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Crockpots revisited

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TravelingGal

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OK, so winter is officially here in a couple of weeks so I''ve thought about crockpots.

A couple of years ago, PS went through a bit of a crockpot craze. So I''m wondering...everyone who bought them, would you recommend it or is it just taking up storage space?
 

somethingshiny

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I have a standard crock pot, no fancy timers or anything, just 3 settings--I wouldn''t trade it for any other! I''ve never burned, scorched, or undercooked anything in it. I use it for roasts, chili, pork tenderloin, chicken, etc.
 

strmrdr

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I use mine an average of once a week year round.
During the summer I just sit it outside and run a cord to it.
My dollar store $15 cheapie is about toast so asked for a new one for Christmas.
 

TravelingGal

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Thanks for the replies so far. I read both Deco''s slow cooker thread and the crock pot recipe thread again so I''m debating...

Strm, which one are you looking into now? Linen''s and Things is going out of business and they have the 6 qt Rival premium versaware for 40% off. But I''m wondering if we''ll even LIKE crockpot cooking. Mara mentioned so much of the stuff comes out bland, and if it''s not bland it seems to require a lot of creamy soups thrown in. But I love the idea of slow cooking, especially chicken....
 

TravelingGal

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Also, I have a le creuset - could I just use that for slow cooking in the oven for a lot of crock pot recipes?
 

strmrdr

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Date: 12/6/2008 11:24:32 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Thanks for the replies so far. I read both Deco''s slow cooker thread and the crock pot recipe thread again so I''m debating...


Strm, which one are you looking into now? Linen''s and Things is going out of business and they have the 6 qt Rival premium versaware for 40% off. But I''m wondering if we''ll even LIKE crockpot cooking. Mara mentioned so much of the stuff comes out bland, and if it''s not bland it seems to require a lot of creamy soups thrown in. But I love the idea of slow cooking, especially chicken....
Like any other kind of cooking it is only as bland as the recipe you use.
Most people makes the mistake of putting the spice on the meat rather than in the water.
Putting the right spices in the water will put the flavor thru out the dish.

It doesn''t matter which one my sister is picking it out.
I just specified a 6 or 7 qt oval and it will likely be the cheapest one of that size target has.
 

neatfreak

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For another perspective we were given one and I think have used it maybe twice in the year we have had it...
 

february2003bride

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Tgal-

I love my crock pot! As a busy mom of 3 I love that I can toss food into the crock pot in the morning and by late afternoon theres a completed yummy dinner all done. I''ve also put ingrediants in the crock pot the night before, turned it on low and in the morning put the pot into the fridge. That way on nights when DH and I have different schedules, we can just scopp and reheat in the mircrowave.

Anyway, I''ve made shredded bbq chicken and pork, mac n- cheese, chili (beef and turkey), beef stew, ham and bean soup, chicken with veggies, etc. I personally don''t find our meals bland. I get most of my crock pot recipes from www.allrecipes.com.

Hope this helps!

Carrie
 

Kaleigh

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Date: 12/6/2008 11:26:39 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Also, I have a le creuset - could I just use that for slow cooking in the oven for a lot of crock pot recipes?
Yes you can. I did buy a Rival crock pot, it does a great job. I found that tweaking the recipes to your liking helps a lot. But will be honest and say, I am so not into it now. It was a phase for us.....or should I say me. Do you want mine???
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mochi

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I prefer the pressure cooker. I purchased a electric one on ebay, it was very cheap. The meats/veggies comes out very tender and tasty in a short time. They are also safer than in the past.

I have a couple of crockpots. I do use them occassionally when I''m not in a hurry.
 

vita*dolce

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T-gal,

I have a crockpot and i LOVE it!! i use it all the time! (like three times last week!)

it''s wonderful because i get up in the morning, throw something in, and when i come home from work or school my dinner is waiting for me!

it''s great for soups, ribs, potroast, apple butter (we have a bunch of apple trees so this is definitely handy!!), everything! i highly recommend investing in one! and if you do, we should dedicate a thread to trading some recipes!!!

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Miranda

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I use my crockpot frequently all year long. It does get more use in the winter, though. I just have a plain old Rival. Nothing ever comes out bland if you add enough spice to it!
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It''s perfect for soup, stews, roasts, pork, bbq...I could go on and on! I''m in love with the thing.
 

lovegem

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I have both crock pot and pressure cooker. I love the beef stew come out of the crock pot. The beef is tender, juicy, and yummy.
The pressure cooker scares me. It is in storage most of the time now.
 

scarleta

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I have used Crockpots for many years.I have two of them one large and very old , but works well and a newer is smaller. Sometimes I use both of them when we have company for dinner.YOU can make deserts in them also and breads so I need both.You can get a recipe books just for Crockpots.Can''t imagine not having one.I am able to enjoy the evening knowing that food won''t burn and it just turns out perfectly each time.The soups are great too especially in winter time.
 

EricaR

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I use my crock pot an average of twice a week. Each weekend I plan out the meals for that coming week, and I always plan it so that I cook one night and have something in the crock pot the next night. This lets me prep one time for two meals.

For example, this week my plan goes:
Monday - stir fry with chicken
Tuesday - chicken taco soup (in the crock pot)
Wednesday - Pasta with sauted veggies
Thursday - veggie beef soup

So monday night when I prep my stir fry veggies and chicken, I''ll prep the chicken taco soup at the same time. The crock part of my crock pot comes out, so the night before I''ll fill it up and put it in the fridge. When I leave for work the next morning I just pull it out of the fridge, put it in the electronic part, and turn it on. I''ll do the same on wednesday night. The soup and the pasta have some of the same veggies so I''ll cut up what I need. This way I only have to clean up the kitchen once for two meals.
 

EricaR

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My four favorite crock pot recipes...

Turkey and Veggies
Ingredients:
6 red potatoes or 2 russet/baking potatoes
Half pound carrots (baby carrots are OK!) cut into bite size pieces
6 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
Half turkey breast, with skin and bone
Can veggie broth
Directions:
Cut the potatoes into half inch pieces. Place potatoes, carrots and celery into bottom of crock pot. Pour in the can of veggie broth and season with oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Place turkey on top, bone side up. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Remove meat from bones and drain liquid.

French Dip Sandwiches
Ingredients:
2 pound rump roast
Can beef broth
Can condensed French onion soup
12 oz can or bottle of beer
Directions:
Trim excess fat from beef and place in slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on low for 8 hours. Thinly slice beef and return to broth for half an hour. Serve on toasted rolls with broth for dipping.

Chicken Taco Soup
Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
Can chili beans
Can black beans
Can whole kernel corn, drained
8 oz can tomato sauce
12 oz can or bottle of beer
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
Package taco seasoning
Two chicken breasts, frozen is OK
Optional: cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips or crushed chips
Directions:
Place onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer and tomatoes with chilies into crock pot. Add taco seasoning and stir. Place chicken breasts in mixture and submerge. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken and shred (you may want to let it cool prior to shredding), then return it to the mixture and stir. Serve!

Veggie Beef Soup
Ingredients:
2 pound rump roast, cut into one inch pieces
6 red potatoes or 2 russet/baking potatoes
Half pound carrots (baby carrots are OK) cut into bite size pieces
Whatever other veggies I have around – fresh, frozen or canned (green beans, celery, lima beans, corn, peas, etc)
Can beef broth
Small diced tomatoes (either plain or seasoned)
Directions:
Put everything into the crock pot and season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and whatever else you’d like. Cook on low for 8 hours.
 

rainwood

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T Gal, I got a Rival crockpot in a white elephant gift exchange a few years ago (the no-frills kind that was probably from Costco) and use it for several different dishes - notably my chicken verde which is a Cooking Light recipe that is anything but bland. Everybody who''s had it loves it.

The one thing I do is to saute the chicken (or other meat) a bit first before I put it in the crockpot because I don''t love the idea of having raw chicken sitting for hours before the crock pot is hot enough to cook it through. I''m probably being too conservative, but the sauteing also gives the chicken that nice caramelized flavor and color. I don''t use the slow cooker a lot, but it''s perfect for some things. And none of them require canned soup - unless you want to do a throwback to the 50''s.
 

Tuckins1

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I never use my crockpot. I don''t know why, I just prefer to make my things in "real time". I have used it to make soups before...
 

KimberlyH

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We use our crockpot once or twice a month, and I love having it anyways. We could certainly live without it, but I enjoy some of the foods that we make using it. I use it every year to make my tamale filling for Christmas gifts and it''s a big help. I have lots of cabinet space in my home, so it''s not in the way (we keep it in the cupboard unless we''re using it) and could see how it would be cumbersome if that space wasn''t available. My sister''s kitchen is small and her crockpot sits on her dining room table, not the most convenient of places. She''d probably prefer not to have it at all.
 

Gullfoss

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DH and I have made that french dip recipe, it is soooooo good!

I love using our crockpot. It''s nice to come home from work and have dinner already made.
 

Linda W

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T-Gal, we love our Crock pot. Use it all the time, for pot roasts. Makes delicious gravy.
 

somethingshiny

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"they come out bland"


I thought this was funny, everytime DH sees the crockpot he gets a big glass of milk to go with whatever's in it because he knows it's gonna be spicy!

Crockpot cooking is really different from any other cooking. Because you generally use a lot of water, you really need to add tons of flavor. I use lots of fresh herbs and spices.

I use my crockpot at least once a week all year. I use it more in the summer because it's an easy way to have good meat without running the oven all day.

I also use my crockpot (a smaller one) to make cheesy chili dips and fun stuff like that.

Also, you can't beat a crockpot for a potluck!
 

Haven

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I love my crock pot. I use it year round, not just during cold weather.

If you''re not opposed to second-hand items, our local Salvation Army always has several crock pots for very cheap. I''m actually upset that I bought mine full price, I would have bought it used if I had known.
 

Amandine

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I love mine, and use it all of the time in the winter. The house smells so good when I come home.

If you are purchasing one, I recommend that you make certain that you can take the crockery part out. It makes a huge difference in ease of cleaning.
 

mrssalvo

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i use mine too. especially since i started working a couple afternoons a week and we don''t get home until after 6:00pm. if dinner wasn''t already cooking I''d be so tempted to drive through tacobell and be done with it. finding the right recipes is key.

neat, after your boys are here you might find you''ll use it more b/c it''s such a time saver.
 

Mannequin

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I''ve been using mine about once a week since I moved in with my BF. We especially love pot roasts, chicken, and soups.

Do you know someone you can borrow from, TG? Maybe if you borrowed a crock pot and tried it out to see if you would enjoy using it, then you can invest in your own later.
 

Skippy123

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Date: 12/7/2008 2:57:13 PM
Author: mrssalvo
i use mine too. especially since i started working a couple afternoons a week and we don''t get home until after 6:00pm. if dinner wasn''t already cooking I''d be so tempted to drive through tacobell and be done with it. finding the right recipes is key.

neat, after your boys are here you might find you''ll use it more b/c it''s such a time saver.
I do too and it especially nice if you want something when you come home. I chop up some carrots, celery, potatoes and use V8 juice and throw in a rump roast and it is perfect!!! I haven''t tried it for other recipes but that is super fast and easy one. I only have a $20 crockpot that is little since it is just hubby and I and we don''t cook many other things in it as I find it easier to cook certain items in a stock pot better.
 

TravelingGal

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Thanks all for your tips, recipes and general two cents! I''m still undecided but will go to my local linens and things and see if the crock pot is still there and will let that be the deciding factor!
 

neatfreak

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Date: 12/7/2008 2:57:13 PM
Author: mrssalvo
i use mine too. especially since i started working a couple afternoons a week and we don''t get home until after 6:00pm. if dinner wasn''t already cooking I''d be so tempted to drive through tacobell and be done with it. finding the right recipes is key.


neat, after your boys are here you might find you''ll use it more b/c it''s such a time saver.

Very possible. I think the reason we don''t use it much is because my DH is a vegetarian and so much of it''s use seems to be in cooking meat. But my DH has decided that he thinks he''s going to start eating a bit of meat when the boys are older, so who knows!
 

Haven

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Just made this pulled bbq chicken recipe in our crock pot and it was DELISH!
 
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