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Old 10-16-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
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Over cooked in a slow cooker! HELP

Hi everyone,

I am new to the site so i am hoping to find alot of useful information.
I recently just bought my first slow cooker and have used it 5 times already, and each dish that i have made has been overcooked. WHAT am I doing WRONG???
Each meat dish that i have made has been a little smaller than what a recipe calls for, so I just reduce the cooking time. For example, i cooked a pork loin (small roast) and it was half the size the recipe called for, so i only cooked it on low for 3hours. Well it is very well done. This may be a stupid question, but should i have cooked it for longer so more moisture gets absorbed and the meat would then fall apart???
My slow cooker is one that has "even heating" dont know if this matters at all.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks alot.

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Old 10-16-2006, 05:06 PM   #2
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Probably the only meat I really despise coming from a crockpot is a pork loin That is because there is not enough fat to make it tender. A pork loin just needs to be cooked using a different method.

On that note the longer a roast cooks in the crockpot the more tender it will become. Like Boston butt or a chuck - I like to cook mine until it is falling apart - if it's just sliceable then it's not done enough.

What are some of the other things you have cooked?
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:10 PM   #3
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A loin is a tender piece of meat not well suited to the slow cooker. The loin is best cooked no more than medium (here come the objections).

Slow cookers are tools for prolonged braising of food. This method of cooking is best suited to stews and tough cuts of meat.

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Old 10-16-2006, 05:21 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC. Kitchenelf has the right idea.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:23 PM   #5
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Respectfully I disagree with both of you about the pork loin. It is too lean--true. And it can be a tender piece of meat when roasted to a rosy pink. But it can be braised and be delicious and to me, much more flavorful than just roasted, even with a good sauce.. In fact, that is the only way I cook them any more.
To the original poster, your roast will of course be very well done when cooked for 3 hours. The temp of a slow cooker is probably around 300*.
You don't say how much liquid you had in it. Slow cookers are a braising tool--you need to have liquid at least half way up the side of the meat you are cooking. And yes, if you had cooked it longer it might have been more tender and falling apart.
Also I am not entirely clear what you mean by "overcooked". What were you expecting from the recipe you used?
I will be back with my favorite pork loin recipe--pork braised with apples and onions.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymeless
The loin is best cooked no more than medium (here come the objections). thymeless
No objections here - a tad pink is best to me!
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:30 PM   #7
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trudy - perhaps you can show us some of the recipes you've used, along with the results you had. I'm sure we can crack this case!
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the reply's so far.
In response to some, the recipes i have tried so far in the slow cooker has been a whole chicken, chicken breasts, a roast and pork. All in which has been on the dry side unfortunatly.

It was mentioned that the liquid should reach at least half the meat, I have done that will all recipes but still, i am finding the meats tuff. I guess i should just stick to the tough cuts of meat, and stay away from chicken and pork. Maybe its my slow cooker that is not performing as it should.

Is it crazy to say that a chicken breast could be cooked in an hour on low??
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:33 PM   #9
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Whole chicken may be alll right. Chicken breasts will be dry and overcooked in a crockpot.
You are turning itdown to low, aren't you.
And yes, the slow cooker is for tougher pieces of beef--to make a good pot roast, for example.
A chicken breast cooked on low for an hour will be overcooked.
But we really do need to know the recipes. For example, a chicken breast with the skin and bone in a cacciatore sauce could cook for a couple of hours and be quite delicious. But it needs to be in a lot of sauce.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:37 PM   #10
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Trudyg - chicken pieces on the bone are fine. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are terrible!! Your cooking time won't be near as long for the pieces but bone-in is much better.

I'll send you some recipes via PM - I've had them for years but they probably came off the intenet or are on the internet by now. I'm going to make a sandwich then I'll start sending you recipes.

Also - just google "crockpot recipes" - you will get some good reading! lol

And be sure and check out all we have here too - click on the link at the very bottom of the page where it says Links to Forums for the archives.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:47 PM   #11
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This is delicious.


Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions


Serves 4
3 lbs center cut pork loin, trimmed to remove any excess fat and silver skin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground sage or poultry seasoning (I used poultry seasoning)
2 tsp grape seed oil (this was used because of its high smoke point, and also to reduce the "bad" fat)
2 large sweet yellow onions (Vidalia, 1015, etc) peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 cup of dried apple slices, halved (try to get unsulfered, if available)
2 cups chicken stock (I use Swanson or Pacific, low fat)
1 large can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4" to 1/2" thick
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Adjust the rack to the lowest position. Season the pork all over liberally with salt, ground pepper, and sage or poultry seasoning. Heat a large stewpot that has a tight-fitting lid, on high heat. (I used a Le Creuset pan, which worked quite well.) When hot, add the oil and brown the pork loin in the oil, all over, until deep golden brown. Remove the roast from the pot and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.
Add onions to the pot and cook them, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize and turn brown, about 8 minutes. Add the dried apples, chicken stock, and apple juice concentrate to the onions in the pot and stir. Put the pork roast back in the pot and bring the pot to boil on the stovetop. Put the lid on the pot and put the pot in the preheated oven. Cook pork, covered, for approximately 1 hour. (I found this cooking time to be much too long...check at about 30 minutes). Remove the cover from the pot and add the Granny Smith apples and stir. Baste the roast with the pan juices. Return the pot to the oven, uncovered, and cook 1 hour more, basting occasionally with the pan juices (again, I think this cooking time was too long; you don't want to overcook the pork until it dries out.) Remove pot from the oven.
If the sauce seems too watery, place the pork on a cutting board and cover with a loose foil tent, and place the pot back on the stove on high heat and boil the juices down until they are syrupy, stirring as necessary so the apples and onions don't stick. Omit this step if there is little liquid in the pot. (I didn't find this step necessary.) Taste sauce and correct seasonings if needed.
Slice pork and place it on a serving platter, surrounded with apples and onions and drizzled with pan juices.
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:15 PM   #12
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Trudy, it's not you if you got a Rival crockpot. It's just running too hot. The last couple of years they've designed them to run at a higher temp. I made the mistake of giving away my perfectly good 5 qt Rival crockpot to buy a new 6-quarter, and I ended up having to toss it because all the recipes that worked before were burning. I contacted Rival and they acted like it was my fault. Just to let you know, I did buy a Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6 qt crockpot, and it runs at the proper temperature. I will never buy a Rival again, unless they make some sort of announcement that they have changed it back. I will say though that there are a lot of lousy crockpot cookbooks, so your best bet is to get recipes from people who know that the recipe works!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:34 AM   #13
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question about chicken breasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Trudyg - chicken pieces on the bone are fine. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are terrible!! Your cooking time won't be near as long for the pieces but bone-in is much better.
I have a question. I've haven't located what I want for some reasonable recipes to make Chicken Cacciatore. I keep coming across is it's calling for a full chicken. I'd prefer not to deal with a full one and go with breasts but here I'm seeing that they're not good to use. I suppose that cooking on a stove and using the cp is very different. I've made the Chicken Cacciatore on the stove many times before so I'm beginning to see how different both ways of cooking are.

I am curious though, wings don't have a whole lot of meat on them, isn't there something better than that out there which will be more beneficial? Any input on the issue is greatly appreciated. FWIW, I purchased my new cp Sunday night (day late Christmas present) it's due to show up on Dec 26th so I'm getting excited.

Sue
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueBear
I have a question. I've haven't located what I want for some reasonable recipes to make Chicken Cacciatore. I keep coming across is it's calling for a full chicken. I'd prefer not to deal with a full one and go with breasts but here I'm seeing that they're not good to use. I suppose that cooking on a stove and using the cp is very different. I've made the Chicken Cacciatore on the stove many times before so I'm beginning to see how different both ways of cooking are.

I am curious though, wings don't have a whole lot of meat on them, isn't there something better than that out there which will be more beneficial? Any input on the issue is greatly appreciated. FWIW, I purchased my new cp Sunday night (day late Christmas present) it's due to show up on Dec 26th so I'm getting excited.

Sue
You can use chicken parts and even chicken breasts in the crockpot. Just don't cook them as long so they don't dry out.
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