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Old 01-22-2007, 11:33 AM   #11
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I could be mistaken, but I think the basic rule of thumb is to put the vegetables in first & the meat on top, to allow the juices to mingle & help cook the veggies. But it's also true that some recipes might be different as far as the layering based on the ingredients.
But doing so shouldn't throw off the cooking of the meat?
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #12
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No, it shouldn't. Keep in mind that crockpot cooking isn't really that different from braising a dish in a Dutch Oven on a stovetop at a low temp. The constant low temp releases a lot of liquid which in turn cooks the food.

But again - it does pay to look at the recipe, or look at recipes that are somewhat similar to what you're planning on making.

Oh - & one more thing. DON'T TAKE THE TOP OFF TO "CHECK" ON HOW THINGS ARE GOING. From what I've both read & heard, that is the NUMBER ONE reason why crockpot dishes go awry. Once you remove that lid - even for a peek - you're releasing all that built up heat that was cooking your meal. And at crockpot temps, it takes a while for that heat to build up again.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:43 AM   #13
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Got it. Thank you, BreezyCooking :).
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:06 PM   #14
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Question For sure!

We made a crockpot chicken recipe (chicken breasts, cream of mushroom, broth, and rice). We covered the chicken in the soup and broth and when we got home 12 hrs later the chicken was dry as can be... it was still covered in the liquid but the chicken was dry as a bone. My guess is that the fats in the meat get cooked out and make it dry.
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Overcooked meat drys out, even if cooked in liquid. It's just the science of it. The liquid within the meat cooks out eventually. The type of meat dictates how long it can cook without drying out.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:03 AM   #15
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longer is fine! And, don't forget to try those crock pot liners that Reynold's makes - there's virtually no cleanup afterward.
Thank you jkath, I didnt' even know those liners existed! I'll have to see if my store carries them. What a great idea!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:31 AM   #16
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Here is a great slow cooker poultry technique:

Put starch (potatoes or rice, etc) in the bottom of the insert and add seasonings and liquid.

Put the poultry in a Reynolds baking bag with seasonings and seal the bag.

Put the bag in the insert on top of the starch. Put the lid on and cook. Poultry stays moist and can have different seasonings than the side.

Here is one of the kids favorites prepared as above

In the bottom of the insert add - 2 cups rice, TBSP butter, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 2 cups of water, black pepper.

In the baking bag add - 3 - 4 pounds chicken, 1 envelope of dry onion soup mix and shake to evenly coat pieces. Seal and put into insert.

Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

.40
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by pzoog99 View Post
We made a crockpot chicken recipe (chicken breasts, cream of mushroom, broth, and rice). We covered the chicken in the soup and broth and when we got home 12 hrs later the chicken was dry as can be... it was still covered in the liquid but the chicken was dry as a bone. My guess is that the fats in the meat get cooked out and make it dry.

Thats exactly right.

They were cooked in very short order and then just gave up the rest of their liquid as they overcooked.

Chicken breasts should never be cooked in a crockpot unless you dont care about dry, tasteless meat.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #18
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Thats exactly right.

They were cooked in very short order and then just gave up the rest of their liquid as they overcooked.

Chicken breasts should never be cooked in a crockpot unless you dont care about dry, tasteless meat.
I agree. Chicken thighs fair much better
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:31 PM   #19
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Going to disagree with the consensus. I use the Slow Cooker lots, and it depends on the brand of slow cooker.

Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports and America's Test Kitchen all recommend the Hamilton Beach Set and Forget Programmable with Probe, Slow Cooker, which is the one I have. They also recommend All Clad, but I think it's about $300, and there have been complaints about the liner cracking.

One of my favorite recipes for a slow cooker is Cook's Illustrated's recipe for Chicken breasts with wine and mushrooms. I set the temperature for the probe, and when it reaches the temperature, it goes to warm, and stays there. It is tender and juicy - not dried out at all. I have never served a bad dinner out of this slow cooker.

And yes, use the c/p liner. I even did my Thanksgiving dressing in it. It was delicious.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:49 PM   #20
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Huh. I do chicken breasts in the CP all the time. Not sure why they turn out tasty and moist. I cook on low, and it only takes a few hours. 12 hours is probably way too much.
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