It happened again. I made a stew in the crockpot (cooked it 12 hours) and the meat seems dry, yet it was immersed in liquid while cooking. What did I do wrong?
Holly Gates from Richardson, TX
Either you cooked it too long, or it cooked too high. A friend and I both found that "low" on our crockpots cooked too hot, so we both tried the "warm" setting all day and had great success. Was the meat frozen when you put it in? That could be a contributor as well.
It may be the cut of the meat you are using. I've had my best results with stew using different cuts of relatively inexpensive roasts or even brisket, which seems to cost less than ready cut-up stew meat.
Also, start the crockpot out on High, but then turn it down to Low once it starts to boil, that may help. I do that whewn I make Steak & Gravy and I've never had the meat be dry or tough.
Not sure what type of meat you're using.....I use regular stew meat, but I cut it up a little smaller (1/2 of the cube size of the carton it comes in) brown it a little before putting it in the crockpot. Then I pile in the veggies, potatoes and two cans of Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup....low for about 8-9 hours. Meat is tender and juicy.
In addition to being cooked too long, meat also gives off liquids so try not to drowned the meat and this way it wil have natural flavours.
did you sear the meat before putting it in the crock? i always brown meat before baking, stewing or crock pot. this gives more flavor and the meat has a better texture. good luck
Bottom round or top round roasts are very dry no matter how much water you cook it in or how long. You probably didn't do anything wrong, just use stew meat or a chuck roast to make a stew and see how it comes out. I would also cook it 6-8 hours on low.
You cooked it waaaaaay to long. Chicken 6 hours on low, beef 8 hours on low, take away an hour or two if on high. It doesnt matter if there is liquid, that doesnt keep it moist after its done.
Hi there..I always brown the meat first before putting it into the crockpot...then I make a small gravey with the goodies left from the browning...by adding some flour and water....I put the meat in then the veggies...pour over the gravey and add some cream of mushroom soup and cook on low for about 8-9 hours...should be nice and tender and moist for you...good luck!!! deb
Everyone has given some very good tips here, and each one needs to be considered. One I haven't seen mentioned is salt. If you use salt in your meat dishes it tends to dry the meat, so I avoid using much if any. One exception to this: as Carla Bledsoe wrote, searing the meat is important to hold in the juices and flavor. One way to do this is to get a large, ungreased cast iron griddle or skillet very hot and sprinkle salt on it, then toss the meat on the griddle and stir it around to brown all sides. (This method works great on steaks because you only have to flip them once; it's a bit cumbersome for small pieces of meat.) The way searing works is it cauterizes (toughens) a very thin layer around the meat, effectively sealing it. Using salt in this way helps keep the layer thin and helps keep the meat from sticking to the iron.
As to the choice of beef for stew, I never buy "stew beef" because it's almost always overpriced and you don't know what you're getting. For flavor, IMO you can't beat chuck. I buy pretty chuck roasts on special and cut them up with an electric knife, removing gristle and some of the fat if needed. (The fat provides both moistness and flavor to the finished product so don't remove it all!) Once in a while someone will have a great deal on whole sirloin tips and I'll use part of one to make stew. It's great, but I prefer chuck.
One other thing: I use no water in my stew. For liquid I use beer, but many other things work well too. If you put any tomato in your stew try thinning it just a little with V-8 juice. I don't usually put any tomato products in mine so I just use beer. It helps pull the flavors together and makes for a very good stew.
Hope this helps... and happy cooking!
Try a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup and a can of Coke with a couple of beef boullion cubes and don't cook it longer than 8 or 9 hours using a chuck roast or chuck stew beef. I think you will be surprised not only of the moistness of the meat but the taste. Delicious. Enjoy..........Carolyn from NC
My first thought is that the meat got mild freezer burn either before or after you bought it. Second thought is that it is too lean, so I'd rub it down by hand with coconut oil, "baby powder" it with onion
powder, nutmeg, for a professional chef taste, and add 1" of water OR TOMATO COCKTAIL JUICE OR UNSALTED V-8 JUICE, plus one bay leaf in bottom of pan, cooking IN OVEN at 450 degrees for thirty minutes, if 6-7 lbs., turning back to 375 degrees for about 1 hour or so OR TAKE YOUR CHANCES IN THE UNPREDICTABLE CROCK; ( keep checking with fork for tenderness. Do NOT overcook !!) refreshing the LIQUID to bring it up to 1", remembering to ALWAYS add the veggies(DIAGONAL CARROT WEDGES, ONION SLICES AND GREEN ONION, CELERY CHUNKS, NEW POTATO HALVES, BELL PEPPER WEDGES AND MED. SLICES, ETC.) in the last 20 min.; salt in the final 2-5 min. Just before adding veggies, bring LIQUID level up to the 1" mark
one last time UNLESS you want GRAVY, in which case
you add 2" of liquid. This is a combination of recipes
from my Irish, Am. Indian, Welch, and deep South
I think 12 hours is way too long. I usually cook stew meat for about 6 hours on high.
Mine was dry too. I add one can of spaghetti sauce, 1/2 c. of Vermouth and meat wasn't completely defrosted. Does anyone know which one responsible for dryness of the meat?
Get over the fear of fat! This advice is for all meats. Beef round and pork loin are prime examples of meats that do poorly with long cooking. When done, even while falling apart and looking very tender it will be extremely dry and lacking flavor. And even cuts like chuck and pork sholder that have plenty of connective tissue and fat can be over cooked, if you cook all the fat out of the meat it will be dry and lack flavor.
Again get over your fear of fat it adds flavor, richness, moisture and help satiate the appetite. Go ahead and skim the gravy or drippings but don't over trim the meat or cook all the fat(juiciness) out.
The meat was cooked too high and scorched. (Even if you brown the meat first.) I was having the same problem, checked the meat after an hour and I could already tell--the meat had that dry scorched quality. Never allow the liquid to actively boil. Use a lower crockpot setting. On the stove, keep an eye on things, an active boil will ruin the meat. It will also cause the protein to coagulate (froth up) and give a bitter taste. (skim that off)
I never use stew meat for stew. It is much cheaper to crumble up hamburger and brown that, then put in the crock pot with whatever else you want in your stew.
I remember my mother using one of those big square Corning Ware baking dishes with the glass top to roast something in the gas oven on very very low. She would go to work, we kids would go to school and the roast was absolutely delicious that night. This is for anybody who does not have a crock pot. You can get them pretty cheap everywhere.
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