Crock Pot Cooking Malaise

When I was growing up, my mom was constantly using her Crock Pot to cook dinners. In college, my friend Kelly and I often used a Crock Pot when we had our apartment senior year. I’ve seriously been using one forever. So what gives? Lately everything I make in one comes out, well, ehhh…. I don’t get it.

Tonight, for example, I decided to try the Orange Chicken recipe that is in the new Kraft Food & Family magazine. It was easy and I thought it sounded really good. About a half an hour before it would probably be done, I checked on it and the chicken didn’t look appetizing and the “sauce” was all watery. It looked nothing like the photo in the magazine, that’s for sure. I ended up dumping everything out of the crock and into a saucepan. The sauce thickened up nicely around the chicken and it turned out okay. (Some seasoning issues, but that is purely my own taste and nothing to do with the Crock Pot issue). Last week I made beef stew in it, and it wasn’t good. I’d recently made Chicken Cacciatore and found it barely edible. Seems that I’m just not enjoying the texture. When I make soups, I don’t have a problem. It’s just frustrating because the Crock Pot does make my life a little easier in the evenings, but I’m not going to sacrifice taste for convenience, either. 🙁

3 Replies to “Crock Pot Cooking Malaise”

  1. I don’t like the texture of chicken breasts cooked in the crock pot. But I’ve found that chicken on the bone (skinless) cooked at high heat rather than low works out well. The best success I’ve had recently was with a frozen whole chicken (whoops… forgot to defrost it). I cooked it on high for 4 hours, and the texture of the meat was like roasting in the oven. Delicious.

  2. That is way frustrating, because you come home expecting this dinner and you don’t have anything else planned and then you’re like … crud. I have been through it myself!! Sometimes it’s the recipe. Sometimes it’s because our crockpot (despite it’s hefty price tag and stainless steel beauty), is really a piece of junk that cooks too hot (and has no temp setting, period). BAH. Wish I could be helpful, but all I can do is commiserate.

  3. Count me in as another one who has crockpot cooking issues. I have just a few meals that turn out for me in the crockpot, but otherwise I seem to have some crockpot brown-thumb. I’m always looking for crockpot recipes but rarely find any that turn out good enough to want to make them again.

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