January 12, 2013

Crock-pot Cooking Conversion Table's and other things you need to know

Do you have recipes that you wish you could prepare in your crock-pot?  I do, and I've always wondered how to convert them to the slow cooker method.
After I did a little research through Google (not much really), I found some really helpful tips, information and conversion table guidelines!!!
I'm super excited now, and I will be re-making family favorites, crock-pot style~and I will post the recipe(s) along with the results from changing them over to slow cooking method.
{I have 5 crock-pot's, but this model is my favorite}
Oven to Crockpot Conversion General Information

It's difficult to give exact conversion information on translating traditional oven recipes to the crock-pot. Below you will find some general guidelines for converting your favorite recipes to the crock-pot. Since crock-pots vary, you should consult your owner's manual for instructions.

• Crockpots may vary but generally, the LOW setting is about 200 degrees F. and the HIGH setting is about 300 degrees F. One hour on HIGH is approximately equal to 2 to 2-1/2 hours on LOW. Most crockpot recipes recommend cooking 8-10 hours on LOW. Some recipes recommend the HIGH setting based on the nature and texture of the food. You will have to judge your recipe accordingly. For example, beef cuts will be better cooked on LOW for 8-10 hours to get a more tender texture, where chicken can be cooked on HIGH 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

• Reduce the amount of liquid used in most oven recipes when using the LOW setting, since the crockpot retains all moisture that usually evaporates when cooking in the oven. Add liquids for sauces about an hour before done. You will normally end up with more liquid at the end of cooking times, not less. A general rule is to reduce liquids by half, unless rice or pasta is in the dish.

• Spices may need to be reduced or increased. Whole herbs and spices increase their flavoring power in crockpot cooking while ground spices may have lost some flavor. Add ground spices during the last hour of cooking. Whole leaf and herbs will probably need to be reduced by half.

• Rice, noodles, macaroni, seafood, Chinese vegetables and milk do not hold up well when cooked 8-10 hours. Add these to sauces or liquid about 2 hours before serving when using LOW setting (or 1 hour on HIGH). If you want to use milk in an 8-10 hour recipe, use evaporated milk.

• Browning meats before cooking is a personal choice. It is not necessary but it will reduce the fat content of some meats and increase eye appeal if you brown it before cooking.

• Sautéing vegetables (like onions, etc) is not necessary, (except for eggplant which should be parboiled or sautéed prior due to its strong flavor). Just add them to the pot with everything else. You may wish to reduce quantities of stronger vegetables since they will permeate the other foods in the crockpot with their full flavor.

• Dry beans can be cooked overnight on LOW as an alternative to soaking. Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Drain and combine with other ingredients. Be sure beans are softened before adding to any sugar or tomato mixture.

• For best results, use long-grain parboiled/converted raw rice in recipes, and use standard liquid amounts instead of reducing the liquid. For mixed recipes requiring pasta, it's best to cook the pasta separately to al dente texture and add just before serving.

• For soups, add water only to cover ingredients. If thinner soup is desired, more liquid can be added at the end of the cooking time.



The following charts assume a normal oven baking temperature of 350- to 375 F.


General Oven to Crockpot Cooking Time Conversions
OvenCrockpot
15 to 30 minutes1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours on HIGH
or 4 to 6 hours on LOW
35 to 45 minutes2 to 3 hours on HIGH
or 6 to 8 hours on LOW
50 minutes to 3 hours4 to 5 hours on HIGH
or 8 to 18 hours on LOW
Note: Most uncooked meat and vegetable combinations will require at least 8 hours on LOW.


General Crockpot Cooking Times for Specific Foods
Pot Roast8-12 hours on LOW
or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH
Stew10 to 12 hours on LOW
or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH
Ribs6 to 8 hours on LOW
Stuffed Peppers6 to 8 hours on LOW
or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH
Brisket10 to 12 hours on LOW
Swiss Steak8 to 10 hours on LOW
Corned Beef & Cabbage6 to 10 hours on LOW
or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH
Casserole4 to 9 hours on LOW
or 2 to 4 hours on HIGH
(stirring occasionally)
Rice5 to 9 hours on LOW
or 2 to 3 hours on HIGH
Meat Loaf8 to 9 hours on LOW
Dry Beans1 to 2 hours on HIGH
plus 8 to 9 hours on LOW
Soup6 to 12 hours on LOW
or 2-6 hours on HIGH
Chicken7 to 10 hours on LOW
or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH
Vegetables2 to 4 hours on LOW
with liquid added
Baked Potato8 to 10 hours on LOW
Artichoke6 to 8 hours on LOW
or 2-1/2 to 4 hours on high
(with water)
Note: Remember to check the owner's manual for your particular crockpot for full instructions on usage. The above cooking times are only VERY general guidelines.

Information from:  About.com


And from KraftFoods.com come these awesome tips and tricks that will help make your crockin' a rockin' experience {it's awesome when I rhyme}.


Slow-Cooker Tips & Tricks

Master the mystery of this appliance.

  • Don't fill it up. Your slow cooker should be one-half to two-thirds full. If it's too full, it will take too long to start simmering. If it's not full enough, you risk overcooking.
  • Keep it thrifty. This long, moist cooking method is ideal for inexpensive cuts of meat, since it provides plenty of time for tenderizing.
  • Leave it alone. Don't lift the lid, unless you want to extend the cooking time by 20 min. To check the progress, spin the lid until the condensation falls off. If the recipe gives you reason to lift the lid, replace it quickly.
  • Customize it. If you want to thicken the juices or concentrate flavors, remove the lid and cook on HIGH for the last 30 min.
  • Stick to the cooking time. Slow cookers work by simmering food at a low, even temperature, so adhere to the recipe.

Want to print and keep this information close by?
Click here for the free printable charts & information


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1 comment:

VB said...

Great page, lots of good information all in one place. Appreciate the printable version also. Thanks!!