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I bought a slow cooker cause a squillion mn-ers think they're just marvellous. What a crock(pot)!

(119 Posts)
restinggenius Sun 09-Feb-14 15:39:19

I've had it over 2 months now, have made a variety of meals in it and without exception they've been average at best.
I'm a decent cook and my oven/hob based cooking is usually good, often scrumptious.
So today it shall be packed off the the gadget retirement cupboard to kick back with the george foreman, the smoothie maker, the one-cup coffee pot and some other pointless crap.
And I shall stop believeing every word I read on tinternet.

Romann Wed 12-Feb-14 08:25:22

Very good for roast chicken - put in on high for 4 hours. Makes much less mess than the oven. I don't understand the porridge thing either.

frugalfuzzpig Wed 12-Feb-14 08:21:22

A question if I may...

Brisket was quite nice but a little dry. I put stock to about a quarter of the way up so does that mean I need more, or does it mean it was cooked too long? Or not long enough? (About 6.5hrs on low)

Doesn't seem to be an exact science, when I googled and also searched MN threads but every post/recipe suggested something different!

fledtoscotland Wed 12-Feb-14 08:14:46

I used to use mine loads when we were all getting in at 5.30pm tired & hungry. Cba with browning everything before it goes in and apart from bolognase/chilli everything else tastes watery. Couldn't ever find a chicken recipe that didn't make the chicken taste "grainy".

George Foreman grill gets used at least once a week

bruffin Wed 12-Feb-14 08:13:45

I wasnt so keen on my old slow cooker, although it did do a mean roast chicken, but my new one (morphy richards flavor savor) is amazing. It has a timer and a browning setting. The pan can also go directly on the hob if you want to brown that way. The sausage and bean casserole i made in it first was lovely, thick and tasty. I have only one disaster which was a curry i did on a high setting and not enough liquid. The timer will turn off when you want it to, but will also then keep it warm for another 2 hours

ceres Wed 12-Feb-14 07:45:11

"slow cooker = tasteless mush ime.

Well, the tasteless part is your fault for not seasoning it properly and the mush is because you've cooked it too long"

owl - the food is not tasteless due to under seasoning. I am a very competent cook, and the only tasteless mush I have produced came from the slow cooker. I have played around with cooking times but I still do not like anything cooked in the slow cooker, it all has a samey, stewed (not in a good way) taste to me.

if others like their slow cookers then that's great for them. this method of cooking does not suit my tastes - it doesn't automatically mean I am doing anything wrong.

as I said previously, it is great for steaming the Christmas pudding on Christmas Day - I keep it just for that!

frugalfuzzpig Tue 11-Feb-14 13:14:36

We christened ours today with a beef brisket. Smells great so far but we are keeping it simple while we get used to using it.

It's been sitting in our cupboard for a couple of years blush

The slow cooker I mean, not the brisket. grin

Bragadocia Tue 11-Feb-14 10:42:47

I too now only use mine once a year, in November, when I steam the Christmas puddings. Means I don't have to be in for 8 hours supervising the hob anymore.
It got about a dozen uses when it was bought four or so years ago, but the food was always a bit too soft and mushy.
So overrated IMO.

Quinteszilla Tue 11-Feb-14 10:37:09

In response to the actual op only:


But why not empty out that cupboard and take all that stuff to a charity shop?

I have a chocolate fountain, smoothie maker, and an ice cream maker destined for my nearest charity shop.... An empty cupboard to store usefull stuff in is PRICELESS!

ProfessorSkullyMental Tue 11-Feb-14 10:33:27

*now on my 4th one

ProfessorSkullyMental Tue 11-Feb-14 10:33:03

i couldnt live without my george foreman, i'm not on my 4th one, its an essential.

makes fantastic sausages when you cant be arsed with cleaning the grill!

ShitOnAStick Tue 11-Feb-14 10:31:43

I fucking hate our slow cooker. I want to get rid of the bastard but DH likes it. In the three years we have had it there is one nice meal we good in it which is beef stew. I find that potatoes and swede go revolting in it and taste odd so I never cook those in it.
It basically makes nice recipes taste shit.
I have found it good for cheap cuts of meat though as it melts all the fat away so you just have a lovely tender meat. That is pretty much it's only use in our house (and the occasional stew).

MummytoMog Tue 11-Feb-14 10:17:04

It has changed the way we eat - no longer do we heat ready meals or wait to eat until eleven pm after the kids are in bed and we have cooked from scratch. Oh no. We eat the food from the slow cooker. Or leftovers heated up (still a million times nicer). I particularly like it for stews, but curries, bolognese, stroganoff, chilli and a variety of pasta sauces work perfectly well. I do think my hob cooking is better (I tinker a lot as I'm cooking) but I adjust the slow cooker stuff a fair bit during the last hour or so, and that helps.

AmberLeaf Tue 11-Feb-14 09:33:16

Yes, Im up about 6am, switch off the slow cooker, then as long as its in the fridge before about 8am its fine.

i can leave mine on for 12 hours and it's fine, meat stays in chunks, never in a mush (though if you stirred it vigorously it would break down more i suppose) - if it's too liquidy and needs to reduce i lift the meat out with a slotted spoon and reduce on the hob quickly, then just add the meat back at the end

though because i tend to cook low carb things i don't use that much root veg or pulses, so i don't know whether that makes a difference?

whoever asked about putting it in the fridge in the morning - i get up at 5am and switch the slow cooker off and put the food in a container. by the time dp gets up at 7.30 it's cool enough to go in the fridge. i realise this wouldn't work for everyone though

i personally don't see it as a time-saving device - it just defers the time for cooking so that i'm not trying to cook from scratch when i'm starving after being out of the house for 15 hours and succumbing to toast through exhaustion

i can also use lovely cheap cuts of meat (even the premium supermarket brands are affordable if they are cuts like shin beef, breast of lamb etc)

AllMimsyWereTheBorogroves Tue 11-Feb-14 08:13:13

Owl, you could leave an old (80s) slow cooker on for a whole day, no problem at all, because the cooking temperature was so low it was akin to cooking in a haybox. Unfortunately modern slow cookers are set to cook at a much higher temperature.

OwlCapone Tue 11-Feb-14 08:06:34

But surely isn't that the point of the slow cooker - that you can leave it there for a long time. What's the point of a slow cooker if I can't put it on at 7am in the morning and then come back to it at 7pm at night?

Do you think you can leave it on forever and not have it turn to mush at some point? Of course you can leave it on too long (and at too high a temperature)! It's not a magic pot smile

ScentedScandal Mon 10-Feb-14 23:08:01

Thank you I will investigate.

DipMeInChocolate Mon 10-Feb-14 22:28:22

Scented, you totally do. It takes some time.for get used to timings and heat settings.but the food cooks so nicely. Meat is succulent, chips and bacon are crispy. I haven't used our oven or grill for months. The timer is good for leaving food cooking and not worrying about it and is so easy to clean. I only use my hob and halogen oven now.

ScentedScandal Mon 10-Feb-14 21:21:25

Ooh do I want a Halogen oven? (I love kitchen gadets). Why are they so good? I wont need much convincing to get a new toyblushgrin

Impomea Mon 10-Feb-14 21:07:08

Agree with Dip the halogen oven is great -best gadget I have bought in ages.

desertmum Mon 10-Feb-14 19:56:17

Does anyone have a slow cooker and (large, long legged, big pawed) dogs ? I like the idea of a slow cooker but think the dogs would end up getting an early tea if I went out and left it which I guess is the point of them right ?

DipMeInChocolate Mon 10-Feb-14 19:46:03

I've only made one nice meal from mine, slow cooked beef brisket. Everything else was overcooked sludge. The gadget I use the most: Halogen oven.

ScentedScandal Mon 10-Feb-14 19:44:43

There is a recent pulled pork thread. I tried it and it was divine.

sooperdooper Mon 10-Feb-14 19:40:05

I never brown the meat, I prep it all the night before, leave in the fridge over night and chuck it in in the morning before I go to work

The only thing I've not liked was the whole chicken because it fell apart so much I couldn't get it out!!

tothesea Mon 10-Feb-14 19:14:49

To those who cook overnight then put in the fridge in the a.m, surely the food is still warm? I thought you weren't supposed to put warm food in fridge.
Happy to be corrected as this is how I would like to use SC rather than browning meat first thing in morning!!

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