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Old 04-11-2017, 08:06 AM   #21
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I've never used it for rice because I make mine in the microwave. Would you believe that some people have actually bought a second one so they make rice, too?? I think that's nuts
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:05 AM   #22
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What's the difference between a slow cooker and crock pot? I thought "Crockpot" was just the proprietary name for one company's slow cooker? (I have to admit that I have two slow cookers which is possible a bit OTT for a one-person household!)

I have an old-fashioned, top of the stove pressure cooker but only use it for cooking pulses and boiling a piece of ham/bacon. Don't like it for vegetables (over-cooks them however careful you are) and stews, doesn't cook them long enough to develop flavour as the slow-cooker, top of the stove or the main oven does.
You are correct in that Crock Pot is a brand name of slow cooker.

I have 3 slow cookers (one of them a Cuisinart Multi Cooker) and a modern stove top pressure cooker. The best beef stew I ever made was in the pressure cooker. Browning the meat prior to closing the pressure cooker develops flavor. Browning capability is the reason why I replaced a 4 qt. slow cooker with the Multi Cooker, as it really helps in some dishes.

I find that flavor and texture is generally better in the pressure cooker than the slow cooker. The slow cooker tends to cook out the flavor and over tenderizes meat. We eat a lot of chicken, and I've found than cooking bone in chicken breasts and thighs in the pressure cooker gives the best results. However, there is a convenience factor in tossing everything into a slow cooker and having a wide time window for cooking, so I regularly use both.

Here's Kenji's take:

Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better | Serious Eats
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:32 PM   #23
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I agree that slow cookers cook the flavor out of foods, that is why I rarely used mine until I discovered a way to make it work well for me. Whether it is a roast, pork chops, chicken or what have you, in the crock pot I stir 2 teaspoons of salt into 2 cups of water, then add the meat. Regardless of what it is, I cook on high 4 hours. I remove the meat, discard the liquid and pour hot gravy or sauce (like cheese sauce or a sauce made from cream of mushroom soup, etc.) in top.

So easy to do and always tastes good. You would never know it was made in a crock pot.

I have tried many times to cook things using herbs and spices, but the food ends up tasting flat and not great. Not so with just plain salt and water.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:29 PM   #24
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I picked up a copy of a Williams-Sonoma book on slow cooking in the Oxfam (charity) shop the other day. (Not on the W-S on-line list anymore so probably out of print.). Lots of delicious recipes (although I don't think I'll be slow cooking fish too soon) accompanied by useful info on techniques.

I don't belong to the "chuck a load of raw meat and veg, cover with water/stock and leave it too it". I tend to spend quite a lot of time on the prep on the basis that what comes out depends on what you put in.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:33 PM   #25
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PS - If I ever win a trip to the USA I will insist that the itinerary includes a day-long visit to W-S.

I am obsessed by kitchen paraphernalia and the shops which sell it. (I don't buy anything that I won't use.)
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:03 PM   #26
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PS - If I ever win a trip to the USA I will insist that the itinerary includes a day-long visit to W-S.

I am obsessed by kitchen paraphernalia and the shops which sell it. (I don't buy anything that I won't use.)
W-S is fun to visit, but the stuff is *way* overpriced. Same or better quality is available elsewhere for much less money.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:14 PM   #27
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W-S is fun to visit, but the stuff is *way* overpriced. Same or better quality is available elsewhere for much less money.
+1 I agree.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:03 PM   #28
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PS - If I ever win a trip to the USA I will insist that the itinerary includes a day-long visit to W-S...
In my opinion (all penny's worth), W-S is more of a "mall store" - one geared to the browser who pops in to look and ends up buying $$ worth of stuff. If you're ever able to visit the States, make a stop in Philadelphia. There is a wonderful, large district known as "The Italian Market District". Food vendors, spice and tea shops, specialty shops...including one of the most eye-candy of all kitchen shops, Fante's. The first time we stopped there, I walked around with my mouth open, oo-ing and ah-ing over everything. I bought things I use, and some things I've since gotten rid of. The second time we stopped, I had a plan and stuck to it. I ended up getting one item. The looking was still just as much fun, and they don't charge for looking. If you want to look from a distance, they have a nice website: Fante's Kitchen Shop
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