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crockpot virgin - am I doing it right?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Hi, I've just made the switch from big pot to crockpot for stews and broths and I'm just not clear on this. It doesn't seem like the amount of liquid I add initially gets reduced at all, because it's below the simmer point. Is that how it's supposed to be. I'm making bone broth right now, it's been on for 24 hours, and hasn't reduced in volume that I can tell. Is that right?

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:47 PM

I didn't realize leaving lid off was an option! No, it's on the highest setting. Ok I will de-lid it now. Thanks!

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4 Answers

2
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:02 PM

The mistake crock pot users often make is using TOO MUCH liquid. Depending on the contents they will often generate substantial additional liquid as they break down.

You just need enough liquid to act as a heat transfer medium (either by liquid or steam). Of course, too little liquid and you're not going to be making broth, you'll be making steamed bones & veggies.

Crock pots cook with very little heat input & are typically covered (sealed more or less tight) and thus cannot do much concentration / reduction.

A trick I use to get some reduction but still retain most of the heat.... prop the lid about 1/4" to 1/2" with something like wooden or plastic spoon handle. This will allow steam to escape.

By venting or not venting you can control the reduction behavior to suit your desires.

I think the key is to judiciously minimize the amount of water you use, you can always easily add water, if needed.

Once you get a feel for this you'll be starting with the correct amount of water and can probably "set & forget" the crock pot.

Stove top cooking allows the easy reduction of excess water so we don't need to be as careful. Crock pot cooking is less forgiving.

cheers

Bob

1
C07939fb80c1f445cbb5b0469d665a8e

on March 17, 2013
at 01:41 PM

It won't reduce volume unless the steam can leave. Do you have the pot covered? If so, don't worry, just take off the lid and give it a while to reduce. The other possibility is that you have the broth cooking so low that its not even steaming, so maybe turn it up a bit if you took the lid off?

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on March 17, 2013
at 01:47 PM

I didn't realize leaving lid off was an option! No, it's on the highest setting. Ok I will de-lid it now. Thanks!

0
Df3557c3165afa6c5576ced2f028e8a3

on March 17, 2013
at 06:17 PM

Haha, I read your question as 'crackpot virgin- am I doing it right?' and snorted so loudly my cat ran away.

0
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:34 PM

For chicken broth, I fill the pot to the top with bones & veggies before adding water, then run on low for 12-14 hours. I usually start at night, and by morning it is simmering slightly. The water does not evaporate at all, and I am left with a very concentrated broth.

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