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Crockpot - what do I do with it?

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  • Crockpot - what do I do with it?

    So last year (well before I went paleo) my mom basically made me take this old crockpot of hers. I didnt really know how to use it and wasnt a fan of stews in the past, so it gathered dust in the garage of the last two houses I lived. Now, though, times have changed, and as the weather gets colder I find myself perusing savory primal stew recipes and eyeing my ancient crock-pot skeptically.

    I assume that a crockpot is the same as a slow cooker? And can I REALLY just throw all the ingredients in and let it sit for hours on end? Can I leave it on when I go out or go to work? Any other interesting tips, tricks, or techniques?
    "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

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  • #2
    Yep, a crockpot is a slow cooker.

    Some meats don't hold up too well to hours and hours of cooking.
    I make whole chickens, 'roasts' of various meats, stews, stocks and corned beef in my slow cooker. I've had more than one whole chicken go stringy because I cooked it for too long. They aren't quite the same texture as an oven cooked roast, but good enough.
    If you're making stews, I recommend browning the meat first, otherwise I've found the meat is a bit... meh.

    I've heard that some brands cook differently to others (higher temperatures or whatever), so you might want to keep an eye on it during your first use.

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    • #3
      Yep, just throw stuff in.

      With something like chili, I know a lot of people that put the hamburger in raw, but I tried that once and didn't much care for it. I prefer to brown it first. Just tonight I made the chili recipe from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, but instead of cooking it all in a pot, I browned the bacon and hamburger, threw in some onions, peppers and garlic, and then mixed that all with the spices and other ingredients in the slow cooker. I let that cook on high for a few hours, then turned it to low for another couple of hours. Turned out awesome.

      Try Googling slow cooker recipes or tips and I'm sure you'll find quite a bit of good stuff.

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      • #4
        You put your meat in it. heh...heh...

        Seriously, just put a hunk of meat in it, some red wine, some chicken stock (preferably homemade), some carrots, celery, onions and a bay leaf and let it rock all day without you.

        Come home to the scrumptious aroma of a perfectly cooked tender batch of goo. Perfect food.

        Mine I can set for low and it cooks it up while I'm at work. As noted above, not all are equal and it is possible to overcook.

        ~rc

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        • #5
          Brown a pork roast or tenderloin, put it in crockpot, dump in quartered potatoes, onion, a bunch of carrots. Throw in a bay leaf and whatever seasonings you like -- some garlic, whatever. Cook on low all day (or high for a couple hours and then low for couple hours). In the last hour add salt/pepper, any more seasonings, sauerkraut (if you like it). SO EASY, so good, and so primal.

          You can get way more creative than that, but a roast is one of my favorite crockpot meals, as is a whole chicken -- rinse and pat dry, rub with spices (dry), cook on low for about 6 hours. Do not add any liquid or oil or anything. Chicken cooked like this is SOOO tasty, easy, and NOT messy (like it is in the oven).
          My journal

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          • #6
            or you could always just mail it to me....
            Trying a journal. We'll see how long that lasts....

            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread37152.html

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Angieh View Post
              Brown a pork roast or tenderloin, put it in crockpot, dump in quartered potatoes, onion, a bunch of carrots. Throw in a bay leaf and whatever seasonings you like -- some garlic, whatever. Cook on low all day (or high for a couple hours and then low for couple hours). In the last hour add salt/pepper, any more seasonings, sauerkraut (if you like it). SO EASY, so good, and so primal.

              You can get way more creative than that, but a roast is one of my favorite crockpot meals, as is a whole chicken -- rinse and pat dry, rub with spices (dry), cook on low for about 6 hours. Do not add any liquid or oil or anything. Chicken cooked like this is SOOO tasty, easy, and NOT messy (like it is in the oven).
              These are awesome ideas, Angieh. I like simple. Seriously? I can put a chicken in without any liquid and just cook it dry? If I put big chunks of carrots underneath would that work with the same cooking time or do carrots take longer? What spices do you rec for the chicken, maybe poultry seasoning or rosemary?

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              • #8
                Seriously, a crockpot is a Blueprinter's BFF! Its possibilities are limitless.
                --Trish (Bork)
                TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Goldstar View Post
                  These are awesome ideas, Angieh. I like simple. Seriously? I can put a chicken in without any liquid and just cook it dry? If I put big chunks of carrots underneath would that work with the same cooking time or do carrots take longer? What spices do you rec for the chicken, maybe poultry seasoning or rosemary?
                  Here is almost exactly what I do with the chicken, except I do buy a free range one from Trader Joe's, and I rub the old gal all over with spices. I think my spice mix is a little different every time. I get a small bowl and put some shakes of garlic, thyme (I like on chicken), paprika, sometimes oregano, or whatever really. And yes, NO liquid. The crockpot will be about half full of liquid when it's done. My husband is kind enough to pick it all off the bone -- we eat a big portion with vegetables for first meal, and then after that I use it for chicken salad (homemade mayo if I have it prepared), put it in salads, take it as leftovers to work for lunch, etc. SO GOOD AND EASY. I discovered this only in the last year ago and can't believe I didn't know how to do it before. I made some very messy roast chickens in the ovens, turning it up high to try to crisp the skin, etc. This is WAY easier, at least for me.

                  I do make the broth too, but I store it in mason jars (I am funny about using plastic). I don't fill them too full because I freeze them for use in later cooking.

                  Oh, and if you added carrots or other vegetables, I think the cooking time would be the same. If I am more rushed, do high for couple hours and then low for 2 or so. Same as low for 6-7 hours.
                  Last edited by Angieh; 10-27-2011, 07:38 PM.
                  My journal

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                  • #10
                    I prefer a whole chicken roasted, so I haven't done that in my crockpot, but it is awesome for big, cheap cuts of meat like chuck roast. Lately we've been on a Mexican kick, and I'll roast and peel various chilies and throw those in along with onion, tomatillos, garlic, and maybe some cilantro. Mushrooms and onions are always good, too, for a more traditional sort of pot roast. This site isn't primal, but many of her recipes work for the primal crock pot: A Year of Slow Cooking
                    My Primal Journal with lots of food pr0n

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                    • #11
                      I was afraid of my slow cooker when I first got it, I was convinced that it just couldn't be that easy. Well, it really is that easy. Tomorrow morning here's whats going in mine: 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs that were on sale at the store tonight, onions, carrots, sweet potato, and a can of tomatos. I haven't decided what I'm going to put on the meat for spices yet, probably some of the chipotle chili rub I found recently. By the time I get home tomorrow night, I'll have an amazing chicken stew that will last me for most of the weekend
                      Fighting fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain since 2002.

                      Big Fat Fiasco

                      Our bodies crave real food. We remain hungry as long as we refuse to eat real food, no matter how much junk we stuff into our stomachs. ~J. Stanton

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                      • #12
                        Slow cooking is super easy. Some times, I like to brown the meat first (for extra flavour) - sometimes I don't. If you slice an onion and brown that in lard until really going brown - beyond golden, but not burned - you don't need to brown the meat - the caramelised flavour is in the onion.

                        Favourite - 4 lamb chops, 2 large potatoes peeled and chopped, couple of carrots peeled and chopped, one swede (rutabaga?) peeled and chopped. Salt, pepper and sprig of rosemary. Settle all in slow cooker, add water to nearly come to top of chopped veg, cook on low 6 hours.

                        It is delicious and needs nothing browned first.

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                        • #13
                          i love the slow cooker, esp in winter. I prefer to cook overnight, then put the stuff in the fridge during the day. It seems to me that the flavors get together better that way. Here's my favorite:

                          in a skillet, melt bacon fat & brown 4 beef shanks sprinkled w/ chocolate
                          place browned shanks in crockpot
                          add 1 sweet potato, raw, cut into 1" chunks or so
                          cover w/ 28 oz can of crushed tomotoes
                          add 1/2 small can of chipotle salsa
                          sprinkle with additional cumin & chocolate

                          cook on low for 8 hrs

                          i mostly stick to beef for the crockpot. I don't use chicken b/c i like chicken skin but it doesn't turn out so well in the crockpot.

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                          • #14
                            just google & you'll find a ton of recipes.

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                            • #15
                              I think I'm the only person on the forum who hates a crock pot. Meat tends to be dryer and more bland than other cooking techniques. Now, I couldn't live without my enamel coated dutch oven!

                              There are a few things I will make in a crock pot...I really like this Mexican Stew recipe from ED Paleo: It's Too Hard!!! And a not so hard recipe | Everyday Paleo
                              Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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