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Old 11-17-2007, 02:56 PM   #21
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My daughter-in-law makes her chili in the crockpot. But I figure if I'm cooking the onions and the meat, then I might as well finish the chili on the stove. It only takes about half an hour to get a pretty tasty chili anyway. My family loves it, and that is what is important. :-)

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Old 11-23-2007, 08:30 AM   #22
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Hmm, I am with those who just don't see the point, and no one has really answered the question, why? I also found the timing was not great. Getting up an hour or two early to cut up veggies and meat, while getting ready for work and getting kids off to school was just not fun. Now I am retired, but wondering if I should give my daughter a slow cooker. How do you organize your time so getting those meals going, and delicious works?

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Old 12-29-2007, 12:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cordel View Post
How do you organize your time so getting those meals going, and delicious works?
You do all the preparation the night before, put it all into the crock, put the lid on, and place the crock in the refrigerator. In the morning you remove the crock from the fridge, put it into the metal pot, turn it on low, and go to work. When you get home, dinner is served.
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:20 PM   #24
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I will pass that on. I didn't get one for daughter, but her in-laws gave her one for Christmas. I'm thinking if she put the stuff in the fridge in a separate container, and then poured it into the crock pot, it would heat up faster. Does the meat come out a little soggy by the time the veggies are cooked? Do you put the meat on the top or the bottom?
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:10 PM   #25
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The slow cooker does somethings better than others. Personally I have not had great success with beef or pork but have had great success with lamb, seafood, cajun dishes, soup, etc.

A couple tricks I have learned (sorry some mentioned already):

1) browning on the stove top is a must for many things. Sometimes I brown half the onions and the other half go straight in. This gives them slightly different tastes and adds to the complexity.....or so I tell my guests (serve enough wine before dinner and they will happily agree).
2) add some ingredients at different times. Example if I want a mushroom flavor in the broth/sauce I cut some up fine and place them in at the begining of cooking but if I want whole mushrooms or large chunks I add them only for the last hour. Corn is the last 30 minutes.
3) Add extra spices. No matter what you use for other methods of cooking add extra in a slow cooker. Then taste once about 30 minutes prior to serving and add additional spices as needed.....this includes fresh garlic.
4) Vent for the last 30 minutes to an hour. Since a slow cooker draws the water out of the cells of the tissue/veggie it basically dilutes the dish. By placing a tooth pick to lift up part of the lid a tiny bit you can vent the slow cooker to reduce water content and increase the flavor intensity.
5) Vodka....it isn't just for breakfast anymore! A little bit of alcohol helps to bring out flavors that are not water or fat soluble. Obviously I do not use vodka on dishes that call for wine or beer but often will throw in a shot for a recipe that does not call for it. FYI, Guiness beer is made for cooking lamb!

Best of luck and enjoy,

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Old 02-06-2008, 10:32 PM   #26
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I really like my slow cooker, but I have found that most recipes for them don't seem to have been very well tested. In a lot of instances I have to tweak them to achieve good results.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:54 PM   #27
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crockpot cooking

I love slow cookers! One of our favorite comfort foods is country spare ribs which I cover with homemade sauerkraut and stuff a few potatoes in under the sauerkraut. Cook on low for 6 or 7 hours.
Another thing we love is just to put in a chicken and let it cook all day. It falls off the bone, the broth is plentiful and we just spoon it over rice and serve the chicken up . Sometimes I just like to have unadulterated tastes of the original food. Last month I bought a small bone in ham and cooked that all day. I baked up a butternut squash and boiled up some red skins. Served it all with some fresh steamed spinach. One of the best meals this winter. We had plenty of ham left over for pea soup, ham and scalloped potatoes, ham spread and a couple of omelets.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:01 AM   #28
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Pinto beans are wonderful in a crockpot..........as you really shouldn't add salt until they're finished (makes them tough otherwise) it's perfect when you get home from work and then flavor them up---of course I do cook them with a ham bone if I have one or a ham hock or two...........bake that iron skillet pan of cornbread and you're ready to invite Scarlett O'Hara by
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:48 AM   #29
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Well I was hoping for the magic answer because I have the same opinion as the OP. Although I find meats/roast to come out incredibly tender I find them dry and tasteless. I think basically everything comes out over cooked. I'm going to try some of the suggestions mentioned here for adding things later in the cooking process but then it ends up being a weekend meal, when I have time to oven/stovetop cook anyway. Obviously if I want a meal ready when I come home from work it all has to go in in the morning.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:38 PM   #30
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I agree. I just don't enjoy the slow cooker meals as much either.

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