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AIBU or is all slow cooker food insipid and watery?

(54 Posts)
Eminybob Sat 27-Jun-20 17:57:38

Every singe recipe I’ve tried is just bland, far to watery and just not very nice.
Is it me? Is it my slow cooker?

I’ve tried recipes from loads of different sites. I’m generally a good cook, I just don’t get what I’m doing wrong.

If you have any really actually good slow cooker recipes please post them here, otherwise I might just give up.

Currently reducing my Mexican pulled beef dish on the stove as it was basically broth with bits of beef floating in it. Don’t shout at him like that

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Eminybob Sat 27-Jun-20 18:03:48

Haha sorry for the rogue sentence stuck in there at the end

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Furloughb Sat 27-Jun-20 18:11:41

How long do you cook it for and on what setting? Mine are usually quite nice. I do Bolognese, fajitas, pulled pork and stews in mine. Are you following slow cooker recipes? how full is it?

Buckingham1988 Sat 27-Jun-20 18:12:29

I always reduce the amount of liquid in my recipes. Also for the last hour take the lid off and pop it on high. I nearly gave up because of watery meals years ago, would struggle without one now.

Eminybob Sat 27-Jun-20 18:28:42

The recipe I followed today was from the bbc website, high for an hour then low for 8 hours. It was about half full.

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Eminybob Sat 27-Jun-20 18:29:20

Good tip Buckingham I’ll try that

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FusionChefGeoff Sat 27-Jun-20 18:31:21

Don't follow the recipes! I've had 2 slow cookers and they were both really different in how much liquid they could handle. Things I've learnt:

Everything needs a thickener - either coat meat / veggies in flour and fry off briefly or Chuck some red lentils in.
Frying off in general helps and adding some flavour at this stage eg garlic / paprika / spices etc
Very little water if any. I usually swill out the tomato cans no more than 1/4 full in total.
Fatty cuts of meat can make it very runny.
Chuck in buckets of flavour eg tomato purée, double quants of spices etc
Lid off at the end

ShyOwl Sat 27-Jun-20 18:32:29

As app suggested taking the lid off for a while helps or I often thicken the sauce towards the end with gravy powder or reduce the amount of liquid I put in at the start depending on the ingredients. I find any veg makes it very wet

bigknickersbigknockers Sat 27-Jun-20 18:33:10

Everything I ever cooked in a slow cooker had the same awful taste and was watery so YANBU, bin the bloody thing.

Todaywewilldobetter Sat 27-Jun-20 18:34:05

YANBU - everything just tastes of slow cooker

Zoomintheroom Sat 27-Jun-20 18:34:16

It's possibly your slow cooker. I was always disappointed in meals from my slow cooker and didn't understand why people loved them so much. I was then given a new slow cooker and it's been a revelation. Meals are really tasty and full of flavour.

DeadBod Sat 27-Jun-20 18:36:27

I always reduce the amount of liquid that's recommended in a recipe. It's a bit trial an error but I seem to measure it just right now. If a recipe calls for a tin of tomatoes + stock then I'd drastically reduce the stock amount. It can always be added later if you think it needs more.
If I'm cooking a joint, I literally coat the bottom with liquid. There's more than enough juices at the end of cooking for making gravy.

Swifey40 Sat 27-Jun-20 18:38:48

It's definitely what you cook as to whether it's delicious or revolting! I've done revolting mince dishes and would never do them again. I have also done amazing casseroles, and delicious whole pieces of meat. A nice big piece of pork shoulder with either apple juice or cider is delicious.

SunflowerProsecco Sat 27-Jun-20 18:48:59

I think it's you OP sorry!
Try a beef casserole with passata. It will come out thick and juicy and tender.
Or something with mince.
Or a lamb curry.
It will be meltingly tender and delicious.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Sat 27-Jun-20 19:29:08

IME (had a slow cooker for 30 years), slow cooking intensifies flavour. So it's not slow cooking per se, it's the recipes you are using. Also regardless of recipe, trust your own palette and adjust seasoning etc accordingly

Titsywoo Sun 28-Jun-20 00:34:20

Ive never got on with them. Started making recipes and slow cooking them in the oven in a cast iron casserole dish and now I make lovely stews. I might try using the exact recipe I use now for a beef and ale stew in my slow cooker soon and see if it ends up watery!

Africa2go Sun 28-Jun-20 00:45:09

Yes to minimal liquid and my tip, put a clean tea towel on top of the base (hanging over the sides) and then put the lid on - so the lid traps the tea towel between the base and the lid. Absorbs some of the moisture.

MiddlesexGirl Sun 28-Jun-20 00:47:03

Gosh no. Slow cooker meals are wonderful. Flavoursome to the extreme. Maybe you are not cooking for long enough to allow the meat to really tenderise and the flavours to develop?

GreenTulips Sun 28-Jun-20 00:48:56

Use cornflour before serving

MiddlesexGirl Sun 28-Jun-20 00:49:35

Yes to a pp - coat the meat in flour and fry first. Fry the veg too. Only for minimum time to brown. Then in slow oven or cooker.

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Sun 28-Jun-20 00:54:40

I cook this bbq gammon and this beef stew regularly. Both are delicious. Never had a problem with them being watery or bland or anything else.

I use a Morphy Richard's slow cooker.

andyoldlabour Sun 28-Jun-20 14:12:26

My DW introduced me to slow cooked food when we first met thirty years ago. We spend the first half hour browning the meat and onions, then the veg and finally get the viscosity right, before transferring the lot to the slow cooker. Persian stews, curries, bouef bourgignon, lamb shanks, all have great flavour when slow cooked.

Whybirdwhy Sun 28-Jun-20 14:25:12

Zoomintheroom what slow cooker do you have now out of interest? I would like one but no idea where to start!

MyShinyWhiteTeeth Sun 28-Jun-20 14:33:07

I've had several over the years and they've all worked really well.

I've mostly cooked on low setting and cooked for longer as using the high setting doesn't always taste as good and the meat is tougher.

dementedma Sun 28-Jun-20 14:36:34

Currently have a beef and ale casserole in mine. Agree with others, reduce liquid. I often chuck in some red lentils too, but rarely bother with browning first. Pulled pork and chicken is lovely

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