Aug 21, 2005

Creative Crock Pot Cooking 101

Crock pot cooking is one of my favorite methods of preparing a meal for my family. Not only do they a great time saver but a great money saver as well. Not only will you save on your electric bill on meals that require long cooking times, you can also plan on buying less expensive cuts of meat and still create a delicious meal. A lot of people think that crock pots are only for soups and stews, but there is so much you can use it for! Here are some ideas you may have never thought of:

Crockpot Peanut Butter Loaf
Yogurt In A Crockpot
Broccoli Souffle
Baked potatoes

A couple of things to keep in mind when you are using a crock pot recipe are:

  1. Temperatures vary from model to model
  2. Recipes work best if they are made in the correct size crockpot. For example, a recipe designed for a 3 Qt. pot will cook much faster and possibly burn in a 6 Qt. pot.
  3. Crock pots heat from the sides, not the bottom so things that cook slower like potatoes or carrots should always be put on the bottom,
  4. If you fill your removable crock and set it in your refrigerator overnight, make sure to start your crock on the low setting for at least 30 minutes as not to crack the stoneware from a temperature shock.

If you don't own a crock pot and are considering purchasing one, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you have children, buy a model that is large enough to accommodate the growing appetites of growing children. One quart per person is a good rule of thumb, and if you have more than 6 in your family, consider buying two 4 Qt. models for main meals and a 2 or 3 Qt. version for side dishes or desserts.
  • If you are often gone during the day, purchase a model that has an automatic shut off feature.
  • Removeable stoneware crocks are much easier to clean than the permanently inserted kind.
  • If you plan to do a lot of baking in your crock pot you may also want to purchase a specialized insert for that purpose.
  • If you frequently plan to cook whole chickens or turkeys, an oval model would be a better choice than a round one.
I hope these tips will help you in preparing delicious meals in YOUR crock pot.

3 comments:

Annette said...

One of the easiest and best meals I ever had was made in a crockpot. All I did was place frozen chicken pieces and a can of condensed tomato soup in a crockpot. I turned it on medium and I left. I came back 5 hours later and the chicken was absolutely delicious.

Michele said...

That sounds really good! Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

A Gracious Home said...

Thanks for the info. Have a great day. Doylene