To Use or Not Use A Slow Cooker

Recently, a dear friend of mine asked me if I ever used a slow cooker.  Sure I do.  I admit, I don’t use it all that much, but I do use it for quite a few things.  Some things just need to be cooked slow and easy in order for all the flavors to really come to life.  I don’t know about most people, but I do know that I do not have enough time to stay at home watching over a pot of something that needs hours and hours to cook.  I am way too busy to do that.  That’s what slow cookers are for.  Put your ingredients into the slow cooker, turn it on the appropriate heat and temperature, cook it for as long as it needs to cook and walk away.   A few hours later, Voila!  Your dish is done.

Usually when I cook ribs, especially when I cook beef short ribs.  I will cook them in a slow cooker.  I have tried them in the oven, and I have tried boiling them before putting them on the grill, but to me, they come out best when cooked nice and slow, in the slow cooker.  The meat just falls right off the bone, and melts in your mouth.  I think that is rib perfection when that happens.  And this is exactly what I did for last night’s dinner.  I slow cooked some beef short ribs for about 6 1/2 hours, at a medium-high temperature.  When I took them out of the slow cooker, they were so tender and juicy.  I topped them with an apple butter BBQ sauce that I made, and served them with the leftover scalloped potatoes and some steamed vegetables.  I also made some pumpkin parmesan cheese bread to serve along side, with a glass of zinfandel to complete the meal.  It was just the perfect warm, comforting meal for a cold, frigid day.

 

Ribs are like so may other dishes where people brag about their ribs and how they cook them, and often times the recipes are handed down through the generations..  So I don’t dare tell anyone how to cook them.  Those are waters I don’t care to venture in.  There are so many different methods and good sauces and rubs out there, so I say, to each his/her own, and make them the way you like them.  I am only offering up one other way to make them.  Even I try them out in different ways all the time too, and make different sauces as well.   This time I used an orange-ginger rub, dried onions, garlic and cinnamon, about 1 heaping TBSP of each.  I placed the ribs in the slow cooker, then added my flavorings and topped the slow cooker with water, probably about 4 cups of water.  I cooked them at a medium-high temperature, or setting #3 on my slow cooker, for about 6 1/2 hours.

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While the ribs were cooking, I made my sauce.  Again, I use and make all kinds of different sauces all the time.  This time, I made a more fall-like sauce to go with the season.

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Apple-Butter BBQ Sauce

1 heaping TBSP garlic

1/4 cup dried onions

3-4 TBSP molasses

1 1/2 cups apple butter

3-4 TBSP Edith’s Best Triple A Sauce

1 TBSP cinnamon

1 TBSP orange-ginger rub

Mix everything together chill before serving.

 

**** Sadly to say, I have now used up all my Edith’s Best Triple A Sauce, and now I need to get some more.  Since I do not live in Florida, I am going to have to order some from Amazon until they start selling it in stores nationwide.  If you have an opportunity to try this sauce, do so.  It is absolutely delicious! Sauce It Up with Edith’s Best

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

17 thoughts on “To Use or Not Use A Slow Cooker”

  1. I was given the new Ninja Cooking System. Not something I would buy for myself, but I am thrilled I have it now. It is a slow cooker, but it can be also used as stove top for sauteing before combining all your ingredients, for baking, roasting and in the cookbook they have ‘Quick Meals’ you put it all in the pot and push one button and walk away!! I’ve adapted a few recipes for it since.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I still use the crockpot to make apple butter and it’s the only way I make veggie stock. I have two of them. I had two IPs, but gave the second one away to someone who didn’t have a kitchen.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are the same thing…crock pot is actually a trade name. The Instant Pot has a slow cooker feature too. I just choose to use my crock pot because it’s larger and I make a lot of veggie broth at one time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I used my slow cooker ONCE. It’s not something I would ever buy for myself, but it was a gift. It seems like EVERYONE raves about those, so I am glad to hear that I’m not the only one not in love with it. People like the simplicity – dumping everything there and letting it sit, without the need to check on it, stir, etc. Like you, I don’t have 8h to just sit there and watch it cook. And no, I refuse to leave it on when I leave the house. Or when I sleep. I have not discovered a single dish that I would rather do in there instead of in the oven/ on the stove, etc.
    I was given and Instant Pot, and I have used it a couple of times for various things.

    Liked by 1 person

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