Hot answers tagged

20

Crock-Pot is a brand name. Slow cooker is the generic term. It's like Kleenex & tissue or for the Brits, Hoover & vacuum.


17

Will it work without searing it first? Yes. Will it have as much flavor? No. Searing does two things: Create flavor through the browning process and jump-start cooking. Searing does not "lock in juices". The mere sound of the sizzling that goes on is indication that juices are exuding and sizzling against the hot cooking surface. Benefit of Searing ...


16

Your best bet would be a dutch oven on a low to medium low heat in the oven. You could use a regular pot in the oven, but you'd need to stir it regularly (maybe every hour) to stop everything from sticking to the sides and burning.


16

First of all, I agree with the others that there is no harm done by plastic bags for sous vide. I have read a statement by the manufacturer that brand-name Ziploc bags don't release anything below 76°C. If you think how much a lawsuit could cost them if the information turned out to be wrong, I trust that they are telling the truth. For other brands, you may ...


13

That's exactly what they are designed for! In general their electrical construction, and possible failure modes fully support being left on unattended They should pose no more fire risk than any other electrical kitchen device being left on at the wall e.g. an automatic toaster or kettle Some slow cookers have automatic fuses that blow if the pot runs ...


13

It will be safe and edible. It might not be quite as good. Part of the appeal of slow cookers is just the convenience of leaving them unattended. The other appeal is low-slow cooking that blends flavors and melts connective tissue without burning anything. Meat Cooking things faster and hotter will not make the meat as tender as it would be- but it will ...


12

A few things that can help, if it's not an issue with fat like @Aaronut suggested: Tomato paste. Yes, I know it's a sacrelige, but it'll act as a thickener. Take the pasta out before it's gotten to al dente, and finish cooking it in the sauce; the pasta will absorb any extra liquid, and help to thicken the sauce. Do not rinse off the pasta after you drain ...


12

Per the USDA guidelines, frozen chicken should not be cooked in a slow-cooker or a microwave. It can only safely be cooked in the oven or on the stovetop. A similar warning is given for beef as well.


11

If Wikipedia is to be trusted (and in this case, their source is the FDA), there is in fact a toxin in some raw beans, such as kidney beans. The toxic compound phytohaemagglutinin, a lectin, is present in many common bean varieties, but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans. White kidney beans contain about a third as much toxin as the red ...


11

According to the USDA: If packaging is accidentally cooked in a conventional oven, is the food safe to eat? Plastic packaging materials should not be used at all in conventional ovens. They may catch on fire or melt, causing chemical migration into foods. Sometimes these materials are inadvertently cooked with a product. For example, giblets ...


10

Size does matter in a slow cooker. In order for it to cook effectively a slow cooker has to be at least 2/3 full, other wise it cooks hot and will generally dry out faster. If you are cooking at less than 2/3 full you need to adjust your heat settings and/or depending on the recipe adjust the amount of liquid. Cooking meats becomes especially troublesome ...


10

A Southerner will probably tell you that there is no type of BBQ sauce to go with this type of pulled pork because it's not actually real pulled pork... or real BBQ. Authentic pulled pork is smoked, and that comes with a completely different set of pairings. This is technically just braised, shredded pork. Which is not meant as a criticism, mind you - I ...


10

Allow it to cool, then put it in the fridge for a few hours. The fat should rise to the top and harden, making it easier to scoop away. If you can't wait for it to cool, either skim the oil off with a spoon or use some kitchen paper to soak it up.


10

It's safe. All that matters for safety is that the food stays out of the danger zone (above 140F). But it sounds like a pretty reliable way to overcook things. Perhaps that's why it sounds absurd to you? Slow cookers tend to be somewhere between simmer and light boil (probably at least 180F), and there's very little that won't be fully cooked after half a ...


10

I fully endorse the "when in doubt, throw it out" doctrine, although I personally wouldn't consider a sweet taste to be doubt. As rfusca wisely points out, you can't taste or smell several kinds of contamination, and the ones that you can taste or smell, are usually sour, bitter, or generally pungent. I suggest you have a look at the following question: Is ...


10

A slow cooker needs a lot less water for the same recipe than something you simmer in a pan for 20 minutes. The sauce thickens in the pan because a lot of the water evaporates. In this case, most your water is in the chicken stock. To get all of the flavor, but less moisture, drastically reduce, or even eliminate the stock. You've got plenty of water ...


9

Searing the meat has 3 advantages: Gives the meat a tasty crust. Gives you what you need to start a tasty beef gravy from what remains in the frying pan. Helps the meat hold together better during the long, slow cook. Disadvantages: Takes more preparation time. Gives you more pans to clean.


9

It's really no different from cooking something on a stove: if you have no liquid at all, things are probably going to start getting too hot, sticking on the bottom, and maybe burning. As long as there's some liquid, you'll be fine. The important thing is to add enough; if you keep having to open it to add more, it won't stay hot. This is basically the ...


9

I often cook pork shoulder steaks at 60°C (140°F) for 48 hours sous-vide and as your shoulder is an intact piece of meat you really only need to be worried about any bacteria on the surface of the meat; presuming the shoulder is submerged in liquid, a cooking time of 24 hours at 60°C is long enough to pasteurise the surface and the interior. There's a good ...


8

Buy a slow cooker. They're cheap, and it will cook your food slowly in around 6 hours. Don't overcomplicate things: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_cooker


8

Assuming a long, cooked stew. I cut up a well marbled chuck steak usually and chuck is what I'd recommend. You want enough fat that as the stew cooks long, the fat will render and leave nice, tender meat. Too lean and you're left with boiled shoe leather. If you want a quicker stew, use a leaner cut of meat like sirloin. It will have a lot of flavor but ...


8

In the oven, that heat is coming from all directions more or less equally. On the stovetop, the heat is coming only from the bottom. This can potentially cause convection, and almost certainly requires occasional stirring (especially for larger batches), meaning that the ingredients are being moved around. The combination of the ingredients being heated more ...


8

The answer depends on the type of cut. If you have a tender cut of meat then there's no reason to cook it any longer than then desired doneness. If you are using a tough cut then there's lots of collagen that needs to be broken down, and that requires moisture and time. You want to cook it until all the collagen is broken down as that will make the meat ...


8

With regard to your comment, "what can you cook in a slow cooker", I cook almost everything in the slow cooker! With regard to onions, I suggest that you precook the onions so that they obtain the texture that you want and then add them to the slow cooker. For example, when I cook stew, I caramelise the onions before placing them in the slow cooker, for the ...


8

It sounds like you were expecting slow cooking to be like sous vide. Well, it's not. The point isn't controlled sub-boiling temperatures, it's something on the border between simmering and boiling for foods that just need a long time to cook at that approximate temperature. Slow cooker recipes are not supposed to be very sensitive. They're expecting to be ...


8

Slow cookers have a heating element generally on the bottom of the unit which heats the ceramic insert, which in turn heats whatever is inside it. They are designed to heat liquids, and the foods cook because the heat is convected around by the liquid. Slow cookers are not designed to cook without liquid, and I personally would not try cooking dry things ...


8

Assuming it's a proper removable (some old ones weren't) inner crock pot you could (as in your other answer). BUT That pot will take a long time to warm up when you put it in and turn it on. I would suggest assembling all the ingredients in another container (which may also fit better in the fridge) and turning them out in to the (ideally preheated) crock ...


7

Roughly speaking, the low setting on a crock pot is 200 degrees Farenheit, and the high setting is 300 degrees. Crock pot time vs oven time: 4-6 hrs on low = 15-30 min oven 6-8 hrs on low = 35-45 min oven 8-18 hrs on low = 1-3 hrs in oven In addition to the liquid notes above, you may want to make these changes as well: reduce the amount of ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible