"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-06-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Slow cooking and tasteless meat

Hi chaps, I'm a reasonably competent amateur and really enjoy cooking, I have a slow cooker and somtimes use it for a bit of lamb or anything, sometimes a slow roast, whatever, anyway .... too often, in the slow cooker, I end up with deliciously tasty "cooking liquid" but tasteless meat. Of course this must be down to timing but oten recipes say "cook for hours" .... there must be a compromise between tenderness and taste surely ?

rogertb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 11:03 AM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,655
It could be from the cut of meat you use. Some cuts are best in slow cooking situations while others are best for a quick hot cook. If you're using the proper cuts, longer cooking will benefit both taste and tenderness.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 01:21 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,107
Crock pots cook the life out of food ….
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 03:33 PM   #4
Master Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Crock pots cook the life out of food .
Exactly!
__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 03:45 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,316
You might be using too much liquid for the amount of meat you're using. And as Andy said, tougher cuts of meat, like pork shoulder and chuck roast, do well in a long cook. I think the recipes often call for too long a cooking time, or too big a range, because lots of people want to "set it and forget it." Eight or more hours - even six sometimes - is too long and cooks all the flavor out. So make sure you're using the right cuts and try reducing the cooking time.

All that said there isn't much I slow-cook these days. I like to monitor the food while it's cooking so I can make adjustments. If you can, cook a big batch on your day off, cool and refrigerate it and reheat the next day, or during the following week. Long-cooked foods often taste better after resting anyway.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #6
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Hampshire Seacoast
Posts: 2,510
You can overcook anything with a variety of methods. A slow cooker has no monopoly on this.

As has been pointed out, some cuts of meats do well with a long, slow cook. Others, not so much. To maximize flavor, you should brown the meat before adding to the slow cooker (along with any accumulated juices). This is the same as with any other cooking method.

I have a slow cooker with a metal insert that can brown the meat before changing to the slow cook function. I think I do more b/s chicken thighs in the slow cooker than any other method (other than the grill). I brown the meat (and sometimes other ingredients) and then switch to the slow cooker function. Cooking time is about 2 hours on high, 3 hours on low. The meat is fork tender and very flavorful.

The point is that you have to choose the method appropriate to what you are cooking. Slow cookers are good for tough cuts of meat, hopefully with some fat marbling.

That said, I think that in a lot of cases a pressure cooker will produce superior results. The convenience of a slow cooker has some advantages, though. You can monitor cooking and make adjustments in a slow cooker, but you can't in a pressure cooker.
__________________
If you are not capable of a bit of alchemy, don't bother going into the kitchen - Colette
tenspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2019, 12:56 AM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Excellent responses, thanks to one and all - I am fairly careful about the cuts I use but think I probably go for the convenience sometimes and just leave too long, I'm leaning to wards the slow cooker "cooking out the flavour" principal, I will take more care - and yes I have over-cooked meat using other methods as well ... it's ll a learning exercise i guess - thanks chaps.
rogertb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2019, 03:13 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,383
Did you brown the meat first? I didn't like crock pots back in the 70's and we don't own one today.
__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
Executive Chef
 
Roll_Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 4,286
Add salt.
Roll_Bones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2019, 01:34 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Hampshire Seacoast
Posts: 2,510
Well, I wouldn't just add salt, but long cooking times tend to wash out seasonings, especially fresh ones. You might want to correct and add seasonings an hour or two before things are finished.
__________________
If you are not capable of a bit of alchemy, don't bother going into the kitchen - Colette
tenspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2019, 03:24 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
Well, I wouldn't just add salt, but long cooking times tend to wash out seasonings, especially fresh ones. You might want to correct and add seasonings an hour or two before things are finished.
This plus plan on adding a flavorful garnish just before serving, like chopped fresh parsley or another herb, or a drizzle of vinegar or citrus juice, depending on what you're making.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2019, 06:16 AM   #12
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: edinburgh
Posts: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Crock pots cook the life out of food .
Right
kenmiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2019, 07:12 AM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Did you brown the meat first? I didn't like crock pots back in the 70's and we don't own one today.
I am with you on that. I too gave my crock pot away to the church for their annual church fair. It got snapped up immediately. Good luck to the person who bought it.

I ALWAYS had good luck with a pressure cooker. I need to buy another one.

If you are going to be home anyway, a pressure cooker is the way to go. I feel that a slow cooker is fit only for soups. What would be a good meal when cooked in almost any other method is ruined if cooked in a slow cooker. Trying to find the right meat for a slow cooker is just too expensive and nerve wracking. You put all your effort into what you hope will be a meal the whole family will rave about, and instead you get a lot of disappointment. The family certainly won't be asking for seconds.

Save the slow cooker for soups and other dishes that don't require a lot of money.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cook, cooking, meat

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.