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jkmunchkin

Slow Cooker?

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I'm thinking of asking for a slow cooker for the holidays. For those that have them, do you think I will use this or is this going to end up being one of those cooking gadgets that I get and never use?

And for that matter, does anyone have any good recipes to recommend for it. I figure having some good recipes in mind would obviously make a difference.

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I use my crockpot a lot. It's kind of nice knowing when I get home dinner will be done. I also have a crockpot cookbook, but I don't usually do anything fancy with it. I mostly do chili, stews, BBQ, and bean soups. Good for winter type dishes.

Gina

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I LOVE my crock pot! It's just too easy! I prep it the night before and put in the the cooker thingy in the morning before I leave and it's done when I get home. i have found you can do just about anything in them as well, chicken wings, roasts, soups and cider. I mostly use mine during the cold months. mine came with a tiny crock pot that I use for hot cheese dips and chocolate dips, check out the "crock pot" brand, that is what I got and couldn't be happier.

For Cider:

1 gallon of cider, orange juice till it looks foggy, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves. Let it cook on high for an hour or 2 and then set to warm and you have killer cider that everyone thinks you went to the end of the world to make! :)

for a roast:

put a big roast of whatever, broth, vegies of any kind, and spices. cook.

see, it's just too easy and the options are ENDLESS I TELL YOU! :)

I have found using a broth for your base in the crock pot is the best, otherwise it gets very dry.

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I have three. The two larger ones get a lot of use. The smaller one I use generally only for making espinaca con queso or other hot dips. It's really pretty small. I would like an even bigger one than I have now. My two bigger ones are something like 2 1/2 and 3 qts. I can do a 3 pound pot roast in one but it doesn't leave me enough room to do the carrots and potatoes. So I do those in the other one. I've also done chicken and rice, chicken and dumplings and all kinds of soups. They are really nice for soups. And I've done baked beans. You do have to cook the beans first on the stove, but then you can put them in and let them cook all night and part of the next day. They don't burn and you can use less sugar in them provided you put in enough caramelized onion to make them sweeter.

I love them for busy days when I am out and doing things all day. I can simply put the food in, in the morning, turn it on and it's done when I need it! Because mine have removable crocks, I can even assemble the food in the crock the night before, then put it on to cook when I leave the house.

They are also good to take for potlucks because they keep the food hot.

Honestly, a crockpot is something I thought I would never use. People would always joke about getting too many of them as wedding gifts. I didn't get one. Actually I mainly got money when I got married. I got married at 35 and my household goods were picked up soon after the wedding. I married a military man. I guess people either assumed I had all the kitchen stuff I needed or because the movers came so soon, their gift might not make it in time. So no crockpot.

Then one day we were visiting my inlaws and my BIL was talking about crockpots. I told him I didn't have one. He got me one for Christmas. So I started reading about them and I learned that you can do things with them I'd never dreamed of. Like baking bread and cakes. Now I'm not all that sure how gluten-free stuff would come out in there, but it worked well for the regular stuff, provided you buy the special baking pan for use with it. You can even get a little rack for doing roasts.

For months after that, I found a reason to use the crockpot every day for something! But then it stopped heating. This was one of the older models without the removable crock. That thing was a pain to clean. I bought another one like that and a few years later, it too quit working. Then I found a display model with a removable crock. It had been marked down quite a bit at the military commissary. I bought it and have had it for years. Bought another slightly larger one when I realized I sometimes needed two going at once. The little one was given to me as a gift.

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We have two crock pots and use 1 all the time, especially the day after Thanksgiving with shreded turkey, maui onions and home madeGF bbq sauce.

I also use the stone bowl to make pickles since the pottery part is much better than metal or plastic for soaking.

ken

I'm thinking of asking for a slow cooker for the holidays. For those that have them, do you think I will use this or is this going to end up being one of those cooking gadgets that I get and never use?

And for that matter, does anyone have any good recipes to recommend for it. I figure having some good recipes in mind would obviously make a difference.

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Crockpots are the best, especially during the winter! I use mine twice a week. I have a 2-3 quart and a 6-7 quart model with the removable crock. If you get that kind, you can throw the crock in the dishwasher to clean. My favorite two easy recipes are chix breasts with Trader Joe's marinara sauce and a little water and mush, put that over tinkyada pasta. Or a variation of that is your favorite italian sausage with the same ingredients.

Terri

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I love my crock pot! It is from the 1970's so it's pretty old, but it is still fantastic! Here is one of my favorite recipes I use with it - http://www.recipezaar.com/33671. It is a whole chicken crock pot recipe. It's so easy, just cover it with spices the night before, then put it in the crock pot the next morning and you have a wonderful juicy moist chicken dinner. I usually make it with mashed potatoes and green beans. My husband LOVES it. He'll eat the leftover chicken on sandwiches too.

I'm thinking of asking for a slow cooker for the holidays. For those that have them, do you think I will use this or is this going to end up being one of those cooking gadgets that I get and never use?

And for that matter, does anyone have any good recipes to recommend for it. I figure having some good recipes in mind would obviously make a difference.

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I got my first crock pot when I first got married, in 1969. I hated cleaning it because the crock part didn't come out. I used it sporadically for a few years. About a year ago, I bought a new one--technology isn't much different but now the crocks come out for easy cleaning, and I like it so much I got a 2nd, smaller one as well (some recipes are smaller so you need a small pot too). I use it once or twice a week in the winter, less in the summer. You can do all sorts of neat things in it...applesauce, for example. If you're busy, I can't tell you how great it is to put everything in and then at the end of the day, dinner is ready! I got a bunch of cookbooks so I have no shortage of ideas.

I did a spur of the moment crock recipe today, for example. I had 4 chicken breasts left over from a pig 10 pack or something I had bought a few days ago. I looked in my recipe books and found an easy recipe for a chicken curry recipe...all it needed was the chicken, a can of pineapple, and curry powder. It took about 10 minutes to put everything together. Then 5 hours later when it was ready, I cooked some rice and a veggie, and dinner was ready! Couldn't be easier.... :rolleyes:

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During the winter, I use mine at least once a week. Mine is too small now! 3 qt...we're a family of 5...I need a bigger one!

I make soup, stew, casseroles, everything in it. I usually just google a recipe i'm in the mood for or use an old standby. I've had to adapt a few, but that's not too difficult or hasn't been.

I love mine. :D

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I got one as a wedding gift years ago. I finally opened it up and used it two weeks ago. Let me tell you, you can make almost anything in it. I made a ham in it the other day that was just absolutely to do for! I just put the ham in and poured 100% pineapple juice over it and cooked it 8 hours on low. Then, when it came out a poured a "glaze" of brown sugar and butter over it. It was amazing! It wouldn't have even needed the glaze. I make pot roast, soups, stews, pork roasts, steak tips, BBQ's, and more with it. They are surprisingly versatile and slow cooker recipes are SO easy to come by.

I also made my stuffing in the crockpot this year for Thanksgiving and it turned out insanely good. I can't imagine ever having to make stuffing without it.

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I personally have 3....

the huge 7.5 Quart that I make great big batches of yummies in and use this when I bring lunch for those I am working with....

The regular 3 quart I use for smaller meals for just hubby and I but I never seem to have enough leftovers for my meals the next day...

I just got a small 1 quart one for heating up dips and chocolate etc, my first try is going to be chocolate for prezels, or maybe a cheese dip......

the possibilies are ENDLESS

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I think we can all agree that crock pots are great. But I'd like to talk crock pot specifics.

I have a large one and a medium/small one. The large one is too big for most things I want to make just for the two of us. And the small one is just barely big enough, really just a tad small. I'd like to have one in between. Both though, and some I've had previously, operate at too high a temperature once they really get going. You do not want to leave them on high all day, you'll end up with a pot full of bones and mush. Even on low they'll sometimes get really hot, especially if it's been on high for a long time. And you don't always want to start out on low because it will take too long to get up to temp with cold foods.

I want one that's programmable. A few years ago, when I bought my latest, the programmable ones were just coming out but they weren't sophisticated enough. They didn't allow you to do much, were too limited. I want to start out on "high", after so many hours go to "low", and then eventually go to "keep warm".

I'm going Christmas shopping today. By golly, I'm lookin' for a crock pot for Santa to give me! :)

best regards, lm

p.s., I mainly use mine for chicken and pork chops (not together) with a "cream of" soup gravy. Then we eat it on rice. Yes, I've been making homemade gluten-free "cream-of" soup.

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Well, after conducting an online search at amazon, and epinions.com, I found the same ol same ol. The programable ones are still limited to one cooking heat level for so many hours and then it shifts to keep warm. They haven't advanced the engineering to allow for multi-mode programming. Some users were complaining about this in their reviews.

Think I'll wait for the manufacturers to get their heads out of their asses and design something more versatile and useful.

best regards, lm

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Crock pots are great. I have 3. Small one for dips, or for my only-vegetarian-in-the-house daughter's dinner. Big crocks for family size meals. Definitely recommend getting one with a removable crock--the other kind is a pain to clean.

Always spray crock with vegetable spray before any recipe, for easy clean up later.

Fave recipes:

Veggie chowder

Add to crock pot a can of Progresso Creamy mushroom soup (or, 2 cups of half and half), a can of Progresso lentil soup, a can of Health Valley vegetable soup, whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge, a can of non-drained chopped tomatoes, a handful of dried minced onion, and some fresh cracked pepper. Heat on high until boils, then turn down to low. If time crunched, heat it in the crock (no lid) in the microwave until hot, then place crock in crock pot heating cannister on Low to keep warm.

Enchilada Casserole

Ingr:

2 cups of cooked, cubed chicken

12 corn tortillas, torn up

one can La Victoria mild red enchilada sauce

1 can black beans

2 cups grated cheese (I use colby-jack or Monterey jack)

Assemble: pour small amount sauce in bottom of crock

put one layer of tortillas

then a layer of chicken and black beans

then drizzle of sauce,

then sprinkle of cheese

repeat layers until you run out of ingredients. I try to finish with sauce and cheese as final layers.

Turn crock on low for all day, or on high until bubbly then down to Low until ready to eat.

Can easily omit chicken and have it be black bean enchilada casserole

Pot roast:

One 2-3 lb pot roast

2 carrots, cut in big pieces

3 med size potatoes, cut in big pieces

about 1/2 cup water in bottom of crock pot

1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup

Assemble: water to bottom of crock. Then meat and veggies. Sprinkle soup mix over all. Cook on Low for 8 hrs or High for 4 hrs.

I served the pot roast at a party last week and they all wanted to know the recipe.

Enjoy,

Susanna

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.....Always spray crock with vegetable spray before any recipe, for easy clean up later....

Enchilada Casserole

2 cups of cooked, cubed chicken

12 corn tortillas, torn up

one can La Victoria mild red enchilada sauce

1 can black beans

2 cups grated cheese (I use colby-jack or Monterey jack)

Assemble: pour small amount sauce in bottom of crock

put one layer of tortillas

then a layer of chicken and black beans

then drizzle of sauce,

then sprinkle of cheese

repeat layers until you run out of ingredients. I try to finish with sauce and cheese as final layers.

Turn crock on low for all day, or on high until bubbly then down to Low until ready to eat.

Can easily omit chicken and have it be black bean enchilada casserole

Enjoy,

Susanna

Oh Susanna,

Mexican casserole, now we're talkin' some good stuff. I'll bet you could just cook that in the oven too.

I never thought about the oil spray first, good idea!

best regards, lm

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I love my crockpot. It is really good on days that you work and want to come home to a hot meal. Spaghetti sauce and chili are the best in a crockpot. I suggest spraying it with non-stick spray before using (like someone else mentioned) because they can be a pain to clean. Remember that you are supposed to fill the pot atleast half way when buying one. Mine is huge and I always have to add extra stuff to fill it up.

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Think I'll wait for the manufacturers to get their heads out of their asses and design something more versatile and useful.

Someday....sigh :D

I love my crock pot! Got it as one of my very few wedding presents, and probably the most practical one! I've made enchilada casserole in the oven before (love that the tops and edges get really crispy), but never tried it in the pot! I love making soups! GFP who used to post here a lot introduced me to a staple in my diet (and budget). Throw a bunch of inexpensive chicken pieces (legs/thighs/whatever's on sale), skin and bones and all, and cook with veggies for a couple hrs on low, then pull the meat out and peel it off the bones. Great for chicken noodle soup! Tons of flavor too!

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For those lazy like me, you can now buy crock pot liners (made of material similar to the bags to cook turkey in) to make clean up much easier.

I agree - the liners are great! I make dinner, dish out the leftovers into individual containers and freeze (for future lunches and dinners), pull out the liner and throw it away.

I get several meals from it - and a big plus...Self cleaning :P

Cindy

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