Category Archives: Using a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot

Horseradish Pot Roast In The Slow Cooker

1 (3 to 4 pound ) boneless chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat

1 jar of prepared horseradish, well drained

5 medium carrots peeled and cut into 3-4 inch pieces

2 medium onions. Peel and chop each one into quarters

3 medium potatoes cut into quarters. These can be peeled or left with the skin on

1 cup of apple juice

½ cup of sour cream

How Do Slow Cookers Work?

How do slow cookers work?

The electric slow cooker prepares food by using consistent, low-wattage heat. This makes it best for cooking stews, soups and larger portions of meat. The heat source is usually at the bottom of the pot, although some models use wrap-around heating. The tight-fitting lid and low, slow cooking traps the food's natural juices, making it exceptionally moist and succulent.

What's the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker?

None. Although many people refer to slow cookers as crock pots, "Crock-Pot" is actually a trademark of the Rival corporation, which sells more slow cookers than any other brand.

Can I leave my slow cooker turned on while unattended?

If cooking on LOW, yes. At the LOW setting, temperatures reach just below boiling, between 200F and 210F and little evaporation occurs. If cooking on HIGH, it is recommended that you do not leave the slow cooker unattended for more than the first half of the cooking time. When set on HIGH, slow cookers reach 300F to 325F. Moisture more readily evaporates at this temperature, causing the food to stick or burn.

Can I lift the lid to check on the food?

Generally it is not recommended to uncover the slow cooker unless a recipe instructs you to add ingredients or stir the food. Once the lid is removed, it takes 20 minutes to regain the lost temperature and steam.

 

Water gatering on the inside of the lid drips down to dilute whatever it is that you are cooking. If you want to bake in the slow cooker  You need to wrap the lid with paper towels to preven the moisture from dripping off and into your cake or whatever you are cooking.

How can I adapt my own recipes for the slow cooker?

Most ingredients that can be cooked on the stovetop can be cooked in a slow cooker. However, some ingredients such as milk, sour cream and cheese can separate when cooked for a long time, so it’s best to add them near the end of cooking time. Brown meat or poultry on the stovetop if directed in a recipe, then place in the slow cooker (this will add immensely to the finished flavor of the dish). It is not recommended that you cook pasta in the slow cooker,since it can overcook and fall apart. You can cook pasta on the stovetop and add it to the slow cooker near the end of cooking time.

Generally, if a recipe calls to cook for 30 minutes, cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. If the cooking time is 35 to 60 minutes, cook in the slow cooker at LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours.

How do I clean my slow cooker?

Always unplug the slow cooker before cleaning. Clean the nonstick base with a damp, soapy dishcloth. Rinse with a damp cloth to remove soap residue. Wipe dry. Clean the removable insert and cover in warm soapy water. Rinse and dry.

Cooking On Board With a Crockpot or Slow Cooker

crockpot

Today we want to talk about Slow Cookers or Crock Pots on the boat.

It expands your cooking options.

You might be thinking, that is something that has no place on a boat. When I leave the dock I have no generator so how can I use that thing?

The answer is simple. For about $50 you can buy a 400 watt inverter that can take a 1000 watt power surge. It plugs into a marine cigarette lighter.   It uses power from your boat’s batteries to operate the slow cooker.  While you are underway, your engine’s alternator keeps the batteries pumped up and there is no worry about the pot running your batteries down.

Tip: Install a cigarette lighter in the galley near the sink. With this arrangement you can sit the crockpot in the sink to cook all day, without worry about the pot upsetting or spilling.

Slow-cookers are rated at  120 volts AC at between .6 amps and 2 amps, this works out to be between 70 watts (low temperature small CP) and 250 watts (high temperature big CP). Since I have a large slow-cooker I will use it as my example, but using the information that follows you can also calculate your own energy usage. My slow-cooker is a large 5-quart brand with a low cooking power of 180 watts and a high cooking power of 250 watts.  Check your crock pot owners manual  for the exact watts on your pot  It may also be stamped on the bottom. The difference between the oven and the slow-cooker is that the slow-cooker cooks continuously. What that means is if you cook on high with a 250 watt hour element for 4 hours, you use (4 X 250) 1000 watt hours of electricity. If you cook on low with a 180 watt hour element for 8 hours, you use (8 X 180) 1440 watt hours of electricity. If you have a small slow-cooker with a low range that uses a 70-watt element, cooking for 8 hours only uses 560-watt hours of electricity. If you have a 100-watt light bulb on and you leave it on while your slow-cooker is cooking you will be using (8 hours X 100) 800-watt hours of electricity.

If you have a couple of batteries that are in good shape you will be able to handle the slow cooker.  

Many boats today have large inverters that are tied into the boat’s primary electrical system and backed up by a substantial battery bank.  For these boats, running a crockpot all day with no generator is no problem at all.  

Average cook time for most recipes is 4 to 6 hours. If you put it together before you leave the dock in the morning, it will be done by the time you arrive at your destination and are ready to eat!  Just fill it up with the ingredients of  your favorite recipe, sit it in the galley sink and be off on your adventure with a home cooked meal ready to eat when you are.

Check out some recipes for this versatile piece of equipment.  

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