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Old vs new slow cooker has technology moved on?

(14 Posts)
Hedgepig Tue 04-Jan-11 21:35:55

Hi have been give a slow cooker which belonged to my Aunt. It must be at least 20 years old, I have used it several times but not with much success. The meat is cooked but not really tender. It may be that I haven't found the right recipe yet grin but I'm wondering if a more modern slow cooker would produce better results. I just measured the volume it is 3L. Thanks for you help.

dreamingofsun Wed 05-Jan-11 08:55:18

how long do you have it on for? are you talking whole joints or portions? does it have a high and low setting - guess you've used the high one? mine's older than that and it works ok, so its either the model or something you are doing

wineonafridaynight Wed 05-Jan-11 11:55:49

What exactly are you doing? Tell us what you have done so far and see if any of us can help.

Hedgepig Wed 05-Jan-11 21:40:39

Thanks for the replies.

I'm cooking chopped up meat for stews. I have as slow cooker recipe book which I follow, frying the meat and veg 1st. I have the cooker on all day while I am at work (7:30 am to 5pm) so I have been using the low setting rather than the high setting. There is still liquid in the stew when I get home, so it's not drying out. I have noticed the new cookers I have seen tend to be oval while mine is round, but I can't see that would make any difference??
I really would like to get the hang of this cooking method just to reduce the tea time cooking stress I have at the moment grin

iheartdusty Wed 05-Jan-11 21:45:22

do you put the liquid in near to boiling?

Hedgepig Thu 06-Jan-11 08:47:34

yes after frying the meat etc I add stock and bring it up to the boil before I put it in the slow cooker.

dreamingofsun Thu 06-Jan-11 10:37:38

for that length of time i would expect mine to be overcooked if anything. you could try using high one day when you are at home and see how long it takes? I've read somewhere that low is just for keeping things warm - though on my slow cooker it cooks.

alternatively you could buy a new one in the sales as they are quite cheap.

i don't bother browning and i often chuck cold liquid in or tins of toms etc. eg favourite lazy recipe is meat, tin toms, curry paste, chopped onion - just sling it all in and stir - takes about 5 secs and as you say reduces stress at teatime

mine's round - but don't think that would make any difference anyway. you aren't putting anything frozen in as that would take ages?

Catsmamma Thu 06-Jan-11 10:41:25

I do think the new ones are hotter, my one is mahoosive, but on hot will do a decent casserole/bolognaise in 3 hours, it's the Morphy Richards 6,5l one

Can you give it a whirl on high at the weekend when you are there, and see how things are after 5 hours?

dreamingofsun Thu 06-Jan-11 10:50:19

mine is 20+ years old and would cook the meal on low easily within 8 hours. only thing it doesn't like is whole chicken.

Hedgepig Thu 06-Jan-11 10:52:08

I am tempted to buy a new on tbh (Shopping! grin) but wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something daft 1st. Thanks for your help

aristocat Thu 06-Jan-11 12:28:34

hi hedgy i have a SC too ~ agree that its a good idea to try your high setting and see what the difference is smile

Hedgepig Thu 06-Jan-11 14:31:07

I will try the max setting at the weekend too (must stop browsing the internet smile).

PaisleyLeaf Thu 06-Jan-11 14:33:10

Yes, try upping the setting if it's a recipe from a newer book.
I have a very old slow cooker and it is proper slow.
My friends' new models seem to be almost simmering to me.

jonicomelately Thu 06-Jan-11 14:33:42

Just listening to Clarissa Dickson-Wright on 5Live at the moment. She's just brought out a one-pot cookery book and is talking about slow cookers.

I think this is a breath of fresh air because most TV cooks do quick recipies which are often quite fiddly and ignore the fact this type of cooking is actually more convenient for most of us.

MNHQ Perhaps we could get C D-W on here for a chat?

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