Slow Cooker Questions.....

For all your recipes, household hints and any other home related issues.
Post Reply
User avatar
NightOwl
Posts: 18727
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:04 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Slow Cooker Questions.....

Post by NightOwl » Thu May 15, 2008 7:24 pm

Prompted by the recent slow cooker thread and my desire to be more organised with dinner preparation I put in my order for a slow cooker for Mother's Day and got one!

I have my first thing in there at the moment - dhal.

It is a 4.5L ** Slow Cooker with a Lo, High, and Auto setting. Does anyone have one?

All the recipes in the book seem to give times for cooking on Lo and/or on High? No mention of Auto? Does anyone have any tips for using Auto?

Also the times given for lo and high - I'm guessing they're just suggested times? I did the Dhal on Lo for 6 hours and it still needs a bit more although 4 to 5 hours was recommended. Is it a bit of trial and error? I am used to our rice cooker which switches itself off when it can feel the weight of the watr has evaporated so for some reason I was expecting this to automatically regulate cooking time!

Do you prefer to cook on lo if you have the time? Or is high just as good?

I bought a wall timer too so that I can put all the ingredients in and leave the house in the morning and have the timer switch the cooker on a few hour later for the 5 or 6 hours required.

What do you do with leaving food out for the morning before the cooker switches on if you use a wall timer? Veggie dhal I am not too worried about but what if I was roasting a chicken?

Lots of questions and I'm sure I will have more as I explore the receipes I've received too

Edited to remove brand name-Mod
*DD 04/06 - mimi for 3 years, 7 months
*DS1 02/08 - mimi for 21 months
*DS2 05/10 - mimi with a nipple shield for 18 months
*DS3 05/12- mimi for a year

User avatar
fourth&final
Posts: 6760
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:41 am
Location: NSW

Post by fourth&final » Thu May 15, 2008 7:35 pm

mine isn't your brand but i understand auto is for when you prepare it in the morning or overnight. that is if you are going to have it on for ages. It automatically starts high then goes to low.

If you are only cooking it for a few hours you have to manually start it high then turn it to low.

hth
DS1 - 2004, DD - 2006, DS2 - 2007, DS3 - 2010

User avatar
AnnaLi
Posts: 1144
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Qld

Post by AnnaLi » Thu May 15, 2008 7:48 pm

Hi Tiff,
Looks like I'm stalking you on the forum!!
We got the same one about 3 months ago, I haven't used it a lot though because I'm a cast-iron pot gal from way back and old habits die hard!

The one dish that I remember making was lamb shanks. Because they are such a tough cut of meat I ended up putting them on in the afternoon and cooking them all night and all of the next day. I left the cooker on 'warm' overnight and turned it back to low or medium the next morning.
The shanks were so tender they fell off the bone.
Mum made a chicken dish (the lemon grass one from the recipes that came with it) and that was nice, very tender, she cooked it for the best part of a day on low heat if I remember correctly.
That's all I've used it for as yet, plan to use it more when bub comes because I won't have the time I do now...
Carla born 26th March 06 - 5 years old
Charlie born 1st June 08 - 3 Years old
Baby #3 due 23rd March 12

User avatar
Working Mum
Posts: 3052
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Perth

Post by Working Mum » Thu May 15, 2008 11:13 pm

Tiff,

I think I have the same one. I cook everything on Automatic, and put everything on in the morning through to early evening. no problems at all, including chooks, casseroles and soup mixes.

doesn't really answer your question. Oh, I have never used the book that came with it, I just make my own up.
DC#1 - 8 years - "Mr T"
DC#2 - 4 years - "The K-meister"

Live every day to its fullest; give, love and laugh; for you will never know what tomorrow may bring.

User avatar
NightOwl
Posts: 18727
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:04 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by NightOwl » Thu May 15, 2008 11:15 pm

Actually answers my question perfectly Jenn!

Actually identifying what my question was in my rambling post is the hardest part!

I just worry about leaving things in the cooker during the day with no heat going through it if I use the timer that I have attached to the power point to turn the cooker on. For instance if I leave the house at 9am and a chicken takes 5 hours to cook on low and I want it ready for 7pm it's going to be sitting in the cooker, switched off for 5 hours!

So you're saying I can pretty much put ANYTHING in and switch it on, on auto as I'm walking out the door at 9am and it won't boil dry or burn or overcook by the time I come back home at 5pm? This is my burning question! :)
*DD 04/06 - mimi for 3 years, 7 months
*DS1 02/08 - mimi for 21 months
*DS2 05/10 - mimi with a nipple shield for 18 months
*DS3 05/12- mimi for a year

User avatar
Working Mum
Posts: 3052
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Perth

Post by Working Mum » Thu May 15, 2008 11:24 pm

Isabelle'sMummy wrote:So you're saying I can pretty much put ANYTHING in and switch it on, on auto as I'm walking out the door at 9am and it won't boil dry or burn or overcook by the time I come back home at 5pm? This is my burning question! :)
thats exactly what i do, but I goes on at 7:30am. Never had a problem. One soup mix was a bit thick so it was more like stew, but nothing ever burnt or tough.
DC#1 - 8 years - "Mr T"
DC#2 - 4 years - "The K-meister"

Live every day to its fullest; give, love and laugh; for you will never know what tomorrow may bring.

User avatar
NightOwl
Posts: 18727
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:04 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by NightOwl » Fri May 16, 2008 12:20 am

Perfect!

So another question.........

If I was to rub some oil and herbs over a FROZEN chicken and put it in on Auto at about 9am it *should* be ok when I get in at about 5?
*DD 04/06 - mimi for 3 years, 7 months
*DS1 02/08 - mimi for 21 months
*DS2 05/10 - mimi with a nipple shield for 18 months
*DS3 05/12- mimi for a year

Bailey's Mum
Counsellor
Posts: 17986
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:23 pm
Contact:

Post by Bailey's Mum » Fri May 16, 2008 7:10 am

I don't know about a frozen chook - never tried that one - my slow cooker has a crockery pot so comes with a warning not to put anything frozen into it (or it could crack). Yours is stainless steel, though, yeah? I would expect also that the chook might not cook right through. Oh, and a tip for roasting in a slow cooker - put an inverted saucer in the bottom and put the meat on top of that - that way the juices don't stew the meat, but it roasts in the heat of the cooker.

Your wall timer - could you use it to set your slow cooker to turn OFF at a certain time, rather than turn it ON? That way, the food will cook straight away, and the cooker should keep it sufficiently warm for a couple of hours (well, mine does) - then you could just turn it on again when you get home. That's what I'm looking at doing, b/c the thermostat on my cooker is cactus and it cooks super fast (if I use High, it doesn't seem to cool back down to Low, even though I switch it back after an hour), so the lamb shanks we had for dinner the other night only went on at 1pm and were well and truly done by 5. I'd love to be able to set mine in the morning and leave it all day, and I have done it (only on Low due to the thermostat), but most stuff does seem overcooked.

We took our cooker on holidays last year and it was brilliant - I would just put dinner on straight after breakfast and not have to worry about cooking at the end of the day - I even did bolognese in it! And a lovely piece of rolled roast beef. But I found I had to turn it off about 3pm, especially if it went on before 9. I guess you might just have to experiment a bit and get to know YOUR cooker. :? Mine is my second one, and neither of them have worked as per the instruction book.
DS1 born sleeping
DS2 BF 2y2m (using supply line)
DS3 BF 2y2m2w2d (because we like patterns - 9 months with SNS)
DS4 BF 3y10m3w4d (8 months with SNS)

User avatar
Queen Be
Posts: 8689
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:23 am
Location: Central Coast, NSW

Post by Queen Be » Fri May 16, 2008 7:30 am

My understanding of the auto settings is that is cooks on high until it reaches a certain temp then automatically switches down to low to complete the cooking.

As I am home most days now I just use the high setting and turn it off when I feel it's had enough. When I was working pre-DD I would start my old cooker in the morning at about 6.30 and we did not get home until after 7pm most nights and never had a problem with drying out, but then I always cooked very wet dishes. I think BM had the best solution, setting a plug in timer to turn the unit off rather than on.

It's all trial and error, I did my first roast chicken last week, I added carrots, celery and onion to the bottom of the pot but no water and I was very surprised at how much liquid came out.
Back for a very important mission

User avatar
NightOwl
Posts: 18727
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:04 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by NightOwl » Fri May 16, 2008 2:40 pm

I have a frozen chook in now with some onions, potatoes, and carrots! Not that I'm going to eat it but cross your fingers it turns out nicely for DP, DD, and my brother!
*DD 04/06 - mimi for 3 years, 7 months
*DS1 02/08 - mimi for 21 months
*DS2 05/10 - mimi with a nipple shield for 18 months
*DS3 05/12- mimi for a year

four&out
Posts: 6252
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:47 am

Post by four&out » Fri May 16, 2008 3:22 pm

I have the same one as you (I think) it got edited out but I am interested to see how you go with frozen chicken. I also put mine on auto all day and have been given recently photocopies of some great recipes for the slow cooker, must get around to using them with the colder weather happening.

User avatar
NightOwl
Posts: 18727
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:04 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by NightOwl » Fri May 16, 2008 3:32 pm

Obviously I didn't put enough asterixes in my intial post!

Mine is stainless steel on the outside with a white ceramic inner pot.

Will let you know how the chicken goes.

It is actually a weight off my mind to know that dinner is cooking and I don't have to panic come 6pm!

you guys know the rules - mod
*DD 04/06 - mimi for 3 years, 7 months
*DS1 02/08 - mimi for 21 months
*DS2 05/10 - mimi with a nipple shield for 18 months
*DS3 05/12- mimi for a year

User avatar
Bec Mc
Posts: 5307
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:41 pm

Post by Bec Mc » Fri May 16, 2008 3:40 pm

I always use auto, and sometime bang it up to high for a bit if I didn't get it on in time.
To me low seems to take AGES to heat up.
I generally put mine on about twelve ish, and or a bit earlier, on auto, and it seems to cook just fine.
DS 7 (breastfed for 18 months)
DD 5 (breastfed for 30 months)
DS 2 (breastfed for 21 months)

User avatar
monsoonal_storms
Posts: 790
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:02 pm
Location: Ballarat

Post by monsoonal_storms » Fri May 16, 2008 6:05 pm

This is probably going to sound like a silly question (and sorry to hijack your thread Tiffany) but when you put a roast in, do you put water in as well and if so, how much?
Image
Image

User avatar
Working Mum
Posts: 3052
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Perth

Post by Working Mum » Fri May 16, 2008 6:05 pm

Tiff, I am sure you are almost ready to see your results by now. i have never done a frozen chook, but have done a frozen lamb leg. no problems with that, so I would be confident the chook would be fine.
DC#1 - 8 years - "Mr T"
DC#2 - 4 years - "The K-meister"

Live every day to its fullest; give, love and laugh; for you will never know what tomorrow may bring.

Post Reply