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Crock pots and recipes

 
 
jespah
 
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 07:45 am
I'm thinking about buying a crock pot. I'm just too tired to cook by the end of the week, but we still want homemade or somewhat homemade food. Anyway, I'd like to be able to, say, once or twice a week, just toss a buncha stuff in, turn it on and come back after work to one major task done.

So, what are the best models out there? There are only two of us and we rarely cook for company, hence I'm most interested in something small. I'm guessing 3 Qt size or so. Programmable would be nice but I do wonder whether the difference really matters. The only manufacturer I know of is Rival. Their prices are about $20 for a 3 Qt traditional style and $40 for their smallest programmable (5 Qt). Their site is, no great surprise here: http://www.crockpot.com/

And, once I get my new toy, I'm interested in recipes. There are, like I said, only two of us. We don't eat pork, beef or game, but we eat chicken and turkey and would like some more fish in our diets. We also eat vegetarian on occasion. So any recipes within those parameters would be fantastic.

Thank you all, in advance.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 9,154 • Replies: 89
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Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 08:10 am
Oooh...I'll be watching this for recipe's too.

I have a fairly new crock pot at home but haven't used it much, just the occasional stew. It is programmable and personally, I really like the option.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 08:27 am
What does the programmability do which makes it special?
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Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 08:35 am
Some recipes don't require 8/10 hours. Perhaps they only need 4/6. I can load it before work, and time it to be ready for my return.

Mine has heat options, too, I think, but I've used it too infrequently to remember.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 08:43 am
dont get one of the cassarole shapes its ovality is too narrow on one side for a good sized hunk of meat.
I wanna see some recipes cause ours just sits in a pie safe taking up room. I got it to make a "Barbeque-like" substitute . Didnt even come close, unless you like soggy barbeque
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 09:24 am
Good advice re the oval shape, thanks.

And the programmability - sounds like it may be worth the $$.
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Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:14 pm
crock pots
I loved my crock pot, but never left home all day with it going; afraid the food that needed only 4/6 hours might be spoiled by the time I got home from a full day's work, so I mainly used it on weekends.

The only trouble I ever found with it was that the cooking smell permeates everything; to do a stew for several hours can result in a house that really has that lingering lingering scent. It's okay for the few hours right around dinner time, but two days later?

This applies to pressure cookers, too; they don't take as long, but the steam is intense and the cooking smell can last a pretty long time. That said, I was fond of my pressure cooker, too.

Maybe it depends on the ventilation in your house or apartment; seems to me that our old place had less of a problem. I don't use either in our present apartment; it seems to be more of a problem here.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:26 pm
I 'pulled' a crock pot in last years' Christmas grab bag and had to laugh at myself, I was so thrilled. It's a Rival 4 qt. I've only used it once since then but the stew turned out delicious. I got the recipe from a goggled web site. There's tons of them.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:32 pm
Unfortunately Jespah, the thing they are best at is long cooking things like roasts - beef, lamb, pork, venison, etc. They don't come up to temp fast enough to cook raw chicken safely, and they do a lousy job on most fish.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:43 pm
I just use mine to have the spaghetti sauce ready when I get home. For sure, get the one with the removable cassarole. Maybe they're all like that nodays, but don't get a one piece unit. Programmable sounds great. I have to use a timer on mine, or the sauce overcooks.
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Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 02:43 pm
cjhsa is quite right. Veggies aren't really suitable for ccockpot cookery. You'll get nothing but mush. The very best thing for most veggies, to my way of thinking, is the mocrowave - they come out just al dente, not tough, not squishy.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 03:23 pm
eoe wrote:
I 'pulled' a crock pot in last years' Christmas grab bag and had to laugh at myself, I was so thrilled. It's a Rival 4 qt. I've only used it once since then but the stew turned out delicious. I got the recipe from a goggled web site. There's tons of them.


That's "googled" website, not goggled. Rolling Eyes
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 02:29 pm
Good stuff to know.

What about chicken that's already partly cooked? I suppose that could get up to a safe temp in a crock pot, couldn't it?

There's also veg recipes, I s'pose, e. g. casseroles or beans or the like?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 02:33 pm
Jespah - if you're primarily using poultry and fish for your protein source, I wouldn't recommend wasting any money on a crockpot - unless you're going to have Boston Baked Beans every Friday night. Crockpots are for long, slow, cooking - as cjhsa has pointed out, they're dynamite for beef, venison, even some cuts of lamb - things that benefit from long, slow, moist cooking.

Long, slow, moist cooking doesn't lead to thoughts of poultry and fish.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 03:21 pm
I think I've finally perfected roasting chicken in the crockpot. You need the meat rack for this. Put a half an onion and thre or four cloves of garlic inside the bird. Season the outside with salt, pepper and paprika. Roast it on low for 5-6 hours. Contrary to what was previously posted, the chicken will come up to a safe temperature this way. If you want a crispy skin on the chicken, place it a hot oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Last weekend I made a Jambalaya in the crockpot. It turned out pretty good, buyt next time I won't cook it for so long.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 03:43 pm
OoohhhhOOohhh good to know, thanks.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 03:48 pm
To do that you also need a really big crockpot.

Is is a dietary thing Jespah or do you just not like those kinds of meat? Nothing better than a pork roast - the other white meat.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 03:58 pm
Pork is not kosher. And we don't eat red meat due to health issues.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 04:04 pm
Neither is most cheese pizza.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 05:37 pm
Yep, I have the big one. http://www.crockpot.com/38651C.html

There are lots of recipes here http://www.crockpot.com/recipes.html but keep in miond that the cooking times need to be scaled back a LOT.
0 Replies
 
 

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