the pot. It needs to be heavy and thick, so it can hold heat and disperse it evenly. After that the other important consideration is capacity, whatever works for you.

Lorna
15 Feb 2014, 19:01
I make pulled pork, ribs, beans, stew, chili, soup, and pot roasts with mine. The main thing is to use much less liquid than you would if you were making the same thing on the stove or in the oven.

ETA: Oops, didn't read all the posts before posting my own. Just disregard the instructions for cooking meat in the crockpot (if you read them before I edited), LOL.

For the stews, soups, chili, and beans, it's only enough liquid to just cover the ingredients.

I know others who have done baked items (cinnamon rolls, cakes, etc) in the crockpot but I haven't tried that yet.

Willow
06 Sep 2015, 14:48
These are not my own recipes, they are some of my favorites from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook (Feasting with your Slow Cooker) by by Dawn Ranck (which is fantastic for slow cooker enthusiasts like myself and I'd recommend)




Hot apple cider
4 qts cider
4 sticks cinnamon
1 t whole cloves

combine ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on high 2 hours, turn to low and simmer until ready to serve.


hot mulled cider
2 qts apple cider
-1/2 c brown sugar - according to taste
t vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves

Combine ingredients in slow cooker, cook on low 5 hours. Stir.


Cider snap
2 qts apple cider or apple juice
4 T red cinnamon candies
at least 16 apple slices
1 t nutmeg or allspice
1 c orange juice - optional

combine cider and cinnamon candies in slow cooker. Cook on high 2 hours until candies dissolve. Ladle into mugs and serve with apple slice floaters and cinnamon stick stirrers.
This is a cold winter night luxury; make it in the morning and keep it on low throughout the day so its good fragrance can fill the house.


Mulled wine
c sugar
1 c boiling water
half a lemon, sliced thin
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves

1 bottle red dinner wine (burgundy or claret)
dissolve sugar in boiling water in saucepan. add remaining ingredients. pour into slow cooker. heat on low for at least 1 hour until wine is hot, do not boil. Serve into mugs.


almond tea

10 c boiling water
1 T instant tea
2/3 c lemon juice
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t almond extract

mix all together in cooker, cook high for 1 hour. turn to low while serving.


deep red apple cider
5 c apple cider
3 c dry red wine
c brown sugar
t whole cloves
t whole allspice
1 stick cinnamon

combine all ingredients, cook on low 3 hours. remove cloves, allspice and cinnamon before serving.
alternative, you can use 8 c apple cider and no wine.



If I can find the rest of my recipes (which have recently been converted to pdf files and are hiding somewhere on my computers), I'll add more. :) Hopefully others will have recipes to share too, since I'm always looking for more!

Juniper
06 Sep 2015, 15:00
I love you for making this thread!

Willow
06 Sep 2015, 19:27
Aww shucks. :o

anunitu
04 May 2016, 09:03
Ok,bumped this thread up because I now have a slow cooker,a real "crock pot"Trademark.
I am really wanting to start with this,but as the original poster,at a loss for what to do.

faye_cat
04 May 2016, 09:09
When I get home I'll post a link to my crock pot pinterest board. One of my fave from there is the cream cheese spaghetti, although you may want to use a liner with that, our first batch burned pretty badly in some areas.

We make beef stew a lot in it. It's pretty simple: beef, seasoned to taste, with cut up celery, potatoes, carrots, and sweet onions. Put it all in the pot, add water until it (mostly) covers the beef, let it sit on low for 8ish hours and then dive in! You can also make chicken noodle soup the same way, removing the onions if you'd like and adding some chicken bouillon cubes.

Hawkfeathers
04 May 2016, 09:10
What size crockpot did you get? (How many quarts?)

anunitu
04 May 2016, 09:27
Not sure about quarts,but it is big enough to fit a whole chicken in. I went for the big enchilada...I figure I could do a weeks worth of eats in it. I love casseroles,and someone told me I could do a meatloaf in it. I am not a fancy eater,more hardy and tasty. Maybe potato something or other.

- - - Updated - - -

Think a 6 quart.

see the site below.
http://www.crock-pot.com/slow-cookers/crock-pot-smart-pot-6-quart-slow-cooker-brushed-stainless-steel/SCCPVP600-S-A.html?source=igodigital


trying for image.
http://demandware.edgesuite.net/sits_pod22/dw/image/v2/AAMB_PRD/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-master-catalog/default/dw6f82241e/images/highres/SCCPVP600-S-3.jpg?sw=63&sh=63&sm=fit

- - - Updated - - -

Best I could do for a pic

Hawkfeathers
04 May 2016, 09:45
OK. I have a 6 qt. one and a 2 qt. one. You should have it at least half full when in use, so a big one is good for beef stew, pot roast, a whole chicken on top of carrots & potatoes (think pot roast but with a chicken). I can make a cornish game hen & carrots & a cup of broth in the smaller one. There are lots of recipes online. Here's my favorite pot roast one:

3 3 lb. Boneless beef chuck roast
8 small potatoes, cut in half
3 cups baby-cut carrots
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
5 oz. Prepared horseradish
teasp. Pepper
1 teasp. Salt
1 cup water

Place potatoes, carrots, & onion in bottom of a 5 6 quart crockpot. Put beef on top. Mix salt, pepper, & horseradish, spread evenly over beef. Pour water over it and cover. Cook on low 8 10 hours.

Don't be scared off by the horseradish the heat cooks out of it, and the resulting beef is flavorful but not spicy!


And here's a chicken one I liked:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/241601/sesame-chicken-for-slow-cooker/

thalassa
04 May 2016, 10:54
Make bread in a slow cooker: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-bread-in-the-slow-cooker-192421



Make yogurt in a slow cooker: Take a yogurt "starter" (about a cup of a plain yogurt with a live culture that you like--I like Chobani's Greek yogurt), and thin it out with an equal or 2x amount of room temperature milk--for future reference this will be your "inoculating culture" (if you try to use the yogurt as-is without this step, it tends to stay chunky and take longer). Pour milk into jars (I used to do this in the crockpot straight, but this way is less messy), filling it up 80-90% of the way full. Add the inoculating culture to the milk and give it a stir (your jars should be sterilized--either wash them in the dishwasher first, or soak them in a 1:10 bleach soak for about 10 minutes and then rinse them well). Place the jars in the crockpot and put the crock pot on the warming setting--NOT on low or on high (I done this with the crockpot "dry" and in a water bath--works either way). DO NOT PUT THE LIDS ON THE JARS. Cover the jars with cheese cloth or (depending on the jar size, you might be able to usethe crockpot lid--you need air access for the yeast. When the mixture has reached yogurt consistency (you may have a bit of whey on top), turn it off and let it cool; once cool, put the lids on and refrigerate.

Tips/Tricks/Modifications:
--if you like super thick yogurt, add some dry milk to the milk and mix well (put the lid on and shake it up) before you add the inoculating culture.
--to make "yogurt cheese" line a colander over a bowl with cheese cloth, muslin, or paper coffee filters and allow the whey to drain overnight (the longer the firmer)...you can do this by tying up the yogurt in the cheesecloth (several layers) or muslin and hanging it over your sink also, but I'd not recommend it if you have intelligent cats (you can use this in place of cream cheese)
--thin out the yogurt with milk and add ranch dressing seasonings (http://www.browneyedbaker.com/diy-homemade-ranch-seasoning-mix/)for your own ranch dressing
--add sugar free preserves or fresh fruit and honey, etc for fruity yogurt
--If you use raw milk, make sure you scald it and let it cool first, before doing anything. If you are using pasteurized milk from the grocery, you can skip this step)
--make frozen yogurt (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/09/17/two-ingredient-frozen-yogurt/)
--Save a cup of this yogurt for your next batch! You can generally keep using a portion of your starter several times before you need to buy yogurt from the store. Its not generally indefinite, because refrigeration retards growth and eventually can stall the culture to the point where it can't recover. Actual yogurt making companies avoid this by having an actual culture that they grow in ideal culture-growing conditions.
--stick some in a blender with honey and oats to make a nice thick past that works as a facial mask
--use it in place of sour cream
--add it to a vinaigrette salad dressing to make it creamy
--replace or cut mayonnaise with it (any you can even make your own mayo (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/mayonnaise-recipe.html)) for pasta or potato salads, deviled eggs, etc

B. de Corbin
04 May 2016, 12:17
Get the cheapest cut of pork you can find, and a good barbeque sauce. Chop up the pork, mix in enough bbq sauce to cover, and heat on "low" all day, then fluff it up with a fork, and WALLY! ya got yourself pulled pork sammies.

You can do the same thing with chicken...

anunitu
04 May 2016, 12:30
I am mainly a chicken and pork person...not to much beef,except maybe a burger once in a while. Want to find a pork chop slow cook that ends with melt in your mouth BBQ
taste. Also thinking whole chicken slow cooked and kinda like a rotisserie chicken in texture and taste.

B. de Corbin
04 May 2016, 12:39
...Also thinking whole chicken slow cooked and kinda like a rotisserie chicken in texture and taste.

I chop the chicken, put it in the pot with canned tomatoes and lots of garlic, the heat on "low" 'til the meat is falling off the bone. Very good! Very easy!

Azvanna
05 May 2016, 04:50
My goodness. Bread... Yoghurt...stews... That BBQ pork thing.... I'm buying a slow cooker for Winter. I'll probably have to throw something out to fit it in but it sounds worth it!