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Old 08-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
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SLOW COOKER vs. PRESSURE COOKER (new thread because of circumstance)

Hi,
New to this forum, please help.
My wife is very sick and I now do the cooking for myself, my wife and the dog.
I don't cook very well and don't like to cook, but fast/processed foods are out of the question since we now eat healthy.
I'm debating between a slow cooker and pressure cooker for simple, one pot, few ingredients, healthy, low budget meals like stews, soups, etc.
In your forum you mainly discuss the pros and cons as far as flavors, tenderness, etc.

I need a set it and forget method, that's quick and simple to throw all the ingredients in with as little prep as posssible.
No problem prepping the food at the beginning of the day for a slow cooker or at night for the pressure cooker.
Thanks.

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Old 08-09-2010, 06:36 PM   #2
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I think you're better off with a slow cooker if you want a set and forget type of cooking. You need to be present and paying attention to a pressure cooker. There is no ignoring one of those babies.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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Go for a slow cooker. They are easier to use and require no attention once you start them. There are a lot of slow cooker / crockpot recipes too. Just be sure there is nothing touching the outside if the cooker, some of the newer ones get a bit warm to the touch.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:07 PM   #4
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I think you're better off with a slow cooker if you want a set and forget type of cooking. You need to be present and paying attention to a pressure cooker. There is no ignoring one of those babies.
Left unattended, one of those lil' piggies blew a hole into someone's ceiling taking a ham joint far into the rafters above. How anyone was killed, beats me.

A slow cooker is fine, but for food safety always brown any meat before putting in. And always get the 'cooker to preheat first. I'm sure the OP realises that anyway, but it's worth mentioning.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Joe and I'm sure your wife appreciates you stepping up the the plate. I would suggest the crock pot also, if given just a choice between the two. If her illness is ongoing, we could help and support you with other methods of cooking also. One pot meals can be tiresome after a while. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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A slow cooker is fine, but for food safety always brown any meat before putting in. And always get the 'cooker to preheat first. I'm sure the OP realises that anyway, but it's worth mentioning.
What is unsafe about not browning meat before putting in the crockpot? All it does, apart from giving you another pan to wash up, is change the color slightly and supposedly give a slight extra "meaty" flavor.

[Browning meat first causes what is known as the Maillard reaction]

I have never browned any meat first, nor do I preheat the crockpot before putting things in it. And I've been using a crockpot for well over 30 years.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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What is unsafe about not browning meat before putting in the crockpot? All it does, apart from giving you another pan to wash up, is change the color slightly and supposedly give a slight extra "meaty" flavor.

[Browning meat first causes what is known as the Maillard reaction]

I have never browned any meat first, nor do I preheat the crockpot before putting things in it. And I've been using a crockpot for well over 30 years.
You beat me to it....was going to say the very same thing,Phaedra, although until I read this, I didn't know anything about Maillard reaction.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/meat/index.html
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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What is unsafe about not browning meat before putting in the crockpot? All it does, apart from giving you another pan to wash up, is change the color slightly and supposedly give a slight extra "meaty" flavor.

[Browning meat first causes what is known as the Maillard reaction]

I have never browned any meat first, nor do I preheat the crockpot before putting things in it. And I've been using a crockpot for well over 30 years.

Fine you do it your way. But I do it my way - brown my meat because I love the flavour. Prefer it because also, I feel it IS safer, and that's come from habit of being a professional cook who takes no chances.

As for the 'extra pan to wash up' - I don't. I bung it in the dishwasher and get then myself a life outa the kitchen, put up my hoofs and watch telly.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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About the only thing I don't brown before putting it in he crock is boneless chicken breasts or pork ( if I am making pulled pork). I think it does add a depth of flavor, specially if you deglaze the pan and add that to the crock pot.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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As for the 'extra pan to wash up' - I don't. I bung it in the dishwasher
Would you believe that I don't have a dishwasher? And I make cooking to be as simple as possible, so pre-browning, de-glazing pans, and then the extra one to wash up is, I'm afraid, beyond my capabilities.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:17 AM   #11
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Here is another vote for a slow cooker based on what you are looking to accomplish joegambler.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:29 AM   #12
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Yup, a slow-cooker in this case, although we do love our PC.

The only time I've seen advice about browning meat before putting it in a slow-cooker is with ground beef. Apparently, it is less than appetizing otherwise. But for all other types, while browning may be recommended in some recipes, it is not essential. And with the increased temps in the newer cookers, any concerns about safety are even less applicable. The only thing I will never do is start with frozen meat or poultry, although I know that many do this.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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Ihave used a crockpot for many years ...Iwould like to know if a crockpot can be used as a slow cooker without adding liquid to the pot i am looking for moist tender country ribs without cooking the ribs in the liquid.and yet still be mouth watering tender
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:01 AM   #14
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Ihave used a crockpot for many years ...Iwould like to know if a crockpot can be used as a slow cooker without adding liquid to the pot i am looking for moist tender country ribs without cooking the ribs in the liquid.and yet still be mouth watering tender
Yes. I've cooked a whole chicken without any added liquid, and it's been perfect. Rather difficult to lift out without falling to pieces though!

I also cook meatloaf in my crockpot, but in that case I do put about 1cm of water in the bottom before placing the shaped meatloaf in.

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Old 08-15-2010, 02:24 PM   #15
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I cooked short ribs once from a recipe in a slow-cooker cookbook. I was skeptical because I didn't think it called for enough liquid. I should have trusted my instincts -- I had a burnt mess on my hands and an almost ruined slow-cooker.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeee7 View Post
Ihave used a crockpot for many years ...Iwould like to know if a crockpot can be used as a slow cooker without adding liquid to the pot i am looking for moist tender country ribs without cooking the ribs in the liquid.and yet still be mouth watering tender
If the meat is fatty enough, you certainly can cook without liquid. I do my Kaluha Pig (pork shoulder) in a crockpot without a drop of added liquid.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #17
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thank you ladies...i put the ribs in a bowl .little olive oil salt/pepper/garlic worcestershire..tossed browned them ..put a small cup in the pot layed my grate on top put the ribs on the grate..layed slice lemon on top
1/2 cup apple juice..deglazed my frying pan .poured that on top..on med at 10am will take them off about 4...and so it goes
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:14 PM   #18
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I like a slow cooker and use it a lot. Once recipe called for browning the meat first and I did it according to the recipe but we didn't like it.
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