Slow Cooker

edited 7 July 2022 at 2:29PM in Old style MoneySaving
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Collyflower1Collyflower1 Forumite
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edited 7 July 2022 at 2:29PM in Old style MoneySaving
Hi, i dont know if theres any cookery forum so i'm trying here!
   I purchased a slow cooker from asda a few months ago. I've tried a beef casserole but the meat never seems like its cooked fully. Ive also done chicken curries and theyve always been fine.  I always cook on the low setting, usually between 8-10 hrs. 

   For the beef casserole there is a leaflet with the cooker giving the recommended method and weightings of ingredients.
My slow cooker is a 3L suitable for 4 portions but i'm doing just 2 portions!

 For four portions it recommends 500g of diced carrots & swede and
                                                     400g of diced beef.
There are other ingredients to add flavour but those are the basis!

The method then proceeds to put the carrots and swede in first and then the beef on top. However, because i'm only using 200g beef i'm wondering if the higher volume of vegetables i'm using has caused the problem of the meat not been done enough.  Maybe i should be using a ratio of 5:4 , hence 250g of veg:200g beef! 

   Other than that i find it odd that the veg goes in first so i thought maybe i should try putting the beef in first with the veg on top?
   The chicken tikkas ive done have had the diced chicken fillets first with curry sauce on top!

  The cooker always seems red hot to touch and when i take the lid off at the end there is plenty of steam and ive used an electronic food thermometer. Some portions reach into the 70's deg c while others are 60's deg c. But much of the veg looks shrivelled! The instructions advise not to stir during the cooking process!
Has anyone any ideas/tips? Thanks!


  • MSE_JamesMSE_James Community Admin
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    We've moved your thread to the Old Style MoneySaving board, which is where cooking tends to be discussed.

    You might find a thread I started about my own slow cooker experiments of interest too: 
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  • BramblingBrambling Forumite
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    I assume you are adding a liquid to the meat and vegetables for example stock, red wine or beer? check some online recipes for amounts as you don't want too much either.  What cut of meat are you using if it's too lean it can overcook and toughen 

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  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Personally I put the meat in first.  With beef I always add some cheap red wine, a stock cube, a bit of water (slow cooker needs far less liquid than oven stewing) and tomato purée plus spices/herbs depending on what I feel like.  My mini slow cooker would only take about 4 hours on low.
  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    I always keep some red wine stock pots handy in case I haven't got any red wine!  Get the flavour without the alcohol.

  • CapricornLassCapricornLass Forumite
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    I always brown the beef before I put it in the slow cooker.  Maybe that would help?

    I also put the beef in first, and then the veg on top.
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  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    I've been using slow cookers since June 1974.

    I've never browned meat
    Or vegetables.
    I put veg in first then meat.
    When I add the veg, I also add flour and toss the meat in flour.
    This works as a thickener.

    Are you sure the beef  isn't cooked?
    Or do you think it isn't cooked because of how it looks.
    If your slow cooker cooks chicken curry ok, it doesn't sound like the unit is faulty

    Maybe answer the questions about liquid.
  • arnoldyarnoldy Forumite
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    Make sure you are using a cut of beef like shin - with lots of fat and connective tissue in the meat (which will melt away during cooking leaving the meat deliciously tender).

    If you are using more expensive lean cuts of beef (eg skirt, topside) then you will end up with tough meat in a slow cooker/casserole.
  • Collyflower1Collyflower1 Forumite
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    Thanks for the replies!
       My stewing steak, 200 grams, is from the local butcher. I bought a 500g bag of mixed veg & herbs from a local farm (maybe they arent suitable?) I also put in 1/2 a can of chopped tomatoes, 4 tbsp tomato ketchup and some 8g stock cubes with about 50-100 ml of boiled water. I think last time though i just crumbled the oxo stock cubes over the top.
     When i went to asda this pm i told a lady assistant in the aisle and she wasnt sure but just told me to experiment . However she recommended knorr stock pots so i bought one of those. The packet suggests either dissolving the knorr stockpot in 500ml of boiling water or adding the pot directly to the dish (the woman suggested the latter!)
       The leaflet with the cooker says to reduce the liquid added to a conventional recipe' to adapt it to a slow cooker and that the lower cooking temperatures mean that less liquid evaporates and escapes as steam during cooking! Then if there is too much liquid in the cooker towards the end of the cooking time , set the heat to high and lift off the lid to allow steam to escape as it cooks. 
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    I find if the beef cubes are too small they tend to go a bit tough. Can you try cooking it without cubing it first, like when you do braising steak? 
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  • VegastareVegastare Forumite
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    My slow cooker is nearly as old as me - I wish, but over the years for me the problem has been to much liquid forming, the steam hits the glass top and goes back into the stew - so I always but less liquid and more develops during cooking.

    I use a bog standard Oxo cube normally just a veg one and crumble over the top too, as works with either chicken pork beef. 
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