- Food and Cooking
Cooking in Crock Pot vs Stove-Oven vs Dutch Oven
A pretty ceramic crock pot for $5!
I found this vintage-looking crock pot from a thrift store for $5! I was happy of my find though I admit when carrying my crock pot home, I was bothered with questions. How does a crock pot work? Does it really save a lot of energy, heat and cooking time? What can I cook with it aside from stews?
As its popularity is growing, would you consider a Crock Pot an essential cookware?
I have asked for few opinions to better understand its usage.
My aunt, Eva Fernandez says: "I really do not consider using your crock pot for genuine cooking but I don't care. It is very, very convenient for me and it doesn't make pisik-pisik (splatters). You can just turn it on overnight and the meat becomes well tenderized. It doesn't burn your cooking because it doesn't suck up all the liquid! But this will depend on what your putahi (dish) is."
My aunt, Quinia Mendez says: "I'm really not into cooking. The fact is that let me do the other housework, not just cooking. But when I was working before, I was first to get home and I was forced to cook. I got a crock pot and I only use it to a minimum. I only use it to cook stew and keep my 'dinuguan' pork blood stew warm. I seldom use the oven 'coz I don't cook special dishes. My recipes are so simple & all the time I use my best friends- 'kaldero' cooking pot & 'kaha' skillet."
Crock pots or slow cookers many say are the most convenient way to prepare "hot" meals. It doesn't need much food preparation, thus labour is cut-down. Everything is just thrown inside the cooker, set in low temperature and you go ahead minding your business away from the kitchen inside long hours.
My friend Lindy Lopez says: "Being used to having a house helper prepare family meals three times a day in my younger days back in the province, I am just too lazy to cook for my own. I go out for take-outs or order-in pizzas and calamari a lot. I got a crock pot as a gift from my sister with a note that said- "Dear Linds, may this at least cook the meals for you. Love, Sis"
My friend Cris Nanola says: "Your crock pot questions makes me crack. Lol!
Yes, I used to love my crockpot. Well, at least the first few months of purchasing it. I had a sleek black and stainless steel one-beautiful and functional. I use it maybe 2-3 times a week for stewing beef mostly. I like the idea of “plug it and forget it” for the crockpot, so I could do other stuff. I could even go grocery shopping while the food is cooking without anyone watching it and come back hours later to a ready meal. I also like one of its features that keeps the food warm for a long time even after switching it off and I can even take my crockpot elsewhere without microwaving the food again. Perfect for potluck get-together. However, it is also time consuming, the fact that it is slow cooking unlike the traditional or regular stove cooking. Boring, lol! I personally, prefer the stove cooking because I enjoy watching my meal in the process of cooking. I also find it satisfying to watch and take care of my cooking than simply tossing it in the crockpot. Wait, did I answer your question? Yes, I find it convenient. Again, depending on what you're cooking? I use it for stew and soup. Do I own a Dutch oven? Yes, but not the traditional cast iron. Mine is a regular casserole I use frequently."
Some people claim that they have no time to do cooking and hate to think what to have for dinner. It wouldn't serve as the most popular gadget in the kitchen for the one who holds the knife.
My cousin Marni says: "I quiver to the sight of grease in foods. Cooking in a crock pot is avoiding the usage of cooking oil as much as possible. Any excess oil from meat, I get rid of it."
My cousin Amy Fernandez says: "I don't have a crock pot. It consumes too much electricity. It's not in-style. I heard that it is really yummy to stew in a clay pot."
A crock pot for many, is still one of the electric kitchen equipments to consider since we go back to the days that a crock pot could save us during several hectic times in our daily home and work routines.
My cousin Michelle Otto says: "Mom has one. Mom used to use it once in a while. Now she doesn't anymore. When she is busy, you put the ingredients and start the cooking the night before until the next day. Crock pot is easy. All you have to do is add ingredients. No sautéing. Cooking, you have to stay in the kitchen and baby it. Crock pot: When you came back from work, the food is cooked and ready to eat. (I don't use a crock pot, but have been tempted to.) I like stove ovens, because I'm more of a baker rather than on the stove-top- cooker. On the stove top, it's too much baby sitting, though faster. My version of "cooking" is anything over 6 minutes of babysitting or if it involves a lot of chopping. With using the oven, you mix ingredients or shove in meat, peeping in to test doneness or flipping it over. This way, I can do laundry or other errands at the same time. Stew is my mom's fave use. What's a Dutch oven?!? LOL (Show's how much cooking I do!) My mom says that she doesn't use it. Iron cast Kaldero: once and a blue moon. When she makes Kare Kare."
Make cleaning your range & oven fun.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Why is a Range Stove/Oven a major appliance in every household?
While there are many microwaves, convection ovens and coffee makers available, is there still a need for the stove & oven? Is it becoming a less essential unit in your kitchen?
So some household don't have the need for the chunky stove that takes up a square space in the kitchen. They can do as much as a stove could offer into the portable and multi-functional microwave and a toaster-oven. But do you really want to give up your stove? I guess not. First, it carries a wider space for quantity and quality cooking. Trays side by side, roasting side by side, baking side by side, it is just all so convenient. Second, it is our most usual way of cooking. There is no need of firewood, therefore, we help save our trees.
Many love to cook but hate cleaning. So what now? Cleaning always ends up with one person mostly catching up with the mess in the kitchen, *sigh*. Giving maintenance to the appearance of your household stove and oven is not a task that you would find justifiable. There are no excuses if you want your stove/oven to function well and prevent the maturation of fowl smells building up from grease and old food burns. A thoroughly well-maintained stove especially the oven, makes cooking glorious. ≈♥≈
Dutch oven "kaldero"; dirty kitchen "abuhan"Click thumbnail to view full-size
The cherished life of a Dutch Oven
"Kaldero" or Dutch oven is what many households in the Philippines use for cooking. I had no idea that the name "Dutch Oven" is how it is called originally. It is simply identified as a "pot" or "cooking pot". Again, I don't own one here abroad, so I had asked a favour from my sister to take pictures.
In the Philippines, people are more conscious on electricity usage. Gas range is still popular and the traditional "abuhan" ashed surfaced/dirty kitchen. At the abuhan or on the ground, the iron pot either sits on top of three large stones laid across each other, on an iron grid or a pot stand made from clay using scrap/driftwood and "uling" charcoal. There is also the availability of portable super saver electronic stoves.
This old-time cooking pot (cooking vessel sounds more so historic) does make food cooking valuable. I mean valuable in its time, energy and taste. Aside from the pot's durability, heat spreads evenly keeping any cooked food hot for longer periods. Thus, making it an exceptionally unique cooking pot to be around for a very long time. ≈♥≈
History of Slow Cooking and Pottery
The Stone-Aged Civilization - after returning from a skillful hunting, the make-shift fire was the slow-method of cooking which included wild-root plants.
5000 BC - China begun with pottery
3000 BC - pottery developed in the Americas.
2000 BC to 500 AD - the ancient method of slow cooking was commonly out in the open space and in the homes of prominent families. Cooking pots were made from a mass of molten metal (cast iron), stone or hard clay. This heavy mass of cookware started during the ancient Greek and Roman periods, then adapted by different cultures in Egypt, Africa and Asia. It was a vessel to boil and slowly cook whole fowls from hunting such as ducks, peasants, quails, wild chicken and pigeons, as well as the tough meat of turtles, rabbits, goats, lamb, boars and other farming of domesticated animals that involved long hours of cooking time. Roasting on a spit was also a popular method of preparing food. Slow cooking included a variety of nutritious root vegetables for soups and other plants like corn, barley, rice and wheat. Fish was abundant but more preferred dried, salted or smoked; a specialty dish for the nobles (whilst these days, we enjoy stewed or poached fish in our pots).
Cauldrons and other iron cooking vessels - Its purpose was not limited to food but oversize pots were also used to boiling water for hot baths. From its gigantic sized cauldrons to the most transportable sized pots handy during war times (medieval, civil wars, western cowboys), these pots were hung through large hooks strong enough to hold them steady over wood-burning fires or used indoors on burning embers. Many of these iron cast pots we see in medieval movies.
Over-sized cauldrons were also used to immerse humans in high boiling water against their eternal faith in God, those who were accused of witchcraft and as an execution against a crime as one of those capital punishments by death. The western, in the years after, started using tin pots as a lighter alternative. In witchcraft and paganism, cauldrons became an distinct symbol in fairy tales/children stories, legends and folk traditions. These pots appear as cooking vessels in slow brewing of potions for witches' spells and the wise women pagans' extracting effective herbs as healing magic.
1600's Cast iron Dutch ovens began when the Dutch reproduced and enhanced them. An Englishman named Abraham Darby traveled to Holland to adapt the knowledge of the hot pot process and brought this conception back to England. He called this iron cast pot the Dutch Oven.
17th century - Blacksmiths' skills were also applied in making iron cooking vessels. Europe and Asia had more supply of cookware in brass and copper (aside from earthen cooking pots of wood and clay).
19th and 20th centuries - Crock Pot was one of the cherished cookware made of glazed porcelain. Stainless steel and aluminum also made progress. It became famous in extended hours of cooking hard or dried beans, soups and stews.
1960s - West Bend in Wisconsin was the first to formalize a cooking pot for beans; the "Bean Pot" it was called. Then came next, Naxon Utilities Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. Naxon developed the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker.
1970 - The Rival Company took over Naxon and reconstructed the Naxon "beanery" cooker re-introducing the following year (1971) the name Rival Crock-Pot. ≈♥≈
Differences & similarities cooking at low temperature
Crock pot can be left unattended for long hours.
Pot in stove needs to be guarded for it could run out of liquid.
Not to be left unattended.
Uses less heat and more energy efficient without loosing a lot of air.
Oven heats a larger area; more heat consumption. Stove top in low temp setting (200-250 degrees) would be similar to a crock pot.
Normally is made of cast iron and heats up fast.
Crock pots have tighter lids to seal in moisture. Tenderizes meat.
Cooking uncovered is possible in low heat. Brown meat over stove to seal the juices.
Has a snug-fitting lid. The pot over fire enhances taste. Even cooks well with rice.
Keeps a favourite cooked dish warmed up especially for a party.
Heats up quick and convenient in warming up food in trays or casseroles at a party gathering.
Safe and great for outdoor camping. Stacking Dutch ovens with legs- hot delicious meals all at once.
Slow cooking, longer time.
Slow simmer on stove, less time (a same recipe comparison).
Dutch ovens cook in a quarter less hours (at 325 degrees) than a crock pot.
A kitchen aid to your tight schedules.
Exhibits expressive cooking and baking.
Indoor and outdoor compatible.
What's Your Cooking Life-style?
No time in your hands? Too lazy to cook? Convenience over fun in the kitchen? Creative or simple cooking?
Slow-cooked Beef with Mushrooms
Iron Cast Pots
Awesome Crock Pot Recipes!
- Crock Pot Lasagna III Recipe | Yummly
Crock Pot Lasagna recipe Main Dishes with lean ground beef, onion, garlic cloves, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, dried oregano, cottage cheese, grated parmesan cheese, lasagna noodles, shredded mozzarella cheese
- Paleo Recipe - Crock pot stuffed peppers | Crossfit Zone Victoria BC, Vancouver Island
Check out this great recipe from Mark's Daily Apple
- vegcooking’s crock-pot recipes « daily veggie
Today I have been cleaning out my emails, and I found this link from VegCooking. They have several vegan recipes for slow cooking in crock pots. I have recently started cooking in my crock-pot, so I can’t wait to experiment with more recipes.