Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WFMW - Backwards Edition

I'm posting this question here, on my recipe blog, to keep recipe related posts in one place.

O wise Internetz, I am in need of some slow cooker help! The last two times that I cooked something with potatoes in it, the potatoes were not cooked through. I love using my slow cooker, and I love the convenience of it. I don't like the idea of cooking on the stove then throwing everything in. Too many pots and pans!! So the thought of cooking the potatoes then putting them in the slow cooker makes me tremble. Any solutions?

Also, if you have any good slow cooker recipes to share, please leave a link in the comments. Also let me know if it's okay to republish your recipe here (giving you the linky love, of course!). I like to keep my recipes in one place so I don't have to tax my mommy brain with remembering where to find your awesome recipes.

For more burning blogger questions, visit Shannon.


Robin M. said...

The slow cooker is a life saver for me on many days. One of the most important things to remember is always put vegetables in first. Vegetables take longer to cook than meat does, so for layering purposes, start with vegetables, then meat, and finally seasonings and small amounts of liquid. Also, avoid "peeking". While the urge to sneek a peek at the meal is tempting, you will add 20-30 minutes to your cooking time. Lifting the lid during cooking allows valuable heat to escape. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Well, I just got a crockpot for Christmas, so I'm all about great recipes. :) I'll be checking back for great tips!

Monica said...

Your so right- potatoes take forever. I've learning that they must be slice very thin and then always put on the bottom. Then they must be cooked on low for a long time.

Here's an easy favorite- It doesn't have a name.

Layer in the crockpot.

Thinly sliced potatoes, thinly sliced onions, celery, carrots, peas. Repeat the onions, celery, carrots, peas. Top with 1 lb of browned ground beef and 1 large can of Tomato soup. Cook all day 6-8 hrs on low. Salt and pepper each layer lightly. It's yummy and you can just use whatever you have on hand. If you don't like tomato soup, mushroom works well, too.

Jeni said...

I agree that putting the veggies in first is key. One of our favs is potates & carrots seasoned with rosemary & garlic, then porkchops layerd on top, also seasoned with rosemary & garlic. As it cooks, not only will the potatoes & carrots get done, but they'll be basted in the juices from the pork chops. (now I've got to go wipe the drool off my chin)

Anonymous said...

What I do is this...if I have a slow cooker recipe that calls for chunked potatoes, I microwave the potatoes first to at least partially cook them. It takes just 2-5 minutes, depending how "done" you want your potatoes to be. Then I take them out, cut them up, and throw them in the slow cooker. That way I know they'll be cooked when everything else is, and I don't have to dirty a seperate pot!

EthansMama said...

Well there is clearly no reason for me to say put the potatoes on the bottom so I'll just give you a recipe.

Place 3-5 chicken breasts in crockpot. Season with salt and pepper. Mix 1/2 cup water and one Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasonings packet and pour over chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4.

I serve with rice or mashed potatoes and a steamed veggie.

seussgirl said...

I usually use canned potatoes in my crock-pot. Cheating? Probably. Does it work? Yes.
And I have an awesome crock-pot recipe from "Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer." It gives you the measurements to make 3 batches and freeze them for later.
This link is from recipezaar, but it's pretty close to the same!

Amy said...

I use my slowcooker 2-4x per week- I love it! :)

I've had problems with potatoes before, too. Now I make sure I slice them pretty thin, and I often put them in the bottom layer of the crock. If it's something that won't be cooking all day, I put them in a bowl with a little water and microwave them a few minutes first.

I have several crockpot recipes on my cooking blog- I hope you'll stop by and visit! :)

Sister Honey Bunch said...

cup chicken broth (either canned or made with water and bullion)
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced or diced up
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2/3 cup milk
2 packages of stuffing mix

Pour the chicken broth into the crockpot. Put 1/2 of the sliced/diced celery into the broth. Rinse chicken breasts in water, cut off any nasty fat or gristle parts (you can skip that part if you don't mind them, but they bug me so I have to remove them ), and place breasts along the bottom of the crockpot, overlapping if you need. In a bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, milk and remaining celery and wisk together until fairly smooth (don't worry if you can't get all the lumps out). Pour mixture over the chicken breasts in the crockpot. If your stuffing mix has two separate parts (a bag of bread-bits and a seasoning packet), toss them together before dumping the mixes into the crockpot so the seasoning is distributed well among the stuffing mix. Don't worry about mixing the crockpot contents together; simply put the lid on the crockpot and turn it on "High" for 1 1/2 hours, and then reduce heat to "Low" for another 4 hours. About 15-30 minutes before you plan on serving, you can mix the stuffing around with the mushroom soup/broth mixture a bit, otherwise, you don't have to do anything to it.

It comes out tasting just like stuffed chicken breasts with gravy, but without all the work!

Elizabeth said...

I think you got answers about the potatoes! My favorite recipe is Salsa Chicken - so easy!

Put frozen or fresh chicken breasts into the crockpot. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper according to taste - I usually do a dash of each. Pour some salsa on top, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Delicious with tortillas, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, etc.

annie said...

I actually put whole potatoes in mine to bake them some days. It seems to take a good 4-6 hours on high to cook them through and 8-10 on low.

Melanie said...

Make sure they are cut small enough. Makes a difference.

Frazzmom said...

I cut my potatoes in quarters (lenthwise) and have not had any problems with them being undercooked. The lid to my crockpot doesn't fit tightly, however, so I put a piece of foil over the insert before I put the lid on...

My favorite recipe:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
Carrots- peeled and cut into chunks
Boneless chuck roast(or whatever is on sale!)

Put carrots on bottom of crock pot. Put meat on top of carrots, surround with potatoes. Pour condensed soup over meat, sprinkle onion soup mix on.

Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until meat is fall apart tender.

The Correspondent said...

I love my slow cooker and have posted several recipes at

I also heartily recommend Fix It and Forget It, where I got most of my crockpot recipes.

BAEagen said...

Take Elizabeth's idea for chicken and salsa, and easily make it a whole meal. I drain and add a can of black beans and a can of corn. You can also add a can of pineapple chunks. A quick batch of rice, and a full dinner!!

TracyMichele said...

LOOOOVE my slow cooker. She actually died on Thanksgiving Day. (pause while I pull myself together). My dear BIL bought me another one for Christmas, though. :)

Potatoes and Carrots should always go on the bottom.. and thinly sliced.

I would love to share a deep, secret recipe but I usually get mine from Tomorrow night I am trying their shrimp and chicken jambalaya!

Jenn said...

well, i am a crockpot Goddess....
you have indeed gotten great info here. But I think the key thing to crockpot cooking is DO NOT LIFT THE LID. it is very tempting. but DO NOT LIFT THE LID. You can lose up to 30 degrees in temperature and it really makes a huge difference for that puppy to get back up to prime cooking temp.

you were given the advice but i wanted to reiterate it.

also, i do completely agree,
push the potatoes to the bottom
cut them in small chunks or thinner slices
and cook on low but in the last couple of hours of cooking time (or when you get home) crank that baby up to high for the last cooking goodness.

good luck with it!

and remember:

truth said...

I own 6, yes 6 crockpots. I found one cooks much hotter than another, while this one heats more quickly, etc. They are all different. With my ones that don't cook very hot, don't auto switch, or I don't want to cook on highest setting, I cut my potatoes small and usually thin.