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Slow cooker disappointment, what are we doing wrong?

(52 Posts)
Selvedge Sun 01-Jun-14 22:51:40

Whenever we use the slow cooker we are disappointed with the results. The meat is always dry and stringy. Had a brisket of beef in there last night and it's just not very nice. Did pulled pork recently and the flavours were all there, it's the meat that is no good. Where are we going wrong? Advice please!

AllAboveBroad Sun 01-Jun-14 23:21:51

Try adding more liquid and cooking for a longer time on a lower setting? Also some meats benefit from being sealed first in a hot pan before being added to the cooker. We've found the longer you can leave a meat dish cooking the better.

gamerchick Sun 01-Jun-14 23:23:15

Tell us what you're doing when you put everything in the pot.

Selvedge Sun 01-Jun-14 23:56:47

gamerchick, bed of sliced raw onion, carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf. Raw brisket on top, pour on 500ml of beef oxo. Started on high, 1 hour later turned to low. Was on overnight for 12 hours in total. I have suggested searing but DP thinks we have tried this to little avail.

MILfreetoagoodhome Mon 02-Jun-14 01:20:20

Maybe its the slow cooker ? I have a little £5 one that is fab for sunday roast beef or pork and stews

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 01:28:05

My mam has very little liquid in, I fill mine with a joint of meat in which she does now. How long you cooking stuff for and are you on high or low? I make cakes and everything in mine just a £10 asda one.

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 01:30:53

Cooking too long imo and need more water, missed your last post. I also do meat joints in water and add the stock or gravy at the end by lifting the meat out for pulled meat, thickening the sauce then adding meat back on high till it thickens

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 01:34:44

This is my fave slow cooker recipe and he kids love it

ginger chicken say ginger chicken

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 01:36:22

Oops Autocorrect. Also try chocolate lava cake

peasandlove Mon 02-Jun-14 02:08:02

mine always comes out dry too. I have no idea why, it's like that with any slow cooker

sashh Mon 02-Jun-14 07:19:57

I think it might be the 12 hours that is the problem. Try 4-6 hours

Shnickyshnackers Mon 02-Jun-14 08:07:15

Ilovecoreyhaim, what is your recipe? your link doesn't work and now I'm intrigued!! is it ginger chicken?

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 09:22:46

Oh does it not. Soy ginger chicken. The recipe with balsamic and brown sugar. I have tried it with both the sauces but the one with balsamic is he nicest. I will try and link using just the link

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 09:24:52

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 02-Jun-14 09:29:45

This is a handy recipe I use quite a bit as DD loves chocolate cake and custard. Handy if you making Sunday lunch as you can just chuck it in the slow cooker before you start on the veg for lunch

Some of he American recipes I have tried work really well in the slow cooker as well

JenniMoo Mon 02-Jun-14 18:24:54

I use no liquid and agree with PPs that you're cooking way too long. A smallish piece would need 4h or sometimes less. I try to am switch to 'warm' as soon as it's done as otherwise it gets very dry.

DocDaneeka Mon 02-Jun-14 19:40:47

Any slow cooking I do seems to take 4 hours or less.

I think 12h would destroy anything.

If the meat is dry, are you choosing meat with enough fat and gristle on it? Even 'fatty' cuts that are too lean don't work. The slow cooking process changes the collagen in gristle into gelatin, that's why slow cooked stuff is nice and tender. Won't work if there is no collagen in the first place.

Selvedge Mon 02-Jun-14 23:13:23

OK. No more overnighters! The chicken soy ginger recipe looks delicious, will give it a go. I note it uses very little liquid...

We will try again with less liquid, less time and fattier meat. DP thought there was a correlation with our rubbish Morrisons poor meat selection. Will try the butcher for less mucked-about-with cheap cuts.

If still no joy, with more water ILove Corey, or just use as a pudding machine!

DocDaneeka, any scientific benefit in searing?

Thank you all, happy to hear more!

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 03-Jun-14 00:46:07

The soy ginger isn't In long and is thickened at the end so I think that's how that works.

A joint for pulled beef I would probably put in high for less hrs in water, take out meat, thicken and add back to pot for 30 mins

Pulled bbq pork n stuff has also worked for me. Try a asda cheap cooker. Mine was £15, think they are about 10 now

gamerchick Tue 03-Jun-14 12:37:41

Just want to point out that its really bad for your slow cooker to put no liquid in at all. You should always put a little in to cover the bottom of the pot, especially if you cook in high.

JenniMoo Tue 03-Jun-14 16:28:44

Do you mean it could crack if there's no liquid, gamerchick?

gamerchick Tue 03-Jun-14 21:43:14

It's been known, if you ring the manufacturer up to ask them they will stress that you should always put a little liquid in the bottom of the pot to stop the chance of it cracking. it doesn't have to be much.

deemented Tue 03-Jun-14 21:51:19

Are you on FB at all? If so, have a look at Slow Cooked Wonders - loads of hints and tips on there.

Cracking of the SC is rare - I often cook things 'dry' - chickens, joints, jacket spuds, kebab meat and cakes and don't need to put water in with them.

gamerchick Tue 03-Jun-14 21:55:17

I've always wondered about making cakes.. is it not hard to get them out in one piece? I wouldn't mind giving that a shot.

deemented Tue 03-Jun-14 21:59:35

Nope - either grease the bowl first or use a paper cake tin liner. When it's finished cooking I leave in the pot awhile to cool down and then I just turn it out as normal.

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