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Old 09-05-2006, 05:26 PM   #11
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Most new crockpots have an "auto" setting which quickly brings foods up to temp and then automatically switches to low.
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:26 PM   #12
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Yes, if you follow the directions regarding how much food to put in it.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:40 PM   #13
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I finally bought a Crock Pot and it came with receipes and directions. I also have printed out a lot of Crock Pot receipes from you wonderful chefs and cooks.

I am still going to buy a book that a friend told me about entitiled "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Receipes For Crock Pots.

The Crock Pots of today are excellent and the receipes tell you what temperature to cook different items at.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:24 PM   #14
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While I don't use my crockpot a lot, I do enjoy using it when I do - & feel safe doing so.

I think the biggest thing is to make sure you stick to safe volumes of food for the size crockpot you have.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:30 PM   #15
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A crockpot cooks at higher temperatures than 140 degrees. That's all it needs to do. The cooling, however...that's up to you. If you use a timer method of cooking, please be sure you are either home when the meal is finished cooking or it has a holding temp of 140.

If they were unsafe to use according to proper manufacturer's instructions, they would all be pulled off the market shelves.

Enjoy the ease it brings to your life.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I can not speak to the older Crock Pots, but the Crock Pots of today are completely safe.

Nope this is not true. There are many things that benefit from long cooking times. Somethings should be cooked quickly, but other things should be cooked slowly. BBQ is a perfect example of something that needs to be cooked slowly over low heat. Try it any other way and you will not be happy.
You are right, GB. Food that is undergoing an initial cooking phase (not reheating) doesn't need to be brought up to temperature rapidly. Some foods, ribs, for example, are best when cooked slowly at moderate heat. The operative word when it comes to food borne illness and pathogens, microoganisms is TIMING. You can cook at a low heat (for the initial cooking, again, not reheating). However, when you do get to the desired temperature, that temperature has to be maintained for a short time to be sure all microorganisms have been killed.

Food has to be 'brought up' quickly when you are reheating. Food has to be brought down quickly when you are cooling. Food safety experts are not trying to change the way food is best prepared. Instead, food safety experts want to educate on how to safely handle food from the purchase stage, through preparation, consumption and storage.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:44 PM   #17
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OK. This the fourth time I've tried this post; the last three times the website kicked me out.

Anyway, I always have done pot roasts and such in a Dutch oven, searing the meat when the oil begins to smoke. I always thought that part of the reason for the initial sear is to bring the meat closer to safe temp. The other part, of course, is to develop the fond. I've only, so far, used crockpots to maintain a safe temp. Recently, however, I was given a crockpot that has a removable, ceramic pot. It is supposedly good to med-high heat, which could be good enough to develop the sear (so far untried). I worry about ceramic on the (gas) stovetop. Any thoughts/experience?
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:51 PM   #18
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Hi bullseye
The purpose of the searing step is to form a crust around the meat that will hold the juices in during the longer cooking processes required for many cuts of meat. If you are searing correctly, there is no way you can bring the temp up to a safe zone because the middle of the meat should still be cold. Searing is only to brown the uppermost layer.

I do not believe you can sear in the ceramic part of your crock pot because I don't believe it can get hot enough. As you can probably tell, searing is done at very high temperature. You can eliminate the searing step when you use your crockpot. The flavours won't be effected overmuch, and the meat will still be moist due to the slow cooking.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:12 PM   #19
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I use my crockpot all the time - I love i t! Small cuts to big cuts. I've cooked a 8-9 lb. turkey breast in the crock on low for 7 hours, it was wonderful.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
You need to carefully follow the directions or recipe when cooking in a crock pot.

Recently I cooked 5 pounds of beef chuck roasts in a 6 quart crock pot, and the recipe was for a 3 pound roast. I was concerned at my excess meat, so I carefully watched what was happening in the pot the first hour. I ended up quickly switching the pot on high, from low, for almost one hour. I then turned it back to low as indicated in the recipe for the remaining 8 hours. I believe I simply had too much meat to safely leave the pot on low the whole cooking time. The roasts turned out splendidly.
Glad the roast turned out well. Seems to me, though, that the whole purpose of a crock pot gets lost if it involves such work and attention. At that point, it might have been easier to braise conventionally.

And that's the problem I personally have with them in general. I tend to think that slow cookers are great for those who want (or need) to throw all the ingredients in at once and leave the scene. And that's fine, especially if it's out of necessity.

But since I'm more attracted to the slow-cooker recipes that involve more steps, like initial browning, which I'm not likely to do in the wee hours of the morning, I figure I might as well use a a good LC or Staub pot.
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