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Slow Cooking in a Crock Pot

In a Wal-Mart store, a short while ago, I was surprised to see boxes and boxes of crock pots of all sizes, prices, and descriptions stacked for sale – in men’s wear yet!

Then I discovered that they were everywhere. Crock pot cooking is enjoying a comeback. In difficult times, the tried and true is revived.

High Heat Vs Slow Cooking

Cooking meat, using a hot stove top or oven requires the best, high quality cuts of meat in order to produce good results. Lower quality cuts are more likely to result in tough, stringy meals.

Cooking a roast on a lower heat setting for 6 to 12 hours allows you to take advantage of the cheaper cuts of meat. Roasts emerge moist and tender with all of the food values and flavours of the ingredients intact.

Follow the recipe you want to use, placing the veggies on the bottom of the pot, the meat on top of that, and let it do its own thing. You are done.

Most types of bacteria are killed at 140F degrees. Crock pots, by designed, operate at around 240F degrees on low setting, and 300F degrees on high. Crock pot cooking is safe.

It allows you to use the same low and slow method our forefathers used before electrical energy was available. They prepared a pit, building a bed of coals and buried a dutch oven to bubble away for a full day.

Today, you can prepare a wide range of meals in the crock pot, including cakes and desserts. Personally, I like to make my own bread because I can put my own selection of ingredients in the dough – raisins, nuts, fruit, etc, and I know that it is not chock full of trash that I don’t need. Bulk food stores are amazing resources for ingredients.

I make a no knead bread recipe, using the crock pot liner as an oven utensil. The first time I put it in the oven at 450F degrees, I removed a very handsome loaf of bread. I also melted the plastic knob on the glass lid – so had to replace it with a wooden one. Just like a man, bumbling around.

Preparing a crock pot meal is very simple. Pick your recipe, load the crock pot according to instructions, calculate you start and stop times, crank it up and go. You can set it on high in the morning and come home to a steaming and delicious meal all ready to place on the table.

Fix-It And Forget-It Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

Being a senior citizen and a naturally lazy male, I often start the cooker in the late evening. It bubbles away all night and I awaken to my house filled with delicious aromas. I place the cooked food into containers, refrigerate, and I have my meals ready for the day. Simple, lip smackin’ good. No fast food on the planet can match the flavour.

The tasty variations are particularly good because I choose to virtually eliminate salt from my diet and use herbs and spices as flavor enhancers instead.

Crock pot cooking is also a marvelous opportunity for family involvement. Loading the cooker is so easy that almost any child can get in there right up to the elbows and help. Good health, lots of giggles, and cementing family togetherness is great “stuff.”

I have a small model, over 20 years old that still works just fine. Today, that same model sells for around $15.00. I bought the new, larger one, specifically to get the bigger capacity, and removable liner, to make my bread in the oven. It set me back $39.00.

Crockpot 64451LD-C 6.5 Quart Slow Cooker with Bonus Little Dipper Slow Cooker
A crock pot draws a very small current as compared to the kitchen range. It is the least expensive, most cost effective major appliance in my kitchen – about 5% of what I paid for the stove. As a senior citizen, that is important to me.

Now you really can shop in the perimeter aisles of the supermarket, where the more healthy and nutritious food lives. You can create serious family meals with the kinds of ingredients that all the health gurus insist you need for optimum health and weight management. .

Try one, you’ll like it, and you will recover the cost in a very short period of time by using the less expensive ingredients.

Tasty food, minimal effort, and easy on the budget. It just does not get a lot better than that these days.

Jim Parsons is an author, researcher, project manager, and presenter, who is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. Learn to live naturally Expend a little personal effort and save a lot of dollars. Check out some recipes, techniques, formulas, and sound advice for survival in an ever changing environment. Jim’s site located at http://www.learntolive.Info is the go to place for solid information.

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Cook With Your Crockpot

With the help of a crockpot, you can put in minimal effort to create a thrifty and delicious meal for the whole family. The best crockpot recipes are hardly recipes at all; simply throw in as little as two ingredients and let them cook away while you are at work or attending to other responsibilities. These five quick and easy ideas are the most popular crockpot entrees. With as few as two-or-three ingredients, these ideas are economical but the slow-cooked meals will still taste impressive. Three Ingredient Crockpot Soup Some of the best crockpot recipes only have three ingredients! Soups are a great example of three ingredient crockpot recipes. Why buy canned tomato soup when you can make your own in the crockpot? Simply take a pound or two of fresh chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped onion and combine with a pint of chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer for 2-3 hours on low heat. Then puree with a hand blender or blend in batches. You can leave out the onion and/or add fresh chopped basil while cooking. If you like a creamy tomato soup, simply stir in some milk before serving. For more three ingredient crockpot recipes, give French Onion soup a try. Whole Crockpot Chicken Slow-cooking chicken in the crockpot with most crockpot chicken recipes has the added benefit of creating delicious, homemade chicken broth. Anyone who makes broth will tell you that store-bought broth just cannot compare to homemade. You can use the chicken for a number of crockpot chicken recipes, while freezing the broth in 1 cup batches for future use. To cook chicken and make broth, Cut a 3 ½ lb. chicken into pieces (including giblets) and cover with water in crockpot (about 4-5 cups). Add celery, garlic, onion, carrot, and fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook on low overnight or for 10-12 hours. Skim fat off the top of the broth, remove chicken and separate broth into 1 cup batches. Crockpot Pulled Pork Pulled pork is a classic dish for picnics and family dinners. With the help of the crockpot, you can make easily make a large amount of meat to serve on burger buns or rolls. For the easiest pulled pork crockpot recipe, simply combine two cups of your favorite BBQ sauce and 4 pounds of pork butt in your crockpot. Make sure meat is coated on all sides, cover and cook on high for 5 ½ hours. Crockpot White Chicken Chili White chili, made with chicken instead of beef, is a delicious, healthy and economical dish to make in the crockpot. For the cheapest crockpot chili, use dry beans as they are perfectly suited to slow-simmering in the crockpot. Cover a pound of northern beans and chopped onion with chicken broth and simmer in the crockpot for 3 hours on low heat. Once soft, add chicken, chopped vegetables and herbs and simmer for another hour. Heart Crockpot Beef Stew Heart crockpot beef stew is another easy way to feed the family with minimal effort and great taste. Simply cover a pound of stew beef and chopped vegetables (carrot, onion and potato) with beef broth (water and beef bouillon cubes) and cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can also add garlic and/or herbs such as bay leaves, thyme, or rosemary. Experiment with what works best for your favorite hearty crockpot beef stew. Caley Walsh is an editor for the recipe and cooking website, http://www.RecipeLion.com Find tens of thousands of free recipes, cooking tips, weekly meal planners and more. Reader favorites include Crockpot Recipes, Pork Chop recipes, Budget Friendly Recipes and Chicken Casserole Recipes.