Potatoes in slow cooker - not dissolving

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seans_potato_business

Senior Cook
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
261
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
When I previously cooked stew in a pot on the stove, the finely-chopped potatoes dissolved and thickened the sauce. However, having spent 12 hours in a slow-cooker on 'low', the potatoes look completely unaffected! and the "sauce" isn't thick at all. When I came to it this morning, the liquid around the edges was bubbling so it must have been about 100 C.

I assume that the bubbling indicates that the liquid was boiling and therefore at 100 C (I live close enough to sea-level).

a) I don't know why the liquid was boiling since I don't think a slow-cooker is ever meant to boil. Is this true?

b) I don't know why the potatoes were undissolved, having spent X hours hot and X hours boiling. Does anyone know why?

c) Should the diced potatoes be pre-boiled before adding them to the slow-cooker to aid in their dissolution?
 

pacanis

Chef Extraordinaire
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Feb 11, 2007
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18,750
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NW PA
I can only positively speak for the slow cooker. Mine has no problem bubbling along at any of the settings as long as the lid is left on. I don't know if it would boil water, I never tried, but it will simmer the gravy and food in it.
And I would bet that pre-cooking the potatoes will get them to dissolve like you wish.
 

GB

Chief Eating Officer
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Jul 14, 2004
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25,510
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USA,Massachusetts
Older Crock Pots cooked below boiling, but newer ones cook above boiling due to safety concerns.

What type of potatoes did you use? Russets will break down much more than something like a Yukon Gold for instance.

Take a fork and mash the potatoes now inside your stew. You will get the result you are looking for assuming you are using a starchy potato.
 

Joshatdot

Senior Cook
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
369
Location
Anacortes, WA
Older Crock Pots cooked below boiling, but newer ones cook above boiling due to safety concerns.

What type of potatoes did you use? Russets will break down much more than something like a Yukon Gold for instance.

Take a fork and mash the potatoes now inside your stew. You will get the result you are looking for assuming you are using a starchy potato.
True that older cookers had lower temps .. and AFAIK, all new ones have their Low setting to cook around 140*f, and the High around 212*f.

I have a newer Rival Crockpot, model 3150 I think, and it's low is at 140*f, and the high is at 212*f.

edit: I forgot to mention I also had an older Rival 3150, and its wattage was 120w & 210w .. my newer one has 135w & 210w.
 
Last edited:

CharlieD

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
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Location
USA,Minnesota
Not sure about details, but i think the new ones have higher high temps and lower low temps. So no wonder it did not melt your potato on the low setting. And I agree just mash that potato.
 

Monarch1st

Assistant Cook
Joined
Dec 19, 2010
Messages
2
The old pots cook on low at a solid simmer just under 200 degrees (F). Hi would be maybe 240-ish. If you've got an old pot (especially with a glass lid), you've got gold!
The new ones on low are significantly above boiling, around 220-230 or so, ostensibly for safety reasons. But anything above 140 (maybe its 165) for more than a few minutes (especially crockpot-length times) is safe, according to what I've seen and read. I've heard about new ones that aren't so hot, but haven't seen one in action.

(call me an olde Crockpot Grognard.)
 

Monarch1st

Assistant Cook
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Dec 19, 2010
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2
Since the crockpot is my primary method of cooking, pretty much since college, and a grognard <pronounced gron-yard> is an old campaigner (Napoleon called the soldiers who came back from Russia with him grognards), I call myself a crockpot grognard.

Not a geezer, not even middle-aged yet! (middle-age begins at 50 now, right?)

Thanks for the welcome, looking forward to it!
 

Zhizara

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Sep 16, 2008
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New Orleans, LA
Since the crockpot is my primary method of cooking, pretty much since college, and a grognard <pronounced gron-yard> is an old campaigner (Napoleon called the soldiers who came back from Russia with him grognards), I call myself a crockpot grognard.

Not a geezer, not even middle-aged yet! (middle-age begins at 50 now, right?)

Thanks for the welcome, looking forward to it!

I guess I started think of myself as middle aged around 40. Close to middle aged at least. By 50, definitely.
 
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