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Toolin’ Up Tuesday: The Immortal Crockpot

Yeah, I know the jokes abound about the Crockpot. It seems that people everywhere have left theirs to languish in the cupboard. Not so at my house. In fact, I own three: 1.5 Qt, 2.5 Qt (round) and 6.5 QT (oval). There are a number of other sizes available as well, including 3.5 Qt and 5 Qt. You are bound to find one to suit your crowd.

This little baby is one of my best friends forever, at least in the kitchen. It is a 1.5 Qt. slow cooker. It was about $10. I’ve seen them go on sale at StuffMart and other places for even less. You would think that something so cheap would not work well. Au contraire. This baby rocks!

I love it for many reasons.

    • There are three settings: low, high, and warm. If I have all day (or all night) then low is ideal. If I’m in a hurry, high is the choice. If it’s already done cooking, but we’re not ready to eat, I turn it to warm. (You probably knew that, though.)

 

  • It is the ideal size for many recipes. I learned last year that a slow-cooker needs to be 1/2 to 3/4 full to work properly. If your crockpot is too big, you may have some problems. So, thanks to my generous mother, we rounded out my crockpot collection. That is why I have three sizes and I do use them all. Strange, I know.

 

 

  • It cooks perfect rice! One day I wanted to make the kids potstickers for lunch, but didn’t want to take a lot of time to prepare the meal. So, at around 10 am I sprayed the crock with non-stick spray, poured in 2 c. water and added 1 c. rice and a few shakes of salt. After topping it with the lid and turning it to low, I let it do its thing. By lunch we had perfect rice.

 

I also use this cooker to cook ground beef, to prepare meat for shredding (like beef, pork, or chicken) and to make overnight oatmeal.

But my other cookers still get a workout as well. Yesterday I made a whole chicken in my round cooker and a mess of baked potatoes in the oval. I even made the boys help me season the bird and wash and wrap the taters. Whoo hoo! Just open a caesar salad kit and we’re good.

Check out these related links:
A Year of Crockpotting. This lady is using her slow cooker every day in 2008!

The USDA’s [favorable] position on crockpots.

A slough of recipes at Slow and Simple, a site dedicated to crockpot cooking.

What’s a cool tool that you use at your house? Write about it on your blog and then come back here and link to the post. If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay, just tell us about it in the comments section. And thanks for playing!

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Comments

  1. I glad to know that I am no the only one who has several sizes of crockpots.

  2. I really enjoy using my crock pot, but have had trouble a few times with charred edges. That makes sense now that you mention the “1/2-3/4″ rule of thumb. I had no idea! I will be adding a smaller pot to my kitchen soon! Another tool I often use in my kitchen is my Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer. I have the big dog! I use it for everything from whipping cream and making cakes to kneading bread dough. It was well worth the investment!
    By the way – I found your blog through Biblical Womanhood. And I have so say I have really enjoyed your posts!

  3. ordinarymother says:

    I love my crock pot(s) too! In the summer I like that they don’t heat up the house like an oven does.

    One of my favorite tools of late is an ice cream scooper (the kind with the thumb-trigger to scrape the contents out). I use it to measure out cupcake batter as well as icing (we like lots of icing)for the cupcake, jumbo cookies, scoop out smashed potatoes, etc. Sunday I used it to scoop bbq beef onto hamburger rolls. it was the perfect amount and soooo easy.

  4. One of my ultimate best every buys was my Pampered Chef rice cooker. It goes in the microwave and in 15-25 min you have awesome rice (white less time, brown at 25min) ready to go! I use to hate making rice even in an electric rice cooker and no method is this fast. The rice is always fluffy and perfect. I can put it in, forget about it, and make the rest of the meal. It can have ingredients added as well, like veggies to steam in with the rice or tomato sauce and spices for mexican rice fast. Best part, it cost 20 bucks!

  5. Amanda T says:

    I love my crockpot, too! I posted my favorite recipe at http://www.xanga.com/TrentTribe. I also linked to your post.

  6. hi alicia!
    i have 2 crockpots. one is the bigger size for stews and roasts. but my little “crockette” size one is very helpful too. at night i put in a 7 granin whole oats mixture (not quick oats) fill with the amount of water needed. ratio is about 1 cup oats : 2 cups water. plug it in and in the am we have healthy warm delicious oatmeal. we add our fixings like raisins, syrup, succanot, nuts etc. in the am. it really is good. i got my little crockpot at the thrift store for 2.00! yeah!
    love,julie

  7. I just wanted to thank you form tell us about the site slow and simple. I looked around it and it has some neat ideas. I love A Year of Crockpotting too. Doesn’t she have some great ideas. She puts stuff in the crockpot I would have never thought of.

  8. Mrs. Querido says:

    Is there really a store called StuffMart?? I thought that was something the creators of Madame Blueberry (VeggieTales) made up! LOL. I have a slow cooker, but I don’t find that I use it very often. Except when I make homemade chili :) Mmmm.

    Blessings!

    Mrs. Q

  9. How funny…I was going to put the year of crockpot blog in your comments but you’re all over it! :)

    My crockpot saves my house from MORE heat from the oven in the summer. I don’t need my A/C running any more than absolutely necessary!

  10. FishMama says:

    Thanks for all the great tool tips, ladies.

    Mrs. Q, I know you will get used to my quirky ways. ;) Yes, StuffMart is from the Veggie tale, but it is so appropos to discussing those other big stores, ’cause I can get caught up in all the STUFF.

  11. Shandra says:

    I have a large crockpot, but don’t use it as often as I’d like! For some reason, it manages to burn most everything I put in there! Not sure why!
    I’m curious though…what is “potstickers”?

  12. FishMama says:

    Hey Shandra,

    You might have things burning because the crockpot is too big for the amount of food, or on too high heat. Maybe see if you can borrow a smaller size from a friend and see if that works. Otherwise, you may want to reduce your cooking time.

    Potstickers are chinese dumplings that are fried crisp. I buy them frozen from Costco and we have them with rice and veggies.

  13. I love my crockpot as well. I just have the 2.5 size. It really came in handy earlier this yer when my son had wrestling practice 4 days a week from 5:00-6:30.

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    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

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