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Old 12-01-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
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Cooking soup/stews in slow cooker/crockpot

It seems that whenever I use my slow cooker to make soup or stew, at the end of the recommended cook times the meat is tender and falling apart but the vegetables are still al dente.

Is this just the way it is, or is my crockpot not working properly?

I've attempted to make baked beans from soaked overnight, dried beans and even with almost doubling the cook time, the beans are still a bit chewy.

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Old 12-01-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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How long are the veggies in the CP? Is it on high or low?

Dried beans that are older may not soften as expected.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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Hi Andy. Thanks for replying. I usually cook on the high setting for the shorter period when I make soup. I find that the meat is fine but fresh vegetables are still firm. I haven't used frozen vegetables so far.

Good tip about the dried beans. I usually do the quick soak method in boiling water and then refrigerate the soaking beans overnight, as insurance that they will be tender when done in the crockpot
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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Do you put the veggies in the CP the same time as the soup?
How long does the meat cook?
How long do the veggies cook?
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
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I put everything in at the same time: vegetables on the bottom, meat on top. If the recipe calls for everything to be mixed together, then I do that, but otherwise it's vegetables on bottom, protein on top, and I cook everything on high for 5 or 6 hours then if the meat is really falling apart but veggies are still al dente, I'll turn it to the low setting and cook for a few more hours. But sometimes even then the carrots are still a bit firm.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #6
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I always cook the meat only in the crockpot and then when it's done, I put all the juices in a pan on the stove, cook the vegetables in the juice and then add everything back in before serving. The vegetables get the same flavor of the meat from cooking in the juice. I realize this somewhat defeats the purpose of e crockpot but it ensures the meat (the part that most tends to be overcooked in a still oven) is cooked thoroughly and stays moist.

My 2 cents worth.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellen1159 View Post
I put everything in at the same time: vegetables on the bottom, meat on top. If the recipe calls for everything to be mixed together, then I do that, but otherwise it's vegetables on bottom, protein on top, and I cook everything on high for 5 or 6 hours then if the meat is really falling apart but veggies are still al dente, I'll turn it to the low setting and cook for a few more hours. But sometimes even then the carrots are still a bit firm.
You could try cutting the more dense vegetables into smaller pieces.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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That's weird that never happens to me. I usually brown and sauté the veggies first. Maybe that will help
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