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Old 09-10-2007, 10:31 PM   #1
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ISO help adjusting recipes to slow cooker size

It looks like the standard slow cooker size is 4 quarts.

That claims to be good for 3-4 people, and I'm usually cooking for 1-2. There is a 2.5 quart cooker that could be good, but then a ton of recipes seem to be effectively made for the 4 quart models.

Do these recipes generally work just as well when cut in half? Or, when the larger model is only filled partially, does it work as effectively?

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:42 PM   #2
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Don't know about the "standard" size, watermelonman. We have several slow cookers in varying sizes. You can find ones about 3 quarts that are quite adequate for 2 persons. We even have 1-quart one that I use for small quantities of vegetables and applesauce. You might want to "surf" the Internet for what's available.

I must admit, though, that many of our slow cookers have been purchased at yard sales and thrift stores. I still have my original one I purchased in the early '70s that is working like a champ.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:42 PM   #3
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Buy the 4 qt.size. Adjust your recipes as needed. One day you may have company over and then the 4 qt will come in handy!


Enjoy!
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:46 PM   #4
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Absolutely! You can easily cut a recipe in half or double it. It’s simply a matter of knowing the concentration of your ingredients and how you want it to taste.

To tell the truth, there aren’t many hard set rules to cooking……..no holy grail and no food police……BAKING on the other hand is really a science and can not be messed with. Seriously, there is a very definite science to baking….but not so much cooking in general. For regular cooking, feel free to cut in half, double, change, substitute as your tastes and heart desires!

Heck, I was watching Throw Down the other night with Bobby Flay, and the challenge was a pie. Bobby said, “You know all great cooks are horrible bakers right?”. And he then went off and trained with a master baker to get ready for the challenge. Baking and cooking are 2 different things, and cooking is far more forgiving.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:03 PM   #5
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Well, the more important part of my question was how effectively the slow cooker works when only partially filled. Depending on how they work, I could imagine the recipe not working as well because the ingredients were all on the bottom and not up on the sides. It sounds like this is not the case, or is not too important.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watermelonman View Post
Well, the more important part of my question was how effectively the slow cooker works when only partially filled. Depending on how they work, I could imagine the recipe not working as well because the ingredients were all on the bottom and not up on the sides. It sounds like this is not the case, or is not too important.
Sure. Just remember what a slow cooker is. It’s low and slow cooking with some liquid present. No need for lots of liquid as a little goes a long way. Just keep enough in there to do the distance, especially if you have starchy elements in. Slow cookers are very forgiving and won’t usually scorch or burn (as long as liquid is in them!). Keep an eye on your ingredients, if it has pasta or other dry ingredients that can absorb water or fluids, keep that in mind. Other than that, you don’t need much liquid so have fun with it.

And that is just the basics….with advanced techniques you can (for example) do meatloafs without a huge liquid bath! Lots to do!
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:15 PM   #7
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The slow cooker will work well for most recs if the level of liquid is maintained. Generally, if you cook with liquid 1/2 the level (depth) of the solids, you'll be OK. It would help to know some specific recipes you are considering.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:17 PM   #8
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Watermelonman, you might consider trying this. Buy a Food Saver (it's a device that allows you to seal food into an airtight bag for freezing or refrigerating). You can get them at Big Lots for about $30. Then use the recipes for 4 to 6 people and store the remainder in the freezer. You will be so pleased with some of the wonderful meals you can make in the slow cooker and even more pleased to have it again without any extra work. Really, the Food Saver packages most non-delicate foods so well that when you thaw and re-heat them, they are look, smell, and taste like you just made them.

And welcome to DC!
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:15 PM   #9
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So it sounds like the liquid levels are much more important than surface area contact with the cooking vessel. Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E View Post
Don't know about the "standard" size, watermelonman.
Well, the book they come with lists reciples for the 4 quart size, and that size seems very common.
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