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cooking with a Slow Cooker

P Thickens


Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
Anyone else have a deep and abiding love for their Slow Cooker?

Roasted garlic/Garlic Olive Oil:
* Toss whole cloves of garlic into the pot
* Just barely cover with olive oil ("gluck gluck gluck")
* LOW for about 3 hours, stir once
* Seperate the magnificent garlic from the fantastic oil and try not to nom all at once

A little bit of Garlic Olive Oil, honey, and herb vinegar makes a magnificent salad dressing!


Rendering Lard
* Whack your fat into little bitty bits.
* Lob them into the Slow Cooker.
* Turn it to LOW until they're rendered.

oh... fresh lard makes the best tamales...!
Melanie Lee


Joined: Jan 16, 2012
Posts: 9
I loved my slow cooker for years until it finally died. Then I got a new one. And another new one. And yet another new one. And NONE of them were like the old pot. Everything tasted overcooked and burned. I used them now and then for "quick" things, kind of like an oven really, even though crockpots were supposed to be about SLOW cooking.

Then a week ago I scored! A mint condition 1975 crockpot for $5 at the Goodwill! Hurray!! FINALLY!!! A good "slow" cooker once again. All the new fangled ones cook at way too high a temperature, even on low, because of the manufacturer's fears of being sued for improperly cooked food. Everything has to be cooked to death these days or I guess we'll all die. : If you Google this subject, you'll see how many people actually lament loosing the old crockpots. People sell the old ones on eBay a lot. I'm not selling mine, LOL!

I've always rendered my lard on the stove because I like the fried cracklings, but your garlic and olive oil recipe sounds divine!
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5819
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  86
Crock pots are great for the scorching hot days of summer. When you go out to do your day's chores, set it up on your covered porch/patio, and when your day is done, dinner is ready, without heating up the house.

Great way to carmelized onions also...no tending the pot, and no burning.
Oroborus Hatfield


Joined: Oct 10, 2011
Posts: 25
I love ours, nothing like preparing a beef stew in the morning when you aren't hungry and then six hours later when you are, BAM, dinners done.
P Thickens


Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
JP - very much so, yet another reason I love my Rice Maker as well. Zojirushi makes a 'fuzzy logic' ricemaker that makes perfect rice or porridge, every time. It's great to pair with meat off the grill and a salad from the garden. How does one do caramelized onions in a slow cooker?

ML - cracklings in a slow cooker happen, too. They just happen much more slowly, and it helps if you pour off most of the lard when they're about done. The cracklings are crisp all the way through.

OH -

Melanie Lee


Joined: Jan 16, 2012
Posts: 9
Hmmmm, well P. Thickens, I may just have to try it for rendering lard then. How many pounds of fat do you use, and do you have an older crockpot or a newer one? Do you set it to low, and how long do you keep it on? Would be nice to not have to watch the pot like a hawk. You know how rendering lard can be! Oh, and I have the same rice maker as you. LOVE it. So spoiled with our modern conveniences, huh?

John, I would also like to know how you carmelize onions in a slow cooker. Thanks!

EDITED to ask if you've ever tried that roasted garlic and olive oil thing in one of those "Little Dipper" crockpots? A small amount would be perfect. Thanks.
P Thickens


Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
ML, I usually render up 5 - 8 lbs of fat at a time. It went in on HIGH in the old crock and LOW in the new one. Worst comes to worst, you can render out 80% of the lard in 3 hours in the slow cooker, then dump it into a pot and whip up some cracklings real quick. The rendered lard from the slow cooker is clean and white -- beautiful, hardly needs to be strained at all.

Nope, never tried the roasted garlic and olive oil thing in one of those "Little Dipper" crockpots, though I'm sure it'd be just fine. I wouldn't go with less than 3 C of fresh garlic cloves, though.
Ken Peavey
steward

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2056
Location: FL
    
  43
I have a big one I use towards the end of big projects. Fill it with meatballs and sauce, drag it to the jobsite with rolls and cheese, the guys have a field day.


Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
http://farmwhisperer.com
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5819
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  86
A friend made the carmelized onions. She put the onions in with a big chunk of butter, and walked away for the day. I am not certain if she used low, or high (I'm guessing High). They were perfect. I'd try it on High, and check/stir every couple hours until you find the correct timing for how you like the onions. Some people like them done more than others.
Melanie Lee


Joined: Jan 16, 2012
Posts: 9
Thanks PT and JP. I'm going to have to try the lard and the onions (separately, I mean, LOL).

I am always interested in things I can do with my crockpots. It was only 10 degrees when I woke up today, so I won't be using the smoker, LOL. Got some nice seasoned pork going in my "Goodwill-find" crockpot right now. Gonna make some pulled pork. Not as good as a smoker, of course, but not half bad when it's freezing outside. Plus I get to try out my new old crockpot. I can't wait to see how it does!! Wish I had some pork shoulder, but it was too expensive. Got a good price on some pork loin though, and even though it's less fatty I'm counting on my new OLD crockpot to make it tender and not dry like my new NEW crockpot would. Ahahaha!

Anybody ever make lasagna in a crockpot? I've got a recipe for it if any of you want it, and it comes out pretty darn good too. Let me know.

Three cups of garlic! I think I'll save that for when I'm mad at my husband and then eat the whole pot.
 
 
subject: cooking with a Slow Cooker
 
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