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Slo-cooker recipes


The Liberal Elite
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  • 1 month later...

I'm interested in ditching cooked beans in the tins, and using cheaper dried beans for dishes like Chilli Con Carne and Cassoulet, which I always cook in the slow cooker.

My question is, if I soak the dried beans overnight, is 10 hours in slow cooker on the low setting going to be enough to cook them?

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They'll cook in 10 hours even without soaking!

If you use dried kidney beans you MUST ensure they're boiled and cooked properly before putting them in the slow cooker, or you will die as they won't reach a high enough temp in a slow cooker.

Hmmm... :unsure:

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We're going to buy one of these soon, as many have regaled us with tales of how it's so easy to just dump a load of veg and meat in it on a morning, go out to work, then come back to a decent nutritious meal relatively cheaply, so it seems a good investment.

What bothers me though is what was said above about the kidney beans. How hot do these things get? If they're not hot enough for kidney beans, how can you do meat in them? Do you have to fry it first? As that would seriously detract from us getting one.

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They get just as hot as say, a pan left to stew all day. It's just they're no good for cooking things rapidly. So things that need a rolling boil, should be, erm, rolled and boiled before sticking in the slo-cooker. Kidney beans are about the only thing I can think of tbh. Everything else, such as potatoes, carrots etc, will be nice and tender by the time you're home.

Oh, and as for frying stuff first, no it's not essential. If you prefer to brown your beef before stewing, then you'll need to, if you're not bothered about things like that it's fine. You could for instance chop up some chicken, tip a jar of curry sauce over the top of it then go to work. When you get home you'll have chicken curry. It's really that simple.

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If they're not hot enough for kidney beans, how can you do meat in them? Do you have to fry it first? As that would seriously detract from us getting one.

Kidney beans contain toxins that denature at temperatures above 96 degrees, or something like that. Meat doesn't. A steak cooked rare never gets above about 60 degrees in the middle. Just used tinned beans, and don't worry about the meat. FYI a slow cooker kept on low is around 85 degrees C.

I've pretty much replaced my slow cooker with a vacuum water bath now, and I'm learning so much about food and what it does at different temperatures. Cooked a shoulder of pork on Sunday for nine hours at a precise 82 degrees C, and it was absolutely astonishing, the texture and flavour miles beyond what I'd ever got out of the slow cooker.

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mumblemumble Too much money mumble mumble

It was about £400. I do use it a lot though, and you can self-assemble them for a fair bit cheaper than that.

Yeah I knew they cost a lot since they're not domestic yet - I'll have to wait until Russel Hobbs do one ;)

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If you want a go at cheap sous vide cooking you can use the slow cooker and a digital fish tank thermometer. It's quite easy to keep mine at any temperature between 57-65 degrees with a carefully placed lid. Stick a bit of meat in a freezer bag and you're good to go.

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I picked up a Presteige one for £24 down in Ashford, Kent the other day. Going to have an attempt at making a Jalfrezi later.

According to my manual, That auto function is the one you can use when you go out to work, but that may differ on some models i guess.

*edit*

Just reading about slow cookers, I never knew the posioning issue with Kidney beans!

They must be boiled for 10-15 minutes first at 100C. Using a slow cooker can make them more poisonous.

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Well, finally went out and got one. We managed to find a decent looking 3.5litre model with a removable pot and glass lid for £12. Didn't really want anything much bigger as it'd be more to run.

Just got it on for the first time today. Shoved in half a bag of frozen veg (cauliflower, broccoli and carrot), a bag of stewing steak, quarter of a jar or tikka masala paste, some beef stock, a bit of thyme and curry powder and a tin of chopped tomatoes. The cooker had two settings, low and high, so I put it on high, gave it a stir, topped it up with a bit of water and I've left it now until tonight. Hopefully it'll be good :)

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Well, finally went out and got one. We managed to find a decent looking 3.5litre model with a removable pot and glass lid for £12. Didn't really want anything much bigger as it'd be more to run.

Just got it on for the first time today. Shoved in half a bag of frozen veg (cauliflower, broccoli and carrot), a bag of stewing steak, quarter of a jar or tikka masala paste, some beef stock, a bit of thyme and curry powder and a tin of chopped tomatoes. The cooker had two settings, low and high, so I put it on high, gave it a stir, topped it up with a bit of water and I've left it now until tonight. Hopefully it'll be good :)

You might want to check it to make sure it hasn't burnt really.. If you are cooking something for more than a few hours, you should have it on low.

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  • 2 months later...

After having about 8 months of success with my slow cooker, it's starting to catch and burn a little on one side of the pot.

I'll put it on low at 8am and come home to it about 6.30-7pm, on one side of the pot (near the bottom) there will always be a burnt patch about the surface area size a beermat.

Obviously I can just avoid the food around that bit, but it can get stirred into the rest of the pot, plus it makes cleaning more difficult.

Anyone else had this problem? Am I cooking for too long (11 hours on low)?

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11 hours is pretty long, even by slow cooker standards. I usually only have mine on for up to 7.

Hmph, looks like I'm going to have to get a plug timer thing then since the time is based on my work pattern.

Don't suppose anyone has a slow cooker with a timer? Can't say I've seen one in the shops.

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I've got the stuff to make curry in the cooker tonight, but the only meat I've got is frozen (I've got chicken and beef steak strips). Can I chuck them straight into the slow cooker, or will I have to defrost them first? As we'll have to leave it for tomorrow if that's the case.

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There's a warning in my cooker manual saying not to put frozen meat in but considering you have to boil the mix up first anyway it should defrost the meat anyway, wouldn't it?

You could get the liquid boiling without actually defrosting the meat fully. Don't risk it.

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  • 1 month later...

Recently I've had some problems with my slow cooker.

At first, when we got it, I managed to make some great meals by simply chucking in a load of frozen stewing veg, meat, a Colman's sauce packet and a tin of chopped tomatoes on a morning, and I could expect to come back to something edible when I got back from work.

Now, however, I seem to be burning everything. I put a stew in this morning, made up of frozen veg, beef cubes (that I defrosted by cooking in the oven until they were just about cooked), chopped toms, a stock cube and a Colman's beef stew packet with some red wine, but by 3pm parts of it were a little black on the surface. What makes it worse is that this is the third set of food I've potentially wasted in it.

What do people advise? Am I missing something major? Or is the thermostat on the cooker potentially broken?

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