Thread Number: 63462  /  Tag: Small Appliances
I am a crackpot with a Crock-Pot
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Post# 860389   1/6/2016 at 07:37 (1,021 days old) by cycluxe (Allentown)        

Ok, I kid. I'm actually a crackpot with a Sears Simmer-On II slow cooker! No pics, but it's brown gingham (!) with a white glass lining, and it's working on a pot of chili back home as I type this. I believe it's a Hamilton Beach with a Sears label, but I could be wrong. Since I'm kind of a novice at slow cooking, I wondered if anyone here could help with tips, recipes, or moral support.

Post# 860390 , Reply# 1   1/6/2016 at 07:45 (1,021 days old) by jeb (Mansfield Ohiio)        
crock pot

If you use cooking spray it will be much easier to clean, especially around the top of the food where it gets really baked on.

Post# 860402 , Reply# 2   1/6/2016 at 08:59 (1,020 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        
Slow Cooker cookbooks

ken's profile picture
on ebay. I sorted them cheapest first.


Post# 860407 , Reply# 3   1/6/2016 at 10:01 (1,020 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I use a crock-pot a lot in the winter.  They are excellent for foods that genuinely require long cooking, but they are NOT as versatile as many cookbooks would have you believe.  My general rule is, if the original recipe calls for low-temp cooking of 2 or 3 hours, then it will do very well in a crock-pot on low for 5-8 hours.  Think of tough cuts of meat—like a chuck or round of beef, an old hen, that sort of thing—that require long cooking to be tender.


Cuts that are already tender, like pork loin roasts, can work; but why bother, since they don’t need that kind of cooking?  Young chickens like broilers and fryers actually don’t work—the texture comes out kind of weird. 


The biggest trouble with crock-pottery is figuring out how long it takes to cook things.  The units don’t have specific temperature settings, and cooking times vary widely between different models; so you have to get to know your own unit.  Of course, you don’t have to be terribly precise, since you’re stewing the meat; but you still want to cook for a time that is optimal for the meat in question.  It IS POSSIBLE, trust me, to overcook even the toughest cuts.


Probably my favorite winter crock-pot treat is stewed hen.  You will need a real hen, about 6 lb (and 10 months old, if you raise it yourself).  And you will need a large crock pot—6 or 7 qt, not one of the little ones.


1 hen

1 onion, cut in half

2 cloves garlic, cut in half

1 stalk celery, cut in half


1 Tbs kosher salt

15 peppercorns

3 cloves

2 bay leaves

½ tsp dried thyme


Enough water to come within 2″ or so of the rim of the crock.


Cook on low for 5 hours or more.  I am careful not to cook the hen to mush, but it does need to be entirely done and tender.


My crock pot is not vintage, but it is a Rival.  I have been very happy with Rivals in the past, and my new one is no exception.  They invented the crock pot as we know it, and I’m partial to them for that reason.


The chicken is delicious, but the broth—AMAZING.  This is great for soup, obviously, but I often cut up the chicken just for the meat, and drink the broth for lunch.  This recipe also works really well for chicken salad in the summer.  It doesn’t heat up the house!



Post# 860409 , Reply# 4   1/6/2016 at 10:24 (1,020 days old) by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

Crock pots are also fantastic for steamed puddings, like Christmas pudding, fig pudding, treacle pudding—all those wonderful old solid puds.  My 7-qt crock pot easily accommodates a 1½ Imperial-pint basin (1 US quart), which is the largest size I make.


I put a small dishcloth in the bottom of the crock, add about 3 cups of boiling water, and lower the filled and properly tied-down pudding basin onto the cloth. The water should come a bit more than halfway up the sides of the basin.


Cook on high for 5 hours.  Some recipes recommend cooking on high for a couple of hours and then on low for the rest of the time.  I’m too lazy to go to that much trouble.

Post# 860412 , Reply# 5   1/6/2016 at 11:26 (1,020 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
crock pots are great for simmering foods all day while your at work, to return home to a great meal....

crock pots are great too for keeping things like vegetables and mashed potatos hot during holiday meals...smaller units are useful for gravies...

isn't it amazing how many people use crockpots and deep fryers, and how I wish newer stoves were still made with deep wells....these units would be built in....and yet people want customs kitchen with built in appliances and features....almost seems backwards...

there are also liners available that sit inside the unit for cooking and spills, and just toss when your done......especially great for units where the crock doesn't come out....

Post# 860416 , Reply# 6   1/6/2016 at 11:37 (1,020 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

There are bunches of slow cooker recipes on line.  I have the little owner's guide booklets that came with my HB Crockwatcher and my mom's old Rival and have some recipes in them, but I usually end up finding more interesting recipes on line.


Your Simmer-On is made by HB.  They were the first (I think) to offer the "auto shift" setting, which starts the cooker on High and then bumps it down to Low.  I like that convenience.


I have three slow cookers:  My '80s vintage 6-quart Crockwatcher,  a later model Farberware 6-quart oval, both of which have removable crocks, and a Dominion/Scovill (made by HB) Crock-A-Dial 4-quart, which is an old-school one-piece unit.  All three have the auto-shift option.


Besides Simmer-On and Crock-A-Dial, there was one other play on words, but I can't recall it off hand.


You can buy liners for your Simmer-On which make clean-up a breeze.  They're basically the same as a roasting bag.  I need to get some for the Crock-A-Dial. 


I also have a vintage Nesco "Full Range" 6-quart roaster.  It can be used like a slow cooker, but as has been stated above, translating a slow cooker's Low and High selections to an actual temperature setting can be tricky.  I like the light weight of the Nesco's porcelain-on-steel insert.  I think there was a thread about using a Nesco or other type of roaster as a slow cooker quite some time ago here, and there were different opinions expressed on which temperature settings to use for slow cooking.

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Post# 860419 , Reply# 7   1/6/2016 at 12:06 (1,020 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Just had to comment on your thread title

iheartmaytag's profile picture


Going off topic now:

A few years ago, my nephew's daughter went to school and told the teacher that her mother "Burned the shit out of her hand when she broke her crackpipe."

Since Nephew's wife volunteers at school they were teasing her about it.  She said, "One correction."  " it was a Crock pot."

Post# 860428 , Reply# 8   1/6/2016 at 14:19 (1,020 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I use one

All the time, Vintage Hamilton Beach or Genuine Rival Crock Pot, roasts, stewed beef, chicken.etc...When you work 12 hours you don't have time to cook....

Post# 860443 , Reply# 9   1/6/2016 at 16:32 (1,020 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

You beat me to it, Harley! I was going to say, "Better that than being a crackhead with a Crock Pot."

Go to and search 'slow cooker recipes'. There's a million of them.

Post# 860458 , Reply# 10   1/6/2016 at 18:22 (1,020 days old) by delaneymeegan (Mary Richards lived here)        

delaneymeegan's profile picture
As long as you have a 'crock ta' piss in' and it isn't the same one you cook in....
and the "Simmer-On" isn't a Chevy, er um, Cadillac Cimarron,

You should be fine.

Post# 860494 , Reply# 11   1/6/2016 at 22:35 (1,020 days old) by Artcurus (Odessa)        

Be advised that you need to check the date on the crockpot recipe books and adjust accordingly. Pre 1990 Crock Pots run cooler at first. It takes longer for them to reach boiling. There are many complaints about running too hot. That's the reason I love my Sunbeam CF (1950's) and the Westinghouse fryer (also 50's), they can be adjusted dead for those older recipes.

Post# 860497 , Reply# 12   1/6/2016 at 22:56 (1,020 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

I love to bake a ham in my crock pot.  I use the Reynolds cooking bags crockpot liners...they help a lot too.  Just got that "Dump Dinners" cookbook specifically for a crock pot, some good things in there.

Post# 860530 , Reply# 13   1/7/2016 at 07:43 (1,020 days old) by cycluxe (Allentown)        

Thanks for the info, everybody! I actually got the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook for Christmas, which led me to get the cooker. There are a lot of recipes in there I want to try soon. FYI, my chili was really good! I made it with beef (normally I use turkey), and I swear the long cooking intensified the beefiness.

Post# 860571 , Reply# 14   1/7/2016 at 13:20 (1,019 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I have two or three of the "Fix It and Forget It" books, including the "Lightly" and party versions.

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