Any Crock-Pot Queens Out There??

Lounge By CakesByJen2 Updated 28 Nov 2008 , 10:34pm by GI

CakesByJen2 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 7:10pm
post #1 of 16

I've actually never used a slow-cooker before and just bought one, primarily for taking chili's and soups to pot-lucks and to sell at my daughter's track and cross-country meets.

The directions/recipes that came with it say to cook soups and stews on low for 8 hours or on Hi for 4 hours. My question is, does it *really* take 4 hours on HI? After all, the meat is already cooked before adding to the pot and the beans are already cooked if using canned, so really all you need to do is be sure the onions and peppers are tender and the flavors melded. I just don't want to cook it longer than necessary to retain as much nutrition as possible, and I don't want the beans and veggies to turn to mush. I normally only simmer for about 1/2 hour on low on the stovetop.

15 replies
indydebi Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 8:36pm
post #2 of 16

25+ years ago, my sister got a "slow cooker" (i.e. crock pot) as a wedding gift. She decided to use it to heat up a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup. She was SO ticked off when it took over 3 hours for the soup to get hot. I reminded her that's why it's called a S-L-O-O-O-O-O-W cooker! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Yes, it will take 4 hours. the concept of the crock pot is that it cooks on a very very low heat.

Ironbaker Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 10:06pm
post #3 of 16

Well for me, yes, usually it does because my meats aren't cooked when I put them in the crock pot. I guess if you just want to heat something up with items that are mostly cooked, it wouldn't take that long but it defeats the purpose of using a "slow cooker".

You just reminded me I wanted to make some white chicken chili in mine this weekend. I love my crock pot.

zoomzone Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 10:17pm
post #4 of 16

We LOVE our crock pot! thumbs_up.gif Have used it for years.
I'm with ironbaker- most of my meats aren't cooked before I put them in.
Last week we made Turkey Chili, Beef Stew and Sauerbraten.

butternut Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 10:57pm
post #5 of 16

Just wanted to pass along that America's Test Kitchen has some GREAT slow cooker recipes. Sauces come out nice and thick and really tasty!!

KKC Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 11:59pm
post #6 of 16

Yes it takes 4 hours on high...I make Pulled Pork all the time and it makes the meat so incredibly tender.... Remember that you have to heat the the CrockPot before you put anything in granny forgot to heat hers and when she put the food in there it (crock pot) shattered.

CakesByJen2 Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 12:18am
post #7 of 16

Okay, maybe I should clarify a little. I do get that it's a slow-cooker and normally the point of using it is because you want to start something way ahead of time, and that many recipes start with meat that is not cooked.

But in this instance, my purpose really isn't the slow-cooking, but just a way to have/keep the chili or soup hot when I take it somewhere. I generally use ground beef or Italian sausage in many of my soups, and I prefer to brown it first along with the onions; I just think that gives it better flavor, texture, and appearance than just letting it steam or boil in the soup. I tested it with water, just to be sure it worked and everything, and it took about an hour to reach max. temp., and it just seems to me that one additional hour of cooking time might be enough, if the only raw ingredient is the peppers, and they cook fast. I could swear my friend who gave me a recipe for white chili using shredded cooked chicken breasts and canned beans, said she cooks it for 2 hours on HI or 4 hours on Low. I guess I'll just have to do a test run to be sure.

Thanks for the input! Now that I have one, I probably will start checking out some true slow-cooker recipes, espcially if I go back to work now that my youngest is in school, as my husband keeps not-so-subtly hinting at.

Ironbaker Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 12:47am
post #8 of 16

OK, I get what you're saying now. I think you will be just fine. Some things probably do take less time to actually *cook*, I just usually don't touch it until at least 3-4 hours later.

My white chili, I use raw chicken. Regular chili, I also sautee the meat (sausage or ground turkey) first for the same reason you do but I let it sit all day when I'm at work.

If I take something to a potluck that I cooked in my crockpot, I do keep it heated in mine. The one I have has a "warm" setting on it.

Kivia, can you explain the shattering thing more? I always just put my ingredients in and then turn it on...

Carolynlovescake Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 2:09am
post #9 of 16

I own 4 of them and use them all the time so I guess that would make me an expert at them. icon_biggrin.gif

If everything is already cooked then they are great for keeping items warm.

CakesByJen2 Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 2:32am
post #10 of 16

About the shattering thing, even though I haven't used one, I do know the answer to that icon_biggrin.gif

Since the croc is ceramic, like glass, the food and the croc should be at about the same temperature, so if you are putting cold food in, the croc needs to be cold to start; if you're putting hot food in, the croc needs to be preheated.

michellenj Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 2:34am
post #11 of 16

I've never heard about them shattering. Do tell. I have cracked crystal pitchers after I took them out of the dishwasher and put cold iced tea in them.

I have found that the plastic liner bags for crock pots really work well, and cut down on the cleanup.

KKC Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 4:55am
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

Kivia, can you explain the shattering thing more? I always just put my ingredients in and then turn it on... day she was cooking some beef stew in the crock pot and she forgot to turn it what she did was put the beef and the water into the crockpot and then turned it on and it literally shattered...huge cracks of ceramic. I had never saw that before and I thought that maybe the crockpot was dropped or maybe it was already cracked. And thats when she told me that because it wasn't warm it cracked and of course i didn't believe her until i heard Sandra Lee (Semi-Homemade) confirm it on her show one day.

sweetcravings Posted 21 Nov 2008 , 6:45pm
post #13 of 16

I use my crockpot all the time and LOVE it! I understand what you are saying about the chili meat being cooked ahead of time...i do that too BUT>>> by cooking it for the 4hrs in the crockpot it just makes it wonderfully tender, it changes the texture of the chili for the better. I usually add my beans an hour before it's to be done so that they don't turn to mush. So although you could get away without using the crockpot, i think the benefits to cooking it slow just enhance the end product.
I've had my crockpot crack once, but i don't know what caused it..what a mess! I didn't realize the crack until it was cooking for awhile and the juices all over the floor alerted me to a problem ;0(. Now i always put it on a baking sheet just in case. Not all that sad about it because it gave me a reason to go out and buy a bigger and better one. ;0)

michellenj Posted 27 Nov 2008 , 3:16pm
post #14 of 16

Speaking of cracks-my crock pot cracked my Corian countertop! icon_cry.gif

Carolynlovescake Posted 27 Nov 2008 , 4:36pm
post #15 of 16

I would like to point out that I have 4 crock pots going on my counter as I type. icon_lol.gif

1 has a ham

1 has a cheese/chili dip

1 has apple cidur

1 has... holy cow I had to stop and think! It has another hot appetizer/dip.

I have just enough room for one more on there! I better buy myself a to me/from me present this year!

GI Posted 28 Nov 2008 , 10:34pm
post #16 of 16

I use my crockpot all the the SUMMER! ha ha!! I can't stand heating up stove, only to have the A.C. working double-time to pull all that heat back out of the house.

So, I use my crockpot! Set it up OUTSIDE on the picnic table or on the BBQ shelf, plug it in the outlet that is by my backdoor, and let it cook! icon_biggrin.gif Works fantastic and I keep my house nice and cool. icon_wink.gif

My neighborhood's mailboxes are set up by my back gate. My neighbors are always surprised at the wonderful smells coming from my house. (heh heh...I have a locked back gate.)

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