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Old 11-04-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Need Help with my slow cooker

I have always cooked my meals with pots, pans, roasters and what not. About 6 months ago I received a 6 quart slow cooker (also called a crock pot) as a gift. I have made soups and chili's that turned out pretty good. I have tried pot roast in it twice but the flavor is off both times. It seems the veggies have a sour taste. The meat and gravy taste fine but the veggies just taste slightly sour. I use large carrots cut up and celery in the bottom of the slow cooker. Then I place my 3 LB chuck pot roast, then a couple of quartered onions on top. The first time I used a combination of beef and chicken bullion for the liquid.

Fearing that was the problem the first time, I bought a starter sauce the second time I made pot roast (you just pour it over the meat). Both times I cooked on low for eight hours. The second time I made it I added fresh green beans at the six hour mark (they still had a bit of a crunch after two hours). I noticed even on low the gravy boils at the edges very gently. Is my problem that it is cooking too long and too hot (even though it is on low)?

Maybe I should just use it for soups and chili's...

By the way, the ingredients are one or two days old so I don't believe it is because the veggies are old. I use brown or yellow onions.

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Old 11-04-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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I'm going to be interested in the responses you receive because crock pot cooking is something I'd like to do more of but my success has been less then desired.

Like you soups and chilies are fine. I also get good results with beans.

I've had less success with meats and more complicated recipies but I find the veggies are good and it's the meat where I find it lacking.

Cooking it too long is always an issue with crock pots. Especially if your following an older recipe. Modern crock pots cook at higher temps then older ones and I've found I needed to shorten cooking times. Even newer recipes seem to over cook the chow inside the pot if you follow the guidelines.

Add ingredients at times you feel they need to cook in relation to the other ingredients included. Your cooking experience with pots and pans should help you here.

The idea of tossing it all in a pot and forgetting about it until it's done is a good one but it really doesn't work that way. I'd love to put it all in the pot in the morning and have a fantastic meal ready at dinner time when I get home.

A crock pot is simply another tool in the kitchen and you'll need to experiment with it until it fits your needs.

Good luck with it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
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I, honestly, have tried to love my crockpot but have been badly disappointed by most things I've made in it.

Doesn't taste the same as cooking in a Dutch oven.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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I'd have to agree with Zagut. Cooking with a slow cooker is something you need to experiment with.

I got mine as a swap for a breadmaker so it isn't one I chose to buy. I have mostly been successful luckily, but it definitely cooks at a higher temperature than I would have expected, so shorter cooking times seem to work better.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertbb99 View Post
I have always cooked my meals with pots, pans, roasters and what not. About 6 months ago I received a 6 quart slow cooker (also called a crock pot) as a gift. I have made soups and chili's that turned out pretty good. I have tried pot roast in it twice but the flavor is off both times. It seems the veggies have a sour taste. The meat and gravy taste fine but the veggies just taste slightly sour. I use large carrots cut up and celery in the bottom of the slow cooker. Then I place my 3 LB chuck pot roast, then a couple of quartered onions on top. The first time I used a combination of beef and chicken bullion for the liquid.

Fearing that was the problem the first time, I bought a starter sauce the second time I made pot roast (you just pour it over the meat). Both times I cooked on low for eight hours. The second time I made it I added fresh green beans at the six hour mark (they still had a bit of a crunch after two hours). I noticed even on low the gravy boils at the edges very gently. Is my problem that it is cooking too long and too hot (even though it is on low)?

Maybe I should just use it for soups and chili's...

By the way, the ingredients are one or two days old so I don't believe it is because the veggies are old. I use brown or yellow onions.
If you did not brown the meat before you put it in the CP, that might very well be the problem. Also, do you skim the fat during the cooking? I prefer to use stocks instead of bullion cubes/bases. They tend to add too much salt and IMO, have an off taste.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:07 AM   #6
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Craig is spot on. when I do a roast I sear it in a very hot pan. makes all the difference. Green Beans is not for a crock pot. I have tried several different methods and none work. i find that you have to get it a bit hotter to soften the crunch factor. I use my pressure cooker and it works great, and fast. I agree and stay away from cubes. To me the flavor is off on them due to the concentration and evaporation process.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:12 AM   #7
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I also brown my roast well before I put it into the crock pot. One thing you didn't mention is seasoning. The meat should be well seasoned and I always throw a bay leaf in. Like others, I use beef stock, not bouillon.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:52 PM   #8
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I like the slow cooker but only for specific things like pulled pork, chili, pot roast and baked beans.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:17 PM   #9
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Meat on the bottom after searing then veggies on top and around. Another vote for broth or stock, not bullion.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I, honestly, have tried to love my crockpot but have been badly disappointed by most things I've made in it.

Doesn't taste the same as cooking in a Dutch oven.
Same here. It's good for keeping something hot for serving, and that's about it.
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