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I love my crockpot(s)


Darienne
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In recent topics in this section, there has been some pooh-poohing towards crockpots and it occurred to me that this wondrous kitchen beast deserved a topic of its own.

I own four crockpots: 1 ginormous, 1 big and 2 medium. (I brought one medium with me to Moab and since arriving have done a small pulled pork roast.)

I candy citrus and ginger and other fruits in my crockpots.

I do pulled meats.

I keep Chinese and other foods warm at the buffet table. Particularly handy for Hot and Sour Soup. Well, pretty much any hot food for that matter.

Not much quantitatively, but oh so important to me.

I haven't casserole things in them. I just asked the DH could he think of anything else I made in a crockpot? And he laughed, pointing out how many crockpots are available in 2nd hand stores. Only one of mine was new and it was a gift from our daughter...the huge one.

What do you do with your crockpot and why? I love my crockpots :wub: ...do you love yours? Show these crockpot skeptics that crockpots are worthy of praise.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I make a number of soups in the crockpot, split pea and chicken come to mind.. Clear chicken soup is almost a no brainer. Since you don't want to boil the soup, it is a way to control the temperature. Just put the chicken and vegetables in it and when you come back hours later, there is the clear (or close to clear) soup.

Stews and bean dishes are a natural. Just set it in the morning and the food is ready when you come home.

I have done couscous with it, but the bottom sometimes gets hard.

Alton Brown, in one of his shows, used it to make oatmeal.

I have one crock pot, no longer made, that allow you to adjust the temperature. I used it for my first few times I tried SV (now I have a PID controller and roaster); the temperature control was a pain to set. I may try it for small SV items, but there is usuallt not enough room for stuff I make.

Since I don't cook on Saturday, there are times I may have three or four crockpots going in the winter.

One hint - with the exception of soup, I always spray Pam on the pot; it makes cleaning a whole lot easier.

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There's no reason to disparage a crock pot. It's just an appliance, after all, with no moral value. It's designed to cook things slowly, and for that, it works wonderfully.

We've actually had a great many threads on eG devoted to crock pots. Do a search for threads with "crock" in the title, and about a dozen will pop up.

There are adoring fans using their crock pots to make everything from breads to cheese to roasts, including my recipe for easy tacos de lengua. You can put steel cut oats on before you go to bed, and wake up to the creamiest oatmeal imaginable.

And absolutely nothing works as well as a crock pot for making onion confit.

I also use mine all winter long to make gluhwein and hot mulled cider when we have guests.

Absolutely would not be without it. I think turning up one's nose at an appliance is just silly.

Of course, to each his own. I know that a crock pot doesn't work well for every dish. It can turn some things to mush. Like any other appliance, you have to learn how to use it to its best advantage.

Here's a thread with over twelve pages of interesting discussion: Crock pots/slow cookers - recipes and techniques

_________________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks for the information and further threads, Jaymes. I made the mistake of spelling it only one way when I looked it up to find out if there had been such a thread before. Found lots of threads...but none devoted to the crockpot per se. Shoulda knowed better.

Thanks.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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There the only thing to make a cholent in. (OK, not the only way to make it, but it's safe to say the most popular way.) Not something I make often, but I know many, many households that rely on them and use them every week.

During the winter I'll make crockpot soups a few times. Perfect for barley soups and good for borscht.

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I make soups and stews and corned beef in the crock pot the regular way. The only unusual way I use it is in combination with my grill or smoker.

I like a little bit of smoke flavor in some meats, but not alot. I will sear meat on the grill and then finish it in the crock pot (slow low moist braise). Same thing with the big barrel smoker--I'll put something in there for a couple hours and then finish it in the crock pot. There is nowhere I can get such a moist environment with such a low temperature.

That is, until I bought the Big Green Egg. But the crock pot was $30 and the xlBGE was $1000. I LOVE the BGE, but dollar for dollar the crock pot wins.

So, for example, take a 7 pound pork shoulder, Boston Butt. I will let it sit overnight with a rub with a decent amount of brown sugar in it. Then in the morning I will fire up the grill. It takes about an hour to get decent color on all 6 sides of the beast. In that process I'll throw a couple three handfuls of wet applewood or hickory chips on the flames.

Then I'll put the seared butt in the crockpot on low with maybe a scant cup of applejuice for about 10 hours. Yay! Pulled pork sammies for dinner!

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I have several Crock-pots and slow cookers, ranging from two of the tiny 16 ounce "Little Dipper" Crock Pots - perfect for keeping hot dips or sauces hot, to the biggest that actually has a crockery lining, a Gourmet Pro 10-qt that I bought at Walmart three or four years ago. (Big disadvantage, it weighs 25 pounds empty!)

And I think all the sizes in between, however I just gave two away (3 qt and 6 qt) to a young neighbor who is coping with her husband being gone (military) and raising her own daughter and her sister's two children.

Anyway, I am pretty sure I bought one of the first Crock Pots that came onto the market - the crockery liner was not removable - and loved it. Unlike most of those made today, it was deeper than wide and the heating coils were only around the sides, none in the bottom - stuff simply did not stick to the bottom.

A good sized chicken would fit with room for a few vegetables. Ditto a pot roast, stew meat and so on but it was either on or off and the 'ON' was not hot enough to boil (which was the whole point). It produced many, many meals and went on to its just reward after years of constant use.

Did you know that the idea of the Crock Pot actually came from an engineer who was trying to develop a way to slow cook beans the way his mother did in the "deep well" burner on her electric stove?

Hotpoint introduced the deep well burner in 1946 and was marketed toward the women who were continuing to work outside the home after the end of WWII.

(Most kitchen range production had ceased during the war as the manufacturers were turning out military goods)

The engineer worked at Naxon Utilities, a company that made sun lamps and some other small appliances and the company patented "The Beanery" (unfortunate name because it made it sound like a one-purpose appliance). Then Rival bought Naxon (for other patents) and discovered this possibly useful small appliance.

Their engineers and designers tweaked it a bit and the Crock Pot was born.

My mother had one of those Hotpoint ranges with the deep well burner - push a button and the burner dropped to the bottom and the small stockpot that came with the stove would fit perfectly into the "well" and the low setting would cook a pot roast (or beans) over a period of several hours, using less electricity.

Anyway, I have always been a fan of Crock Pots and their various named siblings.

I follow the blog of another Crock Pot fan: A Year of Crockpotting

and subscribe to email updates.

Just got one day before yesterday.

I also have a couple (or three) of the electric roasters that work about the same way as a Crock pot but they have metal "pans" and racks and some came with extra interior containers so one could cook multiple items at the same time in the roaster. (Actually, I have four - a Pink Westinghouse, a "Harvest Gold Hamilton Beach, a white Nesco (my grandmother's) and an Everhot.)

This "old" idea reappeared a year or so ago with a slow cooker made by GE that has two sections.

Divided GE Slow Cooker

What will they think of next? Probably a version of something your mother or grandmother had.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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And if you entertain a lot, which for a number of years we did (and by "a lot," I mean that there were about six or seven years wherein we did not go a single month without having guests in our home an average of three times a week for events that included some sort of food; everything from 30 or so ladies for teatime or an elegant luncheon or an all-day bridge party [that also required breakfast upon arrival and snacks throughout], to cocktail parties, to several families for backyard cookouts, to Sunday brunches and holiday or "game-day" open houses for we-never-knew-how-many, to dinner for 30, 40, 80), crock pots are invaluable for serving heated foods, and drinks such as aromatic hot punches, mulled cider and wine.

So, assuming you can get over the stigma of having your friends and guests know you own one, they're extremely handy for entertaining.

Did you know that the idea of the Crock Pot actually came from an engineer who was trying to develop a way to slow cook beans the way his mother did in the "deep well" burner on her electric stove?

Hotpoint introduced the deep well burner in 1946 and was marketed toward the women who were continuing to work outside the home after the end of WWII.

And it wasn't just those electric ranges that had a "deep well." I remember my grandmother's old gas stove had a deep well. A lipped pot dropped down into the well. There were two handles that recessed into the side of the top lip with which one lowered and retrieved the pot. I think someone told me that my grandmother had bought that stove back in the 20's. I still have the pot with its lipped rim.

I remember going to my grandmother's house when I was a very small child. There was always something tasty bubbling in that pot.

And if you google "deep well" stove, looks like there are quite a few expensive ranges that feature one. Doubt they would be received in one's kitchen with quite the same level of derision as the poor ol' lowly crock pot.

Bad crock pot. You bad, bad crock pot.

:biggrin:

_____________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I have several Crock-pots and slow cookers, ranging from two of the tiny 16 ounce "Little Dipper" Crock Pots - perfect for keeping hot dips or sauces hot, to the biggest that actually has a crockery lining, a Gourmet Pro 10-qt that I bought at Walmart three or four years ago. (Big disadvantage, it weighs 25 pounds empty!)

Thanks Andie. I never really thought about the 'history' of crockpots. You are truly a font of all culinary knowledge...as is also demonstrated in your wonderful new blog! Count me as an enthusiastic fan! :wub:

Part of the history bit is because I am a "collector" and I am one of those obsessive types that just "has" to know the history and pedigree of the things I collect. Much of the information was collected long before the internet and I have stacks of notebooks with information I copied at libraries and some hand written before the days when libraries had copiers. See what I mean about obsessive?

While a lot of the info is printed, it is surprising how much dwells in my memory, totally forgotten until something sparks and it pops to the surface.

That Everhot roaster is a classic, Art Deco design, never used, and the "jewel" of my collection. Manufactured in the late 1930s. Never used and I have the original box.

Isn't it pretty?

Everhot #1.png

Everhot #2.png

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Did you know that the idea of the Crock Pot actually came from an engineer who was trying to develop a way to slow cook beans the way his mother did in the "deep well" burner on her electric stove?

Hotpoint introduced the deep well burner in 1946 and was marketed toward the women who were continuing to work outside the home after the end of WWII.

And it wasn't just those electric ranges that had a "deep well." I remember my grandmother's old gas stove had a deep well. A lipped pot dropped down into the well. There were two handles that recessed into the side of the top lip with which one lowered and retrieved the pot. I think someone told me that my grandmother had bought that stove back in the 20's. I still have the pot with its lipped rim.

_____________________

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Funny that I saw this topic today! Yesterday afternoon I took out my crock pot for the first time in a long while and cooked pulled pork in it, which I've never done before. My crock pot is an ancient mustard-coloured early-70's era appliance with the kitschiest design on the front; it was a wedding present someone gave my parents, and they'd never used it. It has two heat setting - high & low - and no auto shut-off/timer, which means I need to babysit it a bit. The outside heating part gets really hot, because this was before heat-proof exteriors were invented. I'm also at risk of electrocuting myself, because this was also before three-pronged grounding plugs were invented. :raz:

I need to give my crock pot more love - I don't use it nearly enough!

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What will they think of next?

A friend had this triple crock pot buffet server. In it she had two main dishes and a hot dessert dish in the third cooker.

They also make a double slow cooker server.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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One hint - with the exception of soup, I always spray Pam on the pot; it makes cleaning a whole lot easier.

I can't believe that as much as a Pam user that I am I've never thought to spray the crock before fixing things. Thank you for pointing that out. Just proves one is never to old to keep learning.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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What will they think of next?

A friend had this triple crock pot buffet server. In it she had two main dishes and a hot dessert dish in the third cooker.

They also make a double slow cooker server.

Oh my! I just may be in love again. It's out of my snack bracket for stuff I really don't need, but a girl can dream.....

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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And if you entertain a lot, which for a number of years we did (and by "a lot," I mean that there were about six or seven years wherein we did not go a single month without having guests in our home an average of three times a week for events that included some sort of food; everything from 30 or so ladies for teatime or an elegant luncheon or an all-day bridge party [that also required breakfast upon arrival and snacks throughout], to cocktail parties, to several families for backyard cookouts, to Sunday brunches and holiday or "game-day" open houses for we-never-knew-how-many, to dinner for 30, 40, 80), crock pots are invaluable for serving heated foods, and drinks such as aromatic hot punches, mulled cider and wine.

Hopefully, you all don't think that I was the one disparaging crockpots :unsure::smile: . I actually love them for the uses Jaymes describes above. We entertain a lot like this also and, crockpots are great for this. So much so, that people continue to give me more based on how many we use. In addition to several medium and xlarge ones, I bought some smaller one on sale and use them for fondues and chocolate dipping sauces. Our friends love it. However, based on the way I cook in my every day life of prepping on weekends (and the types of things we eat), still haven't found a way to incorporate them for regular cooking. The only two things I use them for other than parties are cooking brisket and, occasionally, a turkey breast that always comes out really moist. However, since we are not big meat eaters, I don't do this often (unless we are having a party :raz: ).

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I can't believe that as much as a Pam user that I am I've never thought to spray the crock before fixing things. Thank you for pointing that out. Just proves one is never to old to keep learning.

I've always sprayed mine before using, but they also sell crockpot liners. Once you're done cooking you just pull the liner out and toss it.

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And if you entertain a lot, which for a number of years we did (and by "a lot," I mean that there were about six or seven years wherein we did not go a single month without having guests in our home an average of three times a week for events that included some sort of food; everything from 30 or so ladies for teatime or an elegant luncheon or an all-day bridge party [that also required breakfast upon arrival and snacks throughout], to cocktail parties, to several families for backyard cookouts, to Sunday brunches and holiday or "game-day" open houses for we-never-knew-how-many, to dinner for 30, 40, 80), crock pots are invaluable for serving heated foods, and drinks such as aromatic hot punches, mulled cider and wine.

Hopefully, you all don't think that I was the one disparaging crockpots :unsure::smile: . I actually love them for the uses Jaymes describes above. We entertain a lot like this also and, crockpots are great for this. So much so, that people continue to give me more based on how many we use. In addition to several medium and xlarge ones, I bought some smaller one on sale and use them for fondues and chocolate dipping sauces. Our friends love it. However, based on the way I cook in my every day life of prepping on weekends (and the types of things we eat), still haven't found a way to incorporate them for regular cooking. The only two things I use them for other than parties are cooking brisket and, occasionally, a turkey breast that always comes out really moist. However, since we are not big meat eaters, I don't do this often (unless we are having a party :raz: ).

I think you're absolutely right about this. It does, just as you say, depend so much upon your circumstance. Those voracious kids to whom I fed countless crock pot meals are all grown and gone. Jettisoned the husband, too, somewhere along the way.

So now, like you, primarily use my crock pot for guests.

But I'm a big believer that different times, different circumstances, different needs, different problems require different solutions.

I just think it's a far wiser policy in general to say "someday that 'whatever' might come in handy"; rather than, "never have, never will, and oh by the way, ugh."

____________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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What will they think of next?

A friend had this triple crock pot buffet server. In it she had two main dishes and a hot dessert dish in the third cooker.

They also make a double slow cooker server.

Hey! I've got a double server but it was made in the 1930s.

It looks very similar but has an indirect heat opration - it has a well for hot water into which the serving dishes (one is divided) are held but it does keep hot things hot. I guess it was developed to perform like a steam table.

1930a server.JPG

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That Everhot roaster is a classic, Art Deco design, never used, and the "jewel" of my collection. Manufactured in the late 1930s. Never used and I have the original box.

Isn't it pretty?

That is just an awesome piece.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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A friend had this triple crock pot buffet server. In it she had two main dishes and a hot dessert dish in the third cooker.

They also make a double slow cooker server.

I've been eyeing them for maybe a year and a half but as I am still unemployed I just can't justify spending the bucks right now - but I really want to.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I've been eyeing them for maybe a year and a half but as I am still unemployed I just can't justify spending the bucks right now - but I really want to.

Porthos, Porthos, Porthos :wub: , you go straight to your nearest second hand store and buy yourself a wonderful crockpot for $5 max. I kid you not. Well, maybe $10 if you live in an upscale city.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Porthos, Porthos, Porthos :wub: , you go straight to your nearest second hand store and buy yourself a wonderful crockpot for $5 max. I kid you not. Well, maybe $10 if you live in an upscale city.

Not to worry. I was posting about the 3-crock-pot combo units. Costco has them (link here) for about $70USD right now. I have a crock pot and 2 sizes of electric roasters. The crock pot and the 8 qt chicken roaster stay out on the counter at all times.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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This topic on unconventional uses for stand mixers got me thinking about unconventional uses for crockpots. Has anyone used their crockpots for something else other than cooking and keeping food warm?

I've used mine for warming up henna for hair (in case anyone's wondering, it's a paste made from a plant used to naturally colour hair). I've only done it once, because it made a huge mess and there wasn't much room on my bathroom counter for it.

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