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Old 10-03-2007, 07:04 AM   #1
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Crockpot Help Needed (merged)

Hi everyone! I need some help, big time. I thought the Crockpot was the easiest thing to cook with in the world... but I seem to not have the hang of it. I actually returned a crockpot a few years ago, because I thought it was defective, and now I am having similar problems. It seems that my food is cooking really fast. I put it on the "low" setting for 8 hours, but it seems done in 4 and is boiling, popping, piping hot! I thought the idea was that it was a SLOW cooker? lol.... Here's my question.. do you have to totally fill the pot up to the top rim when cooking a dish? Could this be my problem? Is it just that I'm not putting enough? I have the regular round sized Rival one that most people have. I had the oval one (larger) and that's the one I returned. Any advice anyone can give me? I don't lift the lid to stir, the lid is on and sealed, and I follow the recipes exactly. Help! TIA!

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Old 10-03-2007, 07:16 AM   #2
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Welcome to DC, as for you question, the only thing I can think of, is the newer crockpots Are cooking hotter. Someone with a newer one will come by and offer some help. Good luck !
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:57 AM   #3
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Howdy and welcome! Mrs Hoot is my expert on slow cookers. I will ask her to read this and see what she thinks. It may well be that a smaller amount in the crock pot will cook quicker. We generally fill it up and we have never had trouble. Again, welcome!
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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Ems - my crock pot cooks extremely fast. A few days ago I cooked a 2.5 lb. pork roast in 3 hours - actually - it was 30 degrees above the temp I wanted it. I turned it off and let it sit there for another 1.5 hours, it was still very good and remained juicy. Since I bought my new crockpot, I usually cook things in 4-5 hours depending on what it is. I check the temp to be sure.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:17 AM   #5
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One of the biggest misunderstandings is crockpots. Yes you CAN cook a meal in 8 hours, it doesn't mean you should....

I have yet to see one that doesn't have everything done in under 4 hours...

You can let it set longer but it will be REALLY done....
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:54 AM   #6
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The new crock pots are like that. Mine does the same thing. I'm guessing that the change has to do with food safety issues. It's unsafe to let food set too long without getting up to temperature, so they've set the thermostat on the crock pot to get it there faster.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:02 AM   #7
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What are you trying to cook? About the only thing Iíd let go longer than 4 hours is dry beans. Typically, a roast, chicken, Cornish hen, spaghetti sauce, etc, can be done in under 4 hours depending on how much youíre making. Naturally, the fuller it is (big batch of stew for instance) the longer it will take.

Iíve never caramelized onions in one before, but I think that takes longer than four hours.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:08 AM   #8
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My question is, how old/new is your crock-pot. As someone already mentioned, the newer ones tend to cook hotter even at the lowest setting.

You might want to fill it with water, set it on LOW for about 3 hours and then take its temperature. This way you would get an idea at how hot the appliance actually cooks.

Do the same thing on HIGH and you can then adjust your recipes accordingly based on temps.

Best wishes on working through your dilemma.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmsMommy7 View Post
Ooh I didn't see THIS forum before.. there are so many here! I apologize if I posted this in the wrong place. I'm new... be gentle....

Hi everyone! I need some help, big time. I thought the Crockpot was the easiest thing to cook with in the world... but I seem to not have the hang of it. I actually returned a crockpot a few years ago, because I thought it was defective, and now I am having similar problems. It seems that my food is cooking really fast. I put it on the "low" setting for 8 hours, but it seems done in 4 and is boilingl, popping, piping hot! I thought the idea was that it was a SLOW cooker? lol.... Here's my question.. do you have to totally fill the pot up to the top rim when cooking a dish? Could this be my problem? Is it just that I'm not putting enough? I have the regular round sized Rival one that most people have. I had the oval one (larger) and that's the one I returned. Any advice anyone can give me? I don't lift the lid to stir, the lid is on and sealed, and I follow the recipes exactly. Help! TIA!
Hi Ems. Welcome to DC. I have a Rival (programmable), round, large CP, as well, & it does cook/get hot quickly. As I recall, my manual instructions call for filling the CP 3/4 of the way. I don't add too much liquid to the pot & the veggies go either on top oir bottom. If you still have the manual, I would double check. Like yourself, I cook on LOW for shorter times & check halfway through (if I'm around). Hope that helps.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jeff G. View Post
One of the biggest misunderstandings is crockpots. Yes you CAN cook a meal in 8 hours, it doesn't mean you should....

I have yet to see one that doesn't have everything done in under 4 hours...

You can let it set longer but it will be REALLY done....
Your first statement is right. Not everything requires 8 or even 6 hours of cooking. I have a Rival crockpot that I bought about 8 years ago. It cooks slowly and I can cook food in a 6 or 8 hour period with no problem. I bought a new one, just so I could have 2, a couple of months ago. It cooks wayyy too fast. Everything I put into the pot, filling it half or 2/3 full by the way, cooks in 3 to 4 hours.
I contacted Rival and this is what I was told by the customer service rep:
Because people tend to put ice cold food into a crockpot and because the pot brings the temp up very slowly, there was too much danger in food spoiling before it safely reached cooking temperature. Sooooo Rival upped the temperature and the speed with which it reaches that temperature. The temps used to be 250 low, 300 high. Now they're at 300 low and 350 high. Way too high as far as I'm concerned to cook for long periods. The reason people use crockpots is so that thay can go to work or wherever and be gone for 8 and the food is cooked when they get home. If it cooks in less than 4 hours, the crockpot is useless. But you still have to fill the crockpot at least half way up to keep food from burning or cooking too fast. If you have a small family, or usually make a small amount of food, then I would suggest using a 4 qt. pot. THE OWNER'S MANUAL TELLS YOU THIS.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:38 AM   #11
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Your first statement is right. Not everything requires 8 or even 6 hours of cooking. I have a Rival crockpot that I bought about 8 years ago. It cooks slowly and I can cook food in a 6 or 8 hour period with no problem. I bought a new one, just so I could have 2, a couple of months ago. It cooks wayyy too fast. Everything I put into the pot, filling it half or 2/3 full by the way, cooks in 3 to 4 hours.
I contacted Rival and this is what I was told by the customer service rep:
Because people tend to put ice cold food into a crockpot and because the pot brings the temp up very slowly, there was too much danger in food spoiling before it safely reached cooking temperature. Sooooo Rival upped the temperature and the speed with which it reaches that temperature. The temps used to be 250 low, 300 high. Now they're at 300 low and 350 high. Way too high as far as I'm concerned to cook for long periods. The reason people use crockpots is so that thay can go to work or wherever and be gone for 8 and the food is cooked when they get home. If it cooks in less than 4 hours, the crockpot is useless. But you still have to fill the crockpot at least half way up to keep food from burning or cooking too fast. If you have a small family, or usually make a small amount of food, then I would suggest using a 4 qt. pot. THE OWNER'S MANUAL TELLS YOU THIS.
Well,,,, that explains it.. Morons call it a slow cooker and it isn't. Get an electric roaster. You can set its temp where you want it.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:16 PM   #12
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Thanks, Drama, for the answer from the horse's mouth!

I wish I hadn't thrown my old crock away when I got my new one. It used to be so wonderful to toss dinner in my old crock, go to work, then come home to a perfectly cooked meal.

I'm bummed that I can't do that anymore.

Lee
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:17 PM   #13
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I have heard a lot of people complaining about how the new Rival crocks cooks way too fast. I'm lucky that mine is still holding up after 6 yrs because I'm dreading getting a new one. You might check ebay for an older crock that doesnt cook as fast if you are needing a true slow cooker :)
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis View Post
Thanks, Drama, for the answer from the horse's mouth!

I wish I hadn't thrown my old crock away when I got my new one. It used to be so wonderful to toss dinner in my old crock, go to work, then come home to a perfectly cooked meal.

I'm bummed that I can't do that anymore.

Lee
Actually you still can. Simply go to Home Depot or Wal-Mart and get an AC Timer. Plug your crockpot into that, and set the timer to come on 4 hours before you get home.

I used to use one of these timers for a plant light a few years back. The cats eventually decided I didnít need that plant anymore , so Iíve come up with other creative ways to use that timer! Works like a champ!
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:53 PM   #15
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My Krups rice cooker, in additon to it's rice cooking function and steaming function, has a slow cooker function. I can set the time I want the slow cooker to cook the contents, anywhere from 60 minutes to 9 hours, and then it will automatically switch to the "keep warm" setting until I turn it off.

But, I have an original, 30 year old Rival Crock Pot with a removable stoneware crock that takes anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to cook most things, depending on whether I use the LOW, HIGH, or AUTOSHIFT setting, so I've never had the opportunity to use the slow cooker function of my rice cooker.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:08 PM   #16
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Great idea Keltin, luckily I have older ones !
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by QSis View Post
Thanks, Drama, for the answer from the horse's mouth!

I wish I hadn't thrown my old crock away when I got my new one. It used to be so wonderful to toss dinner in my old crock, go to work, then come home to a perfectly cooked meal.

I'm bummed that I can't do that anymore.

Lee
Well, first I get called a moron, then a horse's mouth. Hmmmm.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:22 PM   #18
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Well, first I get called a moron, then a horse's mouth. Hmmmm.
Be glad it wasn't the OTHER end of the horse!
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:36 PM   #19
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Actually you still can. Simply go to Home Depot or Wal-Mart and get an AC Timer. Plug your crockpot into that, and set the timer to come on 4 hours before you get home.

I used to use one of these timers for a plant light a few years back. The cats eventually decided I didnít need that plant anymore , so Iíve come up with other creative ways to use that timer! Works like a champ!
I wouldn't recommend plugging a timer to come on 4 hours before you come home because if you leave the house and are gone for a total of 8 or more hours, your food will be unrefrigerated for 4 hours or more. . This could cause more problems than it would solve.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I wouldn't recommend plugging a timer to come on 4 hours before you come home because if you leave the house and are gone for a total of 8 or more hours, your food will be unrefrigerated for 4 hours or more. . This could cause more problems than it would solve.
Interesting. I see your POV, but isnít it the same difference as using the older crockpots. And with the timer, you could always set up to 3 on-off cycles so that it comes on for two hours, off for two, on for one, off again, on again, etc.
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