Ive bought a slow cooker!! help!!

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by canireallydothis!!, 4 April 2007 Social URL.

  1. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    Never had one before, its a paul rankin 5.5 ltr one, didnt come with a recipie book, anyone got any hints tips or how to use it!!
     
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  3. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    Hi vicky,yup i used to be a slow cooker afficionado_Only gave mine away recently,didn;t use it any more cos have aga=does the same thing.
    am falling asleep now but will write at length about it tomorrow.
    I reckon they're great devices.
     
  4. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Yep, we use ours probably once a week. Used to use it more.

    Stick everything in...go to work. Come back...dish up:cool:
     
  5. Lesleyfx

    Lesleyfx Flutytooty

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    For a stew or a curry or chilli etc: chop all ingredients, put in large non-stick fry-pan and stir cook for 5 mins only (to brown meat and start root veg as that takes longer to cook this way than meat does). Then put it all in the slow cooker with stock or sauce and just enough liquid to just cover meat and veg. (you will get more liquid from veg as it cooks) cook on low setting for 7 to 12 hours. (yes that's a 5 hours timespan for dishing-up times) Perfect for after work OR a busy day out where you get home cold and exhausted.
    DO-NOT add pasta or rice as these will absorb too much water and not be nice!!! Cook them seperate if wanted.
    Basic - but hope it helps?
     
  6. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    All helps loads, bought a ham shank, going to do a ham shank soup/stew tomorrow.

    Someone said I could roast a chicken in it!
     
  7. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    Pot Roast-not 'Roast' roast.
    you've got the hang of how they work?
    A pot in an isulated hot box is brought up to it's cooking temp of just about boiling point 100oC.
    The heating element is at the bottom.The contents of the pot must be wet.if not the heat wouldn't be transferred all round the pot & it would crack.( Hence can't roast)
    The steam that rises from the surface of the liquid condenses on the lid & trickles back down again.this has 2 effects.
    1 it forms a seal between pot & lid.
    2.stops any flavours escaping.

    Protein cooks at temps of about 65oC or above.
    Starch & cellulose based foods ie veg. don't cook untill boiling point.
    the not-quite-boiling temp of the crockpot therefore tends to cook meat faster than veg.Thus you can tenderise cheaper cuts of meat withpout the veg falling to bits.
    Also as there is no vigorous bubbling in the pot delicate meat eg fish will cook without disintegrating.

    There is no liquid evaporation due to the stem seal so you need to plan the fluid with care.enough to start with so that the heat can be conducted round the pot safely,but not so much that the stew is flooded when the exta juices released during cooking have added to the volume.

    Also need to be aware that some flavours can dominate the sauce.Anything strongly flavoured should be added in smaller amounts untill your're at home with it.i found sweet peppers had to be used sparingly,also my fave jerusalem artichokes & fennel.
    Other than that it's just a case of loading it up,turning it on & forgetting about it il supper time.
    Some people say you should fry the meat to seal it as you would for any normal stew,but I found that it worked just as well with the meat just chucked in raw.Esp chicken.
    Onions though do need to be fried first,otherwise you get a stew with boiled onion in.
    Virtually fat free stews can be made with the pot.
    Also if you fill it with water & leave the lid off it can be used to incubate home made yoghurt.

    I know i've got a book or 2 of recipes somewhere which I will tell you if i find, but it's a big if I'm afraid.

    Can't think ofanything else to say.
    If you've got any Q's i'll try to answer them.
    I think they are fab.Never got on with pressure cooker, because
    1.you had to keep an eye on it.
    2.everything tasted the same out of it.

    tell us how you get on.

    ps I used to put veg ,liquid & frozen meat in it before going to bed.By morning the meat would be all or nearly defrosted & I'd just give it a stir & turn it on.Super ready when I got home from work.
     
  8. natayou

    natayou a bit different everyday

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    i love my slow cooker, but be careful of using chicken portions in it, i once years ago, put some chicken thighs in mine with sort of stew sauce, came home to find a lovely steaming pot of.....chicken bones yep all the meat had fallen off and gone to the bottom hahahha
    its fab for curry ,chilli, spg bol meat, you can put your potatoes in all day and they will be fab when you get in, also home made veg rattatoile, chop up toms, onions peppers courgette, bung in some garlic and a tin of chopped toms half water some mixed herbs and leave all day, mmmmm really good
    have fun with it
    nat xx
     
  9. Lesly Cambridge

    Lesly Cambridge Cambridge Consultant

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    Like Jane, I ditched my pressure cooker because everything does taste the same, and assumed that slow-cookers would have the same problem....Fascinated now, and will buy one soon - presumably bigger is better?

    And there's always a stockpot on my hob (even though the smell makes me heave, the resultant soup is so worth it) - so a slow-cooker would solve that problem too, would it? And avoid having the oven on during a hot summer!

    Some months ago on a forum, I read the following, and saved it in anticipation:

    JACKET POTATOES, COOKED IN A SLOW-COOKER…
    Just prick the spuds all over, wrap them individually in tin foil, and pop them into the slow cooker on low setting, without any liquid on, for 8-10 hours.
    Bootiful!!

    But would that work, without liquid? Wouldn't want to blow the pot up! Vicky: I wonder if the divine Paul Rankin has a website you could get a recipe book from?
     
  10. yummy mummy

    yummy mummy Silver Member

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    i had a slow cooker and because i didnt know how to use it i gave it away. also it wasnt big enough to feed me and hubby (we eat like pigs) oink oink!!!!
     
  11. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    There are some rcipes on the independant newspaper website from when they reviewed the pot.
    If tower still make one they used to do a god no of recipes.Do they also have a web site?
     
  12. Lesleyfx

    Lesleyfx Flutytooty

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    Size: Depends what you want to cook and for how many? I have 2 sizes...
    small - for a slow-joint on it's own or for a meat dish to go with steamed veg...
    large - for soups, stews and complete meals.
     
  13. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    Wow, Lesley, you're obviously a pro with them.
    & it must save you a fortune in gas/electricity from not running the cooker.
    I've got an ag now -which I uselike a giant slow-cookerthere are only 2 real differences
    1.the aga doesn't run at the cost of a light bulb (sadly)
    2. the crockpot doesn't dry your clothes.
     
  14. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    The MSE forum is always a good place to find down to earth recipes. If your not a member, it's worth becoming one anyway.

    There many, many threads about slow cookers on there with loads of recipes. Well worth doing a search :)
    MoneySavingExpert.com Forums
     
  15. Lesleyfx

    Lesleyfx Flutytooty

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    To be honest I never really thought about it as saving money... just really convenient when you work fulltime, have a 45 minutes drive home, and have to pass many many takeaways with wonderful smells........ by the time we get home we're starving!!!! hehehe
     
  16. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    Wow, thanks for all your help, keep the hints and tips coming x
     
  17. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    Only if you cook the supper.
     
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  19. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    Cooked enough bleedin soup to feed the whole of mini's I reckon, 5 and a half litres is rather large!!!!

    Was Yum though, gonna do a beef and lentil casserole on tuesday as Im in a meeting all day so that should be good, freezer will be full anyway!
     
  20. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    Oh vicky ,how kind & there was me only joking.
    now how do you get soup down the internet?
     
  21. canireallydothis!!

    canireallydothis!! Gold Member

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    [​IMG] here you go x
     
  22. jane

    jane Opinionated

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    :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
     
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