Tuesday, November 19, 2019

My Crock Pot's A Crock!

Anyone still use their crock pot?  I think most have relegated the old-fangled gadget to the donation center, having replaced it with the new-fangled Instant Pot.  Isn't it funny how that particular piece of kitchen equipment has taken off like a sky rocket?

My Mom used to cook in her pressure cooker all the time.  Way back when I could really cook, I used mine constantly ... the one with the little gizzie rocking on top.  It was perfect for tough meats, which was practically all we had, it having been butchered and deposited directly into the freezer.

Here's a little snippet you might not know.  When beef is butchered, it is hung up in huge walk-in freezers to age.  The longer it hangs there before being packaged, the more tender it becomes.  Otherwise, it's more like eating your leather belt.  We ate lots of leather belts, which the pressure cooker helped to tenderize.

I've been cooking good of late, proudly putting on that white Chef's hat.  This butter chicken, or chicken tiki masala (which is the United Kingdom's most popular dish) came out tasting delicious.
The same can be said for the banana bread I whipped up for Ms. Jonathan.  It's hard to get parrots to eat what's good for them, just like your average 10 year old.
Which brings me to the crock of a crock pot.  I really do remember making good things with this pot, I just can't remember WHAT.  So when I picked up that pot roast, I decided to cook it all day long, making the most tender delicious piece of meat.  

I carefully seasoned it, browned it in my best cast iron pan and set it on an entire onion, chopped to perfection.  My Chef hat was working overtime.  I dumped in the carrots, beef broth and even MORE spices and set it to six hours on high.  It was 10:00 am.
I knew I was in trouble around 2:00.  Nothing was even remotely tender.  Oh it was hot, because I burned my fingers checking to be sure it was turned on.  I tried to be patient and waited another hour.  

Nope ... this is not working.  I drug out my Instant Pot.  Working very carefully, remember it's HOT (just not cooked) I fished out the chunk of meat using not one, but TWO sets of tongs.  It dropped unceremoniously on the counter.  Good grief Charlie Brown ... now I have a big mess to clean up.  My chef hat fell to the floor.

Once I had the roast in the pot, I dipped out enough juice to make the Instant Pot work and set it to 30 minutes, having absolutely no idea how long this was going to take.  Once done, the pot does a countdown, letting the pressure subside.  Always ALWAYS do a natural pressure release for meat.  Otherwise, it turns back into that leather belt.  
I would have been so proud to have it look like this.  I could have picked my Chef hat up off the floor and wore it with relish.  
Alas, it looked more like this.  At least the meat was tender, although not fall-apart tender like I love. Instead it took one of my sharpest knives to get it into chunks.  Here's the kicker .... I should have put all the onions and carrots in the Instant Pot also.
With my piece of meat cut into bite-sized pieces, I covered it with onions and carrots.  I was SO looking forward to that first tender bite.  The carrots were hard as a rock and the onions half raw.  Seriously???  I kicked my Chef hat clear across the kitchen.

I'll just nuke it a little and it will be fine.  Not so much.  That made the meat tough as nails, but at least the onions edible.  I tossed the carrots.  Too bad I have about three days food here.  

Today my crock of a crock pot is going on a long trip .... to the Thrift Store Donation Center.


  1. Ha ha. Oh you do make us laugh (at your expense) but it's all good. Yay for the Instant Pot and at least you gave that crock pot (many people still swear by them and have awesome results) one good last kick at the chef's hat. Thanks for the chuckle, my dear!

    1. We both laughed at that one. It's a good thing I have a sense of humor!!! If not, I'd probably never eat again.

  2. Why would you donate a broken appliance to a donation center? Some poor soul with no extra cash will be buying this and also unable to cook anything. Perhaps you are not thinking as well as you might. Donating should help others.

    1. I can appreciate your thoughts Penelope. As it turns out, the problem was not the pot, but me of course. I chose a pot roast that was way too thick for the size of my pot, then I filled it way too full. It would have been perfect had I let it cook for 10 or 12 hours. I also discovered our Thrift store does not take any appliances, so I guess it will sit in my cupboard forever!

  3. We still have great luck cooking with our Crock Pot. Your's must have been defective.
    Good luck with your Chef's Hat.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your leftovers.

    It's about time.

    1. Well Rick it was me that was defective. Not surprising! As I discovered later, the roast was too thick and the pot too full.

  4. Did you braise the roast before the crock pot? Also, about 1/3 to a half of a can of Budweiser helps with making it tender. We do Ribs and Boneless Leg of Lamb in our Crock Pot, and the both turn out wonderful...along with making Chicken Soup and a few other dishes.

    1. Yes, I braised it Dave. The beer might have worked, although I did use wine. The problem was I overfilled it with a huge chunk of meat. Next time I'll choose a smaller piece. Lesson learned.