Last week I asked the question on my Facebook Page: Who is interested in crockpot recipes? I am thinking of doing a series of crockpot recipes if anyone is interested?? We had a terrific response with hundreds of you responding that you indeed would love a new series that focuses on crockpot recipes.
TV Tuesdays & Crockpot Recipes
I thought I would do something a little special with this series. From time to time, I will include short videos where I will take you into my kitchen for a quick demonstration on how to cook the meal. These videos will be very short, most likely around 1 minute long. I know time is precious for many, so that is why the videos will be short and to the point. Many of us are visual people and do very well with instructional videos.
I will also include the written recipes and nutritional information for all of the recipes in this new series. This new series will fall on every Tuesday. You can find this series in the “how-to videos” at the top of my website under the sub-tab TV Tuesdays Crockpot Recipes. You can also find it under the “Recipes” tab under the sub-tab Crockpot Recipes.
Choosing The Right Crockpot
If you don’t have a crock pot yet, there are a few things you want to consider before you buy a crockpot.
- how big is my family
- what size should I buy
- what features do I want
- how much do I want to spend
Let’s quickly tackle these. So how big is your family or how many are you cooking for? I have a family of five. I have 2 crockpots: a 4-quart crockpot and a 6 1/2 quart crockpot. 99% of my cooking is done in the 4-quart crockpot. I have found that the 6 1/2 quart is just too big. Keep in mind that for best results, you should fill your crockpot at least half way full and no more that 3/4 full. So bigger is not better when it comes to crockpots. Refer to the chart below to see what size is best for you and your family.
The next item to look at when buying a crockpot is deciding what features you want. There are many different features to consider. Do you want an electronic crockpot that does everything for you? Do you want an insert that comes out of the crockpot for easy leftover storage and cleaning? What shape do you want? These are just a few of the options available on today’s crockpots.
Keep in mind that the more features you have, the more the crockpot will cost. I have an expensive crockpot and a very inexpensive crockpot. They both have great qualities that I like. You have to decide which crockpot best fits your needs.
The Two Crockpots That I Have In My Kitchen
As I stated earlier, I have 2 crockpots in my kitchen. My smaller crockpot only has a low, high and warm setting. It works great and only cost me $22.00, Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Oval Slow Cooker!
Now my large crockpot has an automatic timer and once the time is up, it will automatically switch to warm mode so it will not continue to cook. This feature is really nice! If you work out of the home, this feature would be priceless! I paid about $89.00 for the crockpot with the added features, Wolfgang Puck 7-Qt. Electronic Slow Cooker.
So remember, the more features you add to your crockpot, the more expensive the crockpot will be.
A Few Crockpot Cooking Tips
There are several key points I want to make when cooking with a crockpot.
- Crockpots, crock pots, crock-pots, and slow cookers are all the same thing in my book!
- For best results, fill the crockpot at least 1/2 way full and no more than 3/4 full.
- Always keep the lid on. Every time you open the lid it will take the crockpot 30 extra minutes to get back to the temperature that is needed to cook the dish. This could add an extra 1-1 1/2 hours to your final cooking time. Resist the urge to peek!
- 2 – 2 1/2 hours on low = 1 hour on high
- If you are pressed for time, start on high for the first hour and then turn to low setting for the remainder of the cooking. This will reduce the cooking time by 2 hours.
- Thickening agents are usually added in the last 15-30 minutes of cooking times.
- Add milk, cream, sour cream and cheese during last 15-30 minutes of cooking times.
- Always taste a dish 30 minutes before serving. A lot of times the herbs can loose their flavors in the long cooking times. To replace the flavors, add some more herbs in the last half hour of cooking time.
- Long cooking can diminish the color of some vegetables. To solve this problem, add delicate vegetables at the end of the cooking time.
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Come Back Every Tuesday For A New Crockpot Recipes!
That is it! Get ready for some GREAT recipes and videos coming your way in this new series: TV Tuesdays Crockpot Recipes! See you Tuesday for a great video and recipe, Pulled Roast Beef Sandwiches!
What recipes would you like to see in this series?
Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe?