Crock Pot Cooking Tips

Many Dream Dinners cook deliciously in a Crock Pot. Don’t you love the aroma of all day cooking in the house when you get home from a long day, it’s so comforting.

Here are a few tips we have learned:

  • One hour on High is equal to 1 1/2 to 2 hrs of cooking time on Low.
  • Always cook with the lid on and don’t lift the lid for the first 2 hrs of cooking.
  • Cut your vegetables in larger pieces than you would if cooking on the stove top. They benefit from slow cooking to develop a richer flavor and will shrink. At the smallest, a 2 inch raw cut of any vegetable is best.
  • Fresh herbs should only be added in the last 5 – 10 min of cooking, the flavors will dissipate if you slow cook them. It is best to use dried herbs and add them when you start the cooking. They simmer and hydrate into the dish, imparting richer flavor.
  • Only add milk, cream or sour cream in the last 15 – 20 min of cooking time or it can break down and separate.
  • When cooking frozen meats or dinner, add 1 cup of room temp or warm liquid to thaw food evenly before it begins to cook. Use stock, beer, red or white wine depending on what the dinner is.
  • You can add a cup or so of beans, barley or other fiber rich grains to what ever dinner you are cooking. Its easy and we all need more fiber!
  • Always fill the crock 1/2 to 3/4 full.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature before cleaning the crock or the lid. Water on a hot surface can cause it to break.

Crock Pot Temperatures: You should check you crock pot during cooking to verify the cooking temperatures. Low setting should cook foods in 4 hours to 160 – 180 degrees. High should cook the food to 160 – 200 in 3 hours. Not all crock pots cook at those even temperatures and knowing your crock pot temp will help you adjust your cooking times and settings.

  • Shannon

    I have a 7 Qt. Crock Pot.

    I am having trouble with how much liquid I need to add to the Beef Roast, Pork Roast and ect.

    What kind of liquid do I add to these Roasts?

    How much Water, Beer, Red Wine, White Wine or cooking Sherry do I add?

    Which one of the above liquids go with which meat?

    We did the Coke Pork Roast in the Crock Pot and it came out way to sweet
    and liquidy. We added 2 cans of Coke to cover the roast properly and added
    water.

    I did something wrong.

    Having such a big crock pot it also takes longer to heat up.

    I really need help with this.

    Thank you -

    Shannon

    • Dream Dinners

      Shannon,
      When preparing a Dream Dinner in your crock-pot, a good rule of thumb is to have enough liquid to have 1-inch of liquid in the bottom. Many of our roasts come with enough liquid to cook in your crock-pot already. However, because of the larger size of your crock-pot it may be necessary to add a little additional liquid to reach the 1 inch mark.

      The kind of liquid you add is up to you and your tastes. Something to compliment the meal or more of what is already in the sauce/seasoning (e.g. broth, coke, water).

      Thank you so much for your inquiry.
      - The Dream Dinners Team

  • http://none Diana

    Shannon – I also have a large crockpot. I never add more than 1 (one) cup of liquid to a roast, because you will get the drippings from the meat that will add to your original liquid that you added. Good luck.

  • Julie Demerly

    I want to cook the No-Fuss Soup mix in a crock pot. Stove top directions state to combine lentils, vegetables, herb mixture and 10 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add meat and cook 15-20 min or until beans are tender. Any adjustments to liquid amount and how long on low for the crock pot method?

    • Dream Dinners

      Yes you can cook the soup in the crock pot. No modifications are needed to the directions. We do recommend however, verifying your crock pot temperature. If your temp cooks hot, your beans could get mushy. If you temp cooks cooler, it may take longer to cook. Hope it works out.

      Crock Pot Temperatures: You should check you crock pot during cooking to verify the cooking temperatures. Low setting should cook foods in 4 hours to 160 – 180 degrees. High should cook the food to 160 – 200 in 3 hours. Not all crock pots cook at those even temperatures and knowing your crock pot temp will help you adjust your cooking times and settings.