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Crockpot Conversion Tips

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Crockpot Conversion Tips
Posted by: Sass
Wed, 22 Jun 2005, at 11:39 a.m.

Great Crockpot Conversion Tips. Take your favorite recipe & convert to slow cooker & free up some time for yourself.

Oven to Crockpot Conversion General Information

It's difficult to give exact conversion information on translating traditional oven recipes to the crockpot. Below you will find some general guidelines for converting your favorite recipes to the crockpot. Since crockpots 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's not necessary but it will reduce the fat content of some meats 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.

General Oven to Crockpot Cooking Time Conversions
Oven Crockpot
15 to 30 minutes 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours on HIGH  or 4 to 6 hours on LOW
35 to 45 minutes 2 to 3 hours on HIGH  or 6 to 8 hours on LOW
50 minutes to 3 hours 4 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 Roast 8-12 hours on LOW  or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH
Stew 10 to 12 hours on LOW or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH
Ribs 6 to 8 hours on LOW
Stuffed Peppers 6 to 8 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH
Brisket 10 to 12 hours on LOW
Swiss Steak 8 to 10 hours on LOW
Corned Beef & Cabbage 6 to 10 hours on LOW or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH
Casserole 4 to 9 hours on LOW or 2 to 4 hours on HIGH (stirring occasionally)
Rice 5 to 9 hours on LOW or 2 to 3 hours on HIGH
Meat Loaf 8 to 9 hours on LOW
Dry Beans 1 to 2 hours on HIGH plus 8 to 9 hours on LOW
Soup 6 to 12 hours on LOW or 2-6 hours on HIGH
Chicken 7 to 10 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH
Vegetables 2 to 4 hours on LOW with liquid added
Baked Potato 8 to 10 hours on LOW
Artichoke 6 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.

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