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Can you actually cook a potato kugel from scratch in a crockpot?

My friend's teenage son is encouraging her to buy the 3 pot buffet server that all the stores are selling now. He believes that she can put in the ingredients of a potato kugel in one of them and that it will cook itself over Friday. Then, cholent and sweet/sour meatballs in the other parts. Is the teen right about this? We both want to know.

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  1. a buffet server only maintains food at serving temperatures. I don't see it reaching the temperatures to truly cook anything. (and unless I have the wrong thing in mind, a buffet server is not the same thing as a crock pot...the crockpot will reach cooking temperatures.)

    5 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      While this may belong on the cookware board, I'll reply in terms of the multi crock unit for cholent, etc.
      I posted a picture of a 3 crock unit in the thread about keeping food hit in the sukkah, The unit I bought at Kohl's is the 'TRU' (brand name) Three Crock Buffet COOKER. it is not a server, but actually a unit with three separate crock pots in one. It will and has cooked three separate items for shabbos during Sukkot. In fact, I'm planning on using it for a soup buffet on Thanksgiving when we serve buffet style to 30 guests.

      Be careful to buy a multi crock COOKER, not a warmer. I think the OP's son may just have mislabelled the item. I have seen several brands in the national chains and they have all been multi crock cookers.

      A word of warning, make sure to buy a unit that has all three crocks full size, there are some that have a large center crock and small flanking crocks, as if for a main and 2 side dishes.

      I have not made a kugel in mine, but have made soup, cholent and meatballs for the same meal.

      BTW, the unit I bought was $79.99 list and I paid $49 on sale for it. I am thinking about buying another when they are on sale again for Pesach.

      1. re: bagelman01

        sAW SOME OF THESE UNITS ON SALE AT bbb'S LATEST AD. fyi.

        1. re: Prettypoodle

          Yes, the same one that's on sale at Macy's for $59.99 is $49.99 at BB&B, and if you've got the 20% coupon, it's a cool $40. I've got to look more carefully to confirm that it's a cooker, not a warmer

        2. re: bagelman01

          So how does it work, exactly - you get it cooking on high before Shabbos, and then turn down to low before lighting candles? That's how I do my cholent, but I've never made anything else in a crock pot. Do you actually cook the meatballs is the crockpot?

          1. re: helou

            Helou...I have done meatballs in my crockpot and I didn't like it. The textture got very grainy, and the sauce was off...and that was only for a Friday night meal. It isn't impossible because one of the caterers in our shul will do meatballs for a kiddush, and they taste fine. I'm just staying I think it is not not a straight conversion.

      2. I have a "crockpot" setting on my warming drawer which I used to to make an overnight potato kugle - it was delicious! I put it into an ovenproof pot.

        1. Going back to the original question, does someone have a tested recipe for this? I assume cooking in a slow-cooker would require some adjustment from standard recipes.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CloggieGirl

            There's a blog I used to look at frequently, called "A Year of Slow Cooking," which followed the adventures of a woman who decided to use her crockpot for every day of a year. I think she even went beyond the year. (She also happened to be gluten-free, though I believe she often gave gluttony substitutes.) She isn't a kosher-keeper, but I'm sure there must be dozens of recipes, if not more, that would be useful for shabbos. Here's the link:
            http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

            1. re: queenscook

              -- "though I believe she often gave gluttony substitutes"

              Best typo EVAR.

              1. re: sunshine842

                If you are referring to "gluttony," it wasn't a typo . . . it was exactly what I intended to say. Of course, I probably should have put a hyphen in to make it glutton-y!

                1. re: queenscook

                  Oh, how stupid of me. Now I realize my error! Should have been: gluten-y!! (My only excuse is that it was written quickly after work on Friday and before my last-minute shabbos preparations.)

              2. re: queenscook

                The problem is most crock pot recipes are designed for ~6 hours of cooking. Not the 18-20 that you get by Shabbat lunch.

            2. Following the ideas from this thread - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/706351 - I did cook a kugel in an actual crock pot not the warming tray that you describe -

              1. Short answer: No. Crockpots do not bake and the kugel will not crisp. You'll have a soggy, possibly bacteria growing mess. However, one enterprising young Jewish man found a way to use a slow cooker to keep a pre-baked kugel warm using a slow cooker. Here's a link: http://ourshiputzim.blogspot.com/2008...

                Personally, I don't like what slow cooking does to russet potatoes even in cholent. They taste strange to me so I only use red potatoes with plenty of vege broth or sweet potatoes for crock pot cooking. Maybe the pre-baking will improve the flavor. Strangely, the one decent use of potatoes I've found is using kosher boxed potatoes made up and put on top of a lentil pot pie cooked in the crockpot. It works so well I haven't even tried making my own mashed potatoes from scratch.

                Many items must be pre-cooked at least partially before putting in the crock pot. Meat balls would be an example. You'd want to cook them thoroughly, heat the sauce and then use the crock to keep them warm. The one exception I know about this is that a Turkey breast can be put as is, whole in a crock pot, cooked in the crock pot on high for an hour and then left on low overnight. No need to add liquid. Works great.

                Main thing to remember is that the temperature of the food in the pot needs to stay above 140 degrees,preferably about 200, especially for things like meat or eggs which can become little petri dishes for bacteria.