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Old 11-17-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
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ISO feedback using slow cookers

So my wife just bought a slow cooker, I never used one, all though there are many recipe's on youtube. The one thing that kind of bothers me is the time to cook with them, 4,6,8 hours, to me that's a lot of electricity $$$, anyone have any thoughts using them?

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Old 11-17-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
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Two thoughts:

You use a slow cooker so you can prepare a meal with long periods of inattention. So, to a certain extent, electricity is the cost of doing business.

The electricity is not on 100% of the time. It comes on and turns off as needed to maintain a certain temperature.
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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I love my slow cookers. Make everything from chicken stock (from rotisserie carcasses) to apple butter.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #4
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One of the best characteristics of a slow cooker is that it doesn't heat up the kitchen.

For nearly 20 years I lived in a non-air-conditioned home here and the warm months are much more than warm. Our slow cookers were instrumental in allowing me to prepare very nice meals without sweating ourselves to death.

Another thing I like is that, especially when cooking for a crowd, dishes like mashed potatoes, dressings (as in turkey), etc. can be cooked in the slow cooker and kept warm for serving, allowing the oven/stove to be freed up for other cooking tasks.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:38 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, looks like i'll be trying the cooker real soon.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:43 AM   #6
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For me anyways, I feel like the flavors
get muted in a slow cooker.
Maybe I haven't given enough recipes are a fair shake,
but they seem a little flat and one noted; maybe they
just sit there for too long in the crock pot.
I must say though, I have never done a whole
chicken nor stocks, just chilis and stews.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmaker60 View Post
Thanks everyone, looks like i'll be trying the cooker real soon.
I use my slow cooker at LEAST once a week in the summer and up to everyday in the Winter. If you have some bad recipes, don't give up, I once bought a little impulse cookbook at the checkout line for slow cookers and didn't like ANY of them. But I have also found many, many excellent ones.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
For me anyways, I feel like the flavors
get muted in a slow cooker.
Maybe I haven't given enough recipes are a fair shake,
but they seem a little flat and one noted; maybe they
just sit there for too long in the crock pot.
I must say though, I have never done a whole
chicken nor stocks, just chilis and stews.

I tried to like my slow cooker, but I agree that the food tastes flat and funny when cooked in one compared to in a dutch oven.

I only use mine to hold food at a safe temp.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:41 AM   #9
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SO brought two slow cooker to the relationship. They sit in the basement waiting to serve as food warmers when we have a holiday open house or her sister wants to borrow them for one.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I tried to like my slow cooker, but I agree that the food tastes flat and funny when cooked in one compared to in a dutch oven.

I only use mine to hold food at a safe temp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
SO brought two slow cooker to the relationship. They sit in the basement waiting to serve as food warmers when we have a holiday open house or her sister wants to borrow them for one.
I'm in this camp. Like Jenny, I have tried - with various cookers over the years. They all end up in the donation box. I still have one, and I only use it to keep food warm on a buffet.
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:14 PM   #11
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I use mine more often to cook a tough cut of meat, then use the broth that's created by that to cook the veggies in to go with it. A pot roast or corned beef brisket, seasoned and just covered with water or stock, then cooked on high for about 4 hours (as already mentioned, it keeps the kitchen cooler and doesn't use as much power as the range because there is less heat leakage).

When the meat is done, I pour off the broth into a large pot and cook the potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage - whatever else I'm going to have with the meat - in that broth. That way the veggies are nicely flavored, but stay a bit more distinct and I can control the cooking time and texture better, and it can still be served as a "one pot" meal.

I rarely do a complete one pot meal in the crock pot.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:18 AM   #12
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So I made garlic-lemon chicken with it yesterday. I guess if you work, which I don't, they would be ok, to have a meal ready when you get home, but I could have easily put everything in a pot on the stove, and had it done in half the time.
I don't see any use for it in the near future.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
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So I made garlic-lemon chicken with it yesterday. I guess if you work, which I don't, they would be ok, to have a meal ready when you get home, but I could have easily put everything in a pot on the stove, and had it done in half the time.
I don't see any use for it in the near future.
I'm retired and love having the slow cooker to "do the work" while I devote my time to things around the house and assorted fun projects.

I was surprised to hear how other folks say their end products are almost mundane in flavor. We've not had that experience and find the slow cooker to be one of our best friends.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:32 AM   #14
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Mine gathers quite a bit of dust. I love cooking dried beans in the slow cooker but for most other things I prefer other methods.

Pot roasty things and stew generally taste better in a large pot where I can brown the meat first, then I add the rest of the ingredients and let it cook in a slow oven. The oven isn't as energy efficient as the slow cooker but in the end the food tastes better because of the searing.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:36 AM   #15
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Slow Cooker Recipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannaLee83 View Post
I use my slow cooker at LEAST once a week in the summer and up to everyday in the Winter. If you have some bad recipes, don't give up, I once bought a little impulse cookbook at the checkout line for slow cookers and didn't like ANY of them. But I have also found many, many excellent ones.
Do you have a good recipe that you can share with us?
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:56 AM   #16
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Do you have a good recipe that you can share with us?
I make different beans recipes(white, pinto, black,) chilis, and some stews. Which would you like?
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:59 AM   #17
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I make different beans recipes(white, pinto, black,) chilis, and some stews. Which would you like?
How about some stews? Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:30 AM   #18
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I just luv my outdoor slow cookers. They make really good pulled pork, brisket and ribs, just to mention a few.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:25 AM   #19
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Do you have a good recipe that you can share with us?
I cook a lot of dried beans in our slow cookers. One of our all-time favorites is white beans and smoked turkey necks, which we enjoyed earlier this week.

What I do is to soak a pound of great northern beans overnight, drain them and add them to the slow cooker, along with about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of smoked turkey necks, a boatload of chopped onions, a generous amount of minced garlic, 'bout 3 or 4 bay leaves and enough water to cover. Start early in the day and let it cook all day long. Sometimes I'll set the cooker to HIGH for the first couple of hours and turn it down to LOW for the rest of the cooking time.

You might have noticed that I didn't add any salt. That's because, sometimes, the turkey necks are already a bit salty. I usually check for seasoning about an hour or so before serving and adjust the salt to our preference. The beans cook until they're nice and tender and the meat falls off the bones. There are always plenty of leftovers and do well in the freezer, too.

We like it with hot cornbread. Yummy eatin'!
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:50 AM   #20
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The thing I use my slow cooker the most is yogurt. Works awesome.
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