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Old 03-26-2007, 08:08 PM   #102
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Re: What's your fav. crock pot recipe?

converting!! I found this on a google search because I got a great recipe for parmesan potatoes and wanted to do it in the crock pot...

Using a crockpot or slow cooker is very easy; just add the food, cover, turn on low heat and cook all day. But there are always more things to learn. The newest crockpots on the market come with divided liners, timers to adjust the cooking start time. The newer appliances seem to be hotter than models only a few years old, so it's best to learn how your particular crockpot cooks.

Do you know how to convert a regular recipe to crockpot cooking? How should ingredients be layered in the appliance? Can you cook rice or pasta in the crockpot? What about cakes or appetizer recipes? Let's answer these questions.

Many recipes can be converted to cooking in the crockpot. Soups and stews, of course, are natural slowcooker favorites. Casseroles and most meats benefit from the low temperatures and even cooking heat. Reduce the amount of liquid a recipe calls for, since liquids do not evaporate during crockpot cooking. However, if you are cooking rice, beans, or pasta, don't reduce the liquid called for. You generally need twice as much liquid as product to cook these ingredients. Here's a chart converting oven and stovetop cooking times to crockpot cooking times.

Oven cooking time-- 15-30min=4-6 low or 1.5-2.5 high
Oven cooking time-- 35-45min=6 TO 8 HOURS low 3 TO 4 HOURS high
Oven cooking time-- 50mn-3hours= 8 TO 16 HOURSlow 4 TO 6 HOURS high

I generally prefer cooking most raw meat and vegetable combination at least 8 hours on LOW. This gives the vegetables time to soften, the meat time to tenderize and all the flavors to blend.

Surprisingly, vegetables cook more slowly than meats in the moist heat of the slow cooker. So vegetables should be cut or chopped roughly the same size and placed in the bottom of the crockpot. Meat can be browned before being cooked, but that step isn't necessary. Browning helps reduce the fat content in large cuts of meat like roasts and also caramelizes the sugars in the meat, adding to appearance and flavor. Ground meats are usually browned before cooking in the crockpot, to reduce fat and keep the integrity of the product intact. You don't have to brown ground meats if they are very lean. The meat will then melt into the recipe. Trim off any visible fat from cuts of meat. Fat will make the dishes cook faster.
link to rest of article..

Cool huh?? Hope this helps people!! I am trying to figure out something to put in the crockpot tonight for lunch tomorrow..
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