Slow cooker ingredients and timing conversion help needed
My son has discovered the slow cooker via a cooker/steamer/rice maker he bought at Costco. I do a lot of 'regular' cooking but am not familiar with slow cookers.
He keeps asking me if he can cook things like Bok Choy or celery for 8 hours (along with chicken usually). I'm having trouble getting my mind around the idea of things like that being able to cook that long without disintegrating
Is there a good source on line or in a book for this kind of information? Perhaps a 'Slow Cooking for Dummies'?
The celery question is not unique to slow cookers, so should not require special instructions. When I use celery in a soup, I want it to retain some firmness. That requires that it be added later than certain other ingredients, whether cooked in a slow cooker or not.
The idea of a slow cooker is just to throw everything in at once and leave it alone for hours, but that's not the way to get the best result for some things.
How picky of an eater is he? There are a lot of really bad slow cooker recipes out there, in fact, the majority. Some people love the dump and go process and it usually doesn't work in any medium, especially the slow cooker. If he's not a picky eater, then the 365 days of crockpotting would be fine. If he is and likes to cook, then Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker is good.
The Gourmet slow cooker is also good:
I haven't used cookbooks for it in a long time but those were a good start to getting something more than the dump and go type recipes that turned me off in the beginning from ever using my slow cooker.
Here's a link to a Slow Cooking thread started last January. Many different SC cookbooks are mentioned and reports of recipes folks cooked from them are there as well as tips and recommendations:
Next is a link to a chart with stove-top to slow cooker time conversions:
Personally, I find the slow cooker better for root vegetables, pulses, and legumes rather than leafy greens. Vegetables like bok choy only need a Very short cooking time.