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Old 09-25-2005, 01:43 PM   #1
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Need Some New Crockpot Cooking Times

Don't most crockpot recipes call for cooking times of between 4 to 8 hours (depending on whether you set the thing for high or low temps)?

Now that I'm working, I need some recipes for dishes that cook over even longer times. If I put something on at 6 a.m. when I leave for work, it will be 11 hours before I am home again (around 5), and still a little too early for dinner.

or...

I could train my kid to switch the crockpot on when she gets home at 3:30. But then it's only 3 hours until 6:30, our typical dinner hour. And of course I don't want to leave it out all day on the counter until she gets home, so that means it's got to get the chill off from being in the fridge before it actually starts cooking.

Anybody got any ideas? I do have that "Fix It and Forget It" crockpot cookbook, but most of the recipes have inconvenient cooking times.

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Old 09-25-2005, 01:55 PM   #2
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mudbug, that is a hard question. I have the same problem. I leave for work at 6:30 am and don't get back home until 6:00 pm. on a normal day. Depending on the recipe I have added some additional water. This can be done with stews and chilis. Some new crockpots have a timer on them. I have been thinking by buying one. I will look through my recipes and see if I have any with longer cooking times.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:09 PM   #3
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thanks, SC. Not sure there is an answer to our dilemma, but can't hurt to ask around. Let me know if you find anything useful.

My crockpot is fairly new, so I don't want to go buy another one with a timer. Even so, then you've got the sitting-on-the-counter-waiting-to-be-turned-on problem OR the cooked-and-getting-colder-by-the-minute problem, don't you?
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:13 PM   #4
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Why not get a plugin wall timer that you wiill allow you to plug in your crockpot and
"set it and forget it" where have I heard that before. You can get them for less than $5.00.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:19 PM   #5
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I use a light timer, the kind you use when you go on vacation and you want your lights to come on. I usually set to cook right away shut down for a hour or two and then start back up again by the time I get home everything is still hot. You can turn off your crock-pot up to 2 hours before you eat (without lifting the lid) and still find it warm enough to eat.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
thanks, SC. Not sure there is an answer to our dilemma, but can't hurt to ask around. Let me know if you find anything useful.

My crockpot is fairly new, so I don't want to go buy another one with a timer. Even so, then you've got the sitting-on-the-counter-waiting-to-be-turned-on problem OR the cooked-and-getting-colder-by-the-minute problem, don't you?
The timer will allow you to turn your crockpot on anytime you wish and then to shut it off when you wish anytime during a 24 hour period.
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by beaulana2
I use a light timer, the kind you use when you go on vacation and you want your lights to come on.
We use these all the time when we go out of town, beaulana. Might work! Nick, I think you were on the same track, so thanks.

I think I will try the light timer thing with something bulletproof like chili for a first experiment.
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Old 09-25-2005, 07:27 PM   #8
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I have frequently put stuff in for 12 hours or longer on low, no concerns. I just make sure I bump up the liquid content before I go. Good luck mudbug.
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Old 09-25-2005, 11:05 PM   #9
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You could put some ingredients in partially frozen (such as meat) so they will take longer to cook. If you would normally brown the meat you could probably do that before you freeze it, assuming you buy meat on sale and have enough freezer space to keep it. The crock in mine is removeable so I fill it the night before and when it goes in the pot it will take longer just to get going because of the cold crock.
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Old 09-25-2005, 11:07 PM   #10
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Or you coiud train your daughter to turn it off when she gets home. You could turn it back on when you get home so you can serve the food piping hot. Perhaps a combination of these ideas would work best for you. Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:24 AM   #11
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I find that if you cook on the low setting then you can let it cook for many more hours than the recipe calls for. Like Alix suggested, you might want to use just a little more liquid, but depending on the recipe you might not even need to do that. I have gone 12 hours many times and sometimes even longer and never had a problem.
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:02 PM   #12
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Mud, I used to set a timer (just a plug-in wall kind) for it to turn on mid-morning and then would have hubby switch it to the "keep warm" setting when he got home (since he'd get home before me). The three-setting option is a god-send to me (hi, lo, and keep warm). So maybe between setting a timer and having your daughter switch it to keep warm when she gets home, it can work for you.


Here's a recipe you'll like!

Shrimp Jambalaya (crock pot) (TNT)
1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 2 pieces
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1 pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
1 Tbsp white sugar
tsp salt
tsp dried Italian seasoning
tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 c uncooked orzo pasta*
1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined


In a slow cooker, mix chicken, celery, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomatoes, with liquid, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours.

Remove bay leaf from the chicken mixture, and stir in orzo. Increase heat to high. Cook 15 minutes or until orzo is tender.

Stir in shrimp, cook 2 minutes, until shrimp are heated through.

* I've made this before and omitted the orzo step, simply serving it over white rice.
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:27 PM   #13
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I would mos' definitely love your crockpot jambalaya, PA. thanks! (thought I responded to this thread before now, hmmmmmmmmmm).

Will try the Alix/geebs method of 12 hours, extra juice, and low temp.
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Old 09-29-2005, 06:50 AM   #14
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Many of you have suggested extra liquid for longer cooking times, but the book that came with my crockpot says when you are converting a recipe fromoven to crockpot you should reduce the liquid due to the fact there is less evaporation with a crockpot. Mine is the kind with 2 settings, not one of the ones that has a full range of temperatures and the liner is stoneware (probably glazed since it has a shiney finish). Maybe you want to try some recipes on days you are home and measure how much liquid you use. I know with my pork chops, if I add what I think would be right, I end up with too much very runny gravy. By not even covering the chops, I end up with less (but more than enough) gravy that is a bit thicker. Sometimes I even have to take the lid off and raise the heat to high to get it a little thicker.
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purrfectlydevine
Many of you have suggested extra liquid for longer cooking times, but the book that came with my crockpot says when you are converting a recipe fromoven to crockpot you should reduce the liquid due to the fact there is less evaporation with a crockpot.
Yes this is absolutely true if you are converting from oven to Crockpot, but since she is just looking to cook something in her Crockpot a few hours longer than needed that is why she may need extra liquid.
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Old 10-02-2005, 12:45 PM   #16
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Mud, what are the settings on your cooker? Does it have a warm capacity and will it switch over? I have a programmable one, and the cooking time can go to 10 hours. It will switch over to warm. Might be worthwhile to spend a few $, to have dinner ready when you need it.

If you have the manual that came with, it should have some recipes/cooking times so you can adapt to your schedule. Plugging it into a timer (one you would use to turn on/off lights), was my first thought.

You could prepare the night ahead, i.e. at about 8:00 PM put ingredients in the cooker & let it cook over night. In the morning, let it cool, put it in a casserole dish/dutch oven, cover & refrigerate. When you get home, nuke it.

There are several recipes on the net like "All Day Long..." I wouldn't do pasta, as it cooks very quickly & needs to be submerged in sauce & broken up. Add it in during the end of cooking time. A roast, veggies and taters are a good bet, or cooking up a bunch of chicken pieces & putting them in zip locks to freeze and grab when you need em.

Some older cookers do not get as hot as the newer ones. If it's an older cooker, you might be able to cook it longer on low, depending on the settings for your pot.

Try foods that cook very quickly to put in when you get home (if you have a few hours), like meatballs & pasta dishes.
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Old 10-02-2005, 01:37 PM   #17
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thanks, mish, for some good ideas. I have two cookers - both non-programmable, but they both have the "warm" setting.

I'm doing the beef stew today in the smaller one (on high, 4 hours) for a test run. Usually we've only used this thing to make Rotel dip for New Year's Day. I did not brown the meat first, so this will be an interesting experiment.
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:43 PM   #18
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How about coming home around lunch time, getting something started then have your daughter turn it down on low when she comes home to change the cook time for it so it's ready by the time you walk in the door?

Just a thought.

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