Thursday, July 28, 2011

Preparing for Crock Pot Cooking

So it appears that most people are interested in Crock Pot recipes! Well you are in luck!! It just so happens that I know a little bit about Crock Pot cooking! I know most people think that you have to be cooking for an Army if you cook in a Crock Pot. That is SOO NOT TRUE!! It's just Captain Hunk, Troop and myself in our home and I use my Crock pot(s) at least three times a week! Crazy you say? Actually, it's pretty dang smart! Uses less time preparing the main dish and more time to make DESSERT! That being said, you can also use your Crock Pot for desserts!! Awesome right?! I recently taught a class about Crock Pot basics and luckily I kept ALL of my notes! So in preparation for tomorrow's, and future recipes, here are some things are are GREAT to know! Feel free to add anything if you know something that I forgot to include!

First off, did you know that almost any oven recipe can also be cooked in the Crock Pot? Keep that in mind!

1 Spraying your Crock Pot with cooking spray or lining it with foil makes for super easy clean up!

2 Only fill it 3/4 of the way full to ensure room to cook thoroughly.

3 Add tender veggies, pasta, seafood, dairy products, and fresh herbs in the last 30 mins of cook time.

4 MEATS Always brown hamburger and sausage first! NEVER put it in raw.

5 VEGGIES Dense veggies like potatoes, carrots and other root veggies should be cut no larger than 1 inch and placed in the bottom of the pot, since they take longer to cook.

6 LIQUIDS Liquids can be decreased when slow cooking, usually by half. Unless the recipe calls for pasta or rice, one cup is usually enough.

7 HERBS & SPICES Best to add these near the end of cooking so they don't dissipate.

8 MILK & CHEESE Milk, sour cream and cream cheese break down over long periods of cooking and should be added during the last 30 mins.

9 SOUPS Add only enough water to cover ingredients. Add more after cooking if necessary. For milk based soups add 1 to 2 cups of water then during the last hour add the milk.

Here are the conversions for oven recipes to Crock Pot
Low 200 degrees High 300 degrees
15-30 mins 4-6 hrs 1 1/2-2 hrs
35-45 mins 6-10 hrs 3-4 hrs
50 mins- 3 hrs 8-18 hrs 4-6 hrs


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