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crockpot.. I think I prefer stove?

I am considering getting rid of my crockpot because it takes so much space.
yesterday I used my induction cooktop and big le Creuset 7.25 qt round pot and slow cooked some tough meat for 6 hours, result is excellent and also more room to work with to cover the meat with less liquid. The heat was so stable.

The only thing crockpot has going for it is that it has autoshut off and I feel safe leaving the house while it is cooking. I do not feel safe leaving the stove on unattended even if it has no flame.

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  1. Agreed. I don't use my crockpot for anything, other than to keeping something hot/warm. Anything you cook in it typically needs to be browned in a pot on the stove first, and then transferred to the crockpot.

    If I make a dish ahead of dinner time, I may transfer it to the crockpot so that when we get home dinner is hot and ready to serve. Other than that, I don't see the point.

    7 Replies
    1. re: lynnlato

      I use my 7 quart crockpot for the best stocks I've ever had. Vegetable, chicken, turkey, I can start them at night and they are done in the morning. Thanksgiving is coming up, and I will use it to make the basic stock for turkey gravy. And I won't have to stay around the kitchen to do it. I think it makes pretty good baked beans and beef stew also.

      1. re: joan828

        Hmmm, stock is an interesting idea. May have to try that some time.

        As for beef stew, I wouldn't want to dirty two dishes (one to brown the meat in and then the crock pot itself), unless I wanted to come home to a cooked meal - then I suppose it would be worth it.

        The beans - how do you obtain that lovely browning on the top of the beans when doing them in a crock pot?

        1. re: lynnlato

          I too make BB in the crock but pop the crock in a hot oven for the last 30 min or so. Also I use less liquid than a conventional recipe and reduce liquids for more flavor before adding to the crock. For beans 1part beans to 2 1/2 parts liquid, sometimes a bit less if there are juicy veg.

          1. re: just_M

            Putting the beans in the oven is a great idea, never thought of that! :) I also use a little less liquid in the crockpot. As for the beef stew, I don't mind browning the meat first in a separate pan, I just use some beef stock to get the frond out of the pan and it all goes in the crockpot. I also like that I can make these recipes anytime, not just in the cooler weather because the crockpot doesn't heat up the kitchen.

            1. re: joan828

              Browning makes everything better and is well worth the extra step :-) I forgot to say I don't soak my beans if they're going into the CP.

        2. re: joan828

          I agree. They're great for stocks.
          I make chicken stock every time I roast a chicken. Thanks to ATK's 'High Roast Chicken', I almost always spatchcock my whole birds now, so the backbone and neck go in raw and the rest of the carcass goes in after I remove the meat. Depending on the time of year, the crockpot stays on the low or warm setting to maintain a very low simmer....there is no such thing as "too long" - it can go over 24 hours without having to add more water.

          1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

            This is exactly what I do. Best stock I've ever made, and it doesn't heat up the house (important here in Phoenix where it's still in the 90's). I prefer to not simmer the stock more than 10 hours though, so I tend to make it while I'm at work so I can either use it when I get home or strain it and cool it off in time to go into the fridge by the time I go to bed.

            Stock is pretty much all I use it for. Oh, and stuffed grape leaves.

      2. I do not use my crockpot for much, either. My old one finally died last year (unfortunately with a beef stew in it, unattended for hours) and I waited almost 6 months before replacing it. I tend to use it for beef stew, and to keep things warm when having a large dinner & all burners are in use. That said, I did replace it & like the new one, even think I will try a few more things in it. I am fortunate to have enough space in my present kitchen that it sits in a cupboard til needed and does not interfere with counter space.

        1. +2 for the stove....Crockpots? We have three...haven't seen them in forever.

          1. I bought one, used it for beans, pot roast and braised pork chops, that's all. Now it's gone.
            I just love my stove too much.

            1. i don't own one and don't like the idea of food cooking on its own. a dutch oven i can always peek in at.

              my b/f bought one over the summer -- for me to cook with for him, lol -- i used it exactly once for tapioca pudding which was a disaster. it hasn't seen the light of day since.

              i know people use them so dinner is ready when they get home from work, but anything you make in a slow-cooker will taste even better if you cooked it the day before and just reheat. maybe that means more organizing, but i rarely plan on a braise for dinner the same night. it sits in the fridge so i can skim the fat next day, and the flavors are more developed for having spent the night together. :)

              i vote give it to goodwill.