A slow cooker, Crock-Pot (a US trademark that is often used generically), or Slo-Cooker (a UK trademark that is often used generically) is a countertop electrical cooking appliance that allows moist-heat cooking method of simmering which requires maintaining a relatively low temperature compared to other cooking methods (such as baking, boiling, and frying), for many hours allowing unattended cooking of pot roast, stew, and other suitable dishes.
A basic slow cooker consists of a lidded round or oval cooking pot made of glazed ceramic or porcelain, surrounded by a housing, usually metal, containing an electric heating element. The lid is often of glass seated in a groove in the pot edge; condensed vapour collects in the groove and provides a low-pressure seal to the atmosphere. The contents of a crock pot are effectively at atmospheric pressure, despite the water vapor generated inside the pot. A crock pot is quite different from a pressure cooker and presents no danger of an abrupt pressure release.
Recipes intended for other cooking methods must be modified for slow cookers. Quantities of liquids may have to be adjusted as there is little evaporation, but there should be enough liquid to cover the food. Many published recipes for slow cookers (aka crock-pots) are designed primarily for convenience and use few ingredients, often prepared sauces. The long, moist cooking is particularly suitable for tough and cheap cuts of meat—for many slow-cooked dishes these cuts give better results than more expensive ones.
Cheaper cuts of meat with connective tissue and lean muscle fibre are suitable for stewing, and tastier than stews using expensive cuts, as long slow cooking will soften the connective tissue without toughening the muscle. Slow cooking leaves the gelatinised tissue in the meat, so that it may be advantageous to start with a richer liquid. The low temperature of slow-cooking makes it impossible to burn food even if cooked too long; however, meat and vegetables will become nearly tasteless or "raggy" if overcooked.
Food can be set to slow-cook before leaving for the day, and will be ready on return. Some models include timers or thermostats which bring food to a given temperature, and then lower it. With a timerless cooker it is possible to use an external timer to stop cooking after a set time, or both to start and stop.
"Amazing flavor, and so simple! No salt needed here, in fact, you may wish to use half the Ranch dressing mix to cut back on the saltiness. Found this Crock-Pot pot roast recipe on of a website called www.recipegoldmine.com. It's all the rage there so I thought I'd try it."
- 1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages brown gravy mix, dry
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages dried Italian salad dressing mix
- 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages ranch dressing mix, dry
- 1/2 cup water
- Place beef roast in crock pot.
- Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.
- Pour the water around the roast.
- Cook on low for 7-9 hours.
- 3 1/2 lbs boneless turkey breast
- 1 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth or 1 (14 ounce) cans homemade stock
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
*Crock Pot Turkey Breast*
"A great dish for Thanksgiving*
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Rinse turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place in crock pot breast side down.
- Pour chicken broth over turkey.
- Two hours into cooking time, mix other ingredients and pour over turkey.
- Make gravy with juices if desired.
- Cook 8-10 hours in crock pot on low.
*Cider Braised Pork Shoulder Roast*