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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.


15

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


10

Doing a whole chicken in a slow cooker requires a little work, lots of cook time, and comes out so tender you can cut it with a plastic spoon. Buy a "fryer" size chicken (4 to 6 lbs), wash it, rub it down with olive oil, sprinkle on some spices (something like salt, thyme & pepper, etc), pour a little flavorful liquid (beer, cooking wine, or lemon ...


10

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.


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

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 ...


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.


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

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 ...


7

A super simple dish that cooks on the stove is Chicken Adobo. It's a Filipino dish that you throw in some onions, a ton of garlic, chicken legs/thighs and some other stuff and cook it slow for a few hours. Goes with pretty much any veggie or side dish that you have on hand. ...


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 ...


7

I think this is going to be a bad idea; you'll go from ideal couscous texture (fluffy and light) to mush. I have an article (on my blog) about how to make fluffy couscous. The crux is simply to put it, with the appropriate amount boiling water, in a wide, shallow vessel and cover it for 5 minutes. You can even set that up ahead of time, and when you are ...


7

I assume that the section of the USDA article you're referring to is this: Partial Cooking Never brown or partially cook beef to refrigerate and finish cooking later because any bacteria present wouldn't have been destroyed. It is safe to partially pre-cook or microwave beef immediately before transferring it to the hot grill to finish cooking. ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


6

I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules, however, slow cookers tend to retain liquid better that casseroles, so reducing the amount of liquid by perhaps a third or even a half, is probably a step in the right direction. What I've done in the past, is find a recipe for the slow cooker, that's similar to one I would cook in a casserole and work around ...


6

Generally, slow-cooking means any food preparation method which relies on using low-heat for a long amount of time. Barbecues, smokers, luau pits, and low-heat ovens could all qualify. The benefit of slow-cooking, generally, is that food becomes incredibly tender, as all of its connective tissues break down. Also, flavor can infuse over time and provide ...


6

food is safe so long as the Crockpot is on, and functioning correctly. The food will maintain a simmer as long as its on, which is too hot for bacteria.



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