HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

What to do with a teeny "slow cooker"

im_nomad Jan 23, 2011 02:09 AM

I had a small crock pot / slow cooker passed along to me which had been part of a set, but not used. Bravetti model, looks like it'd hold about 2 cups or so. There are no settings or knobs, just a plug in. No instructions and I don't seem to be having much luck online, with the exception of sales sites.

I'm wondering if I can use this for something other than simply keeping a warm dip going, or what not. I don't eat meat, so it would be useless for me to put something in there such as that. Can small portions or beans or rice or what not be left to simmer?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. corneygirl RE: im_nomad Jan 23, 2011 07:21 AM

    I have a fairly small one and I love it for beans, however I think mine might be a little larger (maybe 4 quarts). I've never done rice out of fear of it turning to glue, but it does work for things like barley and farro. I thought I would use it a little more than I have, so I hope to see some other responses.

    1. gmm RE: im_nomad Jan 23, 2011 08:07 AM

      Do a search for "little dipper crock pot recipes." It's a similar 2-cup slow cooker. Looks like the primary use is for dips and fondues, but you might be able to find some others.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gmm
        im_nomad RE: gmm Jan 23, 2011 03:44 PM

        TY, that did yield more results, but yeah, mostly in the dip variety.

      2. d
        debbiel RE: im_nomad Jan 23, 2011 08:15 AM

        I used to have one that size. I used it for cooking polenta or steel cut oats overnight so they were ready for breakfast in the morning. It didn't work wonderfully (got a little too hot on the lowest setting) and I didn't feel like using the tips I read (using an insert or something). I ended up giving it away.

        1. k
          Kilgore RE: im_nomad Jan 23, 2011 09:06 AM

          We have one and in addition to keeping dips etc. warm, we love it for cooking steel cut oats overnight. I found it ran a little hot on the low setting and the oats would stick in where the wall meets the bottom. Now instead of just using water, I fill up the measuring cup with ice and then add the water to the cup and the oats are perfectly cooked in the morning.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kilgore
            debbiel RE: Kilgore Jan 23, 2011 09:24 AM

            Great tip Kilgore, and sounds much less like a PITA than the other tips I've read. I might have kept that little slow cooker had I read that one!

            BTW, and I hope this doesn't offend, I had a dog, a wonderful dog, named Kilgore. When I see your username here it usually brings a smile to my face.

            1. re: Kilgore
              Miss Priss RE: Kilgore Jan 28, 2011 04:09 AM

              As debbiel says, a great tip. Picked up a Little Dipper a few years ago because it seemed useful for overnight steel-cut oats; tried it twice and ended up with scorched food that stuck to the bottom. Cut my losses and gave it away. If I'd had your ingenuity (or at least the benefit of your advice), today's breakfast might have been a lot more satisfying!

            2. t
              torty RE: im_nomad Jan 23, 2011 02:27 PM

              I used that size and style in the past for lentils and it worked well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: torty
                im_nomad RE: torty Jan 23, 2011 03:44 PM

                Any idea how much liquid / lentils / time etc?

              2. y
                yfunk3 RE: im_nomad Jan 24, 2011 05:44 AM

                Roasting one or two garlic bulbs?

                1. CCSPRINGS RE: im_nomad Jan 24, 2011 06:19 AM

                  Cream cheese with spinach and or artichokes, some herbs and spices and a bag of tortilla chips.

                  1. bushwickgirl RE: im_nomad Jan 25, 2011 04:00 AM

                    i don't have one of these tiny slow cookers, as I didn't think I would ever use it, but the steel cut oatmeal and lentil ideas are intriguing.

                    I guess I'd use it for bagna cauda, queso, or maybe keeping maple syrup, chocolate or hot fudge sauce warm. I did see a mention of someone on the internet using it to "bake" apples.

                    1. chefathome RE: im_nomad Jan 25, 2011 02:20 PM

                      They can be useful to keep cheese (or other) fondue warm.

                      1. b
                        Breezychow RE: im_nomad Jan 25, 2011 02:38 PM

                        I have one of those little 2-cup ones (came as a "bonus" with my full-size one), & I've yet to use it. Frankly, according to the instruction booklet, it's only meant for keeping dips warm - not for cooking.

                        1. greygarious RE: im_nomad Jan 25, 2011 03:53 PM

                          I have a 6-cup crock pot that gets used only rarely. It was just the thing, however, when my charity had an event including a lunch stand. I started sauteeing onions and peppers on my stove, then transferred them to the crockpot and kept it on low for a few hours. They plugged it in at the lunch stand, to top burgers, wieners, and sausages.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: greygarious
                            Breezychow RE: greygarious Jan 25, 2011 04:33 PM

                            Yes, but a "6-cup" crockpot is a lot larger than a 2-cup crockpot. It's the 2-cup crockpot that the OP is asking about here.

                            1. re: Breezychow
                              greygarious RE: Breezychow Jan 25, 2011 06:48 PM

                              I am aware of that. A smaller amount for a smaller crockpot.

                          2. PattiCakes RE: im_nomad Jan 26, 2011 05:34 PM

                            Sometimes I just put some orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves and few other aromatic spices in there, along with some boiling water, and let it make my house smell all warm and cozy.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: PattiCakes
                              bushwickgirl RE: PattiCakes Jan 28, 2011 02:06 AM

                              Your usage occured to me, it's a nice idea, and safer than a forgotten pot on the stove that can evaporate over time.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl
                                PattiCakes RE: bushwickgirl Jan 28, 2011 10:29 AM

                                It works really well. I just keep replenishing the water; the spices/peel last for days. Even if it does get low & a little crusty, it's ever so much easier to clean than a regular metal pot. Any kind of peel will work: orange, clementine, apple, lemon. Or no peel. The predominant scent is from the cinnamon & cloves.

                            2. h
                              Heatherb RE: im_nomad Jan 26, 2011 05:47 PM

                              My auntie used one at Christmas to do mini meatballs in that grape jelly/chili sauce combo. We had heard it was ridiculously good and decided to try it.

                              The mini crockpot did the job beautifully, but we did notice that it was a little too hot to keep plugged in on the low setting. It boiled rather than simmered.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Heatherb
                                LJS RE: Heatherb Jan 28, 2011 10:46 AM

                                I don't own a mini-crockpot, but a small "normal' sized one (maybe 6 cups).

                                I just had to chime in and thank Heatherb.

                                I had forgotten all about that grape jelly/chili sauce thing (which is also extremely good with cabbage rolls, BTW).

                                My daughter is one of a number of family members coming for a 'do' next week and she is celiac. I just toured the freezer and found a bunch of Gluten-free mini-meatballs. That is the perfect answer and that small crock-pot can serve for all guests.

                                I won't announce in advance the recipe specifics-I long ago discovered that for most people the phrase "gluten-free" is enough to make them wary of tasting so to further reveal the ingredients in the sauce would kill the dish!

                                Just wait, though, 'til they try them: they will be begging for the recipe. Thank your auntie, please!

                                1. re: LJS
                                  Heatherb RE: LJS Jan 28, 2011 12:25 PM

                                  Glad to be a source of good ideas:) Hadn't thought of it with cabbage rolls, but it makes sense...

                                  Such a bizarre recipe - it's like an urban legend in some ways. We all got the giggles eating it. But it was undeniably yummy...

                                  1. re: Heatherb
                                    bushwickgirl RE: Heatherb Jan 28, 2011 03:28 PM

                                    I remember that sauce from the 70's, and used a fondue pot, which was a hot trend at the time, to keep it warm, and dipped meatballs, of course. I was really taken back to those days when I saw your mention of it. Easy, tasty, cheap...

                              2. f
                                falconress RE: im_nomad Jan 27, 2011 04:59 PM

                                We use one for our Sabbath cholent (bean 'n meat stew, similar to cassoulet) when we aren't having guests and only need a small amount. Mine has a low, high, and keep warm setting. I start with the High, then at the start of the Sabbath switch it to Keep Warm, where it simmers for about 16 hours.

                                I use a Stock Pot liner, which makes clean-up an absolute cinch. I buy mine in a Jewish grocery. The brand I get is imported from Israel and is dirt cheap, like $1.29 for 10. They are too big for the small size stock pot, but I just cut them down. Reynolds makes a similar product that's available at any supermarket, I think they call them Slow Cooker Liners, unfortunately not quite as dirt cheap as the Israeli ones but definitely worthwhile since they make cleaning a non-issue - just toss them out and give the pot a rinse and you're done. It may give you a lot more incentive to you use the pot more often.

                                1. j
                                  Jeri L RE: im_nomad Jan 28, 2011 06:25 PM

                                  I use mine to "roast" baby beets. Just wash them, rub with a little olive oil and let 'em go. Depending on size and how tough they are, 5 hours to overnight. I've never had them scorch.

                                  1. eclecticsynergy RE: im_nomad Jan 29, 2011 07:11 PM

                                    I have a tiny one too- the annoying thing is the lack of a low setting. But it works well for soup or stew for one.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                      Capiree RE: eclecticsynergy Feb 20, 2011 09:31 PM

                                      I filled mine with onions and a little bit of beef stodk and butter, Made a great base for gravy.

                                    2. g
                                      getoile RE: im_nomad Aug 2, 2013 08:26 AM

                                      I suggest the following for the Crock-Pot Little Dipper:
                                      - warming up mini-cabbage rolls, either your own or canned Mr. Gouda, with diced ham or beef
                                      -warming up frozen pierogies with diced ham, and with sour cream on the side.

                                      1. g
                                        getoile RE: im_nomad Sep 4, 2013 03:44 AM

                                        Do you like roasted/poached garlic? Fantastic spread on toast or adding to recipes. Try this:
                                        Take a whole head of garlic. Separate the cloves but leave most of the skin on. Trim off a bit of the root ends. Place in Little Dipper. Pou about 2 or 3 tbsp of olive oil over garlic cloves. Plug it in and let it cook slowly for about 1.5 to 2hours, turning cloves occasionally to coat all sides. That's it!
                                        When nicely browned, slip cloves out of their skins. Or use only what you need and leave the rest in the pot.
                                        Make sure you don't overcook it. You might consider using a plug-in timer to start/stop the cooking.
                                        Happy eating!

                                        1. g
                                          getoile RE: im_nomad Sep 4, 2013 05:18 AM

                                          Try this oatmeal recipe:
                                          1/3cup quick cooking rolled oats
                                          1-1/3 cup cold water
                                          2 tbsp skim milk powder
                                          1/4 tsp salt
                                          1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
                                          1/2 tsp sugar substitute
                                          2 tbsp. raisins

                                          Place all ingredients in Little Dipper, filling it to 3/4 inch from the top. Stir well and cover. Plug in and cook for 2 hours.
                                          Stir well again. Enjoy.

                                          1. NonnieMuss RE: im_nomad Sep 4, 2013 05:22 AM

                                            Use it instead of a double-boiler for heating melted chocolate or almond bark - great for dipping pretzels, PB balls, etc. if the temperature isn't too high.

                                            1. j
                                              judy00 RE: im_nomad Jun 15, 2014 11:16 AM

                                              I use my Little Dipper for rice. No temp settings - just plug in or not. Rinse 1/2 cup rice until water runs clear, drain in colander. Then add with 1 cup of water and let simmer one or two or three hours. No problem with overcooking. If it goes too long it is Persian style with a perfectly light brown crispy part on the outside. Lesser times it is perfect for sushi or rice balls or just to eat as is. If you only eat a small amount of rice per day this is perfect with no leftovers for 1 person. To clean easily just fill with cold water and let it sit an hour or so - it wipes clean with a paper towel or sponge. It works with brown rice and other grains too - about the same amount of water - sometimes a longer cooking time.

                                              Show Hidden Posts