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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Slow Cooker & Crock-Pot Cooking / Which meats work in crockpot? (Was: doing something wrong?)
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    Which meats work in crockpot? (Was: doing something wrong?)

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    JavaDeb
    Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:08 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I think the fat is probably the issue here. Generally, my roasts turn out terrific in the crockpot. BUT, one time, I bought a really, really lean cut and it was like shoe leather. I can't think of the cut I usually get, but it has a layer of fat on one side so when you actually go to eat it, you can easily trim the fat but you still get a succulent roast.
    icon_surprised.gif
    duonyte
    Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:03 am
    Forum Host
    Based on my experience and that of friends, my guess is that the meat is being cooked too long. If you think of the classic boiled beef dinner, if you boil it too long, you will get dry meat. Or perhaps you've simmered chicken or beef to make broth, and the meat is really rather tasteless - all the flavor is in the broth. I think many of the recipes suggest too long cooking times. Chicken should almost never be more than 5 or 6 hours, most beef based recipes 8 or 9 hours. Many of us who have to put the pot on as we are dashing out of the house end up with meals cooking for far longer. If you have the option, have someone either start it later or turn it off earlier - it will stay hot for quite some time. (And if you really think it's not quite done, either turn it on high for a period, or throw it into the microwave).

    I also concur that browning is a must. Then, deglaze the skillet you browned the meat in, which just means pouring in part of the liquid you intend for the crockpot into the skillet and scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom and adding it to the crock - that's pure flavor, don't leave it in the pan! And as others have suggested, the cut of meat can also make a difference.
    Happy Harry #2
    Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:55 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Love my crockpot as it has saved the day many a time. As far as dryness goes....you got two very right answers....1. brown the meat FIRST! and then,2. ALWAYS cook on low. I also find that a recipe is usually one to one&a half hours too long to cook. Good luck and don't give up...least not yet.
    Verelucky
    Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:59 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I have had the same problem! Cooked a wonderful pot roast in it, it was tasty but very dry! icon_sad.gif There was enough liquid in the pot, had it on low and the cut was a good cut and I always sear meat first. I think it is a combination of fat and over cooking. I've had some corned beef dinners (aka boiled dinners) that the corned beef was very dry even though the meat has a lot of fat in it. Next time I'm going to cut the time down, I will check it with an instant read meat thermometer.
    vixoffer
    Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:40 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    A LIGHT BULB WENT OFF A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND I TOOK MY WALL TIMER THAT WAS HOOKED UP[ TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE AND USED IT TO SHUT OFF MY CROCK POT SINCE I THOUGHT I MIGHT BE LATER THAN USUAL. WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!
    Ravedeb
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:41 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I took the advice here and made some country style boneless pork ribs yesterday using the recipe for Spareribs Sweet and Tender (crockpot) . I cooked it on low on the shortest time (6 hours) instead of the usual 8 hours that I cook meat on, and it came out delicious, soft and juicy. Maybe that's the secret.

    I still have to try another chuck roast on a shorter time setting but now I have hope. Thanks so much!
    Jim in Washington
    Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:06 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Hi, folks.I don't think I have ever cooked anything in a slow cooker for the time specified in the recipe! With many different cookers, (4), it is always less time. I usually have good results from a slow cooker. I always thought it was just me, or DW and our preference. Or the cooker. I do notice the newer cookers do cook a whole lot faster and the temp gets hotter faster, than in the older ones. try cooking items for a lesser time, Ilysse, and see if that helps. Like I said DW and I always thought there was something wrong with us. icon_eek.gif Well, there probably is. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_rolleyes.gif But we just started cooking for a shorter time.
    icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif
    jim
    MPHT
    Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:20 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Pot Roast always comes out great in my crock pot. It is put in the crock (on low) at 7am and we eat around 6pm. I put veges (I like carrots and onions) in the bottom, put a 4 lb. bottom round roast on top. Mix 1 can cream of mushroom soup with 1 envelope of onion soup mix and spoon over top. Add more veges to sides of roast to fill in the gaps. Pour enough water to come 1/2 way up side of roast. Cover and cook on low at least 8 hours. Mine is usually 11 hours. It has never been dry.
    Ilysse
    Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:37 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Pot roast was the first thing I tried and it was dry as a bone. I will have to try the timer idea and cook it for less time. I will also have to try the searing idea. You have given me great ideas and I will experiment. Thank you all so much.
    RestonChef
    Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:44 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I tried to make a London Broil in my crock pot last night. It was about a 1 and 1/2 lbs, and I used a marinade as a sauce and threw in some peas and carrots. Unfortunatley. there wasn't enough sauce to cover the whole thing, so the top was like beef jerky and the bottom was nice and tender. Oh...and I cooked it for 10 hours on low (oops). Any suggestions how to make this better next time?
    Amanda Beth
    Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:49 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Also, make sure your pot is at least 2/3 full. That will help distribute the heat more evenly, and help things stay nice and moist and juicy. And, my crockpot cooks like a fiend, it gets hot and stays hotter than most. Good luck, you may just need to get to know it better!
    Marie Nixon
    Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:01 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Julesong wrote:
    vixoffer wrote:
    I FIND THE MEAT TASTES BETTER AND IS NOT DRY IF YOU TAKE THE EXTRA STEP TO BROWN IT FIRST.


    Yes, that would sear the outside of the meat and hold more of the natural juices inside during cooking.

    Agree - 100% Plus the meat has a nicer color when it is done.
    Minxkat1
    Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:14 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Julesong wrote:
    Hmmm... thinking about this a little.

    What is it that makes meat taste dry? Is it lack of liquid, or is it actually a lack of fat?

    With the long, slow cooking of a large cut of beef, I imagine that most of the fats contained in the meat are leeched right out of it. And there you have "dry" meat, as far as the mouth-feel goes.

    So, what can be done about it? When adding ingredients to the crock pot, do you add any oil - and if so, does that seem to make a difference? What about using an injector to put infused oil into the meat before cooking?

    Any ideas?


    I think you are right about the lack of fat. I find the recipes I've done that turn out the best are those with meat that has a good amount of fat on it.
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