"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Terms & Techniques
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-05-2018, 07:49 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
JustJoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3,668
Slow cooker v oven braise v pressure cooker

Iíve recently been idly wondering why one canít achieve the same results from slowly braising food with a covered Dutch oven as you can with a slow cooker. I have a slow cooker; I dislike it intensely. Itís huge, and itís size and weight makes it a chore to clean; the recipes that Iíve found for it donít appeal to me at all, with ingredients like canned condensed cream of mushroom soup and envelopes of french onion soup powder and jars of orange marmalade, and Iíve never really gotten satisfying results in terms of flavor.

So, I thought, whatís the difference if I use a nice heavy Dutch oven, which in spite of its heft is still easier to clean than a slow cooker crock, and put it in a very low oven, covered? As usual, instead of doing my own hands-on research, I turned to the internet. I have neither the time nor the financial resources to spend on cooking up pots and pots of stew or braised beef or beans. ďLet your fingers do the walkingĒ as they used to say.

I came upon this very interesting article that compares slow cooker cooking to braising in a low oven to pressure cooking. I pretty much ignored the pressure cooking info, as the only pressure cooker I have is only good for canning and itís very unlikely Iíll receive a pressure cooker or an IP (or anything else, for that matter) for my birthday. The article seems to be very well researched. If youíve got a spare moment, check it out and share your thoughts and/or experiences! Youíll find the article here.

__________________

__________________
Dance like no oneís watching, sing like no oneís listening, but cook like EVERYONE is eating!
https://justjoel59.wordpress.com
JustJoel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:24 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,193
Slow cookers are great for keeping things warm on a buffet table.

I don't own a pressure cooker or a slow cooker.

As a retired senior I have the luxury of time. So I can make stuff the 'old fashioned" way. Stews, braises and soups are my favorite things to make and eat.

Many swear by the slow cooker and if that's what they need and want, that's fine.

We had terrific Indian neighbors who were happy to teach me what little they knew about cooking their foods from home. He gave me a cookbook they used. I selected a recipe, went out and gathered the ingredients and made the dish. They loved it and thought it was as good as they could do. But he was astonished when I told him I didn't have a pressure cooker and wanted to know how I managed to make the dish!
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 04:19 AM   #3
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Hampshire Seacoast
Posts: 2,403
One size does not fit all. I have 4 Dutch ovens, 3 slow cookers, and a stovetop pressure cooker, and they all get used.

Slow cookers tend to dry out meat, especially larger pieces. B/s chicken thighs work well in the slow cooker, especially the one with the saute function, so I can brown the meat before going to slow cook mode. Slow cookers are convenient, as you can prep dinner early and then eat when ready.

The pressure cooker does some things very well. I've made beef stew in the slow cooker, Dutch oven, and the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker version was the hands down winner. Bone in split chicken breasts stay moist and tender in the pressure cooker. Chicken stock takes less than an hour in the pressure cooker.

Dutch ovens work well for recipes where you want the sauce to thicken over time. And bread! I have two 3 quart Dutch ovens specifically purchased for small loaves of bread. I can do two at a time and freeze one. They were cheapies from Kohl's black friday sale, I think $15 each.

Joel, throw away those slow cooker cookbooks from the 60's that call for cans of soup. There are a lot better alternatives available.
tenspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 06:10 AM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 22,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
Iíve recently been idly wondering why one canít achieve the same results from slowly braising food with a covered Dutch oven as you can with a slow cooker.
People braised food for millennia before electricity was invented, so yes, you can.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 06:43 AM   #5
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 37,793
I don't have all day to slow braise a meal, so my slow cooker is best for set and head for work. Even a quick meal in the Electric pressure cooker takes a fair bit of time, while the cooking is fast, the prep work takes time.


I save my slow braises for when I have the time to get them done right and can supervise.
__________________
ďThere are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.Ē - Albert Einstein
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 07:43 AM   #6
Executive Chef
 
medtran49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,957
We don't have a slow cooker and don't want one. However, I've adapted slow cooker recipes we thought looked good and have successfully cooked them in the oven or on top of the stove. As far as a pressure cooker, I like to use it for beans especially because they always soften in the PC.
medtran49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 08:31 AM   #7
Executive Chef
 
JustJoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
We don't have a slow cooker and don't want one. However, I've adapted slow cooker recipes we thought looked good and have successfully cooked them in the oven or on top of the stove. As far as a pressure cooker, I like to use it for beans especially because they always soften in the PC.
So glad you mentioned beans! I’ve got some soaking right now. They’re going to be refried beans eventually, as I find canned refried beans unpalatable. But I don’t have a pressure cooker and I have no idea where my slow cooker is (and I have no intention of looking for it. My only options are stovetop or oven, and I just ruined a batch of beans on the stove yesterday - I didn’t pay enough attention to them. Good thing beans aren’t expensive!

So I’m left with the oven. I was thinking of putting them, covered, in a 250į oven and checking the water level every hour or so. But if the Dutch oven is covered, do I even need to check the water level? It’d be dandy if I didn’t. Or do I need to leave the DO only partially covered, in which case monitoring the water level would be a requirement. And how long would they take to cook? I didn’t find any recipes for cooking beans with the expressed purpose of “refrying” them. Recipes for baked beans all called for a partially covered DO, a higher temp (350į), and about an hour and a half cooking time. But I’m not making baked beans, which is an end product, I’m making beans to use as an ingredient in another dish. Can I completely cover the pot, use a lower temp and cook the beans for a long time?

Maybe I should just shut up and try, eh?
__________________
Dance like no oneís watching, sing like no oneís listening, but cook like EVERYONE is eating!
https://justjoel59.wordpress.com
JustJoel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 11:29 AM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Roll_Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 4,033
We gave our extra large slow cooker to our daughter. She uses it to keep towels warm.
She is a massage therapist.
Roll_Bones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 11:37 AM   #9
Executive Chef
 
medtran49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,957
I've never cooked beans in the oven so can't help there. It's helpful if you set an alarm on your phone to remind you to check long cooking things I've discovered. There were a few burned things in our house before I started doing that. Besides always getting the beans soft, the PC cooks them so much faster.
medtran49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 11:38 AM   #10
Executive Chef
 
JustJoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
We gave our extra large slow cooker to our daughter. She uses it to keep towels warm.
She is a massage therapist.
I really couldn’t say why, but I find that to be hilarious! Maybe she buy a few dozen and market them as towel warmers. It’s a niche market for sure, but I bet they’d sell!
__________________

__________________
Dance like no oneís watching, sing like no oneís listening, but cook like EVERYONE is eating!
https://justjoel59.wordpress.com
JustJoel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cook, oven, pressure cooker, slow cooker

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


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.