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Old 06-01-2013, 02:56 AM   #1
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Cooking at 300°

I'm an OTR truck driver. I do mist of my cooking in a 12 volt portable drive. It looks like an old style lunch box.

It supposedly cooks at 300°. I haven't verified the actual temperature. I use 3 cooking methods with this cooker.

1) I put water around the pan to keep the cooking temp low and to keep the food from burning.

2) I put rolls of foil under the cooking try to keep the bottom from getting a hot spot but still be able to cook at the max temperature.

3) I let the pan sit on the bottom when I need the hot spot to brown the food like when I cook biscuits.

The dishes I can fix are:

Chicken and Rice with Onion
Plain Rice
Canned biscuits
Steamed Asparagus
Steamed Broccoli
Boiled Eggs

I can cook pasta too. I have made shells and cheese before. It came out great.

I can probably adapt most slow cooker recipes for this cooker. I have to pick recipes with limited prep and only a few ingredients. I would like suggestions on what seasonings I can use with my chicken and rice dish to add a little variety to my menu. I got tired of salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Now I use Knorr brand granular chicken flavored bouillon. That's starting to get old.

Any suggestions?


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Old 06-01-2013, 03:45 AM   #2
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Chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder add great flavor and a kick to various foods. Also, curry powder, cumin powder, powdered ginger, Cajun seasoning, etc. Hot sauces are also great additions, as are dried herbs, such as oregano, basil, etc.

Mrs. Dash spice blends are excellent (I like the garlic and herb blend), and many of the Penzey's blends, such as Southwest Seasoning, Lemon Pepper, etc., etc.

Dijon mustard is another great ingredient. For chicken broth, I like Swanson's Lower Sodium.

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Old 06-01-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
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Do you like spicy hot foods? If so you can add a can of diced chilis, some chili powder and maybe some cumin and corriander.

You could add a can of tomatoes, maybe even the pre-seasoned ones (chili ready, with italian spices, with peppers and onions). One recipe we do in the slowcooker sometimes is chicken cooked with tomatoes and green beans over rice. The spices vary.

You could add a can of beans and a creole seaoning blend.

You could add saffron and/or tumeric and a little green salasa.

Add a can of tomato paste and some water to thin it, then an italian seasoning blend or a tex-mex blend.

Add a can of corn or creamed corn, a little garlic and onion. Maybe some dried parsely or chives to green it up a bit.

Buy a ready made pesto and cook the chicken and rice unseasoned or sparingly seasoned, then mix in the pesto.

Add a jar (or partial jar) of salsa.

Add pre-made alfredo sauce and some brocoli or asparagus (if fresh veggies aren't practical you can go with a canned veggie like green beans).

Add grated cheese to it.

Add sour cream, chili powder, and a can of chilis to it.

Add hot sauce to it.

Add a can of cream of mushroom soup, some black pepper, a little bit of sage and/or thyme.

Add a can of french onion soup.

Add soy sauce, a can of pinapple and some fresh from the jar sweet and sour sauce (or teryaki sauce, or pad thai sauce, or other from a jar/bottle asian sauce). Ginger would be good in it too.

Get a jar of curry paste (green, red, peanut, etc) and add some of that to it.

Add curry powder and lime or lemon to it.

That's all I can think of at the moment. If I think of more I'll let you know.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:58 AM   #4
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One thing I should mention, the cheap Walmart chicken I use has a lot of added water. That's why I add the rice. Some of the suggested methods will require multi stage cooking or just draining off the liquid. That's not a problem. I just wanted to add that.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will be trying some of them out later today. I'll be sure to give a "shout out" in my next YouTube video.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:07 AM   #5
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Oh, I forgot to mention, I have tried the seasoned diced tomatoes. I tried fire roasted garlic and one with oregano and another herb. I don't recall exactly which one. I used it when I made rice without the chicken. I just dumped in the tomatoes, liquid and all, then added a bit more water and let it heat for 30 minutes using the water bath method. Then I added the rice and let it cook for 30 min. It was good. It needed a bolder flavor but at least it was a change. If I recall, a dash of salt was all it really needed.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:27 AM   #6
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Reading back over the suggestions, I'm now a bit confused and have a few questions. First I should tell you how I fix my chicken and rice. I assume you haven't watched my YouTube video.

I cut up a medium onion in the tray. I put a keg quarter or a couple if thighs on top of that. I then put water around the tray to control the cooking temperature. I let it cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the chicken is falling off the bone and there's quite a bit of liquid in the tray. I then pick out the chicken skin and bones and add 3/4 cup par boiled rice and let it cook for 30 min more. With 3/4 cup, the rice will be on the wet side. If I want it dryer, I add 1 cup instead of 3/4 cup.

PAG, with your suggestions, what do I need to change in my procedures? I can't just add those ingredients. First, there isn't room in the pan. Second, there would be too much liquid with some of those.

When it comes to the herbs and spices, please suggest quantities. I have NO CLUE how much to use. That's the artist side of cooking. I'm an engineer. I can do it if a robot can do it. Beyond that, you couldn't eat what I try to throw together.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, there is no cut and dried formula for seasoning. It is dependent on your tastes. I recommend you start with about a half a teaspoon (or less) of a seasoning you aren't familiar with. It will be trial and error for a time, but it will still vary the flavors (which is your goal). I have never seen one of those devices. It looks very interesting.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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A 'hobo' dinner might work. I use burger, but you could use chicken. Slice a potato and an onion onto a big piece of foil, season well with salt and pepper, put your protein on top, and seal the packet. Cook til the potatoes are tender and the meat is done. Green peppers can go into this, too, or cheese.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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While I have never been OTR driver, I worked on the road an average of 48 weeks a year when I was younger. Rather than eat in restaurants, I would bring along some basic kitchen utensils, a microwave, and a portable fridge, and cook whenever I could. I wish I had access to a device like yours back then.

Anyway, rather than carry a ton of individual spices along, what I found helpful was to buy pre-made spice blends. For example, Cajun or Italian seasoning. Canned soups were staples, too. I didn't make a lot of gourmet foods in those days, but what I did make was usually tasty.

A good place to purchase spice blends is at Penzeys spices. McCormicks also makes some pretty good ones.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:22 AM   #10
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Hoot, I'm not familiar with anything other than salt, pepper, and cinnamon. I have no clue how much of and seasoning to use. Since I'm typically cooking with 1 onion, 1 leg quarter, and 3/4 cup rice, I figured that would give you a baseline for how much to suggest. I'm relatively certain I wouldn't be using 2 tablespoons of curry powder. If I'm just using a single herb or spice, I'm sure I'll manage. I'll start with a dab and add as much as it needs. However, when it comes to spice combinations, I don't know which spice is which. I couldn't even begging to tell you what curry powder will do to the dish. I won't know until I try it.

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