anybody good with crock pot cooking??

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by saving grace, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. saving grace

    saving grace New Member

    I am not a cook, I dont like to cook and I when I do I am not good at it. I bought a crock pot a bit ago and I have been trying out some "easy" dinners. Well last weekend I followed a recipe for potroast with potatoes and carrots, it cooked all day the meat cooked but the carrots and potatoes were hard. I chalked it up to inexperience and tried again. Today I made beef stew, carrots have been in since 3:30 potatoes since 4:30ish it is now 10pm and my vegtables are still hard!!
    What am I doing wrong. Everyone tells me that the meal cooks itself, well the meat is cooking just fine but the veggies are determined to not cook.

    Does anyone know what's going on? shouldnt they be super soft practially mushy by now?

  2. jamrobmic

    jamrobmic New Member

    I haven't had this problem, but I found this:

    It addresses your question about 3/4 of the way down. It says vegetables (especially potatoes and carrots) take longer to cook than meats, and recommends cutting them into small pieces and placing them near the bottom and sides of the cooker to make sure they're covered by liquid.

    I hope this helps.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Crock pot cooking is an all day affair. Your cooking times are too short, or else you have the temp set too low. I cook for at least 6 hrs in a crock pot on the highest setting. (although tend to go up to 8 hrs) I only use low for keeping it warm. I've never had any success with low. easy child will use low if she is tossing in say a whole chicken in the early morning and it's gonna cook for 12 hrs.

    For pot roast veggies I use baby carrots and cut my potatoes into 4ths, 8ths if they're really big potatoes. And make sure veggies are in the water.

    Also when I crock pot, everything goes in at the same time unless there are noodles or rice involved. by the way I hate to cook noodles or rice in a crock pot so I'll do those on the stove last minute. lol

    Want an easy crock pot recipe??

  4. saving grace

    saving grace New Member

    Jam, thanks for the link..
    Daisy, I had it on high all day until about an hour ago when I thougt I was going to bed and I wanted to bring the temp down.

    The pieces are small, I made sure because I thought that was my problem with the pot roast last week, the pieces were too big.

    If I leave them in there and keep it on will the stew over cook?

    Sure I would love an easy recipe that doesnt involve Potatoes or carrots LOL.

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Can you over cook stew?? I'd set it on low and let it keep going if your veggies still aren't done.

    There just might be something wrong with your crock pot.

    Okay, easy recipe, no veggies. :biggrin:

    Take a roast like the one you made pot roast with (a blade roast will work fine but can be any cut), add 2 small cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of cream of celery soup, 1 1/2 can of water. Let it cook all day. (usually about 7 hours)

    Now depending on the size of your family and the size of the roast you can usually get 2 meals for the price of one. First day I serve the meat and gravy sliced with mashed potatoes and a veggie. Second day leftover meat and gravy becomes beef and noodles. I cook egg noodles up, cube up the remaining beef, warm beef and gravy in the microwave and mix it all together. Taa Daaa homemade beef and noodles.

    Makes me hungry. :biggrin:
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Perhaps your crock pot isn't working properly? I've never had that problem. If you tried everything, perhaps it's actually the crock pot. I make soup stock with my crock pot. I usually have to toss the carrots and celery because they are too mushy.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    This one should be pretty foolproof. I have some others that work well but I'll have to type them up.

    Big Batch Hash Brown Casserole

    8 ounce cream cheese, softened
    1 ½ cups milk
    1 cup sour cream
    2 cans cream of chicken soup
    1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
    4 Tablespoons butter, melted
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon finely chopped onion, optional

    3 pounds hash browns (12 cups) left in fridge overnight

    Combine ingredients except hash browns and mix thoroughly in a large bowl. Stir in hash browns. Pour into large greased baking dish 9 x 10 or larger. Bake at 375 for 1 hour of until bubbly. Remove from oven and let set 10 minutes before serving. May sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese if desired.

    Do ahead crock pot instructions: Mix all ingredients except hash browns the night before and refrigerate overnight in sealed bowl. Put hash brown packages in refrigerator. When ready to cook, nonstick spray crockpot well. Add hash browns and cheese mixture, stirring thoroughly. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (longer on low) or until potatoes are tender.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    OMG! That sounds heavenly!! I'm gonna try that one this week. :dance:
  9. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    See I don't generally recipe things into the crock pot I just throw in.

    I like chicken, a pack of chicken gavy mix, various spices (sage, lemon pepper whatever I am in the mood for - almost always garlic)

    Then I usually put baby potatoes (small ones) and then a package of frozen veggies (whatever you like).

    That is one of many throw togethers I do.

    I love to cook and I especially love my crock pot in fact I might have to go get it out and throw something in for the day.

    Hope you find something that works.

  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I'm guessing your crock pot isn't working well. When mine is on high the liquid will actually boil. A roast/potatoes/carrots should only need to cook on low for about 8 hours. Even then everything is so tender it falls apart.
  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Daisy - I use a variation of your receipe for roast, except I only do one can of Mushroom Soup and I add a package of dried onion soup.

    I never added water to mine-are you supposed to add water?? LOL It seems to make more than enough gravy

  12. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    saving grace, husband bought me what he thought was a crock pot a few years ago, but it was actually a slow cooker (i didn't know there was a difference, but there is). Maybe check your temperature make sure its getting really hot on high setting. When I cook stuff, I put it on high for no more than 8 hours usually. My friend recently made what she called chicken al a king....It only has 2 ingredients...chicken breast and cream of mushroom soup...oh and salt and pepper. It doesn't sound like it would be that good, but it WAS...we ate it over rice. It was yummeee and soooo easy.
  13. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    I have found when I use the crock pot it helps if the pot is full...or at least close to the top. I bought the larger size pot and sometimes its just too much, so I would put a layer of foil on the top of the ingredients to keep the moisture down over the food and steam cook it. I really think something must be wrong with your crockpot if your veggies aren't cooking. I do think it is important to have enough moisture (liquid) to cover the other ingredients....hope you have some better success.....
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Is there any chance that you put the meat in first and then put
    the vegetables on top??? That made sense to me when I got my
    crock pot but....the vegetables need to go in first. Why?? Who
    knows! LOL!

    My pot roast goes like this. Onions quartered, small potatoes
    or potatoes quartered, baby carrots then the pot roast on top
    which is usually a flat cut (not full eye of round for example).
    I pour Golden Mushroom soup (1 or 2 cans) on top of the meat,
    put the lid on and turn the pot on. I've never had a problem
    except my first try when I put the meat in first.

    by the way, Kfield and I exchanged recipes for pot roast when we first
    met on line around seven years ago. She swears by hers, too.

    The regular things I start before work include pot roast, chili,
    pork butt with no liquid just seasonings, chicken breast/thighs,
    big cheap pork ribs.

    Ooops......have to get to work. DDD
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I also think there may be something wrong with your crockpot. Mine is the opposite = I have to cook everything on low or no matter what, everything cooks, but there is no gravy, it dries up.

    My favorite thing to make in the crock is Italian Sausage, Onion & Peppers.

    I take a package each of hot and sweet italian sausage and boil them up (fork poke them a little beforehand) in a pot. I cut up one or two onions and usually 2-3 bell peppers. I add two GIANT jars of RAGU 'traditional' spagetti sauce into the crock, add the boiled sausage, peppers and onions and cover it. Cook on low about 8-9 hours, serve with pasta or hero rolls....can you say YUM.

    I got that recipe from my exmil, who never told anyone in her family how it's made (ragu of all things!) but she told me and I've been making it for almost 15 years. Everyone scarfs it down, it is the best. I make some for every occasion and it's always gone - I am annoyed that there aren't any leftovers.

    I also make potroast: Cut the veggies (potatos, carrots, string beans, onions, and a clove of garlic) into cubes and place them on the bottom, put the roast on top, then 2 cups of beef broth, cover let cook for 8-9 hours on low and yum. One time I scooped out all the soft/mushy veggies and mashed them. That was amazing.

    And chili is also a good crockpot dinner. Brown the meat, add all the ingredients you like and let it cook 8-9 hours on low.

    I have found that cooking at the longer, lower temp makes for more tender and delicious meals rather than cooking for shorter higher temp.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm glad this thread got started. My family is going to benefit from these easy recipes too. lmao :biggrin:

    I also tend to just toss stuff in, make sure I have enough liquid it doesn't dry out, and just let it cook.

    Marcie, I add water to my recipe because I need a larger amount of gravy for the beef and noodles the next day. My family is nuts about the gravy, so if I'm going to have enough for the noodles I have to make extra.

    I'm jotting these recipes down. I can't wait to try the Chicken ala Kind one.
  17. babybear

    babybear New Member

    No recipies to share but has anyone tried the new crockpot liner bags? I got some free samples and I am hooked! especially with any creamy/cheesey dishes. I do use my crockpot a lot more often now.
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Oh, yeah!!! I LOVE those things!!!!

    I'll admit I was doubtful at first. I had visions of the bag melting or making the food taste funny. But they're great. Now I've got no messy crock pot to clean up. Just wipe it out and it's all done.