Monday, September 19, 2011

Crock Pot Cooking

I loooove to cook, and I love to try new recipes.  Things other than pork chops, and beef aren't usually met with such enthusiasm in my house but that is a whole nother' conversation for a whole nother' day.  Anyway, so yeah.  Cooking with a 15 month old running around?  Not quite so easy.  We've adapted and somehow I'm able to get a meal on the table each night.

One thing I've attempted in order to combat the whole toddler thing is to use my crock pot for our main course and then its usually pretty simple to throw together a side dish or two.  But you know something about crock pot cooking?  Everyone talks about how foolproof it is, and its so wonderful and all but I seriously can't figure out how to make it work for my situation.

I have only one. ONE recipe that I know will work for me in a crock pot.  ONE.  I've tried dozens and there is only one that actually works for me.  Its a BBQ recipe and its awesome. 

Anyway, here is the thing - although I have a smart crock pot, most recipes need to cook for about 6 hours.  That is fine and all, but I leave my house at 7am and we don't eat dinner until 7 or 7:30 each night.  So, when the 6 hour cooking is complete, the crock pot shifts to a 'keep warm' setting and my food sits like that until dinner time?  My main problem with that is that it ends up overcooking the meat but I also find it pretty gross that my food has basically been sitting under a warmer for 6+ hours after it has cooked.  

Am I the only one with this problem?  Does anyone who works full-time have success with crock pot cooking?


Michelle said...

I have the exact same problem! I'm gone from the house from 6 AM-7 PM so the only way we can use the crock pot is if Pryor's schedule has him leaving the house late enough to put something in first. Do they make crock pots with timers that will allow you to cook something "super slowly" at 12+ hours?

Sarah said...

Hey Katie! I love using my crock pot, but I cheat a little. I often go home at lunch and throw everything in around noon.

RTR mentioned those timers that turn lamps on and could hook one of those up to your crockpot so that it doesn't come on until the desired time.

By the way, my favorite crock pot recipe is one that Mary Beth sent me in a recipe chain email thing. It's for white chicken chili and I can send it to you if you want to try it out.

Katie said...

Hmmm ... that is a thought although I'm not sure about leaving meat sitting out for several hours beforehand.

Yes! Send me the recipe, please!

meg williams said...

if you will leave me a key - i will be glad to go turn it on any time! i drive by your house at about 8:30 (and 9am)and 11:30 (and noon) every MWF. and would be happy to run in and turn it on - no joke! seriously! just tell me what needs doing. i would love to!