So, I'm about to use my crockpot for the third time (first two times were for nacho cheese new years and super bowl). I've had it for 6 years now (shower gift) -- I need to use it. Please share with me your tips and tricks so I can start using this bad boy! Thanks in advance for your time.
i have one too and have never used it. i have some recipes pinned though so i'll be watching this thread and hopefully we can get it moving :)
I LOVE my crockpot. I made this last week--it was originally tweeted by Ali Edwards. It was so yummy over rice noodles with lots of cilantro on top!
I second the link Meghann sent! That was soo good! I like some of the other recipes on there also!
oh that looks yum
This is one of my faves and very, very easy!
4 chicken breasts
1 bottle of Hawaiian style BBQ sauce (sold at Target)
1 lg can of crushed pineapple
Put ingredients in crock pot on low for 4-6 hours (some cook hotter than others), until chicken done. Scoop out chicken and make sure that you get some of the pineapple. Shred chicken and add more bbq sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays Honey) and serve on hamburger buns. You can also use the little Hawaiian rolls and make chicken bbq sliders.
If you wrap up potatoes in foil and throw them in there on low for 8 hours you can get baked potatoes! We topped them with some braised beef -- but you could use them for anything :)
I have a recipe from the Skinnytaste site too ! (I think it's a great resource)
We really liked this one.. We ate it over quinoa.
And this one is pretty good too - however I remember it being a bit too salty!
Here's one that popular at my house.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps
1 lb chicken breasts
3/4 c. Wing sauce
Another 1/4 c. Wing sauce
Put the chicken in the crockpot. Add 3/4 wing sauce and enough water to cover them. Cook on low for 6 hours. Drain liquid and shred chicken. Add back to crock pot with 1/4 c wing space and 1/4 c. Ranch. Serve wrapped in tortillas (the big ones) with shredded lettuce and a drizzle of more ranch.
I've got this in the cork pot right now. http://chefmommy-brandao.blogspot.com/2011/03/salsa-chicken-slow-cooker.html
i wonder if mine is big enough? it seems on the small end for the portion sizes it's calling for. it was a hand me down from my momma.
We just made this recipe yesterday- so yummy! http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/08/slow-cooker-bacon-wrapped-apple-bbq.html
here's one of my favorites:
1 chuck roast
1 can diced tomatoes
1 lg can green chilis
2 beef boullian cubes
1/2 chopped/sliced onion
put in crockpot low all day(6-10 hrs). when ready, shred meat and stir.
put on tortillas and top with cheese(over meat on inside).
you can eat now(What I do). My sister said that she puts hers in the oven for a little bit to crisp up..
seriously yum. gotta try it!
makes quite a bit..depends on roast I guess..lots of leftovers for us
Here are some of our favorites:
I just got married and was happy to receive a Crock-Pot as a gift. :) Will be watching this thread for ideas...
Here's a recipe from a friend that I can't wait to try:
Apple Pie Oatmeal
3 Apples, diced
1 cup of STEEL CUT Oatmeal (you HAVE to use Steel Cut Oatmeal-not
1 cup of Apple Juice
3 cups of Water
1/2 - 1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp of nutmeg (optional)
I put approximately 1/8 cup of brown sugar at hour 1.5
On her blog, she says for best results, combine all ingredients in a
crock pot and cook for 2-4 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low stirring
occasionally. I had to leave mine in for about 8 hours
(sleeeeeeping), so she said to add one more cup of water so it doesn't
You could also add pecans or drizzle some low fat maple syrup on it.
There is an awesome blog called one year of slow cooking that really got me started a couple years ago.
I adore my slow cooker & have been known to make things over night in it, & to start another meal in the morning. I like not having to cook every night.
My tried & true advice & suggestions:
Chicken (thawed or frozen, bone on or not but definitely skinless if at all possible)
I prefer thighs because they are hearty & can hold up to 10 hrs of cooking on a busy day
Any of these suggestions will work with thick cut pork chops too.
Any crockpot recipe that lists cooking time of 8 hrs on low can usually be done within 4 hrs on high. just check your meat with a food thermometer so you know it's to temperature. Pork 145 degrees is the new FDA standard, chicken is 175 or higher. I tend for 175 because it will still cook as you pull it out & let it sit 5+ minutes before you muss with it.
Actual dairy will not make it for hours in the slow cooker & will curdle. Add any creams, sour cream, milk, half & half, etc. At the very end of the cooking time. Do this ideally after the crockpot has cooled for a few minutes. I learnt this one the hard way.
I tend to make things more complicated by browning my meats, sautéing my veggies, & taking those extra steps with crock pot & any other slow method recipe. That's just me, & I do love to cook. If that's not something you can do, your results will definitely still be tasty & devoured!
In the past, the directions for slow cookers involved lots & lots of liquid to cover the meat. That's really not necessary. The meat itself will release it's juices. Covering the whole meal by adding too much liquid really dilutes those flavors. I'd say 2 cups max for any recipe.
Place your Meat on bottom, veggies on top. The bottom is the heat source, & meat is the longest item to cook through.
If you are using hard veggies like carrot or potato, a full 8 hrs cooking time may make them mushy & unattractive besides their overcooked yumminess! I've found adding hard veggies halfway thru & softer veggies like squash 90% of the way through keeps those veggies intact but cooked.
Sorry, that first post posted itself.
Canned tomatoes are the exception to the vegetable timeline above. Usually it's completely fine & necessary to add at the start of cooking.
On a off day, take any meat of your choosing & literally any sauce of your choosing. Combine in crockpot. Meat can even be frozen. In 6-8 hours on low, you'll have a beautiful meat course! Sauces include pre made afredo or other cheese sauce, creamed soups like campbells brand, spaghetti, BBQ, teriyaki, red or green salsa, enchilada sauce. I've even mixed basic chicken broth with white wine, dijon mustard, lemon, & butter.
If you desire ground beef in a recipe, cook it & drain off any fat separately. Then proceed with your recipe. My hubby didn't do that once. We ordered pizza instead of eating the fatty lumpy thing in the pot. ;)
Meat thickness or weight is an issue. The thicker & fattier the meat the less likely it will be dry when done cooking. Smaller cuts of meat will take less time & will be more subject to the moistness issue. Crockpots generally made really moist, fall apart on your fork meals. But every once in awhile, you'll get a tougher result. Sometimes that's why. obviously, I don't want fatty skin or other fatty pieces in my food, so I do remove what I can. Some left in fat adds flavor, moisture & calories. ;)
I keep frozen premade rice, spaghetti & other starchy sides like smushed non dairy potatoes in my freezer. I will defrost by adding a tablespoon of water, cover, microwave. Stir & cook until defrosted.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Having been chronically ill for many years has taught me to really use tools like this one. When I have the energy I do cook. But oftentimes, just pulling out the fresh but refrigerated entree from the fridge & reheating it can really save my day.
Whoops! Just wanted to share 2 more things.
1) Every time you remove the lid to see what's happening in there, it will add 20+ minutes to the cooking time. You can get around this by starting on high for 1-2 hours & finishing the remaining time on low. Be sure to convert the 2 hours on low from the 1 hour on high cooking time.
2) Spices & salt are important but use less because everything concentrates in the cooking process. As you get used to how things are turning out, you can always do what you like!
Just a little warning, as I did have a problem of using too much salt when I make slow cooker meats. I forget this, & my food has been very salty & almost uneatable. So, now I use a little salt at the beginning, & add more after tasting at the end.
Again good eats! & message me if you have questions. LOL, obviously I love to share!
Wow lots of great info forsara!!! Thanks.
I love my crock pot. This weekend I made meatballs for a potluck, super easy and yummy!
Frozen meatballs (I get them at M&Ms but any kind will do)
One jar of grape jelly
One jar of Chilli Ketchup
Slpash of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to tastes
Set on low for 6 to 8 hours. Enjoy. :)
Love all these ideas and tips! And I love my crockpot.... and my favorite go to crockpot favorite tip ....
Put one whole chicken in pot (I usually use one of Perdue's "Oven Stuffer Roasters") and cook 6-8 hrs on low. That's literally it!
The meat falls off the bone and is very moist. I usually just use the shredded chicken a bunch of different ways (even just slices of chicken that night ) and strain some of the liquid for stock for chicken soup. It doesn't come out nice and roasted crispy but this works well when I don't have time to be home for hours and provides a good base of cooked chicken for a couple of meals!
I use mine a lot. I will second the rec's for gina's skinny taste. I love her site and she has a whole crock section. My favorite is the chicken tortilla soup. I use my crock a lot to cook up chicken for the week to use for other things. Throw in a whole chicken with some seasoning or put in a package of chicken breasts with some water and seasoning. It shreads perfectly.
I don't use it a ton, but here is one of the best recipes I have found. It is a wonderful beef stew and my family loves it. http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/soups/park-city-stew/
Also, I use mine to make pulled pork. I use a pork shoulder, sliced onions, and a bottle of BBQ sauce mixed with a packet of french onion soup mix. Cook it on low all day then shred it up and mix with the sauce. Delicious!!
Such a great thread! I'll be trying lots of these recipes. Thanks so much, everyone, for sharing them!