Crock Pot Problem
I have used my Crock Pot three of four times, most recently to make black bean soup. I followed the recipe exactly. I have only ever cooked on low. Every time, including this time, the food that I'm cooking burns on top. It gets a dark black color and tastes burnt and bitter. What is the problem? Am I doing something wrong? Or is there something wrong with my Crock Pot?
".... Or is there something wrong with my Crock Pot?"
Yes. On the low heat setting, the crock pot should not reach a temperature high enough to burn the food. It should remain well below the boiling point.
I'm gonna agree with SamD. If you're precooking the black beans, then adding them to the crock pot with a chicken stock or other liquid in the proper amounts, there's no reason at all for them to burn - especially on top. If you're not certain, see if you can borrow a crock pot (slow cooker) from a friend and try it with their appliance before taking yours back where you bought it. But, in your place, I'd raise a ruckus with the store that sold it to me.
I had a crockpot like that once. It cooked way too high and even the warm setting was hot enough to overcook the food.
I've heard that "new" crockpots cook at higher temps than "old" crockpots and that recipes designed for older crockpots don't always work with the newer crockpots. I wonder if that might be part of your issue?
Or, like everyone said, maybe there's just something wrong with your crockpot.
I'd exchange it. There's no reason things should burn in a Crock Pot.
The only possible cause might be too little liquid, but that shouldn't cause things to burn (but might cause the top to get crusty). As with most cookware, there's a learning curve. Just in case, return it and try again! Good luck!