Home > Uncategorized > My Crock Pot Inadequacy

My Crock Pot Inadequacy

I love my crock pot.  In theory.  Toss a few ingredients in the magical slow cooker in the morning, work all day, then come home to a hot, delicious meal.  It sounds just delightful.  But I am a big fat crock pot failure.  Here’s what I can make in the crock pot.  Pot roast.

photo credit: http://www.culinarydisastercom. I did not cook this. I know because my crock pot is blue.

I know a lot of people who can make nearly anything in the crock pot.  I know there are entire websites and cook books dedicated to the subject.  But I have a few issues with crock pot cooking that I can’t seem to overcome.

  1. I am gone for LONG periods of time during the day, so anything I put in the crock pot had better be able to stand up to hours upon hours of cooking.  The alternative is to stuff the darn thing completely full to slow the cooking.  Even so, I am restricted to large, tough chunks of meat.  Generally, the chuck roast.  Chicken gets mealy and pork roasts need more help than my crock pot can offer.  Which brings me to my second point…
  2. You can’t season as you go.  I need to tend to my food.  I like to stir and fidget and taste it halfway through and figure out what I can add to make it better.  The slow cooker brings a whole new meaning to “pot committed”.  If I don’t get the salt and garlic in there at 6 am, I’m kinda screwed.  I’ll give you three guesses as to how coherent and interested I am in culinary expressions at 6am. (hint: it better be coffee or I care not at all)
  3. Gravies and/or sauces don’t thicken properly.  Ever had Crock Pot Beef Stew?  I have, and someone’s got one hell of a lot of nerve calling it stew, when it’s clearly soup.  Crock Pots won’t boil liquids and my cats flatly refuse to take the lid off at a designated time to allow for liquid reduction, so I am destined to have runny food.
  4. Whatever you put in there comes out tasting like everything else.  I would never suggest that a carrot tastes like a mushroom.  Unless, of course, they’ve been snuggled up in a crock pot for ten hours, in which case they lose all identifying characteristics and become a carshroom (mushrot?  gross, let’s stick with carshroom).
  5. I understand in my head that the crock pot is safe to leave on all day, in fact, that’s specifically what it’s engineered to do.  That knowledge does not change my firmly held belief that one day my house will burn down and it’s going to be because of the damn crock pot.  I have enough to think about during the average work day, I’m doing myself no favors by walking around all day with a sick feeling in my stomach, wondering if my home is in flames at this very moment.

I can read recipes all day long, but I still haven’t figured out how to overcome my crock pot challenges.  I’ve been doing this wife/mom/cooking meals thing long enough now that I have started to believe that if I haven’t mastered it by now, I probably never will.  But I have a ray of sunshine in my dreary slow cooker world.  I am one of the lucky ones.  I am blessed with a husband who not only likes to cook and does it well, but he also gets home earlier than me!  He IS my crock pot and not only does he make a bangin’ sauce, I’m also pretty confident that he won’t set our house on fire.

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  1. April 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

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