Volume Six, Number 22, June 1, 2004
Today's issue is about crockpots. We have some crockpot tips, an article about crockpot cooking and some links to recipes. Feel free to send in your favorite crockpot recipes. You can submit them on our contest form or here: Click Here
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Crockpot Tips Converting Recipes: Converting your favorite recipes to the crockpot or slow cooker is pretty easy. Here is a guideline for cooking times. If you are cooking on the low setting, make sure that any uncooked meat cooks for at least 8 hours.
|Stovetop Cooking Time||Crockpot Cooking Time|
|High Temp||Low Temp|
|15-30 minutes||1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hrs||4 - 8 hours|
|35-45 minutes||3 - 4 hours||6 - 10 hours|
|50 minutes - 3 hours||4 - 6 hours||8 - 16 hour|
Seasoning: Spices will be diluted overtime as they cook in a crockpot. So add spices in the last hour of cooking.
Ground Beef: Brown ground beef before adding to the crockpot. It will taste better and have better texture this way.
Raw Vegetables: Uncooked vegetables like carrots, potatoes and onions should be place at the bottom of the crockpot for faster cooking.
Dairy: Add sour cream, heavy cream and other dairy ingredients during the last hour of cooking.
Cleaning: Do not add cold water to a hot crockpot to clean it. Either let it cool down or add warm soapy water.
Garnish: Many vegetables will lose their color in a slow cooker. Add a colorful garnish like fresh parsley, chives, tomatoes, red peppers or cheese for color.
Cooking Tip: Keep your crockpot at least half full to avoid overheating and overcooking food.
Thickening: Add a cornstarch in the final hour of cooking to thicken juices.
Use your crockpot outside in the summer to help keep your house cool.
What are your favorite crockpot tips?
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That Forgotten Appliance - The Crockpot!
By Cyndi Roberts
Do you find yourself bringing home fast food at the end of a busy day, because:
a You're too tired to cook?
b. There's no time to cook an entire meal before going out for various family activities? or
c. You didn't make any other plan this morning?
Get out that crockpot! That wedding gift or Christmas present that you never have used.
Crockpots can cook all day long at a low temperature so foods never burn and at the same time they use very little energy.
It takes just a few minutes in the morning to get started. When you come home in the evening all you have left to do is add a salad or vegetable dish and some bread and dinner's ready!
Crockpot recipes can be very simple. One of my family's favorites is to just put a pork roast in the crockpot, spread a tablespoon or two of barbecue sauce on top and cook on low all day. It always comes out fork-tender and delicious! If you don't care for barbecue sauce, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup poured over the roast is very good also.
Chicken drumsticks are often on sale in bulk at very low prices. Put a few of these in the crockpot and again, pour a little barbecue sauce over or cream of mushroom soup and cook on low all day. Serve over rice. A little bit of leftover spaghetti sauce would also be great.
Sometimes I just cook enough drumsticks for one meal, but most times I like to cook as many as I can get in the pot and freeze meal-size portions for another time.
Did you know that you can bake potatoes right in your crockpot? Just wash potatoes and prick with a fork. Wrap them in foil and cook on low all day. You don't even add any liquid.
A whole chicken can be baked in your crockpot. Wash it inside and out. Sprinkle the inside and out with salt and pepper. Place in crockpot and cook all day on low.
If you plan to make a main dish for supper that calls for cooked chicken, such as chicken spaghetti or tetrazinni, just put cut- up chicken in the crockpot, add a little water and a bay leaf. As always, cook all day on low. When you take it out, the chicken will just fall off the bone.
To make cleanup easy, I always line my crockpot with foil. If your crockpot has a removeable liner, just turn the liner over and shape the foil around the liner. Take the foil off, return the liner to the crockpot and place the shaped foil inside.
Now you have no excuse not to use that crockpot! So get it out and surprise your family tonight with a delicious dinner that tastes as if you worked on it all day!
About The Author: Cyndi Roberts' website, "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" will show you ways to save money everyday. Receive a free e-course on saving money at the supermarket! To learn more, visit www.cynroberts.com
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Here is a great link with lots of crockpot recipes:
Crockpot and Slow Cooker Recipes Index
The big index of crockpot recipes and resources for crockpot or slow cooker
Tasty Crockpot Recipes is the place to find any recipe for your Crock-pot® slow cooker.
Tons of crockpot recipes.
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