One trick I use in the kitchen is to match my cooking appliance to the kind of day I’m having schedule-wise.
I’m talking about fitting the dinner cooking schedule with all the other daily activities. If I have more time to prep a meal in the morning, I’ll choose the slow cooker.
If I find myself at 5 o’clock having done no dinner prep, then it’s too late for crock-potting. But some of my favorite recipes are slow cooker recipes.
No worries. Almost all slow cooker recipes can be converted for making in the oven or on the stove. Most of them started out with these traditional cooking methods anyway.
I’ve already talked about how to convert recipes into slow cooker recipes. Here are a few tips for going the other way and using the oven and stove top.
If it’s a soup, it can be made on top of the stove. It will take a fraction of the time that the slow cooker calls for. You’ll still want to follow the order given in a slow cooker recipe. Meats go in first. Creams, milks and cheeses are often added at the end of cooking time because you don’t want those to boil.
2. Try using a Dutch oven.
A Dutch oven is a cooking pot with a tight fitting lid. Many pots and pans sets come with a dutch oven. Cast iron Dutch ovens are popular, especially those with enamel interiors.
Assemble the slow cooker recipe just as it calls for, but put the ingredients in a Dutch oven. Bake at 350 degrees for for an hour or 1 1/2 hours. Add time if it’s a large piece of meat.
3. Casserole type recipes
Most crockpot casserole recipes started out as oven recipes. Generally, baking in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for about 1 hour will work.
4. Determine what the cooking time is accomplishing.
Is the time in the crockpot meant to cook meat from raw? Or is it just for bringing something to a near boil, such as a sauce? Answers to these questions will help you determine how much time the recipe will need on the stove or in the oven.