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Crockpot v cast-iron pot - WIBU?

(46 Posts)
Bestoftimesworstoftimes Tue 19-Jan-16 20:51:29

My pots are having it out between them. Lovely cast iron pot thinks because it made a meltingly soft and flavoursome goulash last week (in about 4hours over low heat) it can now preen as queen of the kitchen.

Crock pot disagrees on the grounds that as a purpose-made slow cooker it should be the ideal vehicle for such a dish -- this despite every attempt at goulash in it coming out just wrong. Eg as watery soup with meat floating and once (whispers) meat was actually tough (shudders). Attempts to adjust liquid, browning meat first and similar tweaks tips and tricks haven't helped.

What is going on?? I'd like to agree with CP for convenience sake but the proof of the pudding is in the... ahem stew isn't it? So why is the makeaheadmealcorner of the t'Internet rife with suggestions for goulash that is as easy as dump everything in and leave for ten hours yet I - an otherwise accomplished cook - cannot get it right??

Which cooking implement is being unreasonable? Please help decide or advise so I can restore peace and order to our kitchen (and tummies)

iciclewinter Tue 19-Jan-16 21:09:46

Cast iron pot is the reasonable one. It's making you nicer food and presumably is less breakable too.

Leelu6 Tue 19-Jan-16 21:16:33

Yay for cast iron! I have my first Le Creuset pot which I'm itching to use but I keep procrastinating forgetting to wash and dry it.

Bestoftimesworstoftimes Tue 19-Jan-16 21:20:50

But... But... What about the whole dump it in the morning and come back after work to delicious hot food argument? Why isn't it working for me? I want them both to be reasonable solutions.

(Le creuset - not even going there!)

treesarebrown Tue 19-Jan-16 21:28:46

Our cast iron pot makes things taste funny so I would go with the slow cooker. Often things do come out a bit watery - which means the left overs make great soup. Using a tinned soup as the liquid is the best thickener I've found so far.

Junosmum Tue 19-Jan-16 21:49:42

Slow cookers need about half the water/ liquid you normally use as very very little idevaporated, unlike the cast iron one.

Bestoftimesworstoftimes Tue 19-Jan-16 21:55:47

I've tried reducing the water enormously. I even used tomato paste instead of passata in one attempt. My slow cooker has a keep warm function which it switches to automatically after the timer counts down . It just feels like it really shouldn't be this difficult to get it right.

Baronessvontwurzel Tue 19-Jan-16 22:31:32

Cast iron pot makes a lovely ghoulash.

Crock pots do delicious other things- I have discovered the following to be fail safe and absolutely dumpable in, no browning or faffing- potatoes carrots onions long pork loin, carton of pasatta and enough stock to make sure everything is covered, add smoked paprika. 10 hours later, delish.

Beef never seems to work out well in the cp in my experience!

MiscellaneousAssortment Tue 19-Jan-16 22:48:28

I misread the thread title as 'cockpot'. The cockpot loses due to unfortunate imagery which is now stuck in my head.

Imagine needing a speciality pot for all those cock broiling occasions...

Bestoftimesworstoftimes Tue 19-Jan-16 22:49:58

Ooh thanks for re recipe how can I not listen to advice on beef from nobility of tWurzel (looks like wurstel) extraction? On the other hand with that name methinks milady maybe biased wink
Interesting point about the beef. Through I have had success with ox tail stew stews before. Except they have a liquid absorber like barley. It's a completely differ net dish that I am not looking to replicate though.
Looks like cast iron pot is winning. Does that mean goulash is only for weekends? I am still yearning for haat mid week slow cooked magic

BathtimeFunkster Tue 19-Jan-16 22:54:57

No sorry, the cockpot definitely wins. No question.

I don't know what a crockpot is. I find the idea of slow cookers detestable because they don't make any of the meals I enjoy.

I love my cast iron pans. They make many delicious food.

In summary

Cockpot - yay
Cast iron pot - runner up yay
Crock pot - boo

Bestoftimesworstoftimes Tue 19-Jan-16 23:04:13

Sweeping statements indeed. Seems very black and white between meals you don't enjoy and delicious food My cast iron queen is a casserole dish so I suppose that's what puts me in mind of slow cooker style for comparison. Your succinct summary made me laugh

AvaLeStrange Tue 19-Jan-16 23:28:00

I tend to take the lid off my slow cooker for the last hour or so of cooking so the liquid evaporates a bit.

Otherwise you could stir in a roux of melted butter and flour about an hour before it finishes which should thicken any sauce.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 20-Jan-16 00:19:32

Baroness: long pork loin? Are you eating human flesh? Did you bring enough for everyone?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 20-Jan-16 00:23:11

DH made moussaka in the slow cooker recently. A more insipid, tasteless, beige moussaka I have yet to meet. Utterly repulsive.

Chicken curry is currently languishing in the cast iron royalty in our kitchen.

BathtimeFunkster Wed 20-Jan-16 01:40:43

long pork loin? Are you eating human flesh? Did you bring enough for everyone?


And most importantly, did you cook it in the cockpot?

steff13 Wed 20-Jan-16 01:58:12

Cast iron imparts usable iron into your food. Cast iron FTW!

Baronessvontwurzel Wed 20-Jan-16 08:19:06

Long pork loin- is that not what we call it?! I chuckled there I did.
I think the crock pots often make food you don't really like if you are hoping for them to taste like the le creuset offerings .

Here's another fail safe faffless recipe - three balls of foil; a whole chicken on top; squirt of BBQ sauce over the top or three rashers of bacon. Lid on, 8 to 10 hours. A dream , but not what you'd get from the cast iron, you see?! Different.

Bestoftimesworstoftimes Wed 20-Jan-16 08:58:54

Wow it's pretty unanimous. Someone should tell the peoples of the blogosphere that they are perpetuating an urban myth with all these tantalising promises of one step delicious meals.
It makes sense that expectations of similarity plays a part though I do like stews in general... but will you please stop sayin the le creuset word(s). My Beauty is only a cousin.

TheDayIBroke Wed 20-Jan-16 10:49:43

I love my crockpot and my bare cast iron cookware. I use the bare cast iron the most as they are indestructable and I like how the food tastes and cooks. My crockpot is used for stews, roasts, lasagne, and cooking breakfasts overnight. Bung it all in and forget about it - no burning, drying out or faffing.

VeryPunny Wed 20-Jan-16 10:53:33

The reason crockpots keep on dominating the conversation is that many, many people have absolutely no clue as to what constitutes good tasty food. See also: the continued existence of microwave burgers, onesies etc for other general population taste fails. I am prepared to admit that there may be the odd recipe that actually does work but not many.

Cast iron FTW although can I add my customary mention for a pressure cooker?

Seeline Wed 20-Jan-16 10:56:00

After several very watery attempts at beef stew in my slow cooker, I finally succeeded last week. Yes to the much reduced fluid, but I tossed the meat in cornflour before bunging it in with everything else. Didn't brown it or anything else though. And it was luscious thick sauce after about 8 hours.
Not sure if that would work with something 'proper' like a goulash - I only do stew grin

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Wed 20-Jan-16 10:57:29

I put this question to my cast iron Staub casserole and my CrockPot.

Staub won, but both look down on Le Creuset, and we don't care how pretty their range of colours are grin

Wheretheresawill1 Wed 20-Jan-16 10:57:48

I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from my le creuset which I now use several times a week

Bestoftimesworstoftimes Wed 20-Jan-16 11:13:42

Enough with the Le creuset [hands over ears]. And now someone has mentioned a pressure cooker [takes hand off an ears to [face palm]]. I have been holding off one of those for years now (and been secretly following the neighbouring instant pot thread with a mixture of delight and despair).
Yy to the point about good food tastes as that would be a very satisfactory explanation in some respects although doesn't solve my logistical issues.
Re-tossing in cornflour and taking lid off at the end it off I have genuinely tried experimenting with all of these and even if it tastes kind of ok it just doesn't seem to get to the texture I want.

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