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Old 06-19-2016, 03:56 PM   #1
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Smart Slow Cooker

I'm looking at buying a smart slow cooker - does anyone have one? Pros and cons?

When I am at work, I am typically gone 10-12 hours. My hope is to start something on low for 4 hours, set it to warm for a few hours and then back to low to finish cooking for when I get home.

I don't *think* there is a food safety issue here. I'm also not certain I'll have perfectly cooked food either, might take some practice.

Thoughts?


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Old 06-19-2016, 04:19 PM   #2
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Jeni,

Well I can say, I have had great luck even with a dumb slow cooker. I had one for years, I accidentally broke the crock one day cleaning it. I still don't really know why I haven't replaced it, I guess because I got the pressure cooker, and it does slightly the same things.

Anyway. I regularly used it on its one somewhat smart mode, 'autoshift' (I guess it wasn't a complete dumb slow cooker, maybe an idiot savant?) Anyway it would cook at high for four hours, and then switch to low. Other than that, high and low were the only settings.

I had no trouble whatsoever setting it up, and leaving it when I went to work. Food was pretty good, definitely better for stews and roasts (excellent for chilli for instance) or some of my favorite Irish recipes like corned beef and cabbage or coddle.

There is a bit of a learning curve, just in that you want to make sure you aren't making things that won't dry out, but with the right food, slow and long works very well.

You also might want to consider getting a pressure cooker. I adore mine and it has all kinds of settings and can act as a slow cooker (Which is come to think of it, why I never replaced my crock pot), but it also has a timer where I can have it turn on at a particular time, and thus have dinner ready. Nice thing about the pressure cooker is that you can use it as a slow cooker if you wish, but also if you need to do, say a whole chicken in a half and hour, you can set it on high pressure and do that.

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Old 06-19-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
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Thanks - I have been considering a pressure cooker. Can you do stock in them? Can you set them for an all-day slow and low dish?

I've had a dumb slow cooker for about 20 years but it died yesterday. I mostly used it for stock. But sometimes other things.

I thought I'd upgrade. I do not have a lot of storage space. I would get a pressure cooker in a heartbeat if I knew it could do the same as my slow cooker!


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Old 06-19-2016, 04:43 PM   #4
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My "slow cooker" is only as smart as the pitt master and burns splits of wood.
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeni78 View Post
Thanks - I have been considering a pressure cooker. Can you do stock in them? Can you set them for an all-day slow and low dish?

I've had a dumb slow cooker for about 20 years but it died yesterday. I mostly used it for stock. But sometimes other things.

I thought I'd upgrade. I do not have a lot of storage space. I would get a pressure cooker in a heartbeat if I knew it could do the same as my slow cooker!
I got an Instant Pot multicooker on Cyber Monday last year, and I love it. Here's the thread I started where I talked about it: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...etc-94701.html
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeni78 View Post
Thanks - I have been considering a pressure cooker. Can you do stock in them? Can you set them for an all-day slow and low dish?

I've had a dumb slow cooker for about 20 years but it died yesterday. I mostly used it for stock. But sometimes other things.

I thought I'd upgrade. I do not have a lot of storage space. I would get a pressure cooker in a heartbeat if I knew it could do the same as my slow cooker!.
They vary in features, but yes, mine you can cook an all day slow-low, and they are fine for stock.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:06 PM   #7
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Thank you!

This Instant Pot looks amazing! Lots of positive reviews too.

Instant Pot IP-DUO50 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker with Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior, 5Qt/900W, Latest 3rd Generation Technology

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FQ6VEKS..._PBWzxbCSVR0T7

More than I thought I'd spend, but it looks worth it.


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Old 06-19-2016, 06:37 PM   #8
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I'm making shredded barbecued beef in it right now. I started about 20 minutes ago
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:57 AM   #9
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GotGarlic, how long did the shredded beef take you?


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Old 06-20-2016, 09:05 AM   #10
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I got my pressure cooker as a gift, and it has been a good gift. I do like Your instant pot, if I was going to pick one I would have chosen it.

I have a Power Pressure Cooker XL! (I just feel like I have to do that with an explanation point, because the Power Pressure Cooker XL! is just maximum stuff)

It has been a good appliance for me. Check out the Chicken Tiki Marsala recipe I posted. Needs a pressure cooker, but is a damn straight honest good recipe.

Best in cooking,

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Old 06-20-2016, 09:36 AM   #11
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GotGarlic, how long did the shredded beef take you?
I'd guess a little over an hour. While I browned the meat, I diced an onion and peeled and minced about a tablespoon of garlic - took about 15 minutes. Then I sautéed the onion for five minutes and heated the garlic . Put the meat in, poured a mixture of half water and half barbecue sauce on top, closed and locked it, and set it on manual pressure for 20 minutes. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to come to pressure when the food is warm, then you let it release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Open the pot, shred the meat, simmer in the sauce for a few minutes, and serve.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:05 AM   #12
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I'll also vouch for the InstaPot!!
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:10 AM   #13
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It almost negates needing a slow cooker. I do need one for stock though.


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Old 06-20-2016, 10:22 AM   #14
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It almost negates needing a slow cooker. I do need one for stock though.
People make stock in the Instant Pot under pressure. Takes a lot less time and energy. I haven't yet because I like making a bigger batch than will fit in the IP.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:26 PM   #15
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The stock made in an instapot is much better than that made in a slow cooker, IMO. So much faster, too.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:33 PM   #16
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You've sold me on the Instant Pot. Next on the list.

I've made stock in my unsmart slow cookers from rotisserie carcasses, it turns out really good, but this sounds like such a fun new toy.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:10 PM   #17
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The stock made in an instapot is much better than that made in a slow cooker, IMO. So much faster, too.
I make stock in my 16 quart stockpot and let it simmer for hours on the stovetop. It may take time, but it doesn't involve taking my time from anything else I have to do. It just sits there and does its thing without assistance. The only real effort is in rough chopping the ingredients before roasting them, and that would have to be done regardless.

I've never made it in my Crockpot, but I don't see how a pressure cooker can make better stock. It's more about the ingredients than it is about the pot. The key is extracting all of the flavor from the rough ingredients, but how you do it seems fairly irrelevant to me.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:27 PM   #18
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I make stock in my 16 quart stockpot and let it simmer for hours on the stovetop. It may take time, but it doesn't involve taking my time from anything else I have to do. It just sits there and does its thing without assistance. The only real effort is in rough chopping the ingredients before roasting them, and that would have to be done regardless.

I've never made it in my Crockpot, but I don't see how a pressure cooker can make better stock. It's more about the ingredients than it is about the pot. The key is extracting all of the flavor from the rough ingredients, but how you do it seems fairly irrelevant to me.
I still make stovetop stock sometimes but stock made in the Instapot seems clearer in appearance and clearer in taste.

I was very doubtful when other people made these claims about the IP. But the thing was on sale and I needed a new pressure cooker so I bought one and it's fabulous.

Stock is set it and forget it and done in a fraction of time as stovetop, not to mention slow cooker. And IMO its a superior stock.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:23 PM   #19
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The flavor extracted by pressure cooking does seem better to me. I've only made veggie stock for butternut squash soup and it was a beautiful transparent gold color with great, clean flavor. The stews have great flavor, too.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:07 PM   #20
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I dropped $30 on a multi-pot at Costco six months ago, and it has basically replaced my kitchen. It makes yogurt, feh chrissake! I have a separate pressure cooker, but here's Heston Blumenthal's take on 1-hour killer chicken stock, which will take you about ten minutes to set up in your cooker.
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