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Old 02-24-2006, 10:18 PM   #1
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Angry Crock Pot Dilemma

When I make foods like pot roast, swiss steak and boneless chicken pieces, my finished products are always dry and shred. I do add the required liquid, but things seem overdone to me.
What can i do to actually make a pot roast that can be sliced?
I know I must be doing something wrong.


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Old 02-24-2006, 10:29 PM   #2
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Sounds like the items you described are over cooked.

When you braise a pot roast (or other stuff), either in a crock pot or a dutch oven, you can overcook it. When it's overcooked, it becomes dry (even though it's been cooking in a liquid) and shreds like pulled pork rather than slicing neatly.

How long you cook an item depends on the size of the meat pieces. A 5-pound pot roast will take much longer than boneless chicken pieces or swiss steak.

I don't use a crock pot so I can't help with specifics. Perhaps you should check out some different recipes.

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Old 02-25-2006, 06:24 AM   #3
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Essie, we, like Andy M, are not fans of crock pots.

And you have asked several questions.

As far as beef goes, if it is falling apart and dry, I agree that it has probably been overcooked. Or perhaps your cooker has a leak in the top that lets the water vapor out.

As far as pot roast goes, slicing it depends upon your choice of meat.

Much prefer a chuck, and then it is usually falling apart, but tender.

One cannot get neat slices from it, but like the flavor.

If one wants to slice the beast, would suggest a round. It will hold together better than the chuck, but to me it is tougher and not as tasty.

Why your chicken breasts are dry I have no idea. You might want to try another pot.
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:32 AM   #4
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Hmm, I don't really time mine. I put it in about 8 or 9am, put it on low and let it cook until I can flake the outside with a fork. Ususally about 7 or 8 hours. I'm able to slice and it's not dry at all. I don't use pork, didn't like the taste. I will only use boneless beef arm roast. I don't know how any other ones do.
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:47 AM   #5
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I have never had luck with chicken in a crockpot. I find it is always dry. I have been told to try dark meat on the bone as that should be a juicier end result. I have not tried that yet, but it does make sense.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:40 AM   #6
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I cook in a crock pot all the time and the food id never dry. I think your cooking your meats to long. It doesn't take long for chicken to cook. Always remember to put your meats on the bottom of the crock pot and if you use veggies, put them om top.
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:00 AM   #7
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Part of the issue is Rival is now designing their crockpots to cook with more heat at a faster time. Check the new cookbooks, they are quoting a time of 4-6 hours cooking instead of 8-9 hours.

I have been in deliberations with Rival concerning one of their crockpots I received at Christmas. In my honest opinion it is junk. Everything that is placed into it burns. And to make my point I tried and accomplished water coming to a full boil in the appliance. Even my husband the Engineer was a skeptic, until he saw it with his own eyes.

They are telling me that the new design creates heat more at the bottom and up 2" - 3" on the sides. Working with the fact that heat rises and the lid is always kept on, so the entire sides do not need to be heated. They have not designed the heating coils to accomodate this factor, thereby causing everything to burn, dry out and blow away in the slightest wind.

With the new design you can no longer let it sit and "stew" all day, you have to be on hand to check it quite frequently.

Rival, obviously is on my list this week, as they are stating it is users error not the appliance. My argument is, low and high, not too difficult to handle.....
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brianschef
.....With the new design you can no longer let it sit and "stew" all day, you have to be on hand to check it quite frequently.
The reason for a crockpot was to allow your dish to sit & stew all day. Me thinks someone has shot themselves in the foot....

With your chicken, only use breast meat in stir fries or other quick cooking dishes. Use the other cuts for stewing either bone in or deboned, you get much more flavour as well as the meat retaining some moisture.

I've never liked crockpots, they take too long & you can't poke, prod or view whilst cooking. (just kidding)
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:55 PM   #9
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Since I bought a new crock pot two years ago, I found the same thing - if I cooked something 8-10 hours like most recipes call for - it is overcooked and doesn't taste as good. I usually only cook things for 4-5 hours now and find that it tastes much better. I usually don't put it on til early afternoon - but this makes it hard for setting it in the morning before you go to work like I used to do.
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:07 PM   #10
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I agree! I come home and check it and it is near boiling on low. So I have learned to come home around 10:30 or 11 to turn it on. So much for convenience! Also, I feel adding too much water will dry it out, seems odd, I know. But it seems to steam the meat too much. Just my opinion. A lot of "liquid" is in the crock just from the meat itself.

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