NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Crockpots in the Summer

Crockpots in the Summer


                Crockpots are often associated with hot, hearty meals such as chili, soups and stews – which we frequently enjoy during our North Dakota winters.  Pulling your crockpot out of storage for summer use is also a great idea.  Summer crockpot use keeps your kitchen cool and saves time so you have more time to spend outside.  And whatever the season, a meal that is ready when you come home is always welcome!

                 Electric slow cookers first became popular in the 1970's because of its economy of fuel consumption and suitability for cooking inexpensive cuts of meat. Its low temperature is designed for long hours of unattended cooking. The heat inside the crock pot builds up slowly and every time you uncover the pot, you lose enough heat to slow the cooking process thirty minutes or more. Because

the slow cooker doesn't allow steam to escape, the food inside retains all the moisture originally there.

Ingredients should not dry out or burn, so there is no need to peek or stir your recipe.

                To reduce any bacterial risk while using a slow-cook crock pot follow these simple guidelines.

* Keep raw ingredients refrigerated until they are to be put in the cooker. Use only good quality ingredients.

* Thaw frozen meat or poultry before cooking.

* Cut vegetables in small pieces to ensure rapid heat transfer.

* When cooking meat, the water or stock level should almost cover the meat to ensure effective heat transfer.

* Do not overload the crock pot. Half full is the design of most crock pots.

* Do not leave cooked food to cool down in the pot. Either consume it immediately or cool the food rapidly and refrigerate.

* Never reheat leftovers in the crock pot.


Slow-Cook Barbecue

Yield: 4 to 5 servings


1½ lb. boneless chuck steak, 1½ inches thick

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

¼ cup wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup ketchup

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cut the beef on a diagonal, across the grain into slices 1 inch wide and place in slow cooker.

Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. Mix the meat and sauce together.

Cover and cook on low for 3 to 5 hours.



Rice with Mushrooms and Onions

Yield: 2 to 4 servings


1 cup converted rice

2 cups water

2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons margarine

½ cup fresh mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped

1 large onion, peeled and finely minced


Place all ingredients except mushrooms, onions and 1½ tablespoons margarine in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Just before serving, melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat; sauté the onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until all the moisture is gone, about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and mix well with the onions and mushrooms. Serve hot.

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