How on earth did I go wrong with a crockpot? Page 1 / 2

lillian12, Jun 13, 8:39am
9hrs of cooking and the veggies are still hard and beef is as tough as old boot :(My 1st attempt - there must be somewhere I went wrong?

gadgetmaninch, Jun 13, 8:40am
did you braise the meat? ?

sumstyle, Jun 13, 8:43am
is it a new slow cooker, or old? Sounds like a thermostat problem to me

lillian12, Jun 13, 8:44am
I seared the meat - then placed veggies (potato, carrot, onions) on bottom of crockpot, then placed meat on top then the can of tomatoes mixed with maggi sachet on top of that as per instructions... . . low heat for 8hrs - well it has been over 9hrs now and still hard :(

lillian12, Jun 13, 8:46am
It's only about a year old sumstyle - a friend has let me borrow it to see if I like it so I can then purchase my own... not looking positive so far haha! There's definitely heat there and light is on - I have upped it onto high for a bit to see if that helps :)

tets, Jun 13, 8:47am
cook on high! !

maxwell.inc, Jun 13, 8:48am
how often did you lift the lid to "check, sniff or stir"?

lillian12, Jun 13, 8:49am
Only once - I was told this was a no no lol!

emily1983nz, Jun 13, 8:49am
how much liquid is there?

maxwell.inc, Jun 13, 8:50am
yup it is a no no.

Sounds like the thermostats stuffed. 9 hours on low if its working correctly is more than sufficient - even with no liquid at all (I normally cook whole cuts with nothing but the condensation it creates it self)

lillian12, Jun 13, 8:51am
not much to start with - but ended up with a good inch or two:)

fifie, Jun 13, 8:53am
1. Is it a older crockpot or a new slow cooker one? If older style probably chunks of vegs on low was not enough time as they cook not as hot or quick as the new slow cookers do. I'd do the same again but on high, for the older crockpot. 2. You wern't lifting the lid every while were you, to sniff or stir, as every time you take the lid off you cut back your cooking time by about 20 minutes. Leave lid on it, only lift if you have to turn a big piece of meat a couple of times during cooking.

char87, Jun 13, 8:54am
i tend to have the smar problem i cna cook meat in the slowcooker no problems but he vegies still remain hard. I dont stir it as i am not home and will generally cook it for 8 and a half hours with this result being the one.

lillian12, Jun 13, 10:16am
Ok - after being on low since 11am and high for the last hour and a half - its finally ready (but meat isn't overly tender and veggies are a firm soft if that makes sense lol)... does that indicate thermostat fluctuating?

bettyboots, Jun 13, 10:23am
I have had my crockpot few a couple years after my old one retired. My potatoes never cook fully unless i microwave them for a few minutes first. I never had this problem with my old one. Maybe this one the same as mine lol. Good luck

griffo4, Jun 13, 9:40pm
Our daughter uses her crockpot/slowcooker all the time and she says she puts it on high before she goes to work then turns it down to chug along on low all day then when she gets home she checks it and turns it on to high until she wants it and she never has any trouble

cookessentials, Jun 13, 9:53pm
it is the being set on low that will be the problem

cookessentials, Jun 13, 9:55pm
I have had a crockpot ( the same one) since 1983 before they were even heard of here in NZ - Dad bought mine back from Aussie for us and it is basic in that it has only high or low. i only ever cook on high, then reduce to low for the last hour or so if the meat is tender.

red2, Jun 13, 10:17pm
I always cook on low with good results but maybe these ideas might solve your puzzle - when adding potatoes /carrots etc cut them into a dice size or if you want larger size precook them first . Also once all the ingredients are in the crock pot give them a good stir to combine to ensure the liquid surrounds all the meat and vege cubes. Hope this helps

fisher, Jun 13, 10:22pm
Some hints...
Vegetables:
Once you have peeled and chunked/cubed your veges, put them into a saucepan with water and a tsp of salt, lid on and bring to the boil. . leave for 4 mins and turn off but leave on the element... this method will eleviate that hard outer, left by crockpot cooking vegetables. . and added later in the cooking process, will also stop that discolouring we hate. . These stove top veges are to be added about 90 mins before serving time with a little of the water. .
Meat:
Ensure you brown/sear your meat apart from corned beef. . use a nonstick frypan with NO OIL to brown. . Place your "other' veges in the bottom of the crockpot. . french cut onions, make a bouquet garni from fresh herbs, and place meat on top either roast, chops or stewing chunks. . add your seasonings like pepper and salt herbs and wanted sauces... use appropriate stock rather than water. .
ALWAYS:
Preheat your crockpot as you do your oven. . half cup of water and lid on while you prepare ingredients and meat. .
ALWAYS set your crockpot to HIGH for the start and then turn down to low. . your AUTO feature will do this for you... (high for an hour then low for balance of cooking... ) but if you have no AUTO, turn to HIGH and then to LOW later...
Crockpots DONT roast... they work on heat and steam. . that's why its not advisable to lift the lid as it takes approx 20 mins to once again create the same cooking environment. . all that water condensation on the lid drops off and creates liquid. .
Noted:
One thing I have noticed is that a crockpot creates its own liquid level (unless you of course fill it). . That level is about 1/4 inch below the top of the ingredients inside, like chops, stews etc, (not roasts). . and have found this the best cooking environment and level
Finishing:
Taste test 30 mins before serving. . make adjustments and turn back up to HIGH

fisher, Jun 13, 10:35pm
WARM setting is to keep ingredients warm for when you come back for a second helping and also great for soups. . altho low is still fine. .
The newer crockpots run at a higher temperature than the old sunbeam type ones with just high/low settings. .
Done primarily for chicken, its essential that a high temp is reached as quickly as possible as it progresses from thawed in fridge (NEVER FROZEN) to hot. . so it doesn't have a lengthy period where that ideal bacteria temperature is. . That's another reason we DON'T use FROZEN meat in our crock pots as well as the possibility of the inner bowl cracking...

Hope all that gives you all a better insight to crockpot cooking. .

dorothy_vdh, Jun 13, 10:35pm
my crock pot has 3 settings high low and warm. Are you sure you had it on low.

wyndra, Jun 14, 3:42am
I always cook mine on high (casserols) I have found that low takes forever.

buzzy110, Jun 14, 4:21am
Best thing to do with a crock pot is to consign it to the rubbish. If one has to go to all the bother to actually get something to cook, it becomes as much of a bind as throwing your food into either a pot, to stew, or an oven to roast.

Mine was used about 4 times before I realised that the quality of the food that comes out is sub-standard. All meats leach just about all the liquid therein, and you end up with a warm, tender, but totally succulent free (dry) product. Also overcooks meat, especially if you want it pink or rare.

They are as bad as microwaves IMO.

Remember this is only MY OPINION. Others obviously love their crockpot and what it does to food.

carriebradshaw, Jun 14, 4:38am
Buzzy110-I totally agree with you. Thought I was the only one who wasnt impressed with their slow cooker.

I much prefer cooking in my le crueset cast iron pot. So much more flavour and no mucking about.

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