Slow cooker question
I received a Kitchen Aid 7 Qt. slow cooker for Christmas. There are only 2 of us in our household and while I do plan to cook some large roasts and batches of soup etc, will it be a problem to cook smaller meals in such a large slow cooker?
It is important to make sure the slow cooker is at least 2/3 full.
However, I have a big one and like to cook in larger batches so that leftovers can be frozen. We made a KILLER sunday ragu in it a few weeks ago.
I have the same crockpot and the same problem... while I have been able to cook some meals in it, it's not ideal for two people. I will also cook a huge pot, and then freeze the rest, but again that's often less than ideal as well.
That leaves this particular device on a shelf in the basement 99% of the time.
It was a freebie from KA - I never would have bought something so huge; and if I had received it as a gift... I would have returned it for something smaller.
The 2/3 full rule is important. I use a 5 quart for my family of three, so 7 quarts really is a big pot for you. I usually make pot roast, veal stew, corned beef (boiling in water, basically), in mine, and even with a load of veggies and sauce, the thing always has at least an inch on top to breathe. With a slow cooker, there really is no need to cook big batches and freeze. Since the meal can cook while you are out, you can have fresh food easily without worrying about defrosting. I'd change it if it is possible.
Not only is the 7-quart cooker awfully large for two people, its crock is much heavier and more difficult to wash than one from a smaller unit (mine met its doom in the kitchen sink - soapy hands and heavy ceramics don't mix). If an exchange is an option, you'd really be better off with a 4- or 5-quart model.
I wasn't sure a slow cooker would be useful, so I tried a 2-quart Rival from Wal-Mart for 5 bucks. No bells and whistles -- just High, Low, and Off. I love it! I cook for only two people, and it's rare that I want to make more than 2 quarts of anything.
There are only two of us, but I purchased two slow cookers an All-Clad and a much cheaper Hamilton Beach Stay or Go (one for home and one for our vacation house). I like them both and the only real difference in my opinion, is that the $$$ All-Clad shuts off automatically. I'm not sure, but both of them are 6 - 7 quarts.
I deliberately bought the large pots as after all of the prep work and the cooking time, I want to have leftovers to freeze. By the time you add the meat, chicken etc.. veggies, liquid, the pot is always 2/3 full. Smaller meals can be cooked on the stove, dutch oven, or in the oven. Whenever I do any kind of slow cooking, I make them the night before, cool, and refrigerate. The flavor is always better the next day and it is easy to remove the fat.