Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I have joined the crock pot club

Well, I finally did it. I bought a crock pot. I do like my food wet and mushy. It seems that a crock pot is involved in a lot of cheap recipes these days, and I want to keep cooking at home as much as possible. It seems that a crock pot is an essential frugal cooking device.

Actually, the whole thing was precipitated by me wanting some bbq pork. Boyfriend and I had been to Uno's Chicago Grill a few weeks ago and I had their pork sticks, which are pork shanks that have been stripped to look like Flintstone-esque drumsticks, and I assume they used a pressure cooker or something. So I had a hankering for these things, but I really didn't want to spend the money since with all the expenses (and new bank accounts) this month I had about $100 in checking. I think to myself, I should try to make these things at home! It can't be that damn hard. We go to Target and I check out the crockpots. I was going to cheap out and get the $20 one, but then it occurred to me that I am going to have this crockpot for a long time and I'd better not get one that will crap out after a few uses or something. So I ended up with a $35 one, which is more than I wanted to spend but less than I could have, and still about the price of dinner for two at Uno's Chicago Grill. I bought $5 of meat and used about $5 of ingredients in the sauce, and ended up with four very nicely squishy and bbq-ey country cut pork ribs, which I naturally separated into four small containers and stacked in the fridge. Man, that stuff is good. I just ate the second rib. Bones came out using TONGS. (And by the look of one bone, that pig had some deformities. But he was tasty.)

The next thing on my list to make is going to be some spaghetti sauce, which Boyfriend noted is very good made in a crockpot. (Boyfriend makes 4 quarts at a time and it takes several hours of stirring. So it should at least be easier in a crockpot.) He also wanted to make some chili. I found a recipe for a crock pot dish that seems very similar to a favorite dish at a restaurant at home, so I might try that next.. but I don't think you should crock pot tofu.

Hopefully this will save me some money by helping me cook stuff that we might otherwise go to a restaurant for! That would be nice as our dining out bill really should be lower.


young guns said...

I never know what to make in the crock pot! I fear the crock.

Kira said...

Here's the site that I was browsing for recipes:


The reviews are very helpful, I always read them. There's also a tips section on how to use a crock pot in general.

mapgirl said...

You're going to love it. Cheap stew cubes, a little buillon powder, can of diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, etc. Easy hearty soup! Make it more like chili by adding beans, which are cheap and tasty!

Serve over rice, etc. I love mine during the fall/winter when I eat heartier foods.

D said...

A crock is good for just about anything.

One of my favorite's is

Putting a whole chicken in with a stick of butter and salt and pepper.

Let cook all day and it is awesome.

I also will buy turkey breast and do the same.
Dinner time is so much easier if I start this in the morning, before I start working and then just add some sides after work.

This baby is going to be money in your pocket!

Don't forget your roasts.

Throw a roast in in the morning with a can of cream of mushroom soup, a packet of lipton onion soup mix and enough water to cover.

You can add veggies, I usually add little red or yellow potatoes, the kind you don't have to peel and carrots. Add these an hour to an hour and a half prior to serving.

To speed up, if you are running late - boil veggies, drain and add to crock for about 15 minutes so they can soak in the flavors.

prlinkbiz said...

I love to cook chicken in my crock pot- it comes out so tender! Of course, mine is tucked away somewhere right now, since the last thing I want to do is cook something hot in the heat of the summer! Good for you though! Making me hungry... lol