Crock Pot Experiments – the beginning

Why attempt crock pot experiments? Because I can. Because being on break for a week lets me monitor recipes as they cook. Because I teach full time and need to provide a decent supper without much prep time (pun intended). And really, why not?

Sunday’s experiment: Overnight Oatmeal from the cookbook Fix it and Forget it

  • Crock pot size: 3 quart, overnight, on low
  • Results: a little mushy. Next time I try this I’ll either use old-fashioned oats or steel cut oats for a sturdier texture. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll do this on a day that we won’t be sleeping in. That might prevent overcooking.
  • Modifications: since I’m only feeding three, I cut the cookbook recipe in half. If I make the full quantity, I could use a slightly larger crock and set it on Warm. The 3 quart only has low or high settings.

Monday’s experiment: Breakfast Bake from the cookbook Fix it and Forget it

Crock pot size: 3 quart, 5-6 hours on low

Results: delicious. I cut the recipe in half. A full batch might require a larger crock. The full batch might take longer. This has potential for an overnight bake.

Modifications: I might stretch this with a little more milk and a diced slice of bread. A handful of diced bacon was a good addition. I added thyme and oregano – maybe a little too much oregano.

Wednesday’s experiment: thaw and warm a soup from the freezer.

Crock pot size: I started with the 3 quart and then realized I only needed the smaller size, slightly more than one quart. Details below.

Results: about an hour into the process, I realized I’d overestimated the volume and moved the soup into a smaller crock. The smaller crock is more like the Little Dipper: no heat settings, just plugged in (on) or unplugged (off). Since the soup was already fully cooked, low heat and small crock were enough.

Modifications, general thoughts: I have a freezer full of soups and broths. This is an option that could carry us through a winter, including staff meetings, conference nights, and even help the family cope when I have to travel for standardized testing.

Readers, beyond the standard soups and chilis, how do you use your slow cooker? Do you own more than one?

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