"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-16-2016, 03:57 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Raliegh
Posts: 1
ISO how long food can be left in the crock-pot

Hi all,

So my friend recently got me a crock pot with a timer on it, thinking that I could put dinner in it before I went to work in the morning, and have dinner ready when I get home.

This sounds great and all, but the problem I have, is, I'm an HVAC technician, so I never know what time I will be getting home from work at night. I leave my house at 7am, and sometimes I'll be home around 5 or 6, and sometimes I won't be home till 7 or 8.

Most of the recipes I've looked at, say they get done anywhere from 4 hours to 6 hours cooking on low. My crock pot will automatically switch down to low once the allotted time is up.

But my question is, just how safe is it to leave on all that time? I know it switches down to warm an all, but how do I know that the liquid isn't eventually all going to boil off if I end up working till 7 or 8 at night, causing the food to then catch on fire? Or get overcooked at the very least?

Does anyone else use their crock pot for an extended amount of time like this?

__________________

__________________
CTteh99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 04:17 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,133
Question about how long food can be left in the crock pot

Welcome to DC!

Hm. I'll take a shot at this, though all my crockpots are the "old fashioned" kind without timers. No worries about losing liquid, the lid insures that. Chicken breasts might get overdone if you go over 6-8 hours. Cook everything on low, then reprogram to warm if you will be gone more than 6-8 hours. Otherwise, you should be fine. Have fun with your new toy!
__________________

__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 04:21 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
Zagut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Friendship,MD.
Posts: 1,230
I feel your pain CTthe99.

I've wanted to use my crockpots for the set it and forget method but it's a learning curve to do so.

I wouldn't worry about your chow catching on fire but overcooking is a very real issue.

Depending on the Crockpot you have unless it has a temperature setting you have to play it by ear. Simple cheap crocks tend to have a temp that overcooks things. Thank . gov for that.

Experimentation and weekends are your friend here.

Try to cook what you want in the crock when you have the time to keep an eye on it.

Only you can decide what works for you and what doesn't.




BTW. Welcome to DC.
__________________
Zagut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 05:12 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,917
Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

That's interesting about the cooking times you've seen. The ones I'm familiar with call for 10-12 hours on low. Of course, I would never do chicken breasts in a slow cooker because they do overcook easily. Recipes containing pork shoulder, beef chuck, or chicken thighs are best for slow cooking.

One way to solve this is to make meals on your days off and reheat leftovers on the days you work.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 06:25 PM   #5
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,280
Just make absolutely sure your crockpot's "warm" (holding) temperature is consistently above 140. Otherwise you risk food poisoning ...
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 06:34 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,917
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Just make absolutely sure your crockpot's "warm" (holding) temperature is consistently above 140. Otherwise you risk food poisoning ...
+1..
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2016, 05:14 PM   #7
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Even great food that holds well, such as soups, stew, roasts in liquid, etc, will overcook if left at even 140' F. I've gotten away with split pea soup holding and highly edible for two days. but there is some moisture loss, and the sides, even on warm, will brown and create an off-flavor. With my crock pot, microbe growth would not be a problem. Slowly drying foods out, which not only browns the food, but concentrates the flavor will cause problems.

Theoretically, you could make a pot full of something like beef-barley soup, and simple add more water and a few ingredients, and if kept slightly above 340'F, keep it hot and cooking indefinitely, with no loss of quality. But I wouldn't do that.

It will easily keep overnight, if needed. Though as stated by the others, proteins will tend to dry out and toughen.

As a side note, I once simmered brats in my slow cooker overnight, and until the next evening meal. I was expecting a wonderful broth and tender sausages. The broth tasted great. The brats were like sawdust inside, though they were completely submerged by the cooking liquid. And they had no flavor. my only excuse is that I was young, and ignorant of how protein and water react with applied heat.

Have fun with your new SC, and remember, what takes a slow cooker 12 hours, can be done in a pressure cooker in 30 minutes.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2016, 01:39 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
Kayelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 9,895
Once you've overcooked something in a crock pot, I find the food is flavorless and all the flavor of the meat and/or vegetables ends up in the liquid. Case in point is the process of making stock.
I rarely prepare food unattended and like to be in control of the time and temperature.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2016, 07:38 AM   #9
Senior Cook
 
Farmer Jon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Pender Nebraska
Posts: 236
Im a farmer and my wife works in the fields with us at times. I will put a roast in at 6 am and sometimes not get in until 8 or 9 at night. I always put in extra water.
__________________
Quando omni flunkus moritati-When all else fails, play dead
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
Farmer Jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2016, 08:04 AM   #10
Head Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
*** No worries about losing liquid, the lid insures that. ***!
As a matter of fact that is one of the premises of the slow-cooker. Actually cooking with less liquid than you would on the stove top or oven.

If you have the type of cooker that automatically switches over to warm, check the instructions to see if there is also a turning off point. If it holds over you should be just fine.

But, as mentioned, practice on weekends to see which ones work for you.
And I agree, it is not easy to find some recipes that specify longer hours.

BTW, Welcome to DC!
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
crock pot, food

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.