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Old 11-28-2010, 12:44 AM   #1
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Questions about adaptations I've seen for small recipes in large pots

I have read through the forum here and found quite a bit of useful information. I have one question that doesn't seem to be discussed here directly. I have seen some suggestions for cooking smaller recipes in a large pot either by using oven safe glass/ceramic/corningware inside the cooker to create a smaller pot or using a piece of tin foil placed just above the level of the food to focus the steam there. I was wondering if anyone here has tried these methods? Also, what is typically the minimum size needed to cook an average whole chicken?

The reason I'm asking.. I am about to purchase a slow cooker and can't afford to buy more than one. I mostly cook just for me. I occasionally want to cook a whole chicken or a larger roast and freeze it. The pots that will cook an appropriate amount of soup/beans/chili/whatever are much too small to cook a whole chicken and I'd really like to have the probe feature on the hamilton beach. Unfortunately, the hamilton beach is 6 quarts. Even freezing the leftover soup it would take me months to eat that much!

I did look at the 3 in 1 that comes with three sizes of pot and fits into one base. It doesn't have the the auto switch to warm at end of cooking time or the auto off safety features that I consider essential. Besides, I would really prefer something programmable.

Maybe I'm just asking too much of a kitchen appliance

Any advice would be appreciated

Kyriel

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Old 11-28-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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Go online to a manufacturer's website and read the online owners manual to determine the minimum amount you can cook in the slow cooker. That may help you decide.

If that minimum capacity is still too much, then you could consider making some things on the stovetop.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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I think I remember reading somewhere that you should use them 2/3 - 3/4 full. I'll see if I can find that article.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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i have a large one and a small one. they are both essential to my kitchen. i too cook most of the time just for me. use little one. i have a large one for cooking large amounts for guests. everyone is having a crockpot sale for the holidays. walmart seems to have the best prices. as low as 25 dollars for a large one. you really need the two.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:39 PM   #5
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Another option, which I have found to be valuable is to search thrift/consignment stores for slow cookers. Most of those type stores allow you to plug in electrical items to make sure they at least work.

I have bought several slow cookers at thrift stores. Not too many years ago, I bought a 5-quart Rival Crock-Pot for $2 and it works like a champ.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:43 PM   #6
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I have one large crock pot and two small ones for the two of us. The large one is very helpful when doing up a whole chicken or BBQ, the small ones are perfect for sides. I get the most use out of the small ones taking them to work for our potlucks.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input everyone.

I really can't manage to purchase two cookers right now and have yet to find anything programmable below 4 quarts. I found more information on another site about using dishes inside the cooker to make smaller quantities. I'm going to go ahead and purchase the larger one since I know I want to be able to do whole chickens and large roasts occasionally. I will experiment with the dishes and if it doesn't work I'll start saving pennies to buy a smaller one at a later date.

Thanks again for the help.

Kyriel
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