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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Slow Cooker & Crock-Pot Cooking / Crockpot & Dried out Food
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    Crockpot & Dried out Food

    GaryJ73167
    Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:14 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hello. Hope all is well, and, greetings to everyone. This is my first post here.

    I have a crockpot at my house. to me, it is a great idea. i can prepare my food when sleeping or at work, then, have a hot meal when I'm ready.

    Here is the problem. It seems that no matter what kind of meat I cook in it, it's dried out. no matter what. beef, Chicken , pork...etc...etc.

    If I mix it with some type of vegetables, they seem to be fine (as far as i can tell), but, the meat is like a rock solid dry hockey puck icon_sad.gif

    My wife has tried marinating the meat, dressing, cooking wine....but, again, meat is dry. it makes it difficult to enjoy anything coming out of it.

    I'm wondering, can it be the crockpot I am using? I just checked on amazon for the model that i have, and, it appears that people are complaining about this model because of how hot it cooks the food. As if on high all the time.

    I guess my main question is, are crockpots known for making food dry? Or, is it just the model I have. the one that I have is the "Crock-Pot 38501-W 5-Quart Round Smart-Pot Slow Cooker"

    Any help that anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.
    duonyte
    Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:59 pm
    Forum Host
    Well, friend, join the masses! This is probably the most common complaint. Part of the problem is caused by the fact that crockpots are required to cook at a higher temperature than they were originally. Second, cooking times are almost always too long - so many of the recipes were designed with older, smaller crockpots in mind, and they overcook in newer, bigger crockpots. Finally, the cut of meat you use matters. Lean meats will just dry out. I think chicken breasts and lean pork just does not taste that good when cooked in crockpots (well, probably never tastes good, but that's another discussion!)

    So the put it in and come back to a perfect meat 10 or 11 hours later is not going to work with the vast majority of recipes. You can overcome some of this by putting in ingredients that are very very cold - some people put in smaller pieces that are frozen, such as meatballs or chicken pieces. (Some people put in large pieces of meat that are frozen, but this is really a safety issue). You can use a timer to delay the start of cooking, or if you are lucky you might have a newer crock that will switch to keep warm, a lower temperature than Low.

    I think virtually all recipes for chicken are done after three or four hours. Stews, large pieces of meat can take a longer period of time. People seem to like meat falling apart, but I don't. Unless I really want the meat to shred, I want it to stay in a solid, sliceable piece. So I test meat at a much earlier time than most recipes call for.

    If your crockpot is not more than half full, it will also cook too fast.

    What kinds of things are you looking to cook, I hope we can suggest some recipes that have cooked well. Also, remember that you can cook over the weekend, and then freeze for easy microwave meals during the week.
    Red Apple Guy
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:18 am
    Forum Host
    Welcome to the forum. duonyte has summed up the issue with some (most?) newer slow cookers very well. Use shorter cooking times and I like to monitor the temperature of the food with occassional checks. I remove chicken at 170 to 180F and tougher cuts of meats at 190 to 200F.

    Red
    GaryJ73167
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:38 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Red Apple Guy wrote:
    Welcome to the forum. duonyte has summed up the issue with some (most?) newer slow cookers very well. Use shorter cooking times and I like to monitor the temperature of the food with occassional checks. I remove chicken at 170 to 180F and tougher cuts of meats at 190 to 200F.

    Red


    Thanks to you both for the replies.

    Last night, i went out and bought a new crockpot at my local WalMart. I just couldnt help feel that the model I have was cooking way hotter than it should and was making the food very dried out.

    I normally use my crockpot for chuck roasts... I only tried chicken recently, and, well,.. that didnt work out too well.

    So, anyway, I got the new crockpot, set it up at 11:00pm last night, and, this morning, my Chuck roast was cooked. I added some beef broth, Diced tomatoes, onions and mushrooms.

    And, although i didnt eat it yet, I MUST say that it appears to not be all dried out like my previous crcokpot.

    So, once I eat it tonight, I will see.

    Is it possible there are some crockpots that will dry food out more than others?

    once again, thanks for the reply (replies) icon_smile.gif
    duonyte
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:58 pm
    Forum Host
    Yes, crockpots vary, and even individual pots of a model will vary due to manufacturing differences.

    As a general proposition, I find it helpful to check out the model on Amazon.com - if you are lucky, there are many reviews that generallyl give you a very good feel for what is going on. I know other retailers also post feedback about products, including Walmart, but Amazon tends to be the most extensive.
    Red Apple Guy
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:36 pm
    Forum Host
    It's odd, but the reviews show what duonyte says about models from the same manufactuer varying. The term "Crock-Pot" I believe is used only on one manufacturer's products. The other will use slow cooker or something similar. Take a look at the reviews of models called "Crock-Pot" and note that some get 5 stars, others get 1 star. One review was from an engineer who noticed the the unit cooked in the same manner whether set on "high" or "low". He measured current draw and found it to be the same on either setting. The controller was not switching on and off on the lower setting. I think this helps explain the reputation some units have for cooking hot.
    Red
    GaryJ73167
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:54 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    duonyte wrote:
    Yes, crockpots vary, and even individual pots of a model will vary due to manufacturing differences.

    As a general proposition, I find it helpful to check out the model on Amazon.com - if you are lucky, there are many reviews that generallyl give you a very good feel for what is going on. I know other retailers also post feedback about products, including Walmart, but Amazon tends to be the most extensive.


    Yep. That's pretty much what i "this" time around. When i bought the 1st crockpot (The one that is making everything dry), I didnt know about amazon therefore didnt check it out. But, looking up that model now, I see that many other people complained about how much it heats (VERY HOT) the food up. I think that might be the cause of my dry food problem.

    Although, I never experienced the burning of the food with the crockpot, I still think it's attributing to the dry food icon_sad.gif
    GaryJ73167
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:55 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Red Apple Guy wrote:
    It's odd, but the reviews show what duonyte says about models from the same manufactuer varying. The term "Crock-Pot" I believe is used only on one manufacturer's products. The other will use slow cooker or something similar. Take a look at the reviews of models called "Crock-Pot" and note that some get 5 stars, others get 1 star. One review was from an engineer who noticed the the unit cooked in the same manner whether set on "high" or "low". He measured current draw and found it to be the same on either setting. The controller was not switching on and off on the lower setting. I think this helps explain the reputation some units have for cooking hot.
    Red


    Yeah, i saw that SAME exact review. It was more detail than I was looking for, but, perhaps the issue I'm experiencing??
    Red Apple Guy
    Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:21 pm
    Forum Host
    Perhaps it is Gary.
    Keep checking in with us as you use the new slow cooker.

    Red
    Annikki
    Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:17 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Sounds like your crockpot. I think you can also buy ones that will switch to keep warm after an appropriate cook time. (Programable)

    I find using non-lean meats can cook longer without drying out or have a lot of liquid . Chicken Thighs instead of breast, Pork shoulder instead of Loin Roasts. Soups tend to work well for long cook times.

    I have a few crockpot recipes that seem to handle longer cooking times.


    http://victoriafamilymeals.blogspot.ca/search/label/Crockpot
    Red Apple Guy
    Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:58 pm
    Forum Host
    I agree. Slow cookers are best for tougher cuts and can take overcooking better than more tender cuts.

    Red
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