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Old 12-28-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
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Advice on slow cooker

got a new 6 quart crock pot. however, I usually just cook for my husband and me. I'm thinking of making this. It says if the crock pot is not 1/2 full to subtract 1 to 2 hours from total time. However, the recipe really doesn't have a time. Can someone please help me? I need some kind of an estimate of when to start. Also, as a bonus, I wonder how they are scalloped if there is no cheese in the ingrediants. hmmmm. Thanks so much for your help. It's 11am and I havent' even started yet, but it's ok if we dont' eat until 6/7pm the latest.

Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

3 Tbs. butter or margarine
3 Tbs. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
tsp. pepper
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
6 rib or loin pork chops ( inch thick)
2 Tbs. cooking oil
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled potatoes (about 4 lb.)
1 medium onion, sliced

In a greased crock pot (or a greased 13 in by 9 in by 2 in baking dish), layer potatoes and onion.
In a skillet, brown pork chops in oil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. Remove pork chops from pan and set aside.
Melt butter in skillet. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add broth and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Cook for 1 minute. Pour the broth mixture over potatoes and onions. Place pork chops on top. Cover and bake in crock pot all day on low (or in 350 degrees for one hour, covered, and an additional 30 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender, uncovered.)

Yield : 6 servings, Serving Suggestions steamed vegetables and homemade rolls

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Old 12-28-2008, 11:09 AM   #2
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I would go with 8 hours on LOW. It does say in the recipe to cook on low all day and I found that "all day" means 8 hours. Check for doneness after 6 hours.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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just a little additional information. I will be cutting up only 2 baking potatoes and using only 2-4 at the most fairly think pork chops. Just making sure that doesnt' change anything. just seems like the pork chops will be over done if I cook it all day. I guess I'm also nervous because it's a big crock pot - I did ask for a new one and it says in the instructions it should be at least 1/2 full.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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Check it after 6 hours, but remember a crockpot is also known as a "Slow Cooker".
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:11 PM   #5
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Maybe this is too late but I find it better to make at least half of your crockpot full of food. You have a large pot for just the two of you but why not make more than just one serving? This is the kind of thing you can use for leftovers later in the week. Scalloped potatoes don't freeze well, but when you make anything else in your crockpot keep in mind a little more to freeze for another meal. It's a shame not to utilize 6 or 8 hours cooking time for just one serving. I live alone and usually use my 4 qt. pot, but I have often used the 6 qt. so I can make enought to freeze for 2 or 3 other meals.

BTW, a note of caution: The new crockpots are cooking at a higher temperature than they used to. Check your pork chops and potatoes after four or five hours. They could be done by then. I made pork steaks and sauerkraut, (pork steaks are tougher than chops,) and they were done in less than 4 hours. Very tender. Check my blog for a crockpot recipe.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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One of the pleasures of using a slow cooker is that there is more play in your cooking time if you use recipes suited for this appliance. And once the food is done, you can turn it down to "warm" so the meal will hold til you're ready to serve. I wish I could comment more on this specific recipe (it looks wonderful), but my problem is always trying to make it all fit in one cooker! Anyway, good luck and let us know how it turns out.

BTW, I always thought that "scalloped" meant cooked in a casserole with a sauce that is often milk-based and may or may not contain cheese. Au Gratin is when you bake a dish specifically with cheese. (But I could be wrong.)
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:34 PM   #7
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I use our crock pot all the time for just my wife and me. Your chops will be almost cooked after you brown them so amount of time in the crock pot will be for how tender you want the chops to be. Four to five hours will be more than enough time. I am not sure what shape your pot is but if it is round like mine here's what i do to "fill" it up when cooking for two. Place a 9' cake pan upside down in the bottom of the pan and fill with water to the level of the pan. This raises the bottom of your pan and will not affect the cooking.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:09 PM   #8
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There can be two typse of crock pots. The most common one has the heating coils around the sides of the crock pot. That is why it is necessary for them to be at least half full for efficient heating and wear on the crock pot.
The other type has the heating coil at the bottom of the pot. With this type of crock you do not have to have it half full. But the time for cooking will be longer if your pot is fuller. The one with the heating coil on the bottom is older and also came with a removable crock and then it could be used as a deep fat fryer.

As for your pork chops... if your are using fairly thin chops then they will most likely be done when your potatoes are done. Just remember that on a crockpot everytime you open the lid you set back the total cooking time by loosing the heat from the crockpot.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:53 PM   #9
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To me, scalloped potatoes is without cheese. Au Gratin is scalloped potatoes with cheese.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:53 PM   #10
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FishersMom and LadyCook are right, scalloped is without cheese, so the recipe makes sense.
I would definitely fill it up at least half full, and go a good 6 hours with the recipe, checking after 4 hours. Don't repeatedly open the lid though, that will slow the cooking process way way down.
Let it go 4 hours, then check. If not done, go another two then check it. Don't check it in between those times or more frequently than 2 hours apart. I don't know what kind of crock pot (slow cooker) you have, but it is safer and better on the crock pot to half it at least half full when using it.
You can always freeze or refrigerate what you don't eat immediately.
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