I am usually an exceptional cook. Recently, my daughter convinced me to get a crockpot because she said all I have to do on busy days is just place ingredients in the pot and leave it alone all day. That sounded like a great idea on busy days.
I have cooked several meats (chickens and roasts) in my crockpot using various recipes. I ususally need, however, to leave the pot on all day while I'm at work. When I return (8-12 hours later), it never fails, the meat dishes I am cooking are too dry, shriveled, and overcooked. What am I doing wrong? Should I select the shorter time and expect the warm setting to keep it from overcooking, or is the longer time the correct setting? The only successful thing I am able to cook in that amount of time are beans.
I am following directions for the recipes, but one thing I suspect is that perhaps I am not cooking enough volume to slow the cooking time. Ususally when I make a recipe, my pot is 1/2 to 3/4th's full. Is that my problem?
I would like to make more dishes, but several of the things I have tried were either too dry or virtually inedible because it became mush. My crockpot is costing me time and money to prepare things that are not edible and then having to come home expecting a meal and having to prepare something else or making my family suffer through dry, mushy dishes.
What do you suggest?
Thanks for your help in advance.
HI BETTE...I USED THIS ITEM FOR THE 1ST TIME TODAY...I DECIDED TO TRY IT AT A TIME WHEN I WOULD BE HOME TO OBSERVE THE PROCESS...I USED THE FROZEN BANQUET CROCKPOT CHICKEN WITH POTATOES, VEGGIES & SAUCE FOR MY 1ST EXPERIMENT...INSTRUCTIONS : SET ON LOW FOR 8-10 HOURS...AFTER LESS THAN 4 HRS, THE SAUCE WAS BURNING/STICKING TO THE SIDES OF THE CROCK POT AND THE VEGGIES WERE MUSH...IT WAS BUBBLING UP LIKE IT WAS ON THE HIGHEST SETTING ON THE STOVE TOP...I CALLED RIVAL ( 800.323.9519 ) AND SPOKE TO MARIO IN CUSTOMER SERVICE...HE DID SOME EXPLAINING ABOUT THE HEATING ELEMENTS BEING ON THE BOTTOM AND THE SIDES OF THE HEATING BASE AND SUGGESTED TO CUT ALL SLOW COOKER RECIPE TIMES IN HALF, INCLUDING THE RECIPE BOOK THAT CAME WITH THE CROCKPOT...I'M GOING TO TRY THIS AGAIN WITH ANOTHER FROZEN BANQUET CROCK POT PRODUCT ($6.00) , I'LL REDUCE THE COOKING TIME AND INCREASE THE ADDED WATER...I'M NOT GOING TO USE AN EXPENSIVE CUT OF MEAT UNTIL I GET THE HANG OF THIS "SMART" POT...I'VE ALWAYS USED THE OLD FASHIONED TYPE SLOW COOKER WHERE IT WAS SLOW EVEN ON THE HI SETTING !!!
GOOD LUCK, VALERIE M. 1/11/07
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A pressure cooker is NOT anything close to a slow cooker. The cooking philosophy are practically totally opposites. A pressure cooker basically cooks your food in a fraction of time because it is under pressure. A slow cooker takes hours.
The whole idea of using a pressure cooker is that it is sealed and applies pressure to cook the food faster. The lid needs to be sealed for the pressure cooker to operate properly. It is frequently referred to as "infusion" cooking now days.
You need to read the instruction book that came with the pressure cooker. Pressure cookers usually cook for less than an hour--my homemade pressure cooker spaghetti sauce is cooked in less than 30 minutes. They are nice and were very popular long before anyone thought of microwaves and slow cookers. However, there are some precautions to be taken. There must be water or liquid in a pressure cooker. The rubber seal needs to be cleaned frequently and, when the rubber seal warps/stretches and no longer seals, it needs to be replaced. There are also certain foods that CANNOT be cooked in a pressure cooker like rice, dry beans, etc. The pressure control valve operates to regulate the amount of pressure and releases extra pressure otherwise the unit would blow up (very dangerous!). Most pressure cookers (required on all new ones) have a small rubber emergency stopper that will "blow off" in case the pressure is too high. I've seen this happen and my mother cleaning potatoes & meat from the ceiling!
Go online, to "www.( product name.com/manual model number ) ,
Or something to thatefeect, also try ebay..often a person might post a <Product manual> for a free or $1 or $ 2... but first try the online tech support for you CrockPot...the other thing you might what to try is to go to the local Librart and check out a cook on cooking with a crock pot..this a fairly genralized area of cooking..it is not rocket-sceince..
Washed beans take 4hours on high and adding water and flavor with a reduced heat they are good all day long for the family to enjoy at will on a cool-winters day.
I just read the manual for the betty "g" scf80 and all it says is "The stoneware liner when inserted in your Betty "g" slow crock cooker fryer is surrounded by air. This air is heated to the desired cooking temperature when the control knob is set to one of the two settings indicated for slow crock cooking. This Method of heating produces a slow and even rise in temperature that prevents scorching, less chance of overcooking, minimum loss of nutrients, less shrinkage and boiling away of juices.". My wife says no you should not as well, as she does not on our new model crockpot.
I had a similar shattering experience cooking adzuki beans on low, though I'd left them alone during the day. The lid was intact and unscratched to the best of my knowledge. Have others experienced this problem?
The older crocks did not seem to get as hot as the ones form the past 10 years. I have an old blue and white one that I use only to make yogurt, since it is not as hot. I do not believe you can adjust the newer ones, just use the low setting. Good luck.
Most lids on crocks are loose fit due to pressure release that is required in most receipts... read your receipt for example BEAN SOUPS, or LENTILS and you will find that the should be tilted for proper cooking.
Cooking time in a crock is different from stove top or oven cooking... Remember the saying that "Heat cooks and fire burns" ... well, never is this more true than with your new slow cooker. So here are a few examples for you to try:
FIRST RECEIPT: take out some fresh or frozen meat your choice' dice up and onion or simply just cut the onion in 1/2 for easy removal later. I tend to season/salt>>> my pork, lamb , and chicken; however I do season/salt beef if I am only cooking it in water>>> for like tender shredded beef tacos. Anyway set your crock on high in the morning or at night before going to bed
( warning do not leave your crock unattended if you have children under 12 years of age around that might try to serve themselves when the crock is cooking)and don't except to have the children not want to investigate you savory dish>> they might and will get 2nd degree burns from a 215 degree cooking temp.
Try a 7 or 15 Bean Soup add your smoked turkey or pork ham to the pot with seasoning/salt and an onion. set on high and go to work . When you cook home you and or your family will be delighted to find a wonderful home cooked meal waiting for your taste buds to enjoy!!!