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Crockpot: can you prepare potatoes, vegetables and meat at once?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 08, 2013 at 12:19 AM

I'm wondering I could use a crockpot to prepare 1-pan dishes. For example, could I threw in meat balls accompanied by cut veggies and diced potatoes, leave it cooking for 8 hours, and then eat it? Or will some parts will not be ready to eat? (I looked at recipes but it not clear to me why you wouldn't be able to do that, unless it somehow doesn't warm evenly) Is liquid needed?

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0
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on July 08, 2013
at 05:02 PM

I'm wondering I could use a crockpot to prepare 1-pan dishes.

Yes For example, could I threw in meat balls accompanied by cut veggies and diced potatoes, leave it cooking for 8 hours, and then eat it?

Yes

Or will some parts will not be ready to eat?

Likely everything will be cooked, perhaps even mushy

(I looked at recipes but it not clear to me why you wouldn't be able to do that, unless it somehow doesn't warm evenly) Is liquid needed?

Probably

In general, in my opinion, the danger with crockpots is cooking the flavor out of something. There are certain cuts of beef, chicken or pork which benefit from long cooking and need the moisture to get tender, and there are other proteins which do not benefit from this.

But what you don't want is for everything to simmer so long (and too high or too low is also significant) that there is no flavor left in the protein you've cooked.

You can try any combination, but I've yet to find something that was a million times better in the crockpot versus cooking quickly on the stove or in the oven, except for stews or chili (and even then I like to brown the meat first on the stove)

3
F9cb5745815f70ca8214bb73b0a06bae

(154)

on July 08, 2013
at 02:35 AM

I usually start by cooking the meat for at least 4 hours and then throw in the vegetables for the last hour or two of cook time. If you put them in at the beggining they get super mushy by the time everything is ready to go.

2
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on July 08, 2013
at 12:30 AM

You can cook many things all at once, but I don't think meatballs would be a good choice. They would probably fall to bits. Try a roast or a whole chicken.

0
7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on July 08, 2013
at 03:17 PM

As far as meatballs in a crockpot, I usually just make them in the oven for 10 minutes or so, then stick them in the sauce with sausages in the crockpot.

My FAVORITE crockpot meals are chicken cacciatore, with spaghetti squash... MMM... :) Or a beef pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, but it does get the veggies quite mushy.

It doesn't take too long to just fill a dish with water, and lightly steam some veggies in the microwave if you don't like mushy vegetables!

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 08, 2013
at 12:16 PM

I do the 8 hour cook with canned chopped tomatoes, onions/garlic/spices, ground meat, dry sausage, razor clams, squash and sweet potatoes. The dry sausage and clams keep their form but everything else turns into a thick gravy. I use a 28 oz can of tomatoes to a full crockpot, about 3 quarts. I always start with some liquid in the pot.

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