Slow cooker overcooking Page 1 / 2

tammy_mn5, Jun 22, 2:06am
I have a two year old slow cooker that has started overcooking my meat. I'm no slow cooker expert, but when I first got it all I had to do was pretty much, chuck veges and meat in there for between 8-12hrs low (alt if on high) and everything came out perfectly. Recently though, the meat starts to burn and comes out very tough while the veges are fine. I have no idea if I'm doing something wrong. Its a 3.5L Breville. Eg, last meal I cooked was cassrole beef in pieces and chopped veges on low for no more then 6.5hrs and it came out like rubber. Same when I used lamb (8 hrs on low). I thought maybe I was browning the meat too long, but with the latest one I barely browned at all. Not very nice when you're feeding visitors :(

Is it me? Or is my slow cooker ... Umm do I need a new one?

flybye_in_a_rx7, Jun 22, 2:12am
is that the white round one? MIL has one of the white round ones she says it does the same.
mine is a breville too though its the 5L one from fly seems to work fine.
so i dono, perhaps borrow a friends and try the exact same meal

suzanna, Jun 22, 2:13am
I loathed and detested my supposed so-call 'slow cooker' after years of having a crockpot (I'm talking circa 1970's) so gave it away and bought a crockpot off trademe. I can work out on the farm all day feeling okay about the crockpot actually cooking slowly with no fear of overcooking, drying etc. I'm very happy with it and in fact have bought two more for my family. But I do acknowledge that others love their Brevilles so I guess it's a matter of both taste (no pun intended) and what you're used to.

beaker59, Jun 22, 2:16am
So what is the difference between a crockpot and a slow cooker?

tammy_mn5, Jun 22, 2:23am
I thought Crockpot is a brand. So all crockpots are slow cookers, but not all slow cookers are crockpots :)

tammy_mn5, Jun 22, 2:26am
It's stainless steel. Bought new off TM. Got what was at the time, a bargain.
Such a shame the ways things are these days, appliances are cheap (which I love), but don't seem to last (which I hate). Throw away society sucks.

suzanna, Jun 22, 2:30am
Beaker tammy says it well. It's been my experience Beaker that a crockpot really does 'slowcook'. I can remember a particularly bad season on the farm when we were breaking in alot of heifers to milk so milkings were taking alot longer (rotary shed blah blah) and not once did any of the crockpot meals spoil. Point being? I don't think that it's possible to overcook in a cp but the same cannot be said for a slowcooker. I will be interested to read other people's experiences.

nfh1, Jun 22, 2:32am
Interesting thread - the last couple of times I have used mine it overcooked the contents.

suzanna, Jun 22, 2:38am
tammy buy yourself a cp off trademe ($20-ish less if you're lucky) and enjoy. My first one which was well used lasted over 20 years. Bid before the rumour hits the streets and everyone starts bidding for one!!! (lame I know but a bit of quake humour)

norse_westie, Jun 22, 2:41am
I must admit, I went through two slow cookers (over 10 years mind you) and then decided to get a crockpot for similar reasons. I LOVE my crockpot. Second hand of TMfor $20 three years ago but funny thing is, the seller had upgraded to a newer slow cooker, lol. I often wonder if she regretted selling her CP.

Just a suggestion though: consider using a plug in timer to reduce the cooking time. You can program it to start (and finish if you want) the cooking any time, so if you need to leave for work but want it to start at 11am, you can program it for that.

shiyo, Jun 22, 2:56am
Yes hang on to any older slow cooker. They now make them with the element around the sides ( not the bottom) and mine boils the contents even on low. They also increased the wattage for food safety reasons ( dont know of anyone who died from food poisioning from a slow cooker!) They are now fast cookers in my opinion. I have a small old one and a larger new one that I hate.

carter19, Jun 22, 3:21am
I have found that using a dish inside my slow cooker ie casserole dish or rice pudding in a jug helps make things better. I've got an oval one and it's just too big for most stuff but I can fit 2 dishes in it so I can cook 2 different things which is great. I often use oven bags in dish so that I 1) get a smaller size and 2) don;t have to clean up. Dinner and pudding together.

rover110, Jun 22, 3:46am
I to have had the crockpot that I forgot to take when I left the hubby yrs ago lol. I have 2 slow cookers, a smaller one and a bigger one, they both work great and have never had any issues with either one, but its like anything you have to keep an eye on it! I always turn mine off when I know the food in it is cooked, its easy enough to turn in on to warm the food up again near dinner time.

nzhel, Jun 22, 5:23am
I have found my very elderly crockpot (around 30 yrs old) is excellent and never ever overcooks food. Nor have we ever been ill after eating a meal from it. My newer large oval one is very fast and needs to be watched carefully as it does overcook food like casseroles etc. I prefer the older crockpot by far.

fifie, Jun 22, 6:09am
Mmmm maybe the thermostat is the problem #1. The difference between the older crockpot and todays slow cooker is that the C/pot cooks at a slightly slower temperature therefore food dosen't over cook the same. Slow cookers cook faster and hotter. My S/Cooker gets used for silverside, corned beef, soup,steam puds its good for bread making i believe, and for the beef stews, mince,chicken dishes, all roasts, chops and creamy puds i use my trusty 30 yr old c/pot every time, prefer it heaps to the new one.

gateaux, Jun 22, 7:52am
If the meat is dry, does that mean it's overcooked?

greg.n.michelle, Jun 22, 10:09am
I buy the timers that turn your slow cookers on. I cook from 2.00pm for about a 6.30ish dinner that way the meat is not being over cooked. The timers are available at Dick smith and I am sure any appliance shop surely!

janny3, Jun 22, 10:23am
Everyone tells me a timer is a great idea.Last week Bunnings had the timers on sale for around $5 too.

clelandstimber, Jun 22, 10:15pm
I have been having the same problem as I start work at 7.30am and my partner often doesn't get home till after 5pm to turn it off (I don't go home after work). It does tend to overcook the meat, it is a newer model.
If I brought a timer and put it on in the morning would you just leave the meat sitting in the slow cooker till the timer when off. Just wondering about food safety?

buzzy110, Jun 22, 11:38pm
You echoed my very thoughts. Do I understand that the meat is browned and left in the crockpot, on the bench, at room temperature till it is turned on much later in the day? Blerk.

buzzy110, Jun 22, 11:45pm
It is very easy to discover exactly the precise heat your cooker is cooking at. Quarter fill it with water and turn it on. Use your thermometer after an hour and then again at 2 hours (at which time it should have reached its maximum temperature) to find out what temperature it is cooking at. I did that exercise recently to find out whether I could use it to ferment rice. I found that the old crock pot (which is what I have cooks at 78D low and 86D hot. The boiling point of water is 100D.

If your crock pot brings water to a temperature of more than 78D it is cooking fast and if it reaches 100D it is boiling your food and is, therefore, too hot for long slow cooking.

clelandstimber, Jun 23, 1:33am
So true, doesn't seem right to have browned (uncooked) meat sitting in the crockpot till 11am when the timer goes off

suzanna, Jul 6, 6:49am
Bumping for Mr_X

scarlettnz, Jul 6, 7:11am
I used to do it all the time (now I'm lucky enough to have a man who cooks for me).I'd always prepare the meat etc the night before, put it in the ceramic liner and leave it in the fridge overnight.Then all I had to do in the morning was take the liner out of the fridge, pop it in the slow cooker, set the timer and away I'd go.Meals always turned out beautifully and no-one ever got sick.

Having said that, I'd never use the same process for chicken though, only for meat and/or vege meals.

kumerakid, Jul 7, 3:44am
i have my mum's crockpot from the 70's and mine early 80's, my daughter has asked to have one when she moves out,they cook food fantastically.must try the cooking bag, it sounds good.

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