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Old 10-22-2013, 11:49 PM   #11
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Slow cookers these days cook waaaaay too hot, even on "low". It isn't something you want to leave on for several hours, as they will boil your food to death or turn cuts of meat to shoe leather. IMO they are useless nowadays.

I got rid of my newer slow cooker a few years back and got a Nesco roaster. They have a temperature controlled dial and you can do anything from keeping food warm at 175F, to lightly simmering a delicate soup at 225F, to high heat roasting a chicken at 425. I've baked potatoes in it when I don't want to turn on the big oven...in other words it will do anything your big oven will do except in smaller quantity. The temp control lets you slow cook the way a slow cooker appliance should do. They cook with surround heat rather than just on the bottom, much like a big oven does.

I have this one, the 6 qt. LOVE it!
NESCO® Oven Roasters, Accessories | Official Nesco.com
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:29 AM   #12
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about the only thing i cook in mine is "pulled" pork,brisket etc.i just put the meat in with the appropriate rub on it,a couple of shakes of stubb's liquid smoke & no other liquid....plenty of liquor comes out of the meat as the base for your dipping sauce.leave it on low all day.works for me
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #13
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Same thing here. When I had mine, I never added liquid when I was making a meat. Plenty of juices for gravy. And the meat always came out tender. Low and slow was the rule. I no longer have one since I am only cooking for one. I just use the oven now.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket_J_Dawg View Post
Head to crockpotladies.com. Fool proof recipes. We use ours quite often for everything from a whole chicken to pulled pork to a fantastic brisket. I think every slow cooker is a bit different. Our last one always cooked a bit hot so we never used high. The last time I used it I came home and it was boiling a mile a minute. Tossed it and got a new one that has a true low, around 200 - 210 and it works perfect.
I have the same problem with both of mine -one cheapo supermarket's own and one more expensive "Crock Pot" one. I can boil a steamed pudding in both of mine! I am awaiting the arriva of a professional food thermometer and will use it in the slow cookers to see what they're doing.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:39 AM   #15
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Or slow Cooker.

Call it what you may.

Who has had success with them?

And if you do what's your secret?


I do fine with chili and soup and dish's like that but I haven't been able to get a beef or chicken recipe to work well.

When I tried a pot roast recipe from the manufacturers last weekend I ended up with dry meat. The flavor was okay but I'm not very fond of shoe leather on the plate. Ketchup & horseradish let me get it down but I am in search of more.

Beef seems to dry out and Chicken seems to be Yucky for lack of a better term.

What I've been looking for is something I can throw in the Crock Pot at 6:30 - 7:00 am when I leave and is ready when I get home around 5:00 - 7:00 pm (I prefer to eat later rather then sooner.)

I think some of my problem comes from too much time in the pot.

Have you folks found the times given in recipes to be too long?

I believe that's a large part of my problem. I have a cheap timer I could use but I don't know if it's worth the effort.

I'm open to any and all suggestions. The slow cooker is a great concept but so far I haven't had much luck with the toss it in the pot in the morning and have good eats when you get home.

Could the size of the pot be a consideration? I have 3. 2 Qt,4 Qt, 7 Qt. I try not to over load but don't want to under load either.

Thanks for any and all suggestions and comments I know you good folks will have.
Worth trying the timer thingy. Are you putting enough liquid in the pot? If you aren't and it's boiling dry that could be your problem. Both of mine and a couple of books I have on the subject advise against "dry" cooking.

I find that the pot works best when the ingredients are fairly snug but not crammed in tight. They need a bit of breathing space but if you have too much liquid and you cook for a very long time you can end up with delicious gravy and tasteless solid ingredients. I also find that cooking a piece of meat whole works better for a stew than cubing it when cooking for a very long time.

Some slow cookers (at the more expensive end of the market) have built in timers and more control over the heat than those with just high, low and "keep warm".
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:09 PM   #16
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I have good luck with slow cookers but I've never tried a roast in one. I would imagine that this new-fangled grass fed beef, with less fat it it, might make it tougher. Gimme corn fed beef!

I also bake potatoes in mine during the summer months. That won't give a crisp skin though, so if that's your main reason for baking potatoes you won't like it.

I just made a huge batch of ghee in mine. Didn't have to watch it at all.
Polenta---- a breeze. No stirring, stirring, stirring, stirring......

I get a lot of ideas at A Year of Slow Cooking
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:32 PM   #17
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Just a quick comment. I've never used a slow cooker. SO came to the relationship with two. We use them to keep food warm for open houses/buffets and to loan to her sister who uses them the same way.

This is not a criticism of slow cookers, just a comment.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Just a quick comment. I've never used a slow cooker. SO came to the relationship with two. We use them to keep food warm for open houses/buffets and to loan to her sister who uses them the same way.

This is not a criticism of slow cookers, just a comment.
i really only use mine for dry cooking pulled pork etc as per my 1st post andy.got to say mine does excel at that.meat really comes out tender,tasty & "pullable"(sounds like a benny hill sketch!) & the liquid produced during cooking has really concentrated flavour as a dipping sauce base.that's the beauty of not adding liquid i guess.found them to be pretty disappointing in most other respects tho'
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #19
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I also rarely if ever use a slow cooker. But if when I do, I always brown my meat very well before putting it in the slow cooker.
I consider a slow cooker a gadget and thats the main reason I do not use one.
I received a very nice high quality slow cooker for Christmas a year or so ago and ended up giving it to my daughter to keep towels warm.

I can use a dutch oven and a real oven on low for much better results.

I do see pulled pork and other similar dishes prepared this way as a good idea. But my pulled pork is either smoked outside in my smoker or inside roasted on very low (covered) heat for several hours.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Cobean View Post
i really only use mine for dry cooking pulled pork etc as per my 1st post andy.got to say mine does excel at that.meat really comes out tender,tasty & "pullable"(sounds like a benny hill sketch!) & the liquid produced during cooking has really concentrated flavour as a dipping sauce base.that's the beauty of not adding liquid i guess.found them to be pretty disappointing in most other respects tho'
A slow cooker is at it's best making soups, stews and braises. I've had slow cooker pulled pork and it was tasty. I prefer to do it on the smoker and/or in the oven. I really like the bark you get with those methods.
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