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Medievalist
10-19-2008, 03:50 AM
I've never had, or used one. I'm thinking about getting one. My questions are:

1. Suggestions about what to look for, or brands, or what to avoid?

2. Recipes!

3. How do you convert a "standard" recipe, say for soup, or chili, or stew, or . . . to a crock pot?

4. I'm assuming crock pots and slow cookers are the same things; correct me if I'm wrong.

Clair Dickson
10-19-2008, 04:24 AM
Crock Pot is a brand of Slow Cooker. There are other brands.

Make sure you get one big enough for what you want. Hubby and I have a medium sized one, but since we LOVE leftovers, it's not big enough.

The only recipe I have is for a pot roast. Get a cheap hunk of meat (like a bottom round or something.) I like to cut most of the fat off b/c fat tastes icky to me. Then I stuff the thing in the slow cooker, fill it up with water over the top and leave it cooking 6 hours on high or 8-10 on low, depending on how full I've stuffed it. It's done when the meat falls apart. Yum. Then I make some gravy real quick and maybe some mashed potatoes or something. You can put potatoes and carrots and such in the pot with the roast too.

smoothseas
10-19-2008, 04:26 AM
I second Clair, get a large one. Also, get one where the insert is removable for easy cleaning.

There's scads of recipes online. Google and you'll find more than you can ever hope to make.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-19-2008, 04:28 AM
1. Look for one with a removable crock. Easier to clean... and look for one with a dark crock... the white ones will, after a time, always look dirty.

2. I'll get to that in a minute... have to go look 'em up. :)

3. I don't convert, actually. I do it the same as I would on the stove for soup or stew. For chili, we just throw it together in the crock while we're browning the meat, then put the meat in, give it a stir, slap on the lid and leave it while we go do other stuff.

4. I'm assuming crock pots and slow cookers are the same, too.

I love pork tenderloin done in the crock - especially if I've got time at the end to finish it off with about thirty minutes in the smoker. Turns out tender, juicy, and delicious.

Boneless pork ribs 'country style) are wonderful! Just throw those in with some onions, garlic, a cup or so of wine or chicken stock and when you serve, drain and pour on some warmed bbq sauce.


Here's Mama's stew recipe (as close as possible, since you know she never wrote anything down, don't you?). You simply *must* serve it with cornbread and lots of butter. And sliced, fresh onion, of course!



Start with a big pot... the biggest one you have. A big stock pot is perfect, 'cause if you start with a small one, you're just going to end up washing more dishes as you move into a bigger one when you begin to overflow.



Put a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pot and cut some nice beef - round steak, roast, etc. - into bite-size pieces. Don't spare the fat. You can also use ground beef - but Donna says it's not as good - I like it. When the oil is hot, put in the meat and brown it. When meat is browned, add:


1 large, chopped onion
3-6 cloves chopped garlic

1 #303 can beef stock or chicken stock (or equivalent in water plus 2-3 beef/chicken bullion cubes... liquid should cover all the vegetables.) Donna lets it simmer a while before putting in the veggies... I throw 'em right in. All comes out in the wash.

3-4 medium potatoes, washed and cut into 1" cubes
2 #303 can tomatoes, peels and stems removed, crushed
3-4 stalks of celery, de-veined and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 #303 can corn (optional)
1 #303 can sliced carrots or 1 lb. Baby carrots, fresh
1 8oz can tomato sauce
˝ medium head of cabbage, chopped or ˝ bag of frozen Brussels sprouts (optional)
1 small can sliced mushrooms
˝ C Barley
1 beer (optional - mother didn't add this, but Jenny does)
Salt and Pepper to taste

You should start this in the morning and let it simmer on 'low' all day. Daddy always said it was *much* better as leftovers, after the flavors had had time to mingle.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-19-2008, 04:31 AM
Ol' Boy's Chili

I know... some folks don't use burger and some don't use beans... but this is the recipe I love most.

There are a couple things that man can cook - Chili is his piec d'resistance. It's better than Mama's. It's better than mine. It's better than any chili I have ever eaten in my life. Try it.

1 lbs. lean, ground beef (chili grind, if available)
1 lb hot breakfast sausage
4 strips bacon, cut in pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 roasted, peeled, chopped poblano pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomatoes, crushed
1 can William's Tomatoes and Green Chiles OR 2 cans RoTel Tomatoes and Green Chiles
1 1/2 cups water
1 dried Cayenne pepper, broken up
1 tsp ground cumin
Lots of chili powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 cans Ranch Style Beans OR 3 cans chili beans
1-2 bottles or cans of Beer

Cut bacon into bits and brown. Fish bacon out, drain on paper towel. Sauté onions, green pepper and garlic in bacon grease. Do not drain. Fish out veggies and add to fried bacon. Brown ground beef and sausage, covering them with plenty of chili powder.

Start dumping each ingredient into a big pot or a crock pot. Stir in un-drained tomatoes, and remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours or so, stirring occasionally. You might have to add another beer or some water, if you're not using beer. This is one of those dishes that's better the next day. Makes excellent Frito Chili Pies by layering Fritos, then chili, then chopped onion in a bowl. Also makes really good 'Chili Mac' - serve the chili ladled over cooked elbow macaroni or spaghetti.

Frito's, by the way, must be sprinkled with something addictive. They were Dad's favorite munchy... mine, too.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-19-2008, 04:33 AM
I finally broke down and when Ol' Boy asked me what I wanted for Christmas year-before-last, I asked for KitchenAid crock pot. It's 7.5 quarts - HUGE - and it's been dubbed 'The Queen Mary', but it's perfect for stew, chili, a whole chicken, a big roast... you name it. It's about $129.00... but it's as big as they come.

Important crock-saving tip: don't heat up the crock before putting in a cool liquid. Breakage will occur.

Rolling Thunder
10-19-2008, 04:34 AM
Google crock pot recipes, Lisa. There are hundreds of sites dedicated to them. Beef stew is one of my favorites.

Buy two crock pots; a small version and a large version. They're inexpensive enough. The little one is great for quick daily meals. I usually prepare two or three small crocks (I order extras) a week so I can come home to a ready made meal when I know I'll have little time to cook. I use the big one when I want to make a large portion of something when the ingredients are cheaper to buy in bulk. I freeze a few containers afterward to use later.

Bubastes
10-19-2008, 04:35 AM
I don't know if you live alone, but I do, so I have a smaller (3 1/2 qt. crock pot). I mostly make soups, beans, and steel-cut oats in it. As far as meat goes, any recipe that is stewed or braised can be converted to a crockpot (I usually double the cooking time called for in original recipe and cook on the low setting). One thing to watch out for: don't overcook the meat or else it will taste sour.

Good luck!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-19-2008, 04:35 AM
Mable's Easiest-Ever Pot Roast

Mom's pot roast is the best - not to mention the easiest - I've ever made. She served it with potatoes and carrots cooked right along with the roast in the crock pot.

One beef roast - 7 Bone is excellent, but any cut will work
One envelope Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
Carrots
Potatoes
2 Cups Water (or red wine)

You can brown the roast first if you like, but it's not necessary. Cook on 'High' for two hours, shift to 'Low' and cook 'til tender - it's an all-day affair.

Bubastes
10-19-2008, 04:37 AM
By the way, does anyone have a good crockpot corned beef and cabbage recipe?

Medievalist
10-19-2008, 04:52 AM
These recipes look fabulous OFG -- and it's just what I needed.

I googled for recipes, and it's more than a little confusing.

Clair Dickson
10-19-2008, 05:51 AM
Go to your local grocery store and find the basic Crock Pot recipe cook book (they usually cost $3 or so). This is a great place to start, gives you ides. I stole borrowed it from my Sister in law... Then, when you're more comfortable, you can google.

PattiTheWicked
10-19-2008, 06:50 AM
I like to make hot drinkage in my crockpot every year. And yes, the best crockpots have the removable insert. This is a recipe I came up with years ago, and it was one of the most popular on my About.com site last year at Yule. Enjoy!

BASIC WASSAIL RECIPE
Ingredients:
1 Gallon apple cider
2 C. cranberry juice
1/2 C honey
1/2 C sugar
2 oranges
Whole cloves
1 apple, peeled and diced
Allspice
Ginger
Nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
1/2 C - 1 C brandy (optional)

Preparation:
Set your crockpot to its lower setting, and pour apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in, mixing carefully. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve. Stud the oranges with the cloves, and place in the pot (they'll float). Add the diced apple. Add allspice, ginger and nutmeg to taste -- usually a couple of tablespoons of each is plenty. Finally, snap the cinnamon sticks in half and add those as well.

Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 - 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it.

You can also do this one:

HOT BUTTERED RUM

Ingredients:
2 Quarts apple juice
2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 stick butter (use the real stuff, not margarine)
3 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 C. your favorite rum
Refrigerated whipped dessert topping
Cinnamon sticks and nutmeg for garnish

Preparation:
Warm up the apple juice and brown sugar in a pot. Add the butter (dice up the stick before you put it in there, so it'll melt faster). Stir until the butter is melted. Add the spices and the rum. Cover the pot, and allow to simmer on low for 2 - 4 hours.

Ladle into mugs for serving. Top each with a dollop of whipped topping and a cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.

JoNightshade
10-19-2008, 07:14 AM
Y'all have inspired me. I am now watching Craigslist for crock pots.

BenPanced
10-20-2008, 04:28 AM
Crock Pot is a brand of Slow Cooker. There are other brands.

Make sure you get one big enough for what you want. Hubby and I have a medium sized one, but since we LOVE leftovers, it's not big enough.

The only recipe I have is for a pot roast. Get a cheap hunk of meat (like a bottom round or something.) I like to cut most of the fat off b/c fat tastes icky to me. Then I stuff the thing in the slow cooker, fill it up with water over the top and leave it cooking 6 hours on high or 8-10 on low, depending on how full I've stuffed it. It's done when the meat falls apart. Yum. Then I make some gravy real quick and maybe some mashed potatoes or something. You can put potatoes and carrots and such in the pot with the roast too.
Yeah, I put potatoes and carrots in with mine. I also add two cans of condensed French onion soup, two cans of water, and slice up one big ol' stinky onion, scattering the slices over the top of the rest of the ingredients. Then I plug in the cooker, set it on high, and leave it alone for about 4 or 5 hours.

Another slow cooker tip: DO NOT remove the lid of the cooker under any circumstance, save fire. You need that heat built up and if you remove the lid "for just a sec", you're losing heat and cooking time.

Medievalist
10-20-2008, 04:58 AM
Y'all have inspired me. I am now watching Craigslist for crock pots.

Dawno talked me out of buying a used one, and I found a four quart one with a dark removable insert from Hamilton Beach for 19.99.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13689598

Medievalist
10-20-2008, 04:59 AM
Another slow cooker tip: DO NOT remove the lid of the cooker under any circumstance, save fire. You need that heat built up and if you remove the lid "for just a sec", you're losing heat and cooking time.

Good to know!

Rolling Thunder
10-20-2008, 05:07 AM
Dawno talked me out of buying a used one, and I found a four quart one with a dark removable insert from Hamilton Beach for 19.99.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13689598

I have a similar model. The lid lift came off after a few months but I superglued it back on. Otherwise, it's held up well after being used daily in a restaurant. We made a lot of pork and kraut with it.

Jersey Chick
10-20-2008, 06:10 AM
Oh... that's it... I've been saying for 12 years I want a crock pot. I'm goin' out and gettin' me a damn crock pot now... :D

JoNightshade
10-22-2008, 01:11 AM
Dawno talked me out of buying a used one, and I found a four quart one with a dark removable insert from Hamilton Beach for 19.99.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13689598

So I bought this crock pot yesterday! I'm cooking my first meal in it right now!

But I have a problem. My apartment is very small. The food has been cooking for one hour now and already my mouth is watering and my stomach is rumbling at the smell. And I have FIVE HOURS TO GO.

This is actually a torture instrument, right?

Shadow_Ferret
10-22-2008, 01:12 AM
Yes. Yes it is. Aren't we devious?

MaryMumsy
10-22-2008, 01:23 AM
For future reference for purchases. I have a slow cooker made by West Bend. The cooking vessel is metal, not crockery, and is not attached to the cooking base. This means you can put it on the stove to brown your meat before starting the 'cook all day' part. It's non-stick on the inside, so easy to clean. I wore out the first one and bought another.

MM

JoNightshade
10-22-2008, 01:50 AM
Smells... so... good... :cry:

Medievalist
10-22-2008, 02:51 AM
For future reference for purchases. I have a slow cooker made by West Bend. The cooking vessel is metal, not crockery, and is not attached to the cooking base. This means you can put it on the stove to brown your meat before starting the 'cook all day' part. It's non-stick on the inside, so easy to clean. I wore out the first one and bought another.

MM

Now that's an interesting point.

Williebee
10-22-2008, 02:59 AM
Welcome to the joys of crockpottery!

Stacia Kane
10-26-2008, 11:54 PM
Mable's Easiest-Ever Pot Roast

Mom's pot roast is the best - not to mention the easiest - I've ever made. She served it with potatoes and carrots cooked right along with the roast in the crock pot.

One beef roast - 7 Bone is excellent, but any cut will work
One envelope Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
Carrots
Potatoes
2 Cups Water (or red wine)

You can brown the roast first if you like, but it's not necessary. Cook on 'High' for two hours, shift to 'Low' and cook 'til tender - it's an all-day affair.


That's what I do, except instead of water or red wine I use 12 oz. or so of dark beer. FANTASTIC. It adds so much depth of flavor. I never use anything else now that I tried that one! :)



By the way, does anyone have a good crockpot corned beef and cabbage recipe?

I believe what I did was cooked the corned beef for 6-8 hours or so on Low, then added two heads of cabbage and cooked for 2 hours more. It turned out really well. :)

Deb Kinnard
11-13-2008, 08:20 AM
Crock Pot Barbecue Beef

Take a 2-3 lb. piece of top or bottom round and cut it in chunks that will fit in your pot. Put in a regular-sized can of tomato paste, 1/2 c. water, 1 envelope of Lipton's onion soup, and 1/4 to 1/3 c. of brown sugar. Set it to cook and GET TO WORK ON THAT WIP!

When it's done, the meat will fall into shreds, that's how you tell. You might (just this once) have to lift the lid to stir the sauce around. This is okay.

My husband likes 'em a little spicier, so I put in about 1/4 c. of good barbecue sauce about a half hour before I serve it, and stir it around one more time.

The meat turns out fork-tender and very tasty. Pile it on a bun, add maybe a slice of sharp cheddar, and enjoy.
:e2sven:

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-13-2008, 08:52 PM
50+ Friends Crock Pot Recipes! (http://www.50plusfriends.com/cookbook/crockpot/index-5b.html)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-13-2008, 08:53 PM
That's what I do, except instead of water or red wine I use 12 oz. or so of dark beer. FANTASTIC. It adds so much depth of flavor. I never use anything else now that I tried that one! :)

I'm seein' that on the Ol' House Menu for Sunday dinner this weekend, DQ. Sounds wonderful. Thanks!

Alphabeter
11-14-2008, 02:12 AM
Everything from what crock to recipes to how-to is on this LJ community. I use a blog reader and come home to a lovely set of posts.

http://community.livejournal.com/what_a_crock/

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-17-2008, 04:50 AM
That's what I do, except instead of water or red wine I use 12 oz. or so of dark beer. FANTASTIC. It adds so much depth of flavor. I never use anything else now that I tried that one!

Folks, I tried this today. Put in crock pot: Five pound chuck roast (Seared on all sides), bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, one big yellow onion (cut in slivers about 1/8th inch thick, but I bet it wouldn't mind being cut in thinnish rings, if you prefer), four big garlic cloves (chopped), 2/3 C water, 1/3 C Johnnie's French Dip Concentrated Au Jus Sauce (I also use this to make French Dip sauce-it's very BEEFY.) Salt and Pepper. If you can't find the Johnnie's Sauce, just use strong beef stock/broth. Cooked on high for four hours and low for four hours. I thickened the juices left after cooking and fishing out the onions/garlic with cornstarch and milk.

OMG!!!! Best ever, December. Absolute best ever. Better than my mom's. Twice as good as Mom's. Tender, juicy, outstanding flavor - and you're right... the Guinness gave it a depth of flavor I've never experienced before with beef. I served it with mashed potatoes and French-style green beans.

This recipe is a definite keeper.

Thanks, DQ!!!!

Chumplet
11-17-2008, 05:25 AM
I have a medium sized Rival 'Crock Pot' and I honestly can't remember when I bought it. I think it was a wedding gift 24 years ago.

I love to do soups, chilis and roasts in it because I sometimes don't get home from work until after 7pm and my menfolk are hopeless at cooking.

A recent favourite is the 'Emergency Pot Roast.'

Sometimes you have a frozen boneless chuck roast and you don't have time to thaw it. In the morning, toss it into the crock pot and pour boiling or hot water to cover. Season as you like and leave it on low for eight hours or so.

Another tip is to reduce the liquid you'd normally add to soups, because the juices from the meat and veggies adds to the volume. Also, spices intensify in crockpots, so you can ease up on the quantity.

JoNightshade
11-17-2008, 05:40 AM
Since this thread popped up again - I have been using my crock pot at least once a week since I bought it. I LOVE IT. I thought stir-fry was quick and easy; this is even better. Chop everything up, throw it in, and I have a huge, cheap meal for three whole nights every week. And my husband is a big meat-guy, which means this satisfies him. How did I live without this?

Cynthia Robinson
11-17-2008, 02:05 PM
Here is a very *good * recipe!
3 pound turkey breast. (I use a 7 lb..and double everything ..but it's a very big smart crock)
1 8 oz. seasoned Pepperidge Farm bread crumbs
1 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cup of dried cranberries
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
2 tablespoons sage

grease crock with butter

place bread crumbs in crock ,
add the onion and celery, and dried cranberries then broth and butter
add salt, pepper ,sage ,and garlic
move the dressing so it will be more on sides and put breast in middle.
If breast is 3 lbs. cook on high till bubbling real fast then on med low or low, cook 2 hrs. if 5 to 7 lbs...cook 4 to 4 1/2 hrs.
Remove turkey breast and spoon out dressing and place around turkey breast. Make sure dressing doesn't dry out when cooking ..if so, add a little broth
Very very tender and dressing is soo good!

CatSlave
11-18-2008, 04:55 AM
A crockpot set on low is a handy place to keep and serve mashed potatoes at the holiday meal.

MaryMumsy
11-18-2008, 08:56 PM
A crockpot set on low is a handy place to keep and serve mashed potatoes at the holiday meal.

Mine are served from the pot on the stove, as is the gravy. I always have so many people everything is served buffet style, and the fewer serving dishes the better. Of course, I also use disposable plates (those plastic ones which do not get soggy from the gravy). Some very proper people cringe when I describe our turkey day festivities, but with my family it is the being together that is important, not whether I use the good china.

Is it time to buy the turkeys yet? (kind of like, are we there yet)

MM

cooeedownunder
11-22-2008, 03:05 AM
Any recipe that requires to be cooked over the stove for a long time, or in the oven, can be used in a crock pot for virtually the same time as it would in the stove or oven. Not trying to put a damper on things, although the flavour is enhanced in them, the same happens when cooking in an oven or over the stove for a long time. I've always been too scared to leave them running all day while not at home.

Chumplet
11-22-2008, 08:33 AM
That's the beauty of a crockpot. The heat is indirect, therefore safe to keep on for a long time unattended. An oven or a stovetop could be too risky.

cooeedownunder
11-22-2008, 02:04 PM
Yes, its indirect heat, but still connected to a powerpoint.

cooeedownunder
11-22-2008, 02:04 PM
And then again, so is the TV, I guess.

Fenika
05-23-2009, 06:00 PM
Bumping.

I got my crockpot a few weeks ago and have used it twice. Once was a desperate 'I need to cook all these veggies before they go bad' mix, so it turned out a little... special. A bit of chili paste perked it right up though.

The first thing I cooked though--bison chuck roast with vegetables--was simply amazing. I have a 6.5 quart crock, so I have lots of leftovers in the freezer that I'm saving for a rainy day, er, week.

And this time I'm making lists of ingredients before I go shopping :D I'm thinking curried veggies and something with chicken.

Anyone cook rice in theirs?

Chumplet
05-23-2009, 06:14 PM
I once made a chicken soup with rice, but after a few hours the rice disintegrated and turned into a thickened sauce instead.

I received a Crock Pot Fiesta Dipping Pot set, shaped like a gaudy plastic 'hat'. You put the nacho chips in the brim, and a spot in the middle (under the hat crown for a lid) there's a mini crock pot to keep the nacho cheese sauce hot. I'm gonna ditch the 'hat' and keep the mini crock pot to keep crab dip warm, or maybe even try a chocolate fondue!

JoeEkaitis
05-24-2009, 02:32 AM
Crock Pot Popcorn.

Uh, no, I don't think so.

AngelicaRJackson
06-16-2009, 06:42 PM
How about a book recommendation?
Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann is chock full o' information on conversions, etc. Most importantly, it also has recipes that I actually use and enjoy regularly. I recommend tracking down a copy. On Amazon, you can use their viewer to look at the index and get an idea of the recipes.

dclary
06-16-2009, 09:14 PM
I'm cooking a sirloin tip roast with veggies in my crock pot even as we speak. :)