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 44112 times)

Tami1982

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1016
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2014, 01:01:06 PM »
I love my slow cooker, but I don't buy crock pot brand because their glaze contains led that leaches into food.  They argue that it is below safety standards, but I'm not going to cook food for hours and hours in a leaching pot.  Hamilton Beach's glaze does not contain lead. 

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2014, 01:10:23 PM »
I love my slow cooker, but I don't buy crock pot brand because their glaze contains led that leaches into food.  They argue that it is below safety standards, but I'm not going to cook food for hours and hours in a leaching pot.  Hamilton Beach's glaze does not contain lead.

Is this an issue with new Crock Pots, old ones, or both? I'm not a big fan of lead, but I've got a hand-me-down (at least 20 years old) Crock Pot that I'd like to keep using...

Mother Fussbudget

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 831
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2014, 01:10:48 PM »
I'm one of the 7 'regret' votes.  My CostCo Aroma Rice Cooker ($40) does triple duty as a much better Crock-Pot / slow cooker, AND steamer, AND rice cooker.  My crock pot slow cooker sadly sits in the most in-accessible cabinet (on purpose).   I should really store it on CraigsList.

Tris Prior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2993
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2014, 01:33:12 PM »
I inherited my grandmother's crockpot from the '70s. It is burnt orange and smaller than I'd like, but it still works great.

I do find that most crockpot recipes, as written, are way too bland for my liking. I double or sometimes triple the amount of spices, herbs, chili paste, etc. that is called for... and I don't even like really spicy food.

I'm vegetarian so I can't speak to how it handles meat.

Really excited to be making mac 'n cheese from scratch in the crockpot on Xmas Eve. Mainly because Boyfriend has a tradition of eating Shells 'n Cheese Dinner for Xmas - but this year he'll be eating a real food version without neon cheese that's full of chemicals and god only knows what.

BBub

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Deep South
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2014, 01:42:55 PM »
I was a big fan of the crock pot back in my bachelor days.  I'd prep everything the night before: a nice roast of venison, onions, peppers, carrots, new potatoes, seasoning, etc.  Put it all in the ceramic pot then stick in the fridge.  Then before work I'd set it onto the crock pot & let her rip all day.  That night i'd come home to a delicious manly feast.  Since marrying we don't use it so much...  we've gotten on a kick once or twice, but it hasn't seen the light in quite some time.  The crock pot is kind of like a waffle maker.  Either you use it regularly or it'll sit on a back shelf in a lower cabinet for several years collecting dust.

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2014, 01:54:06 PM »
I use it but I'm kind of meh.  The dishes that come out great require a lot of browning of ingredients.  I don't want to have to clean up an extra pan and spend the time doing that.  Plus, the newer crocks do cook hotter.  For the crock to be useful, I need recipes that take a very long time to cook because I'm out of the house for at least 10 hours at a clip. Most things get overcooked.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8769
  • Registered member
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2014, 03:06:08 PM »
First, let me say I cannot believe there are people out there that don't like slow-cooked style meals.  I would eat stews, braises, etc. everyday if I could (and often do!).

That said,

When I got a pressure cooker the crock pot was retired. My experience is that the crock pot cost more energy to run and tended to produce "muddy" food. The pressure cooker can do anything the crock pot did and more.

this thread confirms that I should not get a crock pot. 

I love my pressure cooker, but the downside is it's not really hands off.  I can reasonably balance the the pressure on the second (high pressure) bar, but I still can't walk away for more than a few minutes without risking coming back to an over- or under-pressure situation.  So I basically have to stay within ear/eyeshot of the stove.  Also, some braises still take 30-60 min, and it would be nice to have something ready right when I get home.

For those reasons, I was considering a crock pot.  But I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and get an instantpot sometime.

dungoofed

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2014, 03:12:12 PM »
OMG well talk about being brought back to reality. The "love-it"s still have it by a whisker but I can see that there actually are two sides to this story. Thanks everyone for the replies, I'll try and pick out a couple and reply to them.

I can't even remember how I got my first one. My mother used to make all sorts of things in it, in particular corned beef. I think I asked my mother for one for xmas or birthday when I was about 21 and of course she was all enthusiastic about that (lol@ mothers!) and the rest is history. First recipe I made was Irish Stew, followed by Apricot Chicken. When I moved to Japan it was one of the first things I sought out to buy (and trust me it wasn't easy back then).

Agree with everyone who said that it's handy as an extra portable/space-saving element in the kitchen when cooking up a massive meal. Particularly useful for those of us who don't have a massive industrial-size kitchen with 6-burner stovetop.

Good to see some very creative uses here (soap!) I've made a soup for ramen in it from pork neck, that's about as creative as I get

And I'm not the only person who makes curry in the crock pot! Yellow Thai curry is my go-to (I throw in about 2 pounds of bone-in ribs - yum), but I've done Indian curries and just added the spices or rue towards the end.

Tris Prior - I'm surprised that you find the recipes are bland as my experience has been the opposite. Cooking at low heat over a period I find you tend to lose a lot less flavour from the herbs/spices, and if I put the same amount as for the same meal in a pot on the stove then it'll be almost overpowering in flavour.

For cooking beans it's brilliant.

For everything else, it's shiite.
+1
Also, stinks up the whole house.

LOL each to their own I guess. When I was a bachelor this was one of the things that I loved about it, coming home after a hard day's work and being able to smell dinner from down the hallway.

We use ours every week.

Beans, chili, roasts, pulled pork, soups, curry, stews . . . so fricking awesome.  Plus you can usually use the cheaper cuts of meat because they come out so tender and yummy.

Not just meat but vegetables that you discover at the back of the fridge too (YMMV). If I was making stock from Friday night's BBQ chicken carcass then the dried out carrot or half an onion from last week would also find their way into the mix, pending "smell test." 

And sinewy cuts are made for the slow cooker, 'nuff said.


We have an electric mutli-cooker (InstantPot).  We use it almost daily.  You can saute/sear in it directly before slow-cooking.  It is thermostatically controlled and heats fast - this can eliminate a lot of the mushiness problems of old-style crock pots.  And with the pressure cooker function, a frozen roast is tender (and cooked) throughout in under and hour.
I put ours on the Kill-A-Watt meter, and it costs us about $0.04 for the first half-hour and $0.01 for each hour to run thereafter to slow-cook with a full load.  This is at $0.16/kWh.  This is much more economical to run than the stove top or *gasp* the oven.

I heard of these mythical appliances back before Web 2.0 but have never read a review - thanks for yours. My concern of course is that it doesn't do any one of the functions well but it sounds like that's not the case.

Regarding quality / taste, IMO most "good" slow cooker recipes will be designed such that they're impossible to overcook. Braised meats, for example, tend to just keep getting better the longer you cook them (within reason).

Agree!

As per a couple of the other commenters my current one has a timer that switches it to a "keep warm" setting once the preset cooking time elapses, but my old one didn't and I'd regularly leave it on "low" while I was out of the house for 12 hours at a time.

Mine is a stupid piece of garbage. It only has two settings: too high and too low. Too low is a lot like off, whereas too high burns everything on the bottom solid black and causes it too boil over, thereby running over the uninsulated sides evaporating and eventually burning on the way down, and leaving a large puddle of crap on the counter. It is also way too small. I figured at that point I should just use my electric stove, because I can control the temperature and choose the appropriate pot size. I now have one less pointless electronic device laying around.

LOL for what it's worth it sounds to me like it could have been a problem with the actual crock pot. I've had the "overflow" problem before but that has always been my own fault. The only thing I have burnt in the slow cooker is lasagne and something else that had a low amount of liquid, can't remember what exactly. Anyway, congratulations on clearing the clutter, it's a constant battle.


Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1194
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2014, 03:19:57 PM »
I like mine a lot, but I am one who likes stews and curries, etc. I hate making veggie side dishes...would much rather throw the veggies in one pot. My most successful recipes have been the 4-6 hour ones that I make on weekend afternoons. Good all-day recipes are much harder to find.

minimustache1985

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #59 on: December 22, 2014, 03:58:11 PM »
I went with "use it sometimes", because I can imagine life without it but that sucker is handy!  I use mine for roasts, "pulled" meat, soups, and bone stock.

If you don't have enough meat or the protein is generally easy to dry out (i.e. chicken breasts) then it can overcook but I've only done that once where H and I were both caught up at work late and it was on for 14 hours.  After that we switched to one that automatically goes to warm after a set amount of time like a PP.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8769
  • Registered member
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #60 on: December 22, 2014, 04:18:22 PM »

Clarion

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2014, 06:30:24 AM »
I had one for a while but just didn't really like the way it cooked the food.  Lots of people love them and I tried it quite a few times but I just preferred to do my casseroles in the oven (still one pot) and preferred my roasts in the oven also rather than kind of soggy like they were when they came out of the slow cooker.  Maybe I was using it wrong.  I ended up selling it.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14049
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2014, 06:46:37 AM »
For cooking beans it's brilliant.

For everything else, it's shiite.
+1
Also, stinks up the whole house.

Nothing worse than a house that smells like delicious food . . .

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8769
  • Registered member
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #63 on: December 23, 2014, 06:53:12 AM »
For cooking beans it's brilliant.

For everything else, it's shiite.
+1
Also, stinks up the whole house.

Nothing worse than a house that smells like delicious food . . .

Ewww, food?  That's what poop's made of!

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2014, 11:05:57 AM »
I use my crock pot for set it and forget it stew/soup.

I have a perfect lentil/liquid ratio recipe for which I only change the vegetable and or spice mix. It's a daily task to put it on before bed, and pack it up at breakfast for a work lunch. And this particular slow cooker has no setting other than "on" for the purchase price of $10. I am not saying it is that the creators of the machine made a winner. But that I learned how to use it via trial and error.

For example, I prefer mushy soupy, my husband prefers firmer stew like. Depending on who is getting dibs, I adjust the amount of beans and/or what time I start it. Between 6-10 hours is the perfect window for eating. Longer and it starts sticking to the crock, less than and you get chewy beans.

I otherwise use it to prep dry beans to use for stove recipes, potatoes and cabbage in balsamic vinegar, and keeping soups warm for events. I have never tried nor have any desire to make some lasagna or casserole or some other weird "use the crock as an oven" thing. I have a rice cooker for rice and a grill pan for veggies. And the only time I've successfully made restaurant quality Indian bean masala was in a crock pot.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3334
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2014, 09:39:19 AM »
USDA standards do not support cooking hunks of meat in crockpots or slow cookers, the temperature just isn't high enough to stave off bacterial growth.

While I don't worry too  much about that, I just don't like "wet" meats. I will use the slow cooker for ribs, though, there is so little meat on them and it is easy to use. I don't purposely buy ribs, but they come with the packaged home raised meat we get from DH's family farm.


GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14049
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2014, 10:09:58 AM »
USDA standards do not support cooking hunks of meat in crockpots or slow cookers, the temperature just isn't high enough to stave off bacterial growth.

While I don't worry too  much about that, I just don't like "wet" meats. I will use the slow cooker for ribs, though, there is so little meat on them and it is easy to use. I don't purposely buy ribs, but they come with the packaged home raised meat we get from DH's family farm.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/Slow_Cookers_and_Food_Safety.pdf

That's funny.  The USDA that produced that fact sheet says otherwise . . . and that slow cookers are perfectly safe, and are completely able to stave off bacterial growth.  What USDA are you talking about?

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3334
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2014, 02:06:36 PM »

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/Slow_Cookers_and_Food_Safety.pdf

That's funny.  The USDA that produced that fact sheet says otherwise . . . and that slow cookers are perfectly safe, and are completely able to stave off bacterial growth.  What USDA are you talking about?

Ok, you win. If that's their current position, that's their current position. But some years ago I read that it was not their position for large cuts of meat.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5739
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2014, 03:38:06 PM »
I only use mine to make my delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. I cook it for about 20 hours on low once it is really hot. It always turns out perfect.  I am not a big fan of stews,etc.

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2014, 03:52:27 PM »
My mom bought me one when I was in college; I never even used it, opting to leave it at my parents' house instead.

Why?

Well, I have a cast iron dutch oven. And an oven into which it can go. If I want to cook something for many hours - it goes into the dutch oven, and ends up being way better. "But you can't leave the oven on when you leave the house!" Says who? I wouldn't leave gas on, but electric, I have no problem whatsoever. The flavor from the dutch oven is better, and the method by which it cooks is better, and the construction is not just better but is reminiscent of comparing infinity to zero. It can be used for far more, and survives much higher heat - you can't take your crockpot and put it onto a bonfire, can you?

I also have cast iron pans, which can similarly go into any situation, any heat, for any length of time.

I don't particularly want or need hot food cooking all day waiting for me when I get home, either. It's really not that much work to make something.

LouLou

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #70 on: December 25, 2014, 04:31:44 PM »
I love my crock pot! I use it several times a week in the fall/winter. It works for me because:

- DH and I like stews, chilis, lentils, etc. when it's chilly out.
- I don't always come home at the same time. If I come home late, I don't feel like cooking.
- It's easy to make large quantities of food, to make for lunch during the week.
- I can use smaller amounts of meat and still feel satisfied. (I'm a carnivore!)

I love it. I have a big one and a small one. The small one I use for sauces and taco meat (chicken + salsa on low for 8 hours).

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1897
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #71 on: December 25, 2014, 04:53:25 PM »
I'm a lazy cook.  Super lazy.  The crock pot is the perfect kitchen gadget for me.  I'm cooking a huge batch of chicken taco bowl right now (double everything except the chicken http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/07/taco-chicken-bowls/). 

I understand there are methods of cooking that produce higher quality food.  BUT all of the ways require more effort.  5 minutes tossing stuff in a pot and then leaving it until I eat?  I'm sold. 

I also love my rice cooker for the same reason.  I frequently make vegetable and rice dishes in my rice cooker while my slow cooker is going. 

Does anyone have a good chicken based soup recipe for the slow cooker? 

dungoofed

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #72 on: December 25, 2014, 05:45:10 PM »
Does anyone have a good chicken based soup recipe for the slow cooker?

Somewhat related, throw your Christmas chicken/turkey carcass into the slow cooker with a chopped onion, carrot, celery, garlic, salt, a bay leaf and top it up with cold water. 8 hours later strain out the solids and you'll have a fantastic chicken stock that can be frozen.

PRO TIP: use an ice tray to create ~30ml portions, and then move them to a ziplock freezer back for more convenient portions.

Zarya

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2014, 06:42:57 AM »
We have an induction stove and super-efficient oven (the highly insulated door hardly lets any heat escape). Also, at least one of us is home most of the time and electricity is cheaper overnight and on weekends. All this means that it's more efficient for us to use the stovetop (which is highly adjustable for things like rice, beans, or even melting chocolate) or the oven with a crock or Dutch oven inside (for soup stock, stews, etc.) than a Crock Pot would be. We also have very limited counter space, so I prefer to use the tools we already have.

Joan-eh?

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Toronto
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #74 on: December 26, 2014, 07:04:56 AM »
- Thermos for making yoghurt


Oh! Can you share this recipe?

Metta

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 663
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #75 on: December 26, 2014, 07:10:57 AM »
I too prefer other cooking methods.  I find that a crockpot often cooks past the point I enjoy.  Flavours get too melded and aren't as bright and interesting. It is very convenient though.


This is how I feel as well. I prefer my pressure cooker for soups or my dutch oven used in my oven. On the other hand, a crockpot is very useful to keep food warm at parties.

tracylayton

  • Guest
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #76 on: December 26, 2014, 08:09:11 AM »
I recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the meat...should be 165 degrees.

Zette

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #77 on: December 26, 2014, 08:32:54 AM »
Mine was a wedding gift, so there's no purchase to regret.

I'm in the camp that HATES the texture of crock pot food.  Mushy, chewy, stewed -- just gross all around.  And then the recipes that have you sear something in a pan before putting them in the crock pot are just ridiculous.  If I'm going to all that trouble I'll just cook the damn thing on the stove in the first place.

guitar_stitch

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 268
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #78 on: December 26, 2014, 09:49:06 AM »
I use mine for all kinds of things from Pulled Pork to Spaghetti Sauce.

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2091
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #79 on: December 26, 2014, 11:42:44 AM »
Mine was a wedding gift, so there's no purchase to regret.

I'm in the camp that HATES the texture of crock pot food.  Mushy, chewy, stewed -- just gross all around.  And then the recipes that have you sear something in a pan before putting them in the crock pot are just ridiculous.  If I'm going to all that trouble I'll just cook the damn thing on the stove in the first place.

Mine was a Christmas present from an ex-boyfriend soon after we broke up. I stored it away and have never used it. I recently moved and looked at it again and thought to myself that I should really try it out some day, but still haven't. I guess I'm just not used to cooking with it.

I've seen some cooking shows that mention pre-searing meats and all and I agree that it sounds like too much work. If I am already dirtying a pan to cook something, why would I want to transfer it to another receptacle that also needs cleaning? I hate cleaning up.

I've slow cooked in the oven and on the stove top and continued to do other stuff around the house as it cooked, and haven't found the need for the crock pot yet. I'm more of a hands on cook that likes to taste stuff as it's cooking and adjust seasonings as necessary.

I'm also not a big fan of leaving something plugged in cooking while I am away from the house. Something can happen while I'm away (accident, traffic jam) that would delay my return and then I'd be all worried that the house was on fire when I returned. I'm a little paranoid that way.

Oh well, some day I will get around to using it.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #80 on: December 26, 2014, 03:48:31 PM »
I recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the meat...should be 165 degrees.

Note that some types of meat have had the temperature revised downward (but with a sitting time) recently: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/UCM257049.pdf

.22guy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #81 on: December 31, 2014, 07:27:25 PM »
Does anyone have a good chicken based soup recipe for the slow cooker?

I have one for chicken tortilla soup with garbanzo beans.  I can send it to you tomorrow if you like.

C-note

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #82 on: December 31, 2014, 07:34:45 PM »
I prefer and use my pressure cooker over my slow cooker probably 5 to 1.

No overdone or dry meat.  No stinky smells.  Complete meals in 45 minutes or less.

Easier than falling off a log.

clifp

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #83 on: December 31, 2014, 07:58:10 PM »
I love my Crockpot, it is probably the main form of cooking (as opposing microwaving stuff from Costco) that I do.  That said my sister,and other friends who are gourmet OCD cooks don't. (My sister use to ground her own flour, to bake break with a mortar and pestle.)  My sisters dislike is for the same reason others said food is generally over cooked.

For me it is partly the convenience but also the health. I'll make myself a green salad, but as far as cooking vegetables pretty much never happens outside of crockpot.

dungoofed

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #84 on: December 31, 2014, 09:22:29 PM »
Just made a pastry-less quiche in the thing last night.

1 sweet potato, grated
2 zucchini, grated
500g bacon, chopped (optionally fried in the pan, but not necessary)
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
a couple of mushrooms, chopped
a bit of basil
salt

Mix all these up in the crockpot, then pour a beaten mixture of the following over the top:

8 eggs
200ml heavy cream

Sprinkle a little grated cheese, salt and pepper on top, set to Low for 8 hours and go to bed.

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #85 on: December 31, 2014, 09:59:20 PM »
There's a lot of things that a crock pot is great for, and for that I think it's a great kitchen tool.   I find that a lot of people try to oversimplify the recipes and that's where it fails.

I primarily use mine for roasts.   Number one, I always brown the meat and vegetables in cast iron first.    I only put in enough wine and or tomatoes to braise the meat, maybe an inch or two of liquid.    I also keep it low, I think high dries out the food.

I might use mine once a month, but it's still worth it for days that I'm not in the house and can't spend 3 hours tending to corn beef or marinara.    I don't think I'd ever use it for food that doesn't have a ton of connective tissue though, it just doesn't seem to be the right tool.

resy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 348
  • Location: West Coast
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2014, 10:32:03 PM »
I have one but have not used it enough. Honestly, I love the idea that the food is done by itself but everything involving vegetables seems overcooked. Is it just me?
I do looove to make my beans in it though!

RootofGood

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1361
  • Age: 39
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Retired at age 33. 5 years in, still loving it!
    • Root of Good
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2015, 07:44:58 AM »
Just made beans in the crock pot yesterday.  1.5 lbs dry beans equals 12 0.5 cup portions frozen in silicone cupcake pans, plus enough to eat for dinner and a cup or two leftover for consumption over the next few days.

We were out of the house for a few hours yesterday, and I didn't hesitate to leave the crockpot running while we were out.  Returned home to a big ole pot o beans.  Mmm. 

Emilyngh

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 892
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #88 on: January 02, 2015, 07:49:07 AM »
We were never able to really get into crockpot meals, until we realized that we could use it to cook dry beans without soaking.    Now, we use it about twice a week for beans and I can't imagine life without.

I imagine it's other good use would be for cheaper tougher cuts of meat, but being vegetarian, this isn't useful for us.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14049
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #89 on: January 02, 2015, 08:02:13 AM »
After our Christmas turkey meal this year I cut off all the meat I could to save in the fridge.  Then rather than toss the carcass out I tossed it in the crock pot.  Added enough water to cover the bones, then set it on low and went to bed.

This made the most awesome tasting soup stock I have ever had which was ready the following morning.  After a few minutes fishing out the bones and scraping off the soft meat, the amount of wasted turkey was drastically reduced from what we usually toss out.  We've frozen half the stock and are making a kick-ass stew out of the other half.

SailAway

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #90 on: January 02, 2015, 08:06:10 AM »
Hmm. I think the real value of the crockpot comes in when we're going to be gone all day and the choice is either put something in the crockpot before we leave or be forced to eat out. Aided by the fact that the crockpot itself was not very expensive and has lasted years.

That said, I mostly make chili or broccoli cheddar soup in mine. It makes decent shredded beef or pork if spiced well. It makes chicken taste like ass.

Penny Lane

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #91 on: January 02, 2015, 08:15:12 AM »
Mine was a gift; I've regifted it years ago.  I have a newer type pressure cooker for beans and dutch oven for stews/soups which can brown things before the liquid is added.  I can also add ingredients later that don't benefit from those long cooking times. 

Duchess of Stratosphear

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #92 on: January 02, 2015, 08:47:40 AM »
When I got a pressure cooker the crock pot was retired. My experience is that the crock pot cost more energy to run and tended to produce "muddy" food. The pressure cooker can do anything the crock pot did and more.
I too have "graduated" from crockpot to pressure cooker for the most part.  I do still use my crockpot for larger meals though because it's a 6 quart vs my 4 quart pressure cooker.

Me too! I still have a crockpot and don't plan to get rid of it, but the pressure cooker is what I now feel I can't live without. Crockpots are so cheap (mine was anyway), there's no shame in having one even if it only gets occasional use.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #93 on: January 02, 2015, 09:01:59 AM »
Very helpful thread! I've wondered whether I "should" get one, but the points here tell me no.

I work from home, I LOVE to cook stovetop (i.e., have a whole interaction with ingredients and process right before eating), I like to do different processes with different ingredients at different points, I'm loath to give up any of my minimal counterspace, and I'm not stellar with managing leftovers so I intentionally cook different amounts based on needs per dish.

I carry a giant stock pot with me on all my moves, and that does the trick: bone broths, rice, chickpeas, stews, curries, etc.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5634
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #94 on: January 02, 2015, 09:27:35 AM »
Mine was a wedding gift, so there's no purchase to regret.

I'm in the camp that HATES the texture of crock pot food.  Mushy, chewy, stewed -- just gross all around.  And then the recipes that have you sear something in a pan before putting them in the crock pot are just ridiculous.  If I'm going to all that trouble I'll just cook the damn thing on the stove in the first place.

Cooking a 4lb roast on the stove is not exactly a quick task. :P

Roland of Gilead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1842
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2015, 09:38:00 AM »
Aren't crock pots like $8 new?

I guess I have bigger financial mistakes to regret :-)

I do use our crock pot to make stew and chili.   I cook and like to have a pot of stew simmering when the wife comes home from work.  Her schedule can be hectic and yet it does not matter if the stew has been in the crock pot for 4 hours vs 6 hours.   Actually the longer the better.

Unique User

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 650
  • Location: NC
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #96 on: January 02, 2015, 10:05:03 AM »
I'm in the camp that HATES the texture of crock pot food.  Mushy, chewy, stewed -- just gross all around.  And then the recipes that have you sear something in a pan before putting them in the crock pot are just ridiculous.  If I'm going to all that trouble I'll just cook the damn thing on the stove in the first place.

We never used to use it since I thought everything would be mushy and stewed until we realized we could make awesome shredded chicken or beef for tacos in it.  But you have to brown the meat and just use a splash of liquid.  On low I don't have to worry about anything burning which I would on the stove top and it comes out great in 5-6 hours.  We also use it for making Asian type meals, cheap cut of meat, lots of spices and smaller amounts of liquid.  I make the vegetable separate.  Coconut green curry beef with extra siracha, yum. 

FarmerPete

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 346
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #97 on: January 02, 2015, 02:25:35 PM »
We use ours occasionally.  Certainly could use it more.  I've been eyeing one of those instantpots though.  I really would like to make our own Yogurt, and none of our devices will maintain heat at such low temperatures.  I'd also like to be able to do the pressure cooking stuff.  My wife would kill me if I brought home another kitchen appliance though.  I certainly would have to "replace" our current crock pot.

Angie55

  • Guest
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #98 on: January 02, 2015, 03:01:28 PM »
I don't use my crockpot as much as I should. Yet I still want two more.... One small one for dips and the new larger casserole one to reheat my frozen casseroles that take forever to thaw.

Few things:
You don't need to drown things in liquid to cook in the crockpot...
Cooking a rotisserie chicken in the crockpot. Rub a full chicken with spices (I use blackened). Place on top of foil balls to allow the fat to drip down so the bottom isn't soggy. Cook on low. The skin doesn't get crispy but its great to come home to! I've done the same with chicken legs or breasts on top of the foil balls.

Also, wrap washed potatoes in foil. Place directly in the crockpot and cook for easy baked potatoes.

Homemade yogurt? Buy a heating pad. Heat the milk up to 160F on the stovetop. Cool to 100F then add your starter yogurt. Wrap the pan in a towel and place on the heating pad overnight. Perfect every time!

dungoofed

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
Re: Crock Pot Regret
« Reply #99 on: January 02, 2015, 03:48:54 PM »
It makes chicken taste like ass.

I find that specifically it doesn't do chicken breast well. A whole chicken or apricot chicken from drumsticks/fat-on thighs comes out fine.