The Household Necessity
Crock pots have become a necessity in many households. They had come to rely on it, especially after long days at work, and there is a method to the madness.
Many delicious are comprised of various recipes, and we often think they’re easy to find. But we should think again. The crock pot, like any other household appliance, has its limits, and you should be wary of cooking certain types of dishes in them.
Since a crock pot is completely sealed, the alcohol in the wine can't evaporate. This means that the end result will have a more aggressive flavour than you may expect.
We suggest skipping all of the boozy stuff altogether or using only a tiny splash—a little can go a long way.
When overheated, the proteins in milk clump up and create something new. This can be a good thing or it can end up looking and tasting seriously gross.
You might end up with curdled food and possibly a stomach ache. If the recipe calls for dairy, make sure to add it at the end.
As many of you may already know, vinegar is an extremely acidic substance.
If your cooker is of the older variety, it might feel nostalgic and awesome to use it, but the inner pots could react with the acid and release harmful chemicals. You can keep the heirloom, but steer clear of any acids.
Peas & Asparagus
Peas are one of the worst ingredients that could be added to a slow cooker.
Because they're so small, they will cook to the point of disappearing. And even if they survive in their orb form, they will be very mushy. Opt for root vegetables like onions, garlic, turnips, and carrots instead.
Some people swear that adding aluminum foil to dishes will make them reaching higher temperatures or that they could heat up faster.
However, for certain things like potatoes, the heat won't fully penetrate them, thus, the centre won’t get heated sufficiently. You can either cut them into bits or keep them whole and in the oven.
You don't want to force your cooker work harder than it needs to and frozen foods do just that.
It's never a good idea to toss frozen veggies into a cooker because they will take a whole lot longer to cook, plus they will come out mushy. Thaw your veggie before you throwing them into the cooker.
Attempting to cook frozen meat in a slow cooker isn’t only going to kill the texture, but it’s also dangerous from a safety standpoint.
Only meat that is fully thawed should go into a slow cooker. The slow cooker won’t cook frozen meat fast enough to avoid a significant amount of time in the unsafe temperature zone of 40 to 140F.
It's already tricky enough to cook chickens and turkey in an oven but in a crock pot its a whole new ball game.
The internal parts need to reach a certain temperature, and the slow cooker just can't reach that. You'll most likely end up making someone sick. Parts of the bird are fine, but the entire thing, not so much.
When cooking pasta in a crock pot you could possibly end up a giant mushy mess.
Most pasta recipes are quick and easy to make, so it's better to make them using traditional methods instead. If there is something in the pasta recipe that should go into a crock pot, add it near the end.
Some people like a kick of spice in their food.
But if you throw them in for long cooking times, you'll be ramping up the heat they release to extreme levels. There's nothing wrong with mouth-burning flavor; just make sure you watch your times and amounts. This next food no-no might surprise you!
Moisture and bacon don’t get on that well. And there’s nothing worse than soggy bacon.
But adding it to a slow cooker will give you a grey, gummy, barely-ham-flavored mess. Cook your bacon on the stovetop or a sheet pan in the oven, then add it to the slow cooker dish when serving.
Food poisoning is a total nightmare and shellfish is known to cause it if it’s not cooked properly.
A slow cooker simply takes too long to heat up and cook the shellfish within a safe time range. Plus, you need a quick rise in heat to cause something like mussels to pop open. A slow cooker just can't do it.
There are a ton of recipes out there for crock pot zucchini’s.
The problem is, this veggie is another one that will turn mushy real quickly. It might even just disappear into the liquid, leaving only the skin behind. It's okay if you're making soups, but not for things you want to chew.
Lemons fall into the same category as vinegar and tomatoes do.
Lemons are filled to the brim with acidic citrus. They also contain metals, like lead, that can be released during the cooking process and that can make people very sick. Better to leave them out altogether or add them in close to the end of the cooking process.
Non-starchy green vegetables like kale and spinach are very nutritious additions to any meal.
However, if you throw them into a crock pot for too long, they’ll also end up getting mushy like some of the other veggies mentioned. Overcooking them can also destroy some of the nutrients, so add them during the last few minutes of cooking.
White meat, especially without skin or bones, will dry out when cooked as long as most crock pot recipes.
That’s because it's in the family of lean meats. It lacks the natural fat that helps cook other meats. Keep those breasts for recipes with more sauce or properly baked in an oven.
Have you ever had overcooked broccoli? It's horrible in both taste and texture.
It’s mushy, stringy, and not nearly as healthy as when it’s properly cooked. To avoid stripping broccoli of its nutrients and ruining your meal, add these greens near the end of the cooking process, and don’t use the frozen ones.
Rice feels like the perfect thing to add to a slow cooker.
But this yummy grain has specific cooking times. It can get overly starchy when it cooks too long, so it tastes gummy. One counteraction is to add instant rice to the pot when you have about 20 minutes of cooking time left.
If you’ve been making your tomato sauce in your crockpot, don’t panic, you should stop using it for tomatoes from now on.
Tomatoes, like some of the others mentioned, are filled with acids that can leech out the lead from your slow cooker. Not only that, but most canned tomatoes are ridiculously high in sugar.
You might be surprised at this one, considering that adding herbs is huge in flood flavoring in any cooking method.
Fresh herbs may look lovely, but letting herbs sit in heat for too long can strip them of flavor. Add them at the tail end of the cooking process so you can keep that yumminess.
When it comes to slow cookers, quick-cooking foods are never a good idea.
Like rice and pasta, this grain will absorb way too much liquid and end up turning into a pile of mush if you try slow cooking it. This stuff is super easy and quick to make on the stovetop.
Moisture is best for slow cookers.
The problem with lean meats is that they lack the fat content needed to keep the muscle fibers juicy. Dark meats with skin are better for this style of cooking. Or, at minimum, make sure it's at least a mix of lean vs. fatty.
Dried beans should not be cooked in a slow cooker— like ever.
Dried beans contain a toxin known as Phytohaemagglutinin, which naturally occurs in several kinds of raw beans. The good news is that the toxin can be eliminated by simply boiling the raw beans for ten minutes before cooking them fully.
Beef roasts, like a standing rib roast or roast beef, are also dishes that aren't great for crock pots.
Cuts of meat like these are best-cooked medium rare. Therefore the best way to cook them properly is with hot, dry heat, and not in the humid, low-heat environment of a slow cooker.
Seafood may be a tasty source of protein and healthy fats, but fish can become very rubbery when its cooked in a slow cooker. That’s mainly due to the fact that seafood cooks very quickly and, as with shellfish, they contain certain bacteria that need high heat to be eliminated.
It's better to bake fish in the oven or to cook it on the stove top.
Canning food is a delicate process.
Not only does it need to stay very clean, but it also needs to boil to a certain temperature in order to sterilize and seal the cans as well as "cook" the food to a point where it will stay safe. Use a pot of boiling water instead.
There are so many "hacks" in the vast online world.
And many of them are focus on food and cooking equipment. But at the same time there are also channels that debunk many of these methods because some are simply made up and don’t work, while some others can even be dangerous. Stick to tried-and-tested recipes.
Slow-melting chocolate or certain other melty delights can definitely be cooked in a crock pot. But…
Some candy, like caramel, needs to reach a certain cooking point in a certain amount of time in order to get the wanted texture and strength. Read the recipe carefully to find out how to proceed.
The extra fat on meat increases the temperature during cookin and with a slow cooker that can lead to some inconsistent results. The meat could be fully cooked on the sides and uncooked in the center resulting in a piece of meat that could’ve come out much better.
It’s better to trim off any unnecessary fats before cooking, especially if you plan on using a slow cooker.
When cooking raw meat it’s that part of the browning that gives the meat its flavor. However, when using a slow cooker the browning process doesn’t take place, thus the meat doesn’t have the taste you’d expect it to have.
For the best results bron the meat first and then add it to the crock pot.
Eggs cook really fast. That's great when we want fast protein.
However, when they are overcooked, they release a gas called hydrogen sulfide that contaminates the whites - and is toxic. If the yolk appears green, that's a bad sign. With all of these warnings, you might be wondering, "well, what can I cook?". Fear not! Here are some recipes that work best with a crock pot.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
Anyone who is a pulled pork fan needs to try their hand at this recipe.
Whatever pork recipe your using, add all the meat and spices into the crock pot and let the flavors infuse for eight hours. We know it's a long wait, but it is absolutely worth it!
If you're a meat eater, there's probably nothing as hearty to you as a warm bowl full of delicious beef stew.
This wholesome dish is full of iron and antioxidants and was practically made for the crock pot! Just throw everything in and leave it to cook for four hours.
If you're a vegetarian or just looking for a delicious, light, vegetable dish, look for a chickpea dish with dates, turmeric, cinnamon, and almonds.
The combination of ingredients in this dish works amazingly with the crock-pot and leaves everything tasting as it should - including texture! Get large chickpeas for extra pizazz!
Black Bean Chilli
As you may have learned, cooking chili and beans in a crock-pot are all about timing. Leave it too long, and the beans turn to mush, and the chili will have you gasping for water.
When this dish is done right, however, it's absolutely mouth-watering - just keep checking up on it and watch the time!
A dahl dish mightn't be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of what to make with your crock-pot, but it's a match made in heaven!
A dahl recipe that uses lentils and split peas is always a sure winner. Just make sure you add the fresh herbs after the pot is cooked!
As mentioned before, unless you've developed a serious knack for cooking pasta in your crock pot, it's best to avoid it. But that doesn't mean you need to stay away from pasta dishes!
Cook the pasta separately whenever you want and leave it aside. Throw everything else in the crock pot and add the pasta at the end. This works so well with Spag Bol!
Brisket With Thyme & Onions
Who doesn't love a Sunday roast? This wholesome meal is perfect for family and friends, but often, people avoid it because it takes too much effort. Not anymore!
Putting them in the crock-pot makes your life so much easier! Not only does it cook your meat to perfection but it allows the flavors of the thyme and onions to soak into it. It’s all about the flavor!
Sweet And Sour Chicken
For this dish, we recommend cooking the rice separately. If you have two crock pots, great! But if you're the average person with just one, here's what to do.
Get started with your favorite sweet-and-sour chicken recipe and add it to the crock pot. Once there are around 20 minutes left on its cooking time, cook the rice! And voila. Another crock pot masterpiece!
Moroccan-Style Stuffed Peppers
This scrumptious vegetarian dish is definitely the last thing someone might think to cook with their crock-pot but trust us; it's killer!
Simply split your peppers, add mashed chickpeas (or scrunch up a falafel), corn, feta, seeds and rose Harris, and leave it to roast. Just make sure you place them in carefully!
Slow-Braised Korean Short Ribs
It's probably obvious by now that meat dishes work extremely well with a crock-pot. The slow-cook style of the crock-pot caters perfectly to cooking tender meat infused with flavor.
This messy dish takes a while to prepare, but it's so worth it. Our tip? Find a recipe that uses gochujang paste to give a savory, spicy umami-rich taste!
Crockpot Corn Chowder with Potatoes and Bacon
For those who don’t know, corn chowder is a soup with corn as it’s main ingredient. Of course there are some other ingredients that go into it like onions and celery- in this case potatoes and bacon- making it a perfect warmer for those chilly days.
Just remember to crisp the bacon first.
Crock Pot Tortilla Soup
This soup not only has a variety of flavors and colors but it also has a hint of hotness thanks to the added jalapeno. It’s a simple dish to make- just ensure you follow the advice given for the ingredients like chicken.
Once ready add some tortilla strips or chips and you’re good to go.
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Who doesn’t love a good mac and cheese? With this recipe you can let the slow cooker do the heavy lifting for you. Although it takes three hours to fully cook the delicious meal, it’s well worth the wait.
And if your after the great flavor and the oven look, just pop it under the broiler for a few minutes.
Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
This mediterranean dish is a total winner for hot days. It’s light and fluffy yet filled with flavor. The dish takes some time to fully cook but once you taste it you will know that the wait was worth while.
It’s amazing how good rice and mince can taste together when you shove them into a pepper.
Swedish Cabbage Rolls
This dish is fairly similar to the stuffed peppers. It’s a simple mix of rice and mince wrapped up un a cabbage leaf and simmiered to perfection. However it does take some time- not only to cook but also to prepare the cabbage. And the sauce does make a perfect gravy for mashed or boiled potatoes.
But hearty foods aren’t all that can be cooked in a crock pot. They can also be used for delicious desserts.
Crockpot Chocolate Lava Cake
Everyone knows that the way to a woman’s heart is some kind of chocolate dessert and this one is truly drool-worthy. And to top it all of it’s pretty simple to make. Just grab your ingredients, mix them all up and let the magic happen.
It would be a good idea to add some non-stick spray to the cooker though.
Slow Cooker Crock Pot Corn Pudding
And who said the holiday season had to be difficult. Whit your crock pot you can make this delicious side without any extra hassle or fuss. With only a handful of ingredients and not that much cooking time this sweet side is a breeze to make.
Will you be serving it this festive season?
Crock Pot Peanut Clusters
Want to spoil the kids? Why not make them these simple, three-ingredient peanut clusters? A delicious mix of sweet and salty that can also be made easy thanks to the crock pot.
Just throw all the ingredients in and it will do the job for you. It can’t get much simpler than that.
Making cheesecake does come with it’s challenges. Be it a cracked top or burned sides but with a slow cooker it becomes a breeze. As they say “it’s the vanilla and cinnamon that gives the cheesecake so much flavor.”
As for the choice of topping, that is entirely up to you.
Molten Mocha Cake
This cake is definitely worth the three hour wait. It’s not only delicious but also has a smooth molten centre and that hint of raspberry just give it the extra flair. It’s a nice sweet warmer for a cold winters day.
Its one of those recipes that’s definitely worth a try.
Nutty Apple Streusel Dessert
The taste of warm, sweet apples melting on your tongue can easily chase the blues away. It’s also great after a hearty dinner so why not try making them in the crock pot? The slow heat brings them to just the right point.
And with a topping of icecream it’s just fabulous.
Crock Pot Lemon Blueberry Dump Cake
This dessert is an absolute bliss that will take your tastebuds on a wild, tasty adventure. The blend of lemon and blueberry is a dream combination and the dump cake is as simple as they get.
It’s one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make and it’s very tasty too.
Crockpot Cherry Chip Cake
This delectable dessert can be the perfect ending to any day. It’s not only moist and delicious but it also has quite a healthy twist. And you only need six ingredients.
Who would’ve though that a crock pop could pose so many risks? Or that it could be used for such a variety of things?