General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Crock pot questions?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) August 12th, 2008

I just bought a new crock pot and I love it… but between my search for recipes and my love of watching the Food Network, I’ve gotten some conflicting information.

Do you always have to have some sort of liquid in the pot? Say, pot roast with veggies or corned beef and cabbage… can you just throw the hunk of meat in there and let the juices/condensation be the liquid? And something like pork chops or chicken, can they overcook and dry out if they’re sitting in liquid (soup or broth?)

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22 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

oh, and how do you know how long to cook different things if you’re not following a recipe?

charliecompany34's avatar

love the food channel! watching it right now as i write. got a real good recipe from emiril and i’d say yes, you do need liquid or broth to get it going. try a good sturdy legume like great northern beans, ham hock or sausage, trinity of onions, green peppers and celery, bay leaf and good chicken broth.

gailcalled's avatar

So far, I hate mine. I have bought and given away two real cookbooks. My cp holds 3.5 quarts and all I can make successfully is steel-cut oatmeal.

Charlie: can you give proportions, heat level and time. I will skip the sausage or ham hock.

trumi's avatar

A lot of Crock pot dishes have water already in them, so the heat should bring out that moisture and cook them in their own goodness.

Curry, marinara sauce, and beef stroganoff are my favorites.

And the easiest one in the world is sauerkraut and meat (bratwurst, pork, you name it). Just throw a can of kraut in, maybe some garlic and onions, some meat, and sliced potatoes if you have them, and let it stew all day. Couldn’t be easier.

charliecompany34's avatar

@gailcalled: soak half bag of beans in water overnite. not the whole standard size bag because beans will plump anyway. drain beans and pour into crock. add diced green peppers, onions and celery. substitute ham hock or sausage with turkey bacon or turkey leg or butt. wanna go totally meatless? ok, cool. pour in large chicken broth to cover. turn CP on low heat and forget about it. go to work. paint the house. teach personal fitness classes at the community center all day. just let the beans love each other all day. serve with rice. carbs and protein baby!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Yes, you do need water, otherwise the meat (or whatever) will stick to the bottom of the pan and start to burn, just like if you put it on the stove like that for like 5 hours.

Yes, things can overcook, as in be cooked too much for your taste, but they will not dry out (because they’re submerged in liquid). They will become extremely tender, and can just plain fall apart.

I love my crock pot too! It’s so handy!

tabbycat's avatar

I use my crock pot a lot, and I can’t imagine not adding water. I agree with La chica gomela. The meat will stick to the bottom. I’ve made wonderful pot roasts in my crock pot, though I more frequently use it for stews, soups, and chilis.

surlygirl's avatar

if part of your meat is submerged and part is exposed, the exposed meat may come out a bit dry and tough. i think this is partly due to length of cooking time.

i have a friend who swears by her crock pot chicken alfredo. in pot, combine large jar of alfredo sauce and about 1 lb of chicken breasts. set on low and go to work. when you get home, cook up a pot of your choice of pasta. plate up pasta, top with a piece of chicken and plenty of sauce.

crock pots are fantastic to do soups in. just like on a stove, you can toss in your fav veggies, some stock or tomato juice, and herbs/seasonings. set to low for later dinner or high if you want to eat sooner, then forget about it! i always get great veggie soup. or chili!

i always take a hot dip or appetizer to family gatherings in my crock pot. frozen meatballs couldn’t be easier and always disappear. or spinach-artichoke dip. or pepperoni dip. or wing dip. wow, am i hungry!

dragonflyfaith's avatar

I agree, most things will already have some sort of soup, broth, sauce, milk or water in it. Otherwise I’d just add a little to keep it from drying out.

Check out for ideas. I’ve made everything from spaghetti, roasts, dips, wings, enchiladas and desserts in mine.

surlygirl's avatar

i also made a mexican casserole in mine once – layers of corn tortillas, cooked chicken, chiles, sour cream, etc.

cooksalot's avatar

Need some recipes I’ll post some on the blog. Interested in any particular dishes?

gailcalled's avatar

Meatless ones for dummies, please.

poofandmook's avatar

anything that’s not spicy and doesn’t include beans :)

cooksalot's avatar

Not spicy, no beans
and some meatless ones

gailcalled's avatar

One more thing: (I love beans, BTW) no prep with browning, toasting, using other utensils.

cooksalot's avatar

Here’s the Crockpot catagory

poofandmook's avatar

awesome, thanks! That cheesy artichoke chicken sounds amazing!

cooksalot's avatar

Still adding. Matter of fact I’m going to make those chicken wings tomorrow for dinner.

W686's avatar

i want to do 2 roasts of beef – one rarer than the other. can I start one before the other = adding 2nd one 2 hrs or so later???

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