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Any good cooks out there? Q's about Crock Pots/slow cookers

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 


I received a Crock Pot as a gift some time ago, but have no idea how to use it. Do you have to cook the ingredients beforehand, or do you just throw everything in and let it cook all day/overnight? Would it be a good idea to grill the meat (chicken) in the oven beforehand? What should I use as a liquid base?

The only concern I have is that I'm on a low-fat, 1200 calorie/day diet and don't want extra fat in my diet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
post #2 of 18
Just throw the stuff in, add some water and spices, turn it on low, cook it about 6 -10 hours depending on what it is. The purpose of the slow cooker is for those who don't cook.
post #3 of 18
I would strongly suggest following a recipe, its hard to adapt a regular recipe to crock-pot cooking. Do a search for "low-fat crock pot recipes" you'll be amazed at whats out there!
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Just throw the stuff in, add some water and spices, turn it on low, cook it about 6 -10 hours depending on what it is. The purpose of the slow cooker is for those who don't cook.
Thats what I do too

When I do chicken, I just throw them in there with water, some soups (usually creme of chicken) and some wonderful spices and let it cook on low all day!

There are so many wonderful crock pot reciepes out there, you'll be sure to find something!

Good luck!
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I'll check out the web too for recipes, but I appreciate the fact that you can just throw everything in and turn the Crock Pot on.

I guess if I just get the skinless and boneless chicken breasts there won't be too much fat in the recipe. Although I'm often surprised when I grill chicken breasts in the oven just how much fat drips off of them and is left in the pan.
post #6 of 18
There's lots of good cookbooks out there for slowcookers. For a liquid base, you can just use plain ole' water. Or a low-fat chicken or veggie stock. You can find them at the grocery store, in the soup aisle. I've had mine for a few years now. It makes good stews, soups, mac'n'cheese (don't cook those as long though).

Meat cooks the longest, you can put root veggies in at roughly the same time as the meat, but other veggies, such as celery (or any 'above ground' veggies) put in later. They don't need as long to cook.

As for pre browning. Typically, it's not necessary, unless you REALLY want the hash marks from things like grilling. If you get a pot roast, a little browning is okay, I never do though. IMO, it toughens the outside of the meat. Looks nice, but I personally think it toughens it.

I haven't done chicken in mine. i've done pork, beef and veggie dishes only. There are chicken recipes out there... I just havent' tried them yet.

One website I like to get all kinds of recipes from is allrecipes.com. Just do a search and put in slow cooker or crockpot and what ingredients, like chicken. You should be able to find some listings. I'm not guaranteeing the delectability of some of the ones listed... in fact I have a veggie one that was nasty. But for the most part I've had decent luck. if you want, I can type out some recipes later... just PM me.

Amanda
post #7 of 18
If you're concerned about fat content in foods, one of the best uses for a crockpot is to stew chicken. Use canned broth or bouillion, throw in a few carrots and potatoes, turn it on and walk away.
post #8 of 18
I make a killer beef stew in mine, but I always pre-brown the beef cubes after coating them with flour mixed with salt and pepper before putting them in the slow cooker. I also put my chopped onion and all the spices in the frying pan that I used for the beef and let them saute for a moment to release the flavours of the spices before putting that in the crock-pot as well. Then I add the stock and various vegetables and set it in the fridge overnight.

I usually do all this the night before and then the next morning all I have to do is set the ceramic dish in the metal outer shell and turn it on before I leave for work.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I make a killer beef stew in mine, but I always pre-brown the beef cubes after coating them with flour mixed with salt and pepper before putting them in the slow cooker. I also put my chopped onion and all the spices in the frying pan that I used for the beef and let them saute for a moment to release the flavours of the spices before putting that in the crock-pot as well. Then I add the stock and various vegetables and set it in the fridge overnight.

I usually do all this the night before and then the next morning all I have to do is set the ceramic dish in the metal outer shell and turn it on before I leave for work.
Oohh... I think I might have to try this, that sounds deslish!!
post #10 of 18
pick up a crockpot cookbook called "Fix it and forget it lightly". Its filled with simple low fat recipes.

I love my crockpot for days I don't want to come home and cook..And its great to walk in the door at the end of the day to the smell of good food.
post #11 of 18
I picked up a new to me cooking magazine yesterday called Cook's Country. Its from the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine which IMO is an awesome magazine too. Anyhow they mentioned a product by Reynolds called Reynolds slow cooker liners. I don't know if you have Reynolds products in the grocery or big box stores but they tested this product and are very postive on it. Basically no cleanup just empty crockpot remove liner and throw away!!!
They also had a recipe for Slow-Cooker Bolognese which sounds very yummy but not really low fat-if anyone wants it pm me your email addresses and I sent it to you. They had a recipe for a low fat cinnamon rolls.
post #12 of 18
I can't cook therefore I use my crock pot!!, here is a good website for receipes!
www.crockpot.com
post #13 of 18
I did see an advertisement in one of my magazines for those Reynolds liner thingys.... I really should use my crock pot more often, but the problem is that I drive almost an hour to and from work, add to that my 8.5 hrs AT work and you get some overdone food!! I did see those newer crock pots with the timers that reduce the heat to warm after say 8 hrs and that would be handy... unfortunately both my birthday and christmas were last month!!
post #14 of 18
Here's a very good book...

"Canada's Best Slow Cooker Recipes"
Donna-Marie Pye

The publisher is Robert Rose, Inc., Toronto
ISBN 0-7788-0024-5

$18.95 US $19.95 Can.

In addition to lots of interesting recipes, which so far have not revealed a dud, there's a good introduction and general information about slow cookers, and the principles that apply to slow cooking. As a starting place, it's excellent.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277
I did see an advertisement in one of my magazines for those Reynolds liner thingys.... I really should use my crock pot more often, but the problem is that I drive almost an hour to and from work, add to that my 8.5 hrs AT work and you get some overdone food!! I did see those newer crock pots with the timers that reduce the heat to warm after say 8 hrs and that would be handy... unfortunately both my birthday and christmas were last month!!
I used to leave the house at 6 and get home around 5. As long as I put the slow cooker on low, I never had a problem.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the tips everyone! I'll check online for recipes, and if that doesn't suffice, I will pick up a book on slow cooking. Thanks again!
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
I used to leave the house at 6 and get home around 5. As long as I put the slow cooker on low, I never had a problem.
Same here - I've never had a problem with anything being ruined, I just play it safe by keeping it on low all day while I'm gone!
post #18 of 18
I've had a couple dishes turn out a little tough so I've kinda shied away from it lately, but boy would it be nice to come home to an already cooked meal- by the time i cook its sometimes after 7 by the time I eat, which is why i live on fast food- and thats not good for my waistline
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