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  1. #1
    vb66's Avatar
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    Crock Pot Query

    Primal Fuel
    Hello all!

    I have a question about using the slow cooker to cook big hunks of meat. Is it bad to open the slow cooker while the meat is cooking? I keep getting dry meat and I thought that might be the reason.

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    Arriviste's Avatar
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    I read once that every time one takes the lid off the slow cooker, add twenty minutes to the cooking time to make up for the lost steam. I have an ancient round Crock Pot so I just spin the lid in place if I need to displace the water droplets and look inside. If I just have to stir something, I make sure to add the extra time to the total and everything comes out fine.

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    Wrenwood's Avatar
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    My experience is that it's better not to open it unless you want to reduce the amount of liquid in a dish. Did you put water or broth in with the meat at the start?
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    magicmerl's Avatar
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    Why would you need to open the lid?

    I could see turning it once, but that should be the end of it.

    And how much liquid do you put in it? You ned a lot less than cooking in the oven, but still some.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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    waterjen's Avatar
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    These don't specifically address your dryness problem, but a quick look at the crock pot website turned up a few useful tips. I rely on the crockpot several times a week for easy week-night meals, and these tips were good reminders for me.
    I have tended not to have dryness issues when cooking chunks of meat in the crock pot. Cooking for one, however, I tend to have a fair amount of leftovers, so I like to have more liquids with my food from the beginning for reheating purposes.

    From Crock-Pot® Hints & Tips
    Meats: There are appropriate meat weights for specific size slow cookers (Example: 6 quart = 6 pounds meat). Cut meat to cook at same rate as vegetables. For frozen meats, add liquid, use pre-cubed meat and add additional time to ensure meat is defrosted, fully cooked and tender.
    Meats: Trim fats and wipe meats well to remove residue. If meats contain fats, brown in a separate skillet or broiler and drain well before adding to cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Place meat in stoneware on top of vegetables.
    Browning Meat: Some people prefer the convenience of not pre-browning meat before adding to the slow cooker. Pre-browning meat does create another layer of prep work. If you prefer to pre-brown meat, borwn or sear meats in a skillet, prior to adding to slow cooker. This will create greater depth of flavor to any dish as well as melt out fat that can be poured off before slow cooking.
    Frozen Meats: You can cook frozen meat in a Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker, but suggested cook time may need to be increased. To ensure meat is cooked through, use a meat thermometer. Meat should be well above 165°F to be tender.
    Roasts: Roasts can be cooked without water when set on low. However, we recommend a small amount because the gravy is especially tasty. The more fat or “marbling” the meat has, the less liquid you need. Liquid is needed to properly soften and cook vegetables.
    Specialty Dishes: Specialty dishes, such as stuffed chops, stuffed steak rolls, stuffed cabbage leaves, stuffed peppers, or baked apples can be arranged in a single layer so they cook easily and can be served attractively.

    And from Crock-Pot® Hints & Tips
    Liquid (Stock, Water and Wine): In most instances, is not necessary to use more than ˝ - 1 cup of liquid since juices in meats and vegetables are retained more in slow cooking than in conventional cooking.
    Excess Liquid: Excess liquid can be reduced and concentrated for great flavor. You can reduce excess liquid by slow cooking on the stovetop, removing meat and vegetables from stoneware or stirring in cornstarch, tapioca or tapioca powder and setting the slow cooker to high approximately 15 minutes until juices are thickened.
    Milk, Cream and Sour Cream: Add these ingredients during the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #6
    vb66's Avatar
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    There is no need to open it of course. Sometimes I just can't help but open it to give it a peak and smell I'll have to be more disciplined.
    I did add about 1 cup of liquid to the roast I made yesterday. I had a 5lb top sirloin roast with a big ridge of fat on it. I put carrots and onions in the bottom, added 1 cup of liquid, rubbed salt and pepper on the roast and let er rip. Came out dry Searing it first seemed like a pain in the butt, but if that's the only way to keep it moist I'll have to start doing that.

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