slow cooker, crockpot fun
Please post fave recipes, links, tips funny stories
I know most dont consider this to be of value or worth and thats cool
But im poor, a student, work and have a crummy kitchen so i adore my slow cooker
Yes..the plug in thingie ala 1970's lol
Not slow cooking on stove top..in oven etc
Nothing new here, folks. My son who is now 55 took up cooking when he couldn't stand his college dining hall food any more, so that was a while ago. He kept a slow cooker in his room and made chili in it. The chili aroma filled the entire dorm and a line soon formed at his door. Next he took it with him on ski trips and, once again, made chili. Beat the prices in resort restaurants. If you're not veg do try making BBQ pulled pork or beef in it. Or, instant chicken& dumplings: frozen pierogi (filled Polish dumplings) and chunks of chicken plus water to cover (or chicken stock from a box). Or African Soup (chicken, onions, tomatoes and tomato sauce, a little hot chili pepper, and a little peanut butter). You are double-smart to use a slow cooker.
Oh, love mine too. I have been on a big crockpot and pressure cooker binge this week due to the hot weather and lack of desire to fire up the oven. My large crockpot is right at this moment cooking up my third batch of pulled pork in preparation for a large picnic on Sunday. My small, old pot contains spagetti sauce for tonight's dinner, a grab and go affair because all of us have sports or meetings. Another poster here clued me in to crockpot baked potatoes, wrap in foil and cook on low for a long time. That has become a real favorite.
1st point ... The old 70's style crockpots are better than the modern ones especially if you can get one with a glass lid, not the plastic lid. The crockpot manufacturers got nervous about how long there cookers took to get up above 170°F. Below that bacteria can grow. Consequently, the new slow cookers take the temperature up around 300°F which is awfully hot for low and slow braising. The difference between high and low on most modern slow cookers is how fast the temperature gets up to 300°F. The old style cooks at around that 200°F which is far better braising.
2nd point Meat is better if you sear it before putting it in the crockpot. This is a hassle and a lot of people feel the whole point of a crockpot is in being able to throw it all in and let it go. Doing it that way will work but it won't be as flavorful as if you seared it first.
What the crockpot does best is stocks, soups, stews and chile's.
One other thing that the crockpot does very well is make cheater pulled pork. The right way to do pulled pork is smoke a boston butt at 225°F for 12 hours and then shred it.
Cheater pulled pork isn't as good as that but it is still very good. Some would say great.
You can use a boston butt pork roast or I like to buy 3.5 - 4 pounds of carnitas which is big chunks of the boston butt roast. The boston butt has a bone. The carnitas are boneless.
Cut up a large onion or 2 medium onions into large pieces and throw it all into the crockpot. Put a rub on the pork. You can use a commercial rub or make one. I usually wing mine. I mix chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, salt (you could use smoked salt) and pepper and rub it into the pork and put it into the crockpot. Pour in a 12 ounce bottle of beer, a 16 ounce bottle of bbq sauce (you can make it. I just buy cheap bbq sauce), and 8 - 12 ounces of pineapple juice. Cover and set to low for 8 hours. After 8 hours take out the pork and allow to cool until it can be handled. In the mean time, Take out 2 - 4 cups of the braising liquid. Strain and defat it. Then reduce it by at least a 1/3. You could even reduce it in half. Adjust for seasoning. You may need to add liquid smoke or or bbq sauce. It is usually fairly sweet so i add some Worchestershire sauce to compensate for the sweetness. You could add vinegar of some sort.
Shred your pork with 2 forks, discarding most of the fat. I then add some of the reduced braising liquid and mix. Serve with more of the braising liquid on the table. Have some raw sweet onion rings and some pickle relish on hamburger buns. You will be very pleased.
I just finished getting a pork butt ready for the slow cooker to start tomorrow morning. This is an adaptation of Michael Chiarello 12 hour pork which I think is a riff on a recipe from Suzanne Somers diet book where you can only eat protein. Anyway, I got it from Best Recipes of 2000 cookbook and changed it for the slow cooker. Any size pork butt will do, bone in or out, whatever is on sale.
Puree in food processor: one head garlic, peeled, fennel seeds to taste, crushed red pepper to taste (I normally use about a big tablespoon each) some dried sage, and salt & pepper to taste. Rub about half of mixture onto pork getting it into the nooks and crannies. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and brown pork on all sides. Meanwhile, slice 2 onions and put in slow cooker and toss onions with S & P and some sage or herb of choice. I just like sage with pork. When pork is browned, put on top of onions and rub all over with remaining garlic mixture. Squeeze one lemon over pork. Deglaze frying pan with about 2 cups chicken stock and reduce to half then pour over pork. Cook on low 10-12 hours. You can do this ahead, put the slow cooker insert in the fridge. Take out in the morning and cook one hour on high while you're getting ready then turn to low. Make a gravy with the liquid, seasoning to taste or just reduce pan sauce and season. Great with mashed potatoes, noodles, whatever.
It sounds as 'bout as trashy as you can imagine...but.....
This is DE. LISH. US. and it will last a single person for the week! Pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork with slaw, pork with salad, pulled pork and cheddar omelette, etc. You will thank me.
Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chip Cookies
Old Carolina Barbecue Co. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Home-Style Corn Bread
Slow Cooker Banana Nut Bread
Triple Chocolate Surprise
Classic Manhattan Clam Chowder
Classic Italian Marinara Meat Sauce
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork, Rub & BBQ Sauce
You can't beat the convenience of the slow cooker! Here's a recipe for a french roasted chicken.
Slice potatoes thick and put in bottom of pot. Sprinkle on a couple of minced garlic cloves.
Put a lemon cut in half in the cavity of the chicken along with a couple cloves of garlic and a pinch of herbs--I usually use herbes de provence. Rub the chicken with oil and salt & pepper and put on top of the potatoes. Cook on low 6 hours. Remove chicken and potatoes and squeeze the lemon into the broth left in the cooker. Dissolve a couple teaspoons of cornstarch in a little water and thicken.
And yeah, I've come home later and discovered I put the crockpot on warm instead of low!!!
Mizzdee, slow cookers are making a huge come-back. Virtually every bride-to-be amongst my daughter's friends has at least one slow cooker on her registry, and sometime a couple of them in different sizes. Here is a link to one of the best slow cooker websites that I've found.
It was started by a woman who decided to used her slow cooker for 365 consecutive days, and blog about it along the way. She has easy recipes, honest evaluations of the results, and a ton of great tips. She's also parlayed that blog into a couple of cookbooks, sponsorships and a career.
BTW, her Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is now a staple at all family picnics or large casual gatherings. Just made a pot a few weeks ago when we had a moving party for my niece and her fiance. I made it the day before, then just kept portions of it out for most of the afternoon on warm so people could munch as they got hungry. Good luck!!
You can do more than you think in it. They are good for beans, oxtails, or even porkloins.
One that's always a hit is pull pork for tacos, sanwiches, or quesadillas
thinly slice up 1 onion
2# pork loin
1/2 cup water or leftover broth
few shots of worchestire sauce and hot sauce
Salt & Pepper
Place on low for 6 hours. Shredded and either add salsa verde or barbeque sauce and mix.
Plenty of people here use slow cookers, and there are lots of threads on them. No reason not to take advange of it!
My biggest tip? TURN IT ON. About once every 6 months I come home to a cropck-pot full of food that didn't cook, either because I didn't turn it on, or I turned it on but didn't plug it in. And throwing away a pot full of room-temperature meat really irritates me.
Here's one of my favorite budget-friendly, quick and easy recipes:
Recipe: Enchilada Crockpot Stew
• 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast
• 1 can diced tomatoes, about 15 ounce size.
• 1 can enchilada sauce, about 10 ounce size
• 1 medium white onion, chopped or sliced
• 1 small can diced green chilis
• 3 cloves of garlic, diced or minced
• 1 can corn, about 15 ounce size [I actually use fresh or frozen, not canned]
• 1 can chicken broth, about 2 cups
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• About 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste.
• 2 bay leaves
• About 1/4 cup of fresh chopped Cilantro
1. Thoroughly clean the chicken and remove any parts that don't look appealing to you. Place at the bottom of the crock pot.
2. Add all of the ingredients. The order doesn't matter. Dump them all in. I drain the corn, but not the chilis or tomatoes.
3. Stir, but make sure the chicken stays towards the bottom.
4. Set on low and cook for about 6 hours.
5. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate or bowl and shred with two forks. Dump it back in the crock pot and let it cook for another 30 to 60 minutes.
6. Remove bay leaves, stir, transfer to bowls and serve. We like to top the bowls of soup with crushed corn tortilla chips, shredded cheese or chopped green onions. Sometimes all three.
I don't know where the recipe originally came from, probably online somewhere. I just have it stored in my phone now.
I don't follow it that specifically... as in, I don't measure all those spices, I use homemade stock and fresh veggies when I can, and more often than not use chicken thighs. Also, my toppings are usually sour cream and cilantro, not tortilla chips and cheese. But it's easier to just copy-and-paste the recipe from my phone than re-type it with all my changes... And I assume most people on CH are ok with editing recipes as they see fit!