Slow Cooker/Crockpot - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I am currently looking for easier ways to cook and want to buy a slow cooker.
What size would I need?
We are two adults plus a three-year-old child.

What is your favourite meal with the slow cooker?
Any suggestions for the beginner?

Any "please do not ever.." warnings?

TIA,
Lara
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#2 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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Welcome to the world of slow-cooking! I would suggest a 5-6 qt crock pot, but you could probably get away with a 2-4 qt. It really depends on what types of things you plan on cooking most often.

Check out this mom's blog. She used her slow cooker every day in 2008!

I cook all kinds of things in our crockpot. My family's favorites are peanut butter oatmeal, crockpot "rotisserie" chicken and of course beans of all varieties.

Also check out this site for all kinds of inspiring and frugal crock pots recipes.

Good luck!

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#3 of 8 Old 01-11-2010, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you very much.
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#4 of 8 Old 01-11-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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Stephanie's site is awesome. I have been a subscriber since early 2009 when she started her challenge.

Oh and she just had a new baby last week.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#5 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 09:29 PM
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We are a family of 6 (one who is ebf) and I have a 6 qt- I actually went and bought a 3 qt the other day as many of the nonroast recipes don't fill the 6 qt 1/2 -2/3rds full, which is required for optimal cooking. I am a crock pot newbie and I love them! Stephanie's blog is great, but honestly I haven't enjoyed as many of the recipes as I thought I would- sundried tom & feta tri-tip- way too salty, 40 cloves of garlic chicken nutty not garlicky, trying mongolian beef tomorrow- hopefully that's a winner! We did like the brown sugar chicken (who wouldn't) though.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-15-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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I have a 4 qt and a 6 qt. I use them for different things- we are a family of 6. To cook a whole ham I need the 6 qt. Applesauce, rice pudding, baked beans, or warmed drinks need the 4 qt. Generally I would say that main dishes need large capacity cookers, side dishes and beverages need smaller ones.. (and no you can't just get a big cooker and fill it to a small quantity- it doesn't work that way).

Personally I wish I had bought both of them with the snap on lids and built in timers. My 6 qt has the snap on lid hooks and it is GREAT for taking to potlucks and such.. I wish the smaller one had it. Also, my bigger one I can actually REMOVE the crockery to clean it, but my smaller one it is attached, so I have to sort of scrub it while rotating and let it air dry.. the removable one is much more practical for cleaning purposes. But then there was a big price difference between the two and I probably got them 10 years apart, also..

There was one that sears was selling that was ONE cooking element but came with three different sized crocks. I think that would be incredibly useful. (I just checked their website, but I didn't see it- I know they were in my local sears around Christmas, though)

http://kitchen-dining.hsn.com/hamilt...264437_xp.aspx

here is basically what I saw, unfortunately I don't think it has a timer or snap on lid.. although if you don't need it for potlucks, maybe the transpo thing wouldn't be a worry for you... and you CAN buy a timer separately.. it plugs into the wall socket and then the crockpot plugs into the timer.. (I think? I can't find one here, so I am not certain).

good housekeeping provided this- http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/prod...d-slow-cookers which included an evaluation of customer help lines.. (I hadn't thought of that!)
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#7 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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I have a 4 quart and a 6 quart. We are a family of two adults and a 7 year old and a 4 year old, and use the 4 quart most of the time.

I'll use the 6 quart when we are having guests or if I'm cooking a bigger ham or something like that.

The 4 quart has a timer on it and that is so useful. That way no matter how long I am gone during the day, the meal is not going to turn to mush.

The things we cook most often- pot roast, chili, whole chicken (just season the chicken and either use a rack that comes with your crock pot or ball up some foil so that the chicken is off the bottom of the crock pot slightly)- then we use the broth from the chicken to make chicken soup the next day, taco soup, chicken marinara (you take frozen chicken breasts and dump a jar of marinara over them, let them cook all day and then shred the chicken, return to crock pot, stir and serve over pasta).

The only thing I don't really like is pasta cooked in the slow cooker... it gets too mushy. I usually cook it separately and then add it to the meal.

Last week was way too busy and I actually used the crock pot every day. I had no time to cook and we would have ended up eating take out way too much. So nice to come home to a warm, healthy meal each night (plus leftovers for lunch the next day).
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#8 of 8 Old 01-23-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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Do a search here on MDC, there is a HUGE crockpot/slow cooker thread. I started school this week, and wanted to compile a good list of crock pot recipes, and I found some really good ones on that thread. I have a pages document that is 25 pages long, that is all crock pot recipes. I have also copied some of recipes from the 365 blog too. I'm planning on trying the mongolian chicken recipe, and the orange chicken recipe sometime in the next couple of weeks. I currently have a 6 quart crock pot, but I want a smaller one too, because I don't want things to cook too fast. I have say though that I've never had any problems with my 6 quart one over cooking things when I put it on low, and if you want to make chicken stock in it, which I highly recommend, I would get a 6 quart slow cooker.

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