Oven or Stove Top To Crock Pot Conversion
Kimmi Knippel (Sweet_Memories)
How to Make Oven or Stove Top To Crock Pot Conversion
- OVEN OR STOVETOP COOKING TIME (IF IT CALLS FOR):
15 - 30 MINUTES
35 - 45 MINUTES
50 MINUTES - 3 HOURS
CROCK POT LOW COOKING TIME:
4 - 6 HOURS
6 - 8 HOURS
8 - 16 HOURS
CROCK POT HIGH COOKING TIME:
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 HOURS
3 - 4 HOURS
4 - 6 HOURS
- PREPARING INGREDIENTS - Surprisingly, vegetables cook more slowly than meats in the moist heat of the crock pot. So vegetables should be cut or chopped roughly the same size & placed in the bottom of the crock pot. Meat can be browned before being cooked, but that step isn't necessary. Browning helps reduce the fat content in large cuts of meat like roasts & also caramelizes the sugars in the meat, adding to appearance & flavor. Ground meats are usually browned before cooking in the crock pot, to reduce fat & keep the integrity of the product intact. You don't have to brown ground meats if they are very lean. The meat will then melt into the recipe. Trim off any visible fat from cuts of meat. Fat will make the dishes cook faster.
- FOR YOUR HEALTH - Studies have shown that the low, constant heat crock pots cook by may help prevent disease! Some compounds called "advanced glycation end products" are formed when sugars, fats & proteins are heated at high temperatures, as when food is grilled, broiled, or microwaved. These AGE's irritate cells & may be a factor in the formation of heart disease, cancer & diabetes. Since slow cookers only heat between 200 & 300 degrees, fewer of these compounds form in crock pot cooked meals.
- MORE TIPS:
Most crock pot recipes don't need to be stirred during cooking, especially if cooked on low heat. When you lift the lid, the crock pot loses so much heat that the cooking time should be increased by 20 minutes each time. Spin the lid instead, removing condensation, so you can see into the pot.
Use whole leaf herbs & spices instead of ground for better flavor. Some spices, especially pepper, can become bitter over a long cooking time. Add those in the last hour of cooking for best flavor.
- Some of the newer crock pots seem to cook at a hotter temperature, probably because manufacturers are concerned about food safety. You can check the temperature of your crock pot this way:
• Place 2 qts of water in your crock pot
• Cover & heat on low for 8 hours
• Lift the lid & immediately check the water temperature with an accurate thermometer
• The temperature of the water should be 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is higher foods may overcook & you should reduce the overall cooking time. If the temperature is lower your foods will probably not reach a safe temperature quickly enough, & the crock pot should be discarded.
- Pasta & rice can be cooked in the crock pot. Pasta needs lots of liquid to cook properly & should be added during the last hour of cooking time, depending on the consistency of doneness you prefer. Converted rice can be cooked in the crock pot just like vegetables or meat. Make sure you have enough liquid in the recipe so the rice becomes tender.
You can make cakes & desserts in the crock pot! Use a small round rack or vegetable steamer to lift the cake pan off the bottom of the crock pot so heat circulates evenly around the pan. You do need a larger crock pot for 'baking' cakes & other desserts. A 5 qt slow cooker will hold an 8" or 9" cake pan or spring form pan.
You may need to increase cooking times if you live at a high altitude, usually by 40-50%.
- To clean the crock pot:
• Fill the appliance with hot soapy water when the cooker has cooled. Let soak for 15 - 20 minutes, then scrub with a cloth, nylon net pad or a plastic sponge. Do not use a harsh abrasive cleaner, SOS pad or metal pad. Rinse well in hot water & dry.
• To remove mineral stains, fill crock pot ¾ full with hot water & 1 cup white vinegar. Cover & cook on high for 2 hours. Then let the crock pot cool & soak & clean as directed above.
• To remove water marks from glazed crockery, rub the surface with vegetable oil & let stand for 2 - 3 hours. Then fill with hot soapy water, rub the surface & scrub with a nylon net pad. Rinse & dry well.
- Many people cook frozen foods in the crock pot. And others like to reheat foods in the crock pot. Most food experts do not recommend these practices, as foods need to reach a temperature of 140 degrees within 1½ hours to prevent bacteria growth. Even if the foods do eventually reach a safe temperature & cook thoroughly, bacteria in the food can produce toxins that aren't destroyed by heat & that can make you sick. Many people have experienced food poisoning & don't even know it. They may have some digestive discomfort or feel ill for a day or two & then recover. Unfortunately, a person in a high risk group (elderly, persons with compromised immune systems, small children & pregnant women) can suffer serious consequences from food poisoning. More than 5,000 people die each year in the U.S. as a result of food poisoning. If you decide to cook frozen foods or reheat foods in the crock pot, do so at your own risk. One thing you can do is to warm the liquid used in the recipe & add it along with the frozen foods, to help raise the temperature more quickly. Taking a calculated risk may be acceptable to you as long as you know the consequences & as long as no member of your family is in a high risk group.