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Author Topic: Crockpot cooking duration?  (Read 8487 times)

Linda R

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Crockpot cooking duration?
« on: July 30, 2013, 08:26:44 AM »
If this has already been discussed, please forgive my "senior moment".


Is there a maximum amount of time for Crockpot usage?  2 days?  3 days? 


Am making chicken broth and I want to keep it going as long as possible.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 12:57:11 PM »
Some people keep adding water if needed and keep this going for a week!  They strain the broth and then place the solids in their blender and then add it to their garden soil.  The broth is then used or frozen. 


Because it is summer, I kept mine in the crockpot for cooking  for 3 days.  I used an ordinary chicken as I had it in my freezer.  The broth was tasty, but not enough collagen for it to gel.  Next time i will use an organic chicken.  I never knew all these requirements for the best broth!  I didn't use feet or the head either! 


During the winter I will probably make this on my induction cooktop to humidify the house air and also concentrate the broth.  The simmer control is perfect with induction and I cannot really control this too much on my electric cooktop. 


Another helpful hint is to place your veggie scraps and egg shells in a plastic container and save them in your freezer for your next batch of broth. 




Rita

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 02:52:21 PM »
I wonder how Jan's new pressure cooker is working out for the broth.

Linda R

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 03:03:00 PM »
Some people keep adding water if needed and keep this going for a week!  They strain the broth and then place the solids in their blender and then add it to their garden soil.  The broth is then used or frozen. 


Because it is summer, I kept mine in the crockpot for cooking  for 3 days.  I used an ordinary chicken as I had it in my freezer.  The broth was tasty, but not enough collagen for it to gel.  Next time i will use an organic chicken.  I never knew all these requirements for the best broth!  I didn't use feet or the head either! 




So apparently these appliances are able to withstand that many hours of usage. This is good to know. I was concerned that I would burn out the heating element after too many hours!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 05:24:01 PM »
Apparently not.  I was thinking about that too.  Eventually it may wither away, yet it is made for long, low heat and should last a long time before that happens. 


I emailed CrockPot about this.  Will take 2-3 business days to respond to my inquiry. 


I really like making the broth this way. 
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 08:22:39 PM by Barbara from New Jersey »

bcflyfisher

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 08:40:10 AM »
If the element can withstand 4-8 hours at a particular temperature it is safe to do so indefinitely.  They probably have a service life measured in thousands of hours of use.  You can decide how you want to allocate that.


My only thoughts about the food quality are:


-  (as mentioned above) add water as needed and keep covered to maintain moisture
-  check the temperature (at least once for peace of mind) to see if it's above about 140F so that you're not leaving something in the "danger zone" for for many hours or days straight...

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 12:35:13 PM »
I just got an email from CrockPot,com.  Their new models have a 24 hour maximum timer and that is what they suggest is the maximum time use for the crockpot.  These new models with timers have a low cycle of about 165*F and a high cycle of about 215*F .  My crockpot is an older model without a timer.  I checked the temperature of the broth and it was 165* so I wasn't worried.  I used an instant thermometer and then a meat thermometer to double check!   


BCFlyfisher, I think that you are quite correct in your assessment of just leaving the crockpot on and not to worry.  These gadgets last a very long time as long as they are simple hi-lo-on-off models without the timers and other frills.  My first crockpot was smaller and didn't have a removable insert as I remember.  After about 20 years of use, it gradually lost its capacity to heat up properly and it took longer and longer for foods to cook. That's when I replaced it. 


Bone broths are supposed to be started with cold water and ingredients which slowly and gradually heat up which allows the cells to open and release their minerals.  A crockpot is perfect for this but its size limits the amount you can make at one time. 
And remember:  there is a reason those large pots are called "stockpots!".   






« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 03:59:10 PM by Barbara from New Jersey »

Linda R

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 01:49:17 PM »
Thank you so much for contacting the company.
I actually have 2 older models, one has GOT to be over 20 years of age. The 2nd was a used one I bought from ebay and it is probably 10-20 years old. I also have a new 6 quart oval.
I much prefer to use my older pots. The newer ones, I believe, are TOO hot and my food overcooks when left all night, as I prefer to do.


You are right, you can't beat a Crock Pot for homemade broth!






Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 12:30:32 PM »
Hi Linda,


Yet another use for a crockpot: Cut up a jicama into 1/2" pieces.  Place in covered crockpot with about 1 tsp salt for a 2 lb jicama and cover with water (2").  Cook 12-24 hours until tender on high.  The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.
Drain and let it dry.  Refrigerate.  You can use your favorite home fry recipe or potato salad recipe.  Low glycemic value!


Purchase small to medium jicamas for the best texture and flavor.  They are good raw too, sliced into thin sticks and added to salads.


Bit of a change of pace!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 08:14:00 AM »
Trying to play catch up.......I'm still doing the bone broth daily and have made several batches using different methods. I bought a 7 qt. slow cooker (with a maximum 12 h our timer so it needs to be reset continually for the 72 hours required) and found the low heat to be a little too high.....so I then used a large stock pot on the stove (gas).....that made the best so far....very gelatinous. I did buy a large, electric pressure cooker but am still hesitant and afraid to use it. But I may face my fear and use it in the garage.....the idea of 2 to 3 hours verses 3 days is looking good at this point! My pastured butcher is now calling me with suggestions of beef parts....who would have thought?????

Linda R

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 10:55:16 AM »
Hi Linda,


Yet another use for a crockpot: Cut up a jicama into 1/2" pieces.  Place in covered crockpot with about 1 tsp salt for a 2 lb jicama and cover with water (2").  Cook 12-24 hours until tender on high.  The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.
Drain and let it dry.  Refrigerate.  You can use your favorite home fry recipe or potato salad recipe.  Low glycemic value!


Purchase small to medium jicamas for the best texture and flavor.  They are good raw too, sliced into thin sticks and added to salads.


Bit of a change of pace!


Hmmmmmm


Have never eaten jicamas, something to consider!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2013, 11:34:26 AM »
I haven't eaten jicamas either but will try almost anything once.....they aren't listed on my carb counter index, do you know the net carbs?

Linda R

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2013, 12:29:34 PM »
I haven't eaten jicamas either but will try almost anything once.....they aren't listed on my carb counter index, do you know the net carbs?


Atkins 2013 Carb Counter
Cooked, sliced   2 oz.  5.00
Raw, chopped. 1/2 cup   2.60


More info....................
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/carbcounts/a/jicama.htm
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 12:31:52 PM by Linda R »

deanna in AR

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2013, 01:54:16 PM »
I like jicamas raw dipped in something you love...like guacamole. Crunchy, crunchy! I haven't had them cooked.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2013, 02:47:54 PM »
Crockpots are now made to heat at higher temperatures, minimal 165* to  maximum 215*.  Perhaps you can find the simpler models that heat starting at 150*? 


Another suggestion is to purchase an inexpensive induction burner and a large stockpot for the bone broths.  These devices use minimal electricity and are easy to set at the low simmer you want.  Your pots and pans need to be attracted to a magnet for them to work on the burner.  I really like using mine because it has very precise temperature control that I can't get on my electric coiled cooktop.  Light weight and portable too!  I was pleasantly surprised that my old Amway Waterless Cookware works on the burner.  My Farberware stainless steel ones don't.  As my old non stick frypans wore out, I replaced them with induction ready ones which I can use on both.  I am now able to use a wok for stir fry rather than the frying pan I used to use.  This slow cooking for days and days will place a lot of moisture in the air when heat is on. 


Another suggestion is to use a large electric turkey roaster.  I saw one in Macy's for about $25.  If I am remembering correctly, it can roast a 22+ lb turkey so it would allow for a larger amount of broth to simmer.  It roasts at perhaps 150*F if I remember correctly.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 07:37:33 AM by Barbara from New Jersey »

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2013, 03:15:50 PM »
The first time I attempted bone broth I used my old turkey roaster (which is at least a million years old) and it died after day 2! Then I moved on to the large size crock pot but found it too hot.....then I used my humongous stock/soup pot and  cooked it on my gas range for 3 days....it came out great! However, leaving gas/electric on for three days is  worrisome so now I may have to try the pressure cooker after all.....

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2013, 04:28:52 PM »
Jan,


I agree with you about the 3 day cooking time.  However, this is steady slow simmering which is not the same as leaving something like a higher capacity appliance on for 3 days - like an iron or coffeepot.  Since the container stays hot, actually less electricity is used after the initial heating. 


It is the low, slow simmer that dissolves the minerals and bones in your broth while concentrating the collagen.  Nourishing Traditions suggests cooking for 6-24 hours for chicken and 12-72 hours for beef.  The stock is brought to a boil, skimmed and then simmered for the remaining time.  Also, the longer it cooks, the more concentrated it is and  will provide  more nourishment according to Sally Fallon.  She does not recommend using a pressure cooker for broths or any grains you might eat as it cooks them too quickly and at too high a temperature for the minerals to be released naturally.


Also, I made a 3 day crockpot chicken broth with a whole supermarket chicken.  While the broth flavor was good, it did not gell.  Next time I will make it using an organic, pastured chicken.  It is also suggested that you wash and then freeze eggshells and then add them to your chicken or beef broth with your other saved veggie scraps.


Let us know what beef parts seem to make the best broths for you!

« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 06:31:43 PM by Barbara from New Jersey »

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 04:27:57 AM »
Barbara,
I'm looking into the induction burner....any recommendations on brand? It would be nice to find one with a longer timer, looks like 12 hours is typical. And yes, I agree, using a pressure cooker is not ideal but I am trying to find a way to continue making broth during the winter months in a much smaller kitchen.


I've only been making bone broth since May so I'm still experimenting. Luckily, I've developed a great relationship with my farmer/butcher and have been able to get joints, knuckles, hooves....bones with both red and yellow morrow, along with some organ meats. I usually take the larger bones out to my driveway and using a hammer, break them into smaller pieces....sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn't.....that helps break them down while simmering. I do roast everything for about an hour before putting them in the stockpot, add my vinegar.....and wait. So far, the stockpot has worked the best.....and the broth is quite gelatinous. I used to freeze it in ice cube trays but now that I know the amount we need for a few days, I'm freezing in glass jars. I warm it on the stove, add a little sea salt and drink!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 02:44:16 PM »
Hi Jan,

It seems that both the new crockpots and induction portable burners now have more safety regulations.  The crockpots heat at 165* on low and cycle up to 215* and then cycle down again.  This is for the new cockpits without timers.  The induction portables also now have a timer that turns on automatically and will allow the unit to heat for about 3 hours and then will turn itself off.  Neither of these is a good choice in my opinion. 

I am a big fan of induction cooking. My first induction burner was a Magneflex about 10 or so years ago.  Timer use was optional then.  Unfortunately the glass top cracked when I dropped a jar on top of it.  I replaced that with a Burton 1800 watt.  Today I called the company and explained my need to cook bone broth for 3 days.  It seems that the timer is no longer optional and will shut the burner off after 3 hours whether or not you actually set it.  I use to use this one outside near the grill for boiling water to cook the fresh corn on the cob we were told was so healthy!  Oh well, that is just a memory!  I never set the timer but also never had to cook something for 3 days.


The All Clad will shut itself off after 10 hours.  It is sturdier and more expensive.  I've emailed them about circumventing the timer.  Will let you know when I get a response.

These induction portable burners are very inexpensive and easy to clean.  Your pots don't get the burnt on mess either.  Because of the precise temperature settings, you can melt chocolate or make custards without using a double boiler.  Easy to change temperatures and foods cook very fast.  Water boils in 2-3 minutes.  Cooking doesn't heat up the kitchen either.   Too bad about not being able to slow cook the broth on them. 

So far, the best option for cooking bone broth seems to be an old crockpot or a stockpot on a natural gas or a well modulated electric cooktop.   This is certainly becoming a challenge!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 01:42:23 PM by Barbara from New Jersey »

Linda R

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2013, 03:42:42 PM »

So far, the best option for cooking bone broth seems to be an old crockpot or a stockpot on a natural gas or a well modulated electric cooktop.   This is certainly becoming a challenge!


Yup, that's why I went looking on ebay last year and ended up buying two of them that were older models and still in good condition. Probably silly but I have 2 older models and one new model in my arsenal.
 
I guess it's a throwback to my many years of using these awesome appliances by running them all night long and waking up to all those delicious aromas coming from my kitchen. The newer models are too hot and tend to turn meat into mush!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2013, 04:19:25 PM »
Thanks Barbara.....I'll wait to purchase anything else until I  hear from you. So far, my extra large stockpot works well  on my gas stove so will keep using that till I find a better system....I am able to make enough (beef bone broth) for at least two weeks consumption.....but then I make 24 hour chicken bone broth in smaller quantities as well....so we alternate using the chicken a few times a week, plus I use it for cooking too. In Florida, we have a glass top electric range (which I don't like!) and I don't want to use that for extended periods of time so need to find an alternative. Maybe another turkey roaster?

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2013, 07:57:51 AM »
Just got an email from Nesco which makes both a large electric turkey roaster and an induction burner.  The response to a 3 day cooking time at 150*F for bone broth was that either product would work.  No timer.  The induction burner has 5 settings: melt/warm, simmer, boil, fry and sear settings. The turkey roaster has numbers.  Both are less than $100, but shop around the internet or your local stores for the best  prices.  Check their web site to be sure!

Remember that your stockpot has attract a magnet to work on the induction burner. 

Also, I believe the correct term for our broth making temperature setting  is POACHING  (160-180*F).  SIMMERING is 185-200*F and BOILING is 212*F.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 01:44:17 PM by Barbara from New Jersey »

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2013, 04:53:27 PM »
Thanks for all your research Barbara....good stuff! It looks like the Nesco induction burner may be the best solution for me.....space wise, it's portable and easily stowed when not in use.....also my stock pot will work ( :-X I have a scrap metal company so I always carry a magnet in my purse, not to mention a hard hat in my car!!!) I really appreciate all your assistance....who would have thought we   would be doing this?  If you'd told me a year ago I'd be smashing bones in my driveway....I would have laughed out loud!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2013, 05:53:30 PM »
Very funny Jan!
Hard hat, sledge hammer or saws-all cutting up large bones in the driveway.......I wonder what the neighbors think!   :D

Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2013, 07:40:27 PM »
Funny thing is.....I bought them the book....and they're on board too!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2013, 08:54:06 AM »
Jan,


I was wondering how you like your new induction burner for cooking your broth?   


Jan in Key West

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2013, 04:18:26 PM »
Barbara, I'm loving the induction burner....I can put on the counter in my laundry room and it's totally out of the way. I'm almost 24 hours in on the chicken bone broth I started  yesterday and decided to let it go till tomorrow afternoon....I've only done the chicken broth for 24 hours so want to see how it does. Thanks for the recommendation....I feel much more comfortable leaving this on for an extended amount of time and I can easily cart it south for the winter. Kudos!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2013, 05:40:03 AM »
Happy that you are liking the burner.   :D
My old electric downdraft cooktop seems archaic compared to the induction single burner.  There are many more expensive ones that are even more precise for temperature controls if that is needed for your style of cooking. 


Some helpful hints:
I have placed parchment paper on the glass top to prevent scratching when I use a heavy cast iron pot  for stew or cooking something that will splash or sputter.  I usually place it in strips on the edge of the cooking circle to the edge of the burner if concerned about interfering with the heat controls.


Use cast iron at the lower temps or for short duration cooking because the iron retains a lot of the heat and can play havoc with the temperature sensor. 


Make sure you have all your ingredients lined up because this way of cooking is VERY fast and does not allow for a last minute trip to the fridge.


The fast temperature adjustment to heat your oil and then lower it so it slowly cooks your onions to caramelize them is faster and creates a more mouthwatering product because you precisely control the temperature, just like the bone broth in allowing the cells to slowly open and release their flavors. 


Browning foods is also quicker and easier because of the higher precisely controlled temperature to quickly sear outside of meats or chicken as needed.  The inside is not cooked!  You can get a "professional" sear without much smoking or spattering because it happens so quickly.  Good for "roasting" veggies too!


All of a sudden you become a gourmet cook because the temps are precisely controlled and very fast.  You just have to get used to the speed! 




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Re: Crockpot cooking duration?
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2013, 05:40:03 AM »

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