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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Slow Cooker & Crock-Pot Cooking / overcooked lentil stew
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    overcooked lentil stew

    Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:49 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    The other day I tried to make a vegan lentil stew in my crockpot. It was filled to the top (as I was making for a large group) and after only 4 hrs on high heat, The whole stew was a mushy mess. Could it be that the pot was too full?
    Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:53 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Or that there was too much liquid?
    Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:10 pm
    Forum Host
    When the crockpot is filled too full, it tends to cook more slowly, as the heat is not efficiently distributed.(And too fast if they are not at least half-full). I think it's just a matter of time. A lot of soups are overcooked at 4 hrs, I find.
    Lentil soups I make generally cook in about 30 minutes. The very general rule of tumb is three hours in the crockpot for every hour on the stovetop, but it also depends on other ingredients. Was it a recipe from here?
    Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:13 pm
    Forum Host
    Too much liquid could be a factor, too.
    Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:28 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    No, it was something I made up. I put 2 cups dry lentils, veg broth, potatoes, and carrots. When using a crockpot, do all the ingredients need to be submerged in liquid? Because that's what I did. I had all the ingredients filled to the top, then added the broth to completely submerge. Is that the wrong thing to do?
    Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:20 pm
    Forum Host
    It depends on what you are making. When thinking of things like meats, you use about half the liquid that you would use on the stove top or in the oven. The crockpot conserves liquid - very little evaporation. I make meatballs and chicken in the crockpot without adding any liquid at all, and end up with some gravy. Stews and other dishes, I always reduce the amount of liquid when converting a stove top recipe.

    Soups are a bit different, but still, you do expect some of the liquid to evaporate. It might just have been too much liquid. I make a few lentil soups and use 4 to 5 cups broth for 1/2 to 3/4 cup lentils, Another recipe with 1 lb lentils, which is 2 cups, uses 8 cups or 2 quarts of broth. So filling up your crockpot (3, 4 or 5 quart? 6 quarts?) with broth for 2 cups lentils sounds like too much liquid, even with potatoes and other veggies added.

    Again, time might have been a factor, Lentils cook fairly quickly overall, and if cooked too long, will be more like a porridge.
    Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:59 pm
    Forum Host
    Just for comparison, this crockpot recipe uses 2 cups lentils and 8 cups water, and has good reviews, Crock Pot Vegetarian Lentil Soup
    Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:56 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm going to try my hand at it again today using your advice... we'll see how it goes. Happy holidays
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