Crockpot recipe problem?

yesterday I made a soup in the crockpot - it was a McGregors? beef and vege one. followed the recipe exactly, turned the crockpot on low and went to work 7am get home just after 5pm and went to add some fresh parsley it - took the lid off and found the cubes of potato / carrot I'd put in were still hard, as well as the lentils that came with the packet.
I would have thought with 8hrs + cooking time (that's what the pkt said) it would be cooked, but it wasn't.

I ended up transferring it to a big saucepan and cooking it on the stove top for about an hour and the soup was very nice

does anyone know why it might not have worked in the crockpot?

Chef_muffin2, Jul 17, 2:52 pm

is there a prize ?

Chef_pickles7, Jul 17, 2:59 pm

What was in the soup? I found this article that says acidic ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar) will stop vegetables from cooking.

I have my slowcooker on today (a tomato-based casserole), and I added some potatoes to it, something I don't usually do, so now I don't know if that was a good idea! Will find out tonight, I guess!

Chef_mjhdeal, Jul 17, 3:09 pm

Lol, pickles, she's answered her own question.

Chef_fifie, Jul 17, 3:11 pm

Oops, didn't read the post properly, obviously the acidic theory doesn't apply if soup cooked properly on stove. perhaps slow-cooker not hot enough? Or chef did not test the recipe in a slowcooker?

Chef_mjhdeal, Jul 17, 3:17 pm

the recipe was blade steak, cubed vegetables (I used potato, carrot, celery), brown in a pan then add to crock pot with the lentils from the soup packet, 1 tin chopped tomatoes and 1.25l water mixed with the flavour sachet from the soup pkt - cook on high 4-5 hours or 8 hours on low
the veggies and lentils were pretty much still raw when I got home

Chef_muffin2, Jul 17, 3:20 pm

Potatoes do not cook well in the crockpot.
The lentils may have not been fully cooked because of the salt content in the packet you added.

All pulses are usually cooked without salt and I had never any problems with getting them soft in 8 hours in the crockpot. I soak beans over night then wash and start with new water in the morning and they are soft by evening. Lentils do not really pre-soaking.

The other thing I found is that meals cook much better if you start them on high, then turn down after a few hours. Difficult if you have an older crockpot and you go to work of course. The modern ones have that option to program them to switch to low after a while.

Chef_uli, Jul 17, 3:33 pm

Ditch the crock pot, they can give you more than you bargain for.
I always bring my food to a simmer before turning my slow cookers down to Auto or low. Briscoe's have a 'Zip' one on sale right now [$20.00], mine is great and has never failed to cook our dinner while we play bowls for 6 hours.

Chef_pickles7, Jul 17, 4:29 pm

Low in some crockpots could be too low, likewise Auto.

Always on High, never a problem then when you arrive home and not ready for dining then switch to low or auto.

Does not matter what's in the crockpot.

Chef_valentino, Jul 17, 4:33 pm

You wouldn't like an 8 hour cooked chicken would you valentino?

So yes it does matter what you put in and how long that stuff can stand being on high before it descends into an unappetising mass.

Chef_uli, Jul 17, 5:24 pm

This . on high

Chef_rainrain1, Jul 17, 5:41 pm

Like others, I use high when making soups. I cooked a lentil, barley and vege soup the other day, all from scratch, not keen on the soup mixes. Everything was cooked through. I have a Sunbeam crockpot and not one of these quicker cooking slow cookers and I've never had a problem with anything I've cooked in it.

Chef_nauru, Jul 17, 7:41 pm

Yep, especially for soups and even casseroles.

If you want the chicken to be kept whole it would be cooked differently like in a bag in the oven style.

Chef_valentino, Jul 17, 7:59 pm

and yep.

Never undercook a chicken, it is not worth it but the poster 1 was seeking thoughts re the vege side of things and I'm simply emphasising the high setting that should be used.

Doing a chicken in the slow cooker main purpose is a casserole or soup type meal, never gets overcooked but the flesh and all comes of the bone beautifully as well as all the veges etc being nicely cooked.

Yep again though normally a large 6 litre batch.

If you want the chicken to be kept whole it would be cooked differently like in a bag in the oven style.


Chef_valentino, Jul 17, 8:06 pm

Put your root veges around the outside near the element and cook lentils on high. Maybe red lentils are the exception I think I read? Try them if you want to do soup on low while your away all day.

Chef_wendalls, Jul 17, 9:52 pm

I have read that veges can take longer than meat to cook in a slow cooker. I don't know why though. I guess have the veges cubed small enough. In regards to tomatoes in a slow cooker - they are a great way to soften meat especially casserole - making it really tender.

Chef_macandrosie, Jul 17, 10:10 pm

You didn't have power cut during the day perhaps?
But then the meat wouldn't be cooked either - scrap that.

Chef_cinderellagowns, Mar 6, 3:03 pm

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