PDA

View Full Version : Slow cooker suggestions...


Tony Ferous
02-12-2009, 02:06 AM
Ok a slow cooker isnt a recipe, but does anyone have recommendations for what kind to choose or if they are useful?

I really want it for convenience...id like to throw a hunk of meat and big chunks of veg into it walk away then be left with a few meals worth of food cooked in one hit with minimum washing and prep time.

I hear of people pluging them into timer switches to cut off after x hours if it doesnt have that function.

Other option is perhaps a steamer..?

thanks!!

Michael Drew
02-12-2009, 05:45 AM
Get a big one. I think I have a Rival, I am using it right now as a matter of fact Hearty short ribs. I originally had a very small one and I couldn't do anything with it so I gave it away today. Get a large one.

Stephen Sullivan
02-12-2009, 07:00 AM
I have a 7-quart slow cooker. I love it. For what they do they are pretty cheap. Only problem with the 7-quart is I have to make a lot of food in it to cook efficiently. It is a really nice problem to have! Almost everything I make can be frozen, thawed and eaten later.

My recommendation is to get a programmable one if you want to cook while you are at work. Preferably one that goes from cooking to a warm setting. The warm setting will keep the food at a safe temperature. The one I have can cook on high for x hours and then switch to low for x hours and then to warm.

I usually prepare the food Sunday night and throw the crock in the fridge and start the cooking on Monday morning. The house smells fantastic when I get home from the gym Monday night.

Don't use a timer switch to turn on your crock pot. You don't want your food sitting around at room temp.

Some of the things I've cooked: pork butt, beef brisket, chicken soup, guinness stew, bone in turkey breast and chili.

George Mounce
02-12-2009, 07:41 AM
Meat + meggies is always a hit at our house in the slow cooker.

Jay Cohen
02-12-2009, 10:02 AM
I have this model, works great. Service is outstanding. Had small issue with timer, they sent me a new one, no questions.

http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/programmable-slow-cookers-set-n-forget-6-qt-programmable-slow-cooker-with-spoonlid.html

Ari Kestler
02-12-2009, 02:42 PM
I've tried it a couple times...not the biggest fan compared to other methods of cooking... I've tried both chicken and various cuts of meat....the meat was pretty well-done as to be expected...and I really like my meat rare, so obviously I'm going to prefer searing...as for hte chicken, despite being immersed in broth, vegetables and sauce it still came out dry...

That being said...definitely the easiest way to mass cook food with easy clean up...


Perhaps I didn't try enough recipes...

Neill Smith
02-16-2009, 11:53 AM
Get a big one. I think I have a Rival, I am using it right now as a matter of fact Hearty short ribs. I originally had a very small one and I couldn't do anything with it so I gave it away today. Get a large one.

Michael,

Do you have the short rib recipe?

Cheers,
Neill

Frank Needham
02-17-2009, 10:44 AM
pot roast in a slow cooker, hmmmm, slurp, burp, slurp some more.....making my mouth water thinking about the dang stuff!

Michael Drew
02-17-2009, 11:45 AM
Michael,

Do you have the short rib recipe?

Cheers,
Neill

http://www.crock-pot.com/Recipes.aspx



Hearty Beef Short Ribs
User Rating: Cook Time
Slow Cooker
5 - 5.5 Quarts
6 - 6.5 Quarts
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs of beef short ribs, bone in
1-2 tablespoons coarse salt
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into ¼ inch dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 bay leaves
Directions
Season each short rib with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and coat with olive oil.
Heat 1 T olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sear short ribs until just browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
Top meat with celery, carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaves.
In a separate bowl, combine wine, crushed tomato, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Pour into Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8-9 hours, turning once or twice, until meat is tender and easily falling from bone.
Remove ribs from Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Using an immersion blender (or traditional blender), puree the sauce, leaving some chunkiness.
Pour over ribs and serve.

http://www.crock-pot.com/recipe.aspx?rid=194

Mike ODonnell
02-17-2009, 02:11 PM
http://www.crock-pot.com/Recipes.aspx



Hearty Beef Short Ribs
User Rating: Cook Time
Slow Cooker
5 - 5.5 Quarts
6 - 6.5 Quarts
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs of beef short ribs, bone in
1-2 tablespoons coarse salt
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into ¼ inch dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 bay leaves
Directions
Season each short rib with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and coat with olive oil.
Heat 1 T olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sear short ribs until just browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
Top meat with celery, carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaves.
In a separate bowl, combine wine, crushed tomato, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Pour into Crock-Pot® slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8-9 hours, turning once or twice, until meat is tender and easily falling from bone.
Remove ribs from Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Using an immersion blender (or traditional blender), puree the sauce, leaving some chunkiness.
Pour over ribs and serve.

http://www.crock-pot.com/recipe.aspx?rid=194

Dear god that was like reading porn for food addicts.....I need a smoke....

Troy Archie
02-28-2009, 12:53 PM
I've been in love with my slow cooker this past week. I've been finding the less things you put in, the better. Whole chicken legs with skin on and bone in have been my favorite. I put 2-3 frozen legs in and put it on high for about 6 hours. As the legs thaw and cook they add moisture. I've been putting in more savory spices like a couple cinnamon sticks, star anise or curry paste with some kaffir lime leaves. Star anise is the best so far.

Oh and I'll just add one of the best parts about this is that the bones get really tender and you can just about eat every bit of them.

Patrick Yeung
02-28-2009, 06:42 PM
All this talk about slow cookers had me going home and stealing the one thats been sitting for ages in my parent's closet.

Now, Ive got a question though. How much of the nutrients is still in the food? I know that heat will degrade protein, as well as many vitamins etc etc. Any thoughts? Or is the amount lost negligibile.

Daniel Olmstead
02-28-2009, 06:53 PM
Since the heat is really low, I would imagine the nutrient profile would be near-optimal. But that's just speculation, I'm no nutritional expert.

I've got a slow-cooker I haven't used in years, but I'm intending to put it to work this week. Here's what I've been thinking:

1.5 pounds chicken breasts
2 cans organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic garbanzo beans
1 yellow onion
maybe a clove of garlic

...I'm at a bit of a loss regarding spices, though, and would love some suggestions. I'm thinking maybe a bay leaf and just a few dried italian herbs, but it could also go North African, with turmeric, cinnamon, coriander etc...I'm a little worried about spices in the slow cooker getting too powerful, though. Is this a legitimate fear? Or should I just plow ahead?

Troy Archie
03-01-2009, 09:55 AM
I keep finding that food in the slow cooker can come out a bit bland so I wouldn't worry too much about it being over powering. Things like mustard seed, cumin, coriander, paprika...come out really nice and savory in the slow cooker while dried herbs don't come out as nice. This is what I've found at least and I might have to just add more dried herbs...

I'd also saute your onions and garlic before you put them in. You could even add the tomatoes to the saute, cook until the oils separate and then put it all into the cooker. The extra 10 min prep can make a huge difference.

Patrick, don't sweat the small stuff (http://lifespotlight.com/lifestyle/2008/12/15/why-worry-about-the-little-things-when-the-big-things-arent-in-place/).

Patrick Yeung
03-01-2009, 12:17 PM
Yeah, been reading more about it, thanks for the reassurance. I wasnt really too worried, just makin sure im gettin the most out of my expensive meat (relative to my vegetables at least) food, cause slow cooker just seems so convient for my college/work lifestyle. Now... gotta make sure those larger cuts are at least throughly cooked, and not just a breeding ground for bacteria... hehe

But, I found some great ideas for adding flavors.

DRIED FRUIT!

Imagine chicken thighs all tender and soft, then throwing in a handful of dried orange peels in there!

I also saw recipies where theyd throw in dates, figs, etc etc, in the latter parts of cooking. Theyd come out nice and moist, and add flavor without turning into mush.

Tony Ferous
06-23-2009, 05:37 AM
I never did buy a slow cooker, so thought id go do it, but it look like lead leaching is a potential issue with all ceramic crock pots!!

http://www.amazon.com/review/R25TQBSKF5GNGZ