Poll

How do you feel about your crock pot?

Essential purchase, couldn't imagine life without it
183 (40.5%)
Use it sometimes. I guess it's ok
182 (40.3%)
Never use it. Waste of money. I regret the purchase
25 (5.5%)
I don't have one.
62 (13.7%)

Total Members Voted: 443

Voting closed: January 20, 2015, 11:41:44 PM

Author Topic: Crock Pot Regret  (Read 44086 times)

Elderwood17

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2015, 03:54:43 PM »
We use ours a lot for roasts, soups, pheasant, stews, etc.  Really enjoy it, even if it isn't used for anything close to the majority of meals. 

RapmasterD

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #101 on: January 02, 2015, 05:41:05 PM »
An essential tool and method for cooking, particularly cost effectively.

Not THE essential tool.

But AN essential tool.

Pot roast. Boom.

Beef stew. Boom.

Chicken that falls off the bone. Boom.

Bone broths. Boom.

Pork shoulder bubbling in a BBQ sauce that melts in your mouth. Boom.

Several weeks ago I bought a "beef neck" from the very upscale and expensive San Francisco area butcher named Belcampo Meat Company. This particularl grassfed cut cost about $7/pound. I stuck that mother fucker in my slow cooker with chopped up mushrooms, onions, carrots, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbes de provence -- plus 18 ounces of very good red wine. I let it bubble for eight hours. It was mother fucking GOOD!! Oh, I almost forgot. Boom.

stripey

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #102 on: January 02, 2015, 11:15:24 PM »
To the OP, if you do decide to get one, because you are Australian I would strongly recommend one of the Women's Weekly Slow Cooker books. Someone from another forum kindly posted one to me as it was a double-up gift, and it came with good reviews from that forum.  Can usually purchase that series from the newsagents I think. Recipes branch out a little more than the typical casserole or stew as mentioned here.

davisgang90

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #103 on: January 03, 2015, 04:16:54 AM »
I love mine and use it a couple times a week.  I took over cooking about a decade ago when my wife was having several health issues so I need all the help I can working full-time.

I use allrecipes.com for most of my recipes and to make my grocery list each week I add the desired recipes to my shopping list and it adds all the ingredients.  Print the list and voila!  Made Slow Cooker Marmalade Curry Chicken last night that was delicious.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-marmalade-curry-chicken/detail.aspx

Another couple of my go to recipes:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-chicken-parisienne/detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ericas-delicious-slow-cooker-beef-roast/detail.aspx


OSUBearCub

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #104 on: January 03, 2015, 09:41:57 AM »
Or Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Don't ask: I'm still getting over the trauma.

When I was growing up, I never knew a roasted braised meat that hadn't been cooked in a crockpot with onion soup mix.  With Julia Child's help, I can now make boeuf bourguignon from scratch but sometimes I just need pork butt with onion soup mix. :-)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 09:57:20 AM by OSUBearCub »

dungoofed

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #105 on: January 03, 2015, 09:44:25 PM »
To the OP, if you do decide to get one, because you are Australian I would strongly recommend one of the Women's Weekly Slow Cooker books. Someone from another forum kindly posted one to me as it was a double-up gift, and it came with good reviews from that forum.  Can usually purchase that series from the newsagents I think. Recipes branch out a little more than the typical casserole or stew as mentioned here.

Thanks stripey I'll pick that up next time I'm in Australia (currently in Japan). Sorry if I wasn't clear but I am already a heavy crockpot user, but always looking for new recipes.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #106 on: January 03, 2015, 11:08:06 PM »
I'm using mine a ton now since I've gotten a chicken recipe that the husband says he wants as often as possible... basic dry rubs for chicken. I've done jerk chicken, ginger lime curry chicken, and the one below and they're all winners.

Dry rub for chicken (drumsticks, thighs, breasts, whole chicken - whatever is on sale/clearance)

4 teaspoons salt
half teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons sage
2 teaspoons rosemary

Rub chicken all over generously with dry rub. Layer chicken pieces in crock, then add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of water. Cook on low 4 hours for fall-off-the-bone tender, flavorful chicken (we remove the skin, so it not crisping isn't an issue). BONUS: remove chicken from crock, add 2-4 cups of water and simmer for 1 hour, cool, and strain out the bits for an AMAZING chicken broth. Just used the broth to make egg drop soup and it was better than restaurant quality.

Just made a lovely chili in there too. Loved being able to throw the ingredients in and go do something else while it cooked.

I use my crockpot to make tender pork roast too. I NEVER braise it (we don't like the hard or crunchy outside on roasts). I just unwrap, plop in the pot, add some onion soup mix and fill with water to cover, then cook for about 8 hours on low. Add carrots and potatoes the last hour or so and eat with a bit of salt and pepper, then once we're tired of straight pork roast, shred it and add BBQ sauce and have pulled pork sandwiches for the rest of it.

I can't imagine not using it at least once a week really.

Oh, and I found a Chicken Tikka Masala that I'm going to try REALLY soon:
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-chicken-tikka-masala-recipes-from-the-kitchn-211284


Eristheunorganized

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #107 on: January 03, 2015, 11:10:02 PM »
Not a meat eater so I might be biased. I had one and gave it away. Now the household has one and I did use it to make apple butter. It was the best apple butter I've ever made, however that doesn't justify the crockpot love for me.

It seems as though a lot of recipes require pre-browning and other pan work, why not just make the whole thing on the stove?

stripey

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #108 on: January 04, 2015, 12:58:40 AM »
To the OP, if you do decide to get one, because you are Australian I would strongly recommend one of the Women's Weekly Slow Cooker books. Someone from another forum kindly posted one to me as it was a double-up gift, and it came with good reviews from that forum.  Can usually purchase that series from the newsagents I think. Recipes branch out a little more than the typical casserole or stew as mentioned here.

Thanks stripey I'll pick that up next time I'm in Australia (currently in Japan). Sorry if I wasn't clear but I am already a heavy crockpot user, but always looking for new recipes.

No worries ;)

SnackDog

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #109 on: January 04, 2015, 02:14:00 AM »
My Mom bought one in the 70s when they were all the rage (about the same time she bought the fondue set).  Used a few times, it was forgotten in the back of a cupboard.  My father used it once in a while (since he didn't know how to cook).  Crock pots are kind of a crock.  They overcook everything leeching out all of the taste and no doubt most of the nutrition.  We cook fresh these days.

Most if not all kitchen gadgets are a crock. The crockpot, invented by Rival, is a good example of companies wishing to make money on gadgets: inventing a "need".  You don't need them.  We have and have had all manner of nonsense kitchen gadgets from a Pavoni espresso machine to a $400 Dualit toaster and you really don't need any of them.  This goes for coffee makers and grinders, toasters, blenders, mixers, dishwashers, etc.   The only ones I would sanction at this point are the microwave oven and possibly the electric kettle.  Everything else you are better off doing by hand with conventional tools or avoiding altogether (espresso coffee, toast, fondue).

Rural

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #110 on: January 04, 2015, 04:48:16 AM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

Eristheunorganized

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #111 on: January 04, 2015, 10:31:40 AM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."

RetiredAt63

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #112 on: January 04, 2015, 10:45:58 AM »
I brown the meat because the pan glazings add so much flavour.  Deglazing the pan also makes it super easy to wash.  But pre-cook vegetables? No. And I prefer the crockpot to on-the-stove-top because I use it for things that do take hours, and I don't want the burner on that long.  If something can be done faster (chili, spaghetti sauce), it does go on the stove.  It is just examining which process is more effective for what you want to cook.  Meats with lots of connective tissue do best with long slow moist cooking = crock-pot.

I just popped stew on this morning - browned the meat, cut up onions and carrots in big chunks, added beef bouillon, wine, bay leaf, all-spice, cloves, and Montreal steak spice.  It took maybe 10 minutes total?  It smells so good.  And it is just sitting there cooking while I declutter the office and take breaks here.

You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."

ruthiegirl

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #113 on: January 04, 2015, 10:46:16 AM »
Don't have one and have no plans to get one.  I am at home with kids, so I have time to simmer beans and chili in a regular pot on the stove. 

I have wondered if my electricity usage would drop a bit if I used a crockpot rather than the cooktop.  My stove is 60 years old, so it may be an energy pig. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #114 on: January 04, 2015, 10:56:09 AM »
I wonder that too - but hard to compare the crockpot (with a kill-a-Wat) and the stove.  I just figure the enclosed container is probably more efficient than the pot sitting on a burner, with so much burner area exposed to the air.  I know I don't feel much heat coming off the crock-pot.

I have wondered if my electricity usage would drop a bit if I used a crockpot rather than the cooktop.  My stove is 60 years old, so it may be an energy pig.

Rural

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #115 on: January 04, 2015, 01:06:37 PM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."


I've never done any of those things, though, and never had a problem, I certainly wouldn't soften veggies or precook garlic. I could maybe see caramelizing onions because caramelized onions are, in fact, the best thing ever, but I've never done it for a crockpot meal. Always turns out just fine.

swick

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #116 on: January 04, 2015, 01:20:22 PM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."


I've never done any of those things, though, and never had a problem, I certainly wouldn't soften veggies or precook garlic. I could maybe see caramelizing onions because caramelized onions are, in fact, the best thing ever, but I've never done it for a crockpot meal. Always turns out just fine.

I had totally forgotten this! Sharing to make Rural happy :)
http://www.dinner-mom.com/slow-cooker-caramelized-onions/

Easiest caramelized onions ever! Makes a boat load and can be frozen to add that awesome flavor to any dish you are making super easy!Hubby's brother (after making a batch for Christmas Eve appies) stood in my kitchen shoveling them straight up into his mouth and asked for a jar to take home for Christmas. That's all he wanted :)

Rezdent

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #117 on: January 04, 2015, 01:23:38 PM »
I wonder that too - but hard to compare the crockpot (with a kill-a-Wat) and the stove.  I just figure the enclosed container is probably more efficient than the pot sitting on a burner, with so much burner area exposed to the air.  I know I don't feel much heat coming off the crock-pot.

I have wondered if my electricity usage would drop a bit if I used a crockpot rather than the cooktop.  My stove is 60 years old, so it may be an energy pig.
I remember reading some comparisons and the crockpot came out much better in electricity used. 
A couple of years ago I did a comparison and the crockpot was more than 75% better than our ancient 30-year-old oven and so I have gotten into the habit of considering crockpot first whenever the weather is warm.  An added advantage is that it keeps the kitchen cooler.
However, it is cold here now.  I lean towards using the oven because it helps heat the kitchen.  Is it better to get food and heat at the same time?

It's been a couple of years since my last analysis and I would like to update my data.

I did a quick Google on this but couldn't come up with any recent comparisons from a reliable source.
 Does anyone have data on this comparison?

Rezdent

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #118 on: January 04, 2015, 01:28:30 PM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."


I've never done any of those things, though, and never had a problem, I certainly wouldn't soften veggies or precook garlic. I could maybe see caramelizing onions because caramelized onions are, in fact, the best thing ever, but I've never done it for a crockpot meal. Always turns out just fine.

I had totally forgotten this! Sharing to make Rural happy :)
http://www.dinner-mom.com/slow-cooker-caramelized-onions/

Easiest caramelized onions ever! Makes a boat load and can be frozen to add that awesome flavor to any dish you are making super easy!Hubby's brother (after making a batch for Christmas Eve appies) stood in my kitchen shoveling them straight up into his mouth and asked for a jar to take home for Christmas. That's all he wanted :)
Thank you Swick!
This just made me really happy too :)  (scurries off to the kitchen)

Rural

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #119 on: January 04, 2015, 01:32:37 PM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."


I've never done any of those things, though, and never had a problem, I certainly wouldn't soften veggies or precook garlic. I could maybe see caramelizing onions because caramelized onions are, in fact, the best thing ever, but I've never done it for a crockpot meal. Always turns out just fine.

I had totally forgotten this! Sharing to make Rural happy :)
http://www.dinner-mom.com/slow-cooker-caramelized-onions/

Easiest caramelized onions ever! Makes a boat load and can be frozen to add that awesome flavor to any dish you are making super easy!Hubby's brother (after making a batch for Christmas Eve appies) stood in my kitchen shoveling them straight up into his mouth and asked for a jar to take home for Christmas. That's all he wanted :)


Aw, hell. How'd you know I still have ~30 pounds of Vidalia onions in my freezer? Caramelized Vidalias are better than the best thing ever.


Guess I have a project (not much of one, but I do have to wash the crock). :-)

ltt

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2015, 06:05:21 PM »
I've never met anyone who has negative feelings towards a crock pot they bought/received. I think it could be a contender for the consumer good that spawns the most satisfaction in the world.

I'm happy to hear more stories of Crock Pot Love but this time I'm particularly interested in hearing from people who regret or are lukewarm towards their purchase.

Vote away!

Haven't read through all of the posts.  I love my crockpot, so decided a year or so ago to buy one of those 3-crock appliances, so would be able to do 3 dishes at once.  What a waste--used it at first, but haven't used it for a long time.

horsepoor

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #121 on: January 04, 2015, 08:37:19 PM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."

When I know the next day is going to be long, I'll do the chopping, searing and put everything in the crock pot, stash it in the fridge and clean the kitchen before going to bed.  In the morning, pull it out, set it to cook, and have a delicious meal ready to eat the instant I walk in the door.  To me, it makes the most sense when your time is available many hours prior to when you want the food.  With that said, I've started just throwing the pork in the crock for chile verde with no pre-searing and it comes out 95% as good as if I do the extra searing step.

dungoofed

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #122 on: January 05, 2015, 12:21:08 AM »
it makes the most sense when your time is available many hours prior to when you want the food. 

+1

RetiredAt63

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #123 on: January 05, 2015, 07:03:16 AM »
You made me happy too - thank you.

I had totally forgotten this! Sharing to make Rural happy :)
http://www.dinner-mom.com/slow-cooker-caramelized-onions/

Easiest caramelized onions ever! Makes a boat load and can be frozen to add that awesome flavor to any dish you are making super easy!Hubby's brother (after making a batch for Christmas Eve appies) stood in my kitchen shoveling them straight up into his mouth and asked for a jar to take home for Christmas. That's all he wanted :)

RootofGood

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #124 on: January 05, 2015, 01:45:39 PM »
Most if not all kitchen gadgets are a crock. The crockpot, invented by Rival, is a good example of companies wishing to make money on gadgets: inventing a "need".  You don't need them.  We have and have had all manner of nonsense kitchen gadgets from a Pavoni espresso machine to a $400 Dualit toaster and you really don't need any of them.  This goes for coffee makers and grinders, toasters, blenders, mixers, dishwashers, etc.   The only ones I would sanction at this point are the microwave oven and possibly the electric kettle.  Everything else you are better off doing by hand with conventional tools or avoiding altogether (espresso coffee, toast, fondue).

I would add rice cooker to the list of kitchen gadgets worth owning.  As they say, 2 billion Asians can't be wrong. 

LadyDriver

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #125 on: January 05, 2015, 02:01:19 PM »
If you are ambivalent, I recommend America's Test Kitchen's slow cooker cookbook. Made a big difference for me.

Songbird

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #126 on: January 05, 2015, 04:38:44 PM »
We have 3.  Love them!  I make yogurt, caramelize onions many pounds of home-grown garden onions in them and use them at the holidays to serve side dishes out of. We throw freezer corn from our garden in and forget about it until it is time to eat. 

We also use them for the usual soups and long, slow-cooked cuts of meat.

Absolutely indispensable here.  I rely on them a lot.

RapmasterD

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2015, 05:42:55 PM »
Just about to warm up our left over crockpot meal from last night.

Four Empire Kosher Organic Chicken Legs plus four chopped up sweet potatoes plus a jar (19.5 ounces) of sriracha BBQ sauce -- all purchased at Trader Joe's. It was a solid Sunday night meal with the addition of a simple salad on the side.

BBub

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #128 on: January 05, 2015, 08:58:44 PM »
Just want to chime in to see if in the only one who finds this thread hilarious and awesome at the same time.   First off, the title has been cracking me up since day 1.  Kudos OP.  And the fact it gets so much activity - who knew so many ppl loved their crock pot?  I'm feeling inspired to break mine out this week & whip up something badass.  Don't worry I'll come back to post about it.

shadowmoss

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #129 on: January 05, 2015, 09:41:19 PM »
Just did the caramelized onions after reading this.  It really works.  I may start cooking again.  Maybe.

RapmasterD

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #130 on: January 05, 2015, 09:48:34 PM »
My wife really loved the leftover chicken tonight. And yes, I am very passionate about my slow cooker (from October - March).

stripey

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #131 on: January 06, 2015, 06:11:37 AM »
Try making pho (Vietnamese soup with a subtly spiced beef broth and noodles, herbs like coriander and eryngo, and beef). The time-consuming bit is making the broth, which is made really easy with a slow cooker. The remaining cooking steps are relatively straight-forward. I usually have a container with pho broth ready to go in the freezer.

Nickyd£g

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #132 on: January 06, 2015, 08:36:52 AM »
I had one and sold it (for profit!) as I just...didn't like it.  I prefer roasted or grilled meats for dinner and it really doesn't take that long to grill a steak/chicken breast whatever, steam some veggies and heat up a bit of sauce.

While I do a lot of batch cooking of curries, soups and stews for lunches I actually enjoy spending a couple of hours on a Sunday, glass of wine in hand, BBC radio 2 on, chopping and stirring in a pot. 

I used the crockpot a few times and found that 1. I worried about leaving it on all day 2. everything was more watery and tasteless (I admit, this is (probably) because I didn't use it properly).

4alpacas

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #133 on: January 06, 2015, 09:13:05 AM »
Try making pho (Vietnamese soup with a subtly spiced beef broth and noodles, herbs like coriander and eryngo, and beef). The time-consuming bit is making the broth, which is made really easy with a slow cooker. The remaining cooking steps are relatively straight-forward. I usually have a container with pho broth ready to go in the freezer.
Recipe, please!

coffee

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #134 on: January 06, 2015, 11:53:16 AM »
For the past 3 years I have had a very small sized hand me down which I was indifferent to at best.
Just got a much larger crock pot and its a whole new world!

quelinda

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #135 on: January 06, 2015, 12:01:57 PM »
We have multiple crock pots and I keep the largest one out all the time -- it's the one I use to make bone broth that simmers for days. The other main one is used for dinner multiple times a week. I also have a really small one that I used to make oatmeal overnight, but we no longer eat oatmeal, so it sits in a cabinet until I figure out what to do with it.

stripey

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #136 on: January 15, 2015, 09:09:48 AM »
Try making pho (Vietnamese soup with a subtly spiced beef broth and noodles, herbs like coriander and eryngo, and beef). The time-consuming bit is making the broth, which is made really easy with a slow cooker. The remaining cooking steps are relatively straight-forward. I usually have a container with pho broth ready to go in the freezer.
Recipe, please!

Ingredients
-   1-2kg chopped beef bones. Try and get some with meat on, e.g beef shins. Oxtail is a good addition.
-   1 large brown onion, chopped roughly
-   5cm piece ginger
-   2.5L boiling water
-   6 star anise (aniseed star)
-   2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 stick cassia bark, if you have that available)
-   10 cloves
-   2 tbs coriander seeds
-   3 vietmamese cardamom pods (if you can find them. Different from normal cardamom)
-   60 ml fish sauce
-   60 ml lime juice
-   2 tbs brown sugar
-   200 g rice stick noodles
-   250 g eye fillet or other very quick-cook meat, sliced thinly (optional)
-   150g (2 cups) bean sprouts

Condiments- use selection of:
-   ½  cup firmly packed fresh mint
-   ½ cup firmly packed fresh coriander (cilantro)
-   ½  cup firmly packed vietmanese mint (vietnamese coriander, eryngo)
-   2 long red chillies, sliced thinly
-   Spring onions, sliced thinly

Method
-   Place bones and water in slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low, for anywhere between 6 and 12 hours
o   Bonus tip: Roasting bones, and/or char-grilling the onion and ginger (then taking off the black bits so it doesn’t colour the stock) makes for a better pho, but takes more time.
o   Another bonus tip: there’ll be a bit of scum particularly the first few hours and skimming (like you would with stock) is a good idea. There will also be a bit of fat coming from the bones too that you may want to skim off at some point.
-   Add onion, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds and cook, covered on low, for 3 hours. Add sauce, lime juice and sugar. Strain liquid through muslin. Pick off the bones any meat that looks tasty and reserve.
o   Bonus tip: freeze or refrigerate as a soup base after this step.
-   Place noodles in bowl with boiling water, stand 15 minutes, drain.
-   Divide noodles, cooked beef, and eye fillet into bowls and pour the hot  liquid soup base over it all (the eye fillet will cook). Liberally garnish with mint, vietnamese  mint, coriander, spring onion and chilli to taste.


So this sounds like a fair number of ingredients but if you don’t have/want anything on the list you’re under no obligation to put all of this in.  The recipe itself is relatively straight forward.

Mr. Green

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #137 on: January 15, 2015, 10:32:49 AM »
As a busy person with remedial skills in the kitchen, my wife and I get some of our easiest and tastiest meals from out crockpot. I would call it essential. Now if I was FIRE? Maybe not.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #138 on: January 15, 2015, 10:38:44 AM »
I chose the second option. We probably use it 2-6 times per month. However, my wife is a SAHM and usually doesn't get dinner started until later in the afternoon. If we both worked, we would probably use it at least every other day. I did before I was married.

dunhamjr

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #139 on: January 15, 2015, 10:41:44 AM »
my wife tries to get creative with the crockpot, and the proteins texture doesnt always seem to work out that well.

i think if we stuck more to soups, chilis, stews... etc, the success factor would end up a lot higher.

Bardo

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #140 on: January 15, 2015, 10:46:42 AM »
Can I ask a question?  I don't have a slow-cooker myself, and I'm not much of a meat-eater.  Is there any advantage to cooking beans this way instead of simmering them on the stove?  Could a slow-cooker be used for a tofu dish? 
Thanks

GuitarStv

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #141 on: January 15, 2015, 11:00:11 AM »
You can put the beans on in the morning, and come back home to them being cooked in the evening.  A slow cooker is safe to use all day long while you're away . . . they're very low temperature, and much less complex (fewer things to go wrong) than something like a computer or set top cable box . . . which many leave running all day without a second thought.

There are a great many slow cooker/tofu recipes available if you google for them.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #142 on: January 15, 2015, 11:13:42 AM »
Just want to chime in to see if in the only one who finds this thread hilarious and awesome at the same time.   First off, the title has been cracking me up since day 1.  Kudos OP.  And the fact it gets so much activity - who knew so many ppl loved their crock pot?  I'm feeling inspired to break mine out this week & whip up something badass.  Don't worry I'll come back to post about it.

Hahaha I find it hilarious too! I didn't realize there were so many crockpot haters out there. I love ours, we use it at least once a week in the winter (much less in the summer, mostly just for beans). I'm totally being redundant, but it is awesome for cheap cuts of meat (pork butt, chuck roast) which can then be used in a jillion other meals. Plus soups and chilis. And I LOVE walking in the door to delicious-smelling food!

I don't think I would use it very much if we were vegetarian, though. And there are definitely some really shitty crockpot recipes out there, but hey, there are a lot of shitty non-crockpot recipes out there, too. It's trial and error but I think we have a pretty high success rate!

stripey

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #143 on: January 16, 2015, 10:05:58 AM »
Can I ask a question?  I don't have a slow-cooker myself, and I'm not much of a meat-eater.  Is there any advantage to cooking beans this way instead of simmering them on the stove?  Could a slow-cooker be used for a tofu dish? 
Thanks

Beans that have a 'kidney bean' shape really need to be cooked at higher temperatures than what a crock pot can guarantee, to break down the phytohaemagglutinins that may be present, which can cause what's sometimes called 'bean poisoning' at the worst, and at the least a bit of indigestion. The legume with the most phytohaemagglutinins present are red kidney beans. These legumes need to be heated to 100*C to break down the toxin, and heating to 80*C (what a lot of slow cookers operate at) will not. So if you make beans in a slow cooker, soak overnight, boil in fresh water 10-30 minutes, THEN simmer in slow cooker for as long as necessary.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) this doesn't apply to; feel free to place directly into slow cooker without any boiling etc.

kiblebuka

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #144 on: January 16, 2015, 10:40:05 AM »
I bought one when I moved to my apartment, thinking I'd be using it a lot. Put things in it and run while I'm at work or while I'm asleep and have magic food. But in reality I've used it maybe three times in the last year. It's a decent sized machine, and I have very limited counterspace. Would have it run on the floor but the cat might get too curious.

Also when it comes to cooking things with more than 3 ingredients, my interest drops due to laziness and seeing it as too time consuming to prepare.

citrine

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #145 on: January 16, 2015, 11:33:22 AM »
I use mine for all the stuff that used to simmer on the wood stove when I was growing up.  Beans, bones, soup, stew, etc.  Having been brought up cooking like that I learned that the big trick for that kind of food is knowing what to add at the very end to brighten the flavor.  A chopped fresh tomato added to beef stew and just returned to a boil before serving does amazing things for the flavor.
[/quote

I make frozen chicken breasts in it all the time and it comes out fantastic.  I agree...you need to spice up the stuff that you are cooking in it, otherwise it is all bland and mushy.  I also make baked potatoes in it, chicken/stuffing/green beans, tomato sauce, lasagna, all kinds of soups/stews, coconut chicken curry, apple crisp. Hubby jokes that if we lost the crock pot, I would  not know how to make dinner!

Decalin

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #146 on: January 16, 2015, 02:21:50 PM »
I use my rice cooker way more than the crock pot, and for more than just rice. I do whole lazy dinners with the rice cooker, toss in prepackaged side dish and chicken, or chicken, rice, and flavorings, some frozen veggies, and hit cook. I'm actually planning to sell my crockpot before my move to Cali in May.

iris lily

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #147 on: January 16, 2015, 02:49:34 PM »


Aw, hell. How'd you know I still have ~30 pounds of Vidalia onions in my freezer? Caramelized Vidalias are better than the best thing ever.


Guess I have a project (not much of one, but I do have to wash the crock). :-)

Agreed that the Carmelized onion trick is one that the crockpot does very well. That, and beans.

Still not a big fan of the thing.

Daisy

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #148 on: January 18, 2015, 01:03:53 PM »
You know, a lot of people here are complaining about the recipes that call for per-browning meat. I'll just say I've made tons of such recipes, have never pre-browned for any of them, and have never had a problem.

It isn't just meat. Pre cooking onion and garlic, softening veggies, etc. To me, that isn't fix it and forget it. It's "follow a bunch of normal steps, then wait 6 hours for the end result. It would probably just take an hour on the stove top."


I've never done any of those things, though, and never had a problem, I certainly wouldn't soften veggies or precook garlic. I could maybe see caramelizing onions because caramelized onions are, in fact, the best thing ever, but I've never done it for a crockpot meal. Always turns out just fine.

I had totally forgotten this! Sharing to make Rural happy :)
http://www.dinner-mom.com/slow-cooker-caramelized-onions/

Easiest caramelized onions ever! Makes a boat load and can be frozen to add that awesome flavor to any dish you are making super easy!Hubby's brother (after making a batch for Christmas Eve appies) stood in my kitchen shoveling them straight up into his mouth and asked for a jar to take home for Christmas. That's all he wanted :)
Thank you Swick!
This just made me really happy too :)  (scurries off to the kitchen)

+2!!!

OK, so this caramelized onions recipe was enough impetus to get me to dust off the old crockpot and give it a shot. It was amazing! I had it cooking overnight and could barely sleep with the smell of caramelized onions overtaking the house and swirling all around me in bed. It does help that I am an onion-fanatic (in all forms).

I actually used beer instead of balsamic vinegar in the recipe as I was hosting a beer-themed party. I then used the liquid oozed out from the onions to slow cook some dry-rub coated chicken breasts, with the addition of the rest of the bottle of beer. It was enough liquid to have 4 lbs. of chicken breast swimming in it. That cooked for about 9 hours during the day before the guests arrived.

Then, I saw the amount of liquid still in the pot and thought this should not go to waste. So I boiled the liquid on the stovetop, pulled out some couscous and crushed almonds, and cooked it in the onion/chicken broth. It was wonderful!

That liquid did not go to waste.

Looks like my maiden voyage on the crockpot wagon was a huge success with all of my guests. Maybe that ex-boyfriend that gifted it to me was on to something after all...I hadn't used it since he gave it to me years ago.

Goldielocks

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Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #149 on: January 19, 2015, 10:39:11 AM »
Based on this thread, I made carmelized onions (plain style) this weekend, for the first time in the crockpot.   I had a 10 lb bag of onions and a crockpot, so...

Still was not quite as good as on the extra large fry pan.  I have no idea why.  Definitely needs a touch of basalmic + butter + salt to bring out the goodness.