Slow cooker problem?
I recently purchased an All-Clad slow cooker (the one with the ceramic insert) and my dishes with it have been hit or miss. I made a pot roast and I cooked it for the shortest of the time range (e.g., 8 hours if it was 8-10) on low and it was delicious but definitely not fork tender - it was even a little dry. Then a chicken dish which called for 3-4 hours on high (i did 1.5 hrs high and 1.5 low), was very, very dry. Though, maybe because I used skinless breasts..
Also, I cooked a chile in it and while it said it needed 4 hours on low, it was already bubbling and nearly burning around the edges only 2 or so hours in.
So, does this sound like the super expensive all-clad cooker is a bit too powerful? Or, does this sound normal and I should just attribute it to my lack of crock pot experience?
And...I know, I could have gone for a cheap and perfectly good rival or other brand, but I'm a sucker for aesthetics.
I read a post here last week saying that the new crock pots have been jacked up as
far as the power is concerned because people are puting frozen food to start with.
and there is alot of people having trouble with the new power and the different times
that you need to cook with. I have to get a crock pot but I am going to a yard sale or
a second hand store so I can get an older one that i am use too. I had a real nice one
that I used all the time and it was getting worn out. then to help matters I drop the glass
lid and broke it. so I will be looking fo a nice rivel model.
You should call All Clad and complain. I got a new Rival and was getting inconsistent results, with tried and true recipes, and they determined (after a few questions) that the pot was defective. They sent me a pre-paid label so I could send it back, at no cost to me, and replaced it. No problems anymore.
I disagree with the other posters here. Sorry gang.
We have a slow cooker and use it 1-2 times weekly. You have to adjust recipes to the crock pot.
I would recommend chicken with skin and bones - both are important for the juicyness, not to mention flavor. I make chili and never cook it for less than 4-6 hours and some times as long as 8-10 hours. I do cook it on low and I either turn it off manually or set up a regular electrical timer to shut off power if I'm going to be away. If it starts to burn but the flavor is not right or the meat isn't tender enough, I add water, beer, wine, or tomato sauce.
In short, make sure you have plenty of liquid and are cooking at the lowest setting while still getting the food hot enough to meet the minimums for safe cooking. If you like, post a recipe here and everyone can give you ideas about how to cook it. See if this helps. Good luck!
OP: Thanks for all of your thoughts! I'll experiment with chicken with skin and bones for shorter times and hope it works out.
p.s. In my cookbook ("Not your mother's slow cooker") many recipes call for frozen meats but my All Clad instruction booklet warns against using anything frozen. Any thoughts on this?
The reason behind the warnings not to use frozen food is that the frozen center doesn't heat up fast enough to be safe. That said, I often put frozen meat in the crock, and I'm alive, never sick from it.
I've also given up on chicken in the crock pot. It's just never good.
My favorite thing to cook it it is baby back ribs. Use your favorite dry rub, stand the racks up in the pot, as many as fit, no liquid, and cook on low for 6 hours. About 30 minutes before they're done, pour bbq sauce over them, cook 30 more minutes, then grill or broil until the outside is crisped/charred.