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Old 02-08-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Interpreting slow cooker recipes

Been trying some recipes from a book.
Sometimes you might find something like this - note all in one paragraph being perhaps point 6 ....

5. ....
6. Heat soup, fry vegetables, pour soup over vegetables in crock pot. Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
7. Serve over rice.

This implies that after placing hot food in the cooker you immediately start the cooking - so there is significant heat already in the pot. My wife assumes this means fry the vegetables, pour over the soup then set the cooking timer, high or low, to start sometime later in the day by which time the contents will be cold and take significantly longer to reach cooking temperature.

So what is the real correct time if she wants to start later ?
And if the cooking time is discussed as part of a single point then is it correct to assume that there is already heat in the pot and the time given is correct ?

I do understand that slow cooking times are fairly broad but if the contents start off cold then you might need to consider adding another 1-2 hours to the cooking time on low to accomplish the same as if you had started with hot contents.

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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Hi, welcome to DC. The way that is worded I would assume that cooking would start right away, otherwise why heat the soup? I'd
assume you'd adjust your cooking time if the contents of the crockpot were cold, but I doubt you would need more than an hour to bring it up to temperature. Adding 2 hours could be too much.

HTH
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:44 PM   #3
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I also assumed that this meant that cooking should start right away so I adjusted the timer forward an hour to compensate. The cook book my wife was using has a lot of recipes where it looks like the cooking is meant to start immediately. Others make no reference to heating some ingredients as part of the preparation but list things like cups of boiling water as an ingredient. This would mean starting off with lukewarm contents. So in this case I would assume that the cook times have also allowed for this.
This probably explains why some meals have been a little undercooked. I think that perhaps a lot of authors don't understand that part of the usefullness of slow cooking is being able to prepare in the morning (or night before) and start cooking on a timer part way thru the next day if you are out all that day (or work fulltime).
So I think that a very careful read of the recipe is required and time adjustments made as required.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhizara View Post
Hi, welcome to DC. The way that is worded I would assume that cooking would start right away, otherwise why heat the soup? I'd
assume you'd adjust your cooking time if the contents of the crockpot were cold, but I doubt you would need more than an hour to bring it up to temperature. Adding 2 hours could be too much.

HTH
i agree. one hour is enough. mine heats up very fast.sometimes i lay out the veg. and meat and let them reach room temp. that makes it even faster.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Just pre heat it on high while you are prepping the ingredients, it doesn't take that long to get it
hot.

I just reread what you wrote...You have a timer on yours so it will start while you're away?
Never heard of such a thing.
Did this fancy crock pot come with a recipe book?
Any crock pot cookbook I've ever seen assumes you will be cooking when you fill the pot.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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Welcome to DC

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Old 02-08-2011, 11:35 PM   #7
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I see the problem now.
The crock pot doesn't have a timer but we use a timer that plugs into the power and the pot plugs into that. You can get them at any hardware store. (Often wondered why crockpots didn't have a timer on the side).

Now my wife leaves at 8am in the morning for work, we normally plan to eat about 6pm and the recipe calls for 6 hours on low which means the pot needs to start at 12 midday - hence the timer. Or as I have found out here perhaps a start at 11am since anything in the pot will be cold. I guess we need to read the recipe to see if the meal either starts with hot or cold ingredients and adjust the time accordingly.

I thought that everybody used a crockpot this way.

Don't get me started on cookbooks. The 2nd to last recipe from a slow cook book had us ending up with soup. I bet the author never made the recipe.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:04 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chriscal View Post
I see the problem now.
The crock pot doesn't have a timer but we use a timer that plugs into the power and the pot plugs into that. You can get them at any hardware store. (Often wondered why crockpots didn't have a timer on the side).

Now my wife leaves at 8am in the morning for work, we normally plan to eat about 6pm and the recipe calls for 6 hours on low which means the pot needs to start at 12 midday - hence the timer. Or as I have found out here perhaps a start at 11am since anything in the pot will be cold. I guess we need to read the recipe to see if the meal either starts with hot or cold ingredients and adjust the time accordingly.

I thought that everybody used a crockpot this way.

Don't get me started on cookbooks. The 2nd to last recipe from a slow cook book had us ending up with soup. I bet the author never made the recipe.
One of the nicest things about DC is that when someone posts a crock pot recipe here, you can ask that person questions like these, plus, you know in advance that it's already tried and true (TNT). Welcome to DC, you are in exactly the right place for your questions.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:05 AM   #9
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Depending on what you are cooking, isn't there a concern about leaving raw or partially cooked food at room temperature for four hours before starting to cook it?
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:38 AM   #10
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Depending on what you are cooking, isn't there a concern about leaving raw or partially cooked food at room temperature for four hours before starting to cook it?
Yes.

Letting food sit out in a crockpot for hours is really unsafe.

Particularly since even when you start a crackpot it takes quite awhile for the contents to come to a safe temp.

That's a big food poisoning risk.
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