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Old 02-14-2012, 07:20 PM   #21
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I actually do not see any problem with leaving the oven on if you leave... how many people have had a fire that started from their oven It is designed to be on without going up in flames...
Agree. It is just something we would rather not think about when we are not home.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:42 PM   #22
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You can even do cedar planked salmon in the crockpot.

A Year of Slow Cooking: Cedar Planked Salmon Cooked in the CrockPot

This blogger made a crockpot dish every day for a year and has lots of recipes she shares on her blog. There are 70 chicken recipes listed as an example.

A Year of Slow Cooking: Chicken
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:49 PM   #23
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You can even do cedar planked salmon in the crockpot.

A Year of Slow Cooking: Cedar Planked Salmon Cooked in the CrockPot

This blogger made a crockpot dish every day for a year and has lots of recipes she shares on her blog. There are 70 chicken recipes listed as an example.

A Year of Slow Cooking: Chicken
Wow.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #24
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A slow cooker on high until the meat browns/ sears on the outside, then add the other ingredients. Ir works and saves a clean up pan.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:40 PM   #25
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I actually do not see any problem with leaving the oven on if you leave... how many people have had a fire that started from their oven It is designed to be on without going up in flames...
We did.

It is NOT a good idea to take off and leave something cooking in the oven or on the stovetop (a good friend had a fire that way).

Crockpots are OK for me though.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #26
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It's amazing how much broth one gets putting a chicken in the crock pot overnight. Good stuff.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:39 PM   #27
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We really like onions, potatoes, carrots, and chicken with a bottle of italian dressing in our slow cooker. Delish
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #28
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Try putting a whole chicken in there and leaving it in all day.
I like that idea. One of these days I need to look for a small, highly rated crockpot if such a thing exists. I have never had a crockpot and they sound wonderful.

Even though there is only one of me these days, I could always freeze the leftovers.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:06 AM   #29
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Is the whole US on 120/240 power now? Because my crock pot got pretty hot on low. If it is calibrated on 110, and it gets my power which may be up a bit over 120, I suppose that might explain some overcooking.

Today I browned slices of beefheart, and sautéed onions and carrots and garlic and celery, added some herbs, deglazed the fry pan with a little wine and put that into the crockpot on low for 8 or 9 hours. It is delicious, but drier than I would have expected. I think next time I will either use more wine, or maybe add a small amount of marinara sauce.

Ha
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:21 AM   #30
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It's amazing how much broth one gets putting a chicken in the crock pot overnight. Good stuff.
Definitely. Sames goes for making pulled pork. I'll put a large Boston Butt (totally rubbed with spices) and an onion in the crock pot, then pour in just 1/4 cup of beer and 8-10 hours later I'll have the most tender, moist pork ever with a huge amount of broth. I freeze the broth after separating the fat and use it later to flavor soups and other dishes. Now I'm craving pulled pork!
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:17 AM   #31
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Is the whole US on 120/240 power now? Because my crock pot got pretty hot on low. If it is calibrated on 110, and it gets my power which may be up a bit over 120, I suppose that might explain some overcooking.

Ha
I was curious, and found this:

Cooking For Engineers :: View topic - Crockpot Mod

Quote:
Slow Cookers Change as published in the Hartford Courant, Sept. 20, 2000

A reader e-mailed the Food desk to comment on a recipe story about crock-pots - or slow cookers, as they are now called - that appeared in the Food section last Wednesday. This man finds that his new crock-pot, a 6-quart Hamilton Beach model, takes less time to cook than his original cooker by the same company.

Through some research, he found that his old model had a temperature setting of 140 degrees for low. The new model is 180 degrees at low. He says food reaches the boiling point in about 4 to 5 hours.

A call to Hamilton Beach Proctor-Silex in Glen Allen, VA., confirmed that the new pots have a higher temperature on low. The change was made to prevent any food contamination and ensure that foods cook to the proper temperature.

Crock-pot cooks should consult the manual that accompanies the cooker and adjust recipes they find elsewhere accordingly. As our e-mailer points out, he has found that a 4-pound pot roast, cooked in his new pot, "is over-done after six hours on low." He compared his experience with the recipe for flank steak with gravy, published in the crock-pot story, which listed cooking times as 8 to 10 hours on "low." This recipe was taken from an older crock-pot cookbook, whose recipes were developed for the older models.
I'm pretty sure that these things are thermostatically controlled at each setting. If that's the case, reasonable voltage variations won't affect the final temperature (would only slightly affect how fast/slow it gets to temperature).

I'm curious enough, that later today I'm going to put 2 cups of water in our slow-cooker (Crock Pot is a Rival Trademark), and plug it into my Kill-a-Watt meter. If it is thermostatically controlled, I will see the current cycle from full to zero as it responds to hitting the target temperature.

The ladies at church struggle with the big heated cooking/serving pans they use there. They burn things as they cycle, if there isn't a lot of juice. I've been thinking about making up a little plug with a heavy-duty series diode in there, which would cut the voltage in half, power would be 1/4. That should make the warming cycle less aggressive.


edit/add: There was some mention in that thread of using some empty tuna cans to raise the pot a bit, which lowered the heat of the food (moves it a bit further from the thermostatically controlled heat).

-ERD50
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:52 AM   #32
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Wow.
That Year of Slow Cooking is a pretty good reference web site.

I had the wonderful 40 cloves of garlic chicken dish years ago. I think I'll have to try that recipe soon. Using dark meat in the cooker is best since it stands up to the long cooking times better.

Crockpots have changed to cook at higher temps due to food safety concerns by the manufacturers. For me this simply means that the dish is ready an hour or two sooner than the recipe calls for.

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Old 02-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #33
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I was curious, and found this:

Cooking For Engineers :: View topic - Crockpot Mod



I'm pretty sure that these things are thermostatically controlled at each setting. If that's the case, reasonable voltage variations won't affect the final temperature (would only slightly affect how fast/slow it gets to temperature).

I'm curious enough, that later today I'm going to put 2 cups of water in our slow-cooker (Crock Pot is a Rival Trademark), and plug it into my Kill-a-Watt meter. If it is thermostatically controlled, I will see the current cycle from full to zero as it responds to hitting the target temperature.

The ladies at church struggle with the big heated cooking/serving pans they use there. They burn things as they cycle, if there isn't a lot of juice. I've been thinking about making up a little plug with a heavy-duty series diode in there, which would cut the voltage in half, power would be 1/4. That should make the warming cycle less aggressive.


edit/add: There was some mention in that thread of using some empty tuna cans to raise the pot a bit, which lowered the heat of the food (moves it a bit further from the thermostatically controlled heat).

-ERD50
Thanks ERD. I'm looking forward to your experiemntal findings.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:09 PM   #34
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If the meat is dry, it often is overlooked. I like to use the disposable crockpot cooking bags occasionally. Everything goes inside the bag, and the bag tossed when done. Now that is easy! And great for a lazy day..,,
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:25 PM   #35
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Another great way to do chicken: put chicken parts (no bones) in crock pot and add a jar of salsa. Shred toward the end of cooking. Great for fajitas!
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #36
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My DH was washing our high-end crock pot a couple of days ago - and now we have a "cracked pot." It never did perform very well...the timer broke soon after we purchased it, etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations on your favorite crock pot brand? I started to get the lima beans out of the pantry this morning, and remembered that we don't have a crock pot anymore
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #37
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Here's what Good Huosekeeping had to say:

Best Slow Cookers - Crock Pot - Good Housekeeping

I have the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1, and love it!
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:29 PM   #38
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Thanks ERD. I'm looking forward to your experiemntal findings.
As I set it up, I read the manual, and that pretty much spells it out.

This one has OFF, 'Keep Warm', 'Low', and 'High' settings. The manual says that both the Low and High will maintain a food temperature of 200F, just the time to get there will be longer on Low. So that tells me it is the same thermostat control for those two settings, just different power applied.

I measured 210 Watts on High; 125W on Low; 85W on Warm. I filled it with boiling water, it's been on a few hours, and I still haven't seen it turn off though and it's at a low simmer. So I'm wondering about the thermostat in this thing. Maybe it needs to be fuller. This thing is pretty old, I can't recall when we bought it.

I suspect the warm setting is just lower power on this one, the thermostat doesn't come into play. I doubt there is a separate 140F thermostat. But a modern one with a thermistor sensor could easily have multiple set points.

Even though this thing is old, the manual does say that it may heat faster than older slow cookers, and you may need to adjust older recipes for less time.

-ERD50
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:49 PM   #39
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Slightly off topic, but I've been playing around with "slow cooking" steak following the NYT article on Modernist Cuisine cooking at home. Sear frozen steak quickly (either in a really hot cast iron pan or with a butane torch), put in a thermometer (love mine that has a cord that fits through the oven door) and put steak into a 200 degree oven until up to temp (I take it out at 130 degrees for a nice medium rare). You end up with a nice brown sear and a perfectly uniformly cooked steak.

I have the Modernist Cuisine book, I'm tempted to spring for a Sous Vide Supreme. I am intrigued by people who rig one up with a slow cooker -- there, back on topic!!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #40
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Slightly off topic, but I've been playing around with "slow cooking" steak following the NYT article on Modernist Cuisine cooking at home. Sear frozen steak quickly (either in a really hot cast iron pan or with a butane torch), put in a thermometer (love mine that has a cord that fits through the oven door) and put steak into a 200 degree oven until up to temp (I take it out at 130 degrees for a nice medium rare). You end up with a nice brown sear and a perfectly uniformly cooked steak.
I've done something like that, but I reversed it, and started with steaks out at room temp for a while (from the fridge). The theory (which seems to work in practice), is with the low oven, you are slowly bringing the whole steak to rare/med~rare through and through. No deep red in the middle, and no gray band on the outside. By the time the temp is up inside, the outside of the steak is dry, so the searing is really searing - no steam/stewing. But sear it just till it gets browned, you don;t want to cook the inside much more.




Quote:
I have the Modernist Cuisine book, I'm tempted to spring for a Sous Vide Supreme. I am intrigued by people who rig one up with a slow cooker -- there, back on topic!!
I've thought about that too. Some of the automated mashing systems for beer brewing could double for this use.

-ERD50
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