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Old 04-06-2008, 06:35 AM   #1
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My crockpot is too big... Is this solution unsafe?

My mother bought me a slow cooker for christmas, which is great because that's exactly what I wanted. The only problem was she bought me a 5.5L model, and I don't have a 5.5L Stomach:P

I've got very little freezer space and I only cook for myself most nights, so I don't really want to prepare more then 2 meals at once, which is quite hard in the cooker. If I don't add much to it, what is in there burns during the 11 hours I'm at work.

I think I've come up with a solution. I'll buy a small earthenware oven pot, and put my food inside the pot. I'll then put that pot *inside* the crock, and fill the space between with water. The cooker will then heat the water, which will heat the inner pot, which will cook the food. There might be a bit more steam produced then normal, but overall I think it'll work.

My only concern is that something will go "Horribly Wrong(TM)" and I'll regret it and/or destroy my house and/or cat. Can anyone think of any flaws with my cunning plan?

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Old 04-06-2008, 08:39 AM   #2
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Is there a day when you are home 11 hours and can monitor it?
It sounds good in theory.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:21 AM   #3
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I do not feel confident enough to be the one to say go ahead and do it, but my gut is saying it just might work. I am curious to hear what others think.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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I would start with boiling or near boiling water to minimize any extra time needed to get the heat to the food. The crock pot liner will heat up fairly quickly as it is in direct or near direct contact with the heating element(s). In your scenario, the heating elements must heat the crockpot liner, the water and the smaller ontainer before it can heat the food. I would plan on a longer cooking time.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:45 AM   #5
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That's a good point, Andy. More time in the "danger zone", too.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:59 AM   #6
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Using a pan inside the crockpot is done all the time, especially for small quantities of liquid. I've never heard of adding water in the base, but I guess if you want to add humidity or steam your foods, okay.

A slow cooker/crockpot is the same as a low-temperature oven. Do you add water or do anything special when you put something in the oven to cook? Amazingly it cooks just fine in the center of the oven without anything special being done. The same for your crockpot.

Leave the cover on and allow it to do its job all day. Or if you want breakfast, turn it on at night and it cooks while you sleep. The crockpot is your FRIEND.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:02 PM   #7
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I have an extra large crockpot too. Because it's big doesnt mean that you have to fill it. I've used it hundreds of times and felt comfortable leaving it on while we were at work all day. But that's just me.....Newer crockpots have timers built in them. I have one of those also. However, the heating element gets too hot on 'low' setting. I think there's an issue with new law regulations where the FDA says that the element has to be a certain temerature or above in order to cook it thoroughly. Defeats the purpose of slow cooking.


Good luck,

Petey
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:47 AM   #8
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When I was young, my mum used to make parcels of food in tin foil which she then cooked in the slow cooker.

I agree with the drying out, my slow cooker is even designed to alow steam to excape - self defeating.

The other alternative to to make a full size meal using the crockpot, portion it out, eat one portion & put the other portions in the freezer for another day.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:43 AM   #9
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I don't like the idea of pot inside the pot. Just doesn't seem to be a safe thing to do. I'd rather go with not filling the pot to full capacity, just cooking as much as you need. Also, you might consider contacting manufacturer and asking them the same question. They might help you more than we can.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:50 AM   #10
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Do you guys know what cooks great in a crockpot?....The oval shaped ones.... Brasciolle . Just roll them up and place them inside the bottom of the pot. No need to tie them up with strings.
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