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    dry meat

    summer2715
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:44 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    icon_question.gif Every slow cooker beef stew recipe I've tried the meat is good, but is dry. I follow the recipes and don't know yet how to get the chuck to stay moist and not dry out. Suggestions please??
    duonyte
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:07 am
    Forum Host
    You may be cooking the stews too long. A lot of recipes are from the early days, when slow cookers ran cooler. Modern cookers run hotter, and if you cook things for 10 hours, you run the risk of meat drying out. See if you can borrow "Slow Cooker Revolution", from the Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen crew. You'll see that most recipes show a cooking time of 6 to 8 hours. I've made several recipes from that book (although not stew) and they turn out good.

    Meat can dry out even when cooked as a stew or soup - being covered with liquid is not going to prevent that, if the dish is cooked long enough.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that you may be using a too large slow cooker. If the cooker is not at least half-full, everything will cook faster.
    summer2715
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:55 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    My cooker was about 3/4 full and I cooked for about 7 hrs. And the meat was good but extremely dry. Should I cook less time, cover with liquid?
    summer2715
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:07 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Could I be adding too much or too little liquid? I was told that the liquid should not cover the meat and to put it at the top, bringing the liquid up to, but over the meat. Is this wrong info?
    Red Apple Guy
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:19 pm
    Forum Host
    Summer,
    I made a beef stew today in my slow cooker. I added liquid about 1 inch short of covering the ingredients and that was actually too much liquid once everything had cooked. I cooked until the meat and the vegetables were just tender - to an internal temperature of 190 to 200 F. I always use a thermometer to prevent dryness.

    Chicken breast is hard to cook and prevent dryness. I stop at 175F internal temperature.

    The amount of liquids wouldn't have a big effect on dryness. Final internal temperature controls that.
    summer2715
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:23 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Another question - what order do you put the stew items in? Or does it matter? I was told to put the meat on top of all the other veggies
    Red Apple Guy
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:52 pm
    Forum Host
    summer2715 wrote:
    Another question - what order do you put the stew items in? Or does it matter? I was told to put the meat on top of all the other veggies
    I suspect it matters just because this "rule" appears everywhere - and without an explanation. I've read that it's because the heat is applied at or near the bottom of the unit. Could be, vegetables seem difficult to cook at lower temperatures. Today with my stew, I mixed the veggies in with the meat to cook. The veggies were the last to cook but were close in cooking times to the meat.
    summer2715
    Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:13 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    icon_razz.gif Thank you Red Apple Guy!!
    duonyte
    Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:25 pm
    Forum Host
    I don't know that order matters so much with stews. But if you are cooking a roast, putting the carrots, potatoes, etc on the bottom will ensure the cook through.
    FriscoBay
    Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:27 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    duonyte wrote:
    I don't know that order matters so much with stews. But if you are cooking a roast, putting the carrots, potatoes, etc on the bottom will ensure the cook through.


    Excellent idea
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