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Old 08-09-2018, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
19,261 posts, read 10,304,367 times
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I left out the last paragraph of what I was going to say, which was the things I used to use my crockpot for, I think taste better in the Instant Pot. The textures are better and the flavors are more distinct in a good way - if I make a stew, the flavors meld, but the beef still tastes like beef and the carrots taste like carrots. In a crockpot, I found that it all ended up tasting the same regardless of what actual food each bite consisted of.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:49 AM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,093 posts, read 21,290,895 times
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The primary difference between using an old-school, actual crock insert crock pot vs. the 'slow boil' simmer of a pot on a stove is surface area and heat distribution. On the stove, the bottom of the pan is getting the heat, so scorching is going to happen unless the pot is stirred periodically, and moisture is topped off if necessary. With the crock pot, the heat is distributed all around and underneath the crock, which gives the food in the crock a constant low (simmer) temp, making the cooking process slow and even. The moisture (steam) doesn't escape much with the crock, so it won't likely need topping off - although I have heard the newer models do scorch sometimes (probably not a real crock insert - mine is an earthenware crock with a deep dark green ceramic glaze).

Set it and forget it - you can't do that on the stove because there is a hot spot (the underside of the pan) where you risk a scorch or burn without watching and stirring now and then. When I use my crock pot, I usually put it together in the morning and then finish in the afternoon/evening. It is exceptionally good for stews, beans/legumes, slow cooker pulled pork or beef, etc.

I would love to try pressure cooking - but I don't have a PC, and don't want to invest in one if it doesn't end up being a useful item that takes up a footprint on my counter space.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Houston/Brenham
3,664 posts, read 4,271,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
I have never made anything in a crock pot that I liked.
I love what comes out of my crock pot. Just in the last few months, I've made:
  • Enchilada Soup
  • Black-Eye Pea w/Ham
  • a lazy version of Gumbo
  • Pot Roast (using a very old recipe of my wife's family)
And a few more I can't recall off the top of my head. It's summer, so I don't use it as much, but when it cools down, I use it 2-3 times a month.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
Set it and forget it - you can't do that on the stove because there is a hot spot (the underside of the pan) where you risk a scorch or burn without watching and stirring now and then. When I use my crock pot, I usually put it together in the morning and then finish in the afternoon/evening. It is exceptionally good for stews, beans/legumes, slow cooker pulled pork or beef, etc.
Same here. I prep in the morning, and then time the start so it will be ready when we like to eat, usually around 7pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
I would love to try pressure cooking - but I don't have a PC, and don't want to invest in one if it doesn't end up being a useful item that takes up a footprint on my counter space.
Reading this thread has made me curious about a pressure cooker too. I have friends who swear by them, but like you, not sure I want to add another large kitchen appliance to my arsenal.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
19,261 posts, read 10,304,367 times
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I know this is a crock pot thread and not an Instant Pot thread, but fwiw I love my IP. I use it more than any other small appliance besides the toaster oven. At most I used the crockpot a few times a year but I use my IP every week and most weeks, it's a few times.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
52,013 posts, read 51,158,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyeaux View Post
Does cooking in a crockpot simply amount to a slow boil?
It simmers at a lower temperature than boiling. I remember when I was learning to cook one of the first rules the book said was "NEVER BOIL MEAT!"

I know some people boil ribs before they cook them, and I can't understand that. I always put ribs (again, following my 1950s-era BH&G basic cookbook ) first in a high temp in the oven to get some of the fat off, but boil them? I'd be afraid to upset the balance of the universe by doing such a thing.
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