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Crockpot Mod
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I have one of these too and I can tell you that many of your favorite recipes can be successfully adapted to the Crock-Pot. You can simply bet! I am enjoying itÖand if you search on internet you will find many sites with tips for using it!
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Joined: 13 Feb 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crockpot Chicken Recipes
Here's a great Spicy Crockpot Chicken With Chipotle Marmalade Sauce recipe:

I used a 5-quart slow cooker to make this chicken dish, but a smaller or larger cooker should work just fine. Chicken breasts get a bit dry and tough if overcooked, so if your slow cooker tends to cook dishes fast, check the chicken a little earlier. I freeze the leftover chiles in adobo in small 1 or 2-pepper portions for use in other recipes.

* 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped, with about 1 teaspoon of the sauce
* 1/3 cup sweet orange marmalade
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon oil
* Dash pepper
* Dash salt
* 4 boneless chicken breast halves
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons cold water

Combine the chipotle with adobo sauce, marmalade, chili powder, garlic powder, vinegar, honey, chicken broth, and oil.

Wash chicken and pat dry; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken breasts in the slow cooker; pour marmalade mixer over all.
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Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey andreea360,

That recipe of yours sounds pretty nice, but I find it really hard to make. How much time does it take you to make it? Is using the crockpot making it easier?
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Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 8
Location: Bury St. Edmunds, England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: Dimmer works great Reply with quote

Iíve just bought a Judge 5.5 litre slow cooker (215W) and as many others have found, slow cookers nowadays are not slow cookers but high temperature fast cookers. Out of the box my cooker (filled with water to the maximum recommended fill level of 4.8 litres) gives a final temperature of 99C on HIGH, 98C on AUTO and 96C on LOW.

Here is the temp/time graph:

Obviously this is ridiculous, so after reading various forum posts about using a dimmer switch, I bought an ebay dimmer, a Skytronic (300W) for 10 dollars:

This dimmer switch is infinitely variable in adjustment.

When the cooker is set to LOW:

Dimmer position....Final temp/C

4............. 66
5............. 73
6............. 82
7............. 89
8............. 93


Now thatís more like it.


1) My tests showed that when using the dimmer the final temperature remained the same with the pot containing 3 litres of water or 4.8 litres, but the smaller the volume of water the faster the final temperature was reached.

2) Of course if you restrict the power going into the cooker because youíre using the dimmer then itíll take longer to reach any given temperature than if you donít use the dimmer.

3) The cooker instructions say that you can pour water at 70C into a room temperature ceramic pot. So it looks as though the best course of action is to boil water in a kettle, add some water from the cold tap into the kettle and then pour into the pot. Set cooker on HIGH if necessary for a short while with the dimmer set on maximum heat (i.e. no power reduction) and then set the cooker to LOW and set the dimmer to the correct temperature.

4) I tried using the AUTO and HIGH cooker settings with the dimmer and the temperature curve gradients were similar to the curve when the cooker was set to LOW but on a different dimmer setting. For example with dimmer set on 5, the curve when cooker was set to HIGH is identical to that when set on AUTO and very similar to that when the dimmer is set to 7 and the cooker is set to LOW. The differences in the shape of the temperature gradients between AUTO, HIGH and LOW are only apparent without the dimmer. Maybe they would be apparent with the dimmer setting on a higher level but there was no point in trying as these temperatures would be uselessly high anyway.

5) The dimmer is highly efficient and becomes only barely warm at any setting. Its instructions state not to use for rotating machinery. I canít see any safety problems with a heating element. It just clips part of the sine wave voltage going into the element so the average power is lower. I would be entirely happy leaving the dimmer on and leaving the house.

6) There are no temperature fluctuations in the water with or without the dimmer, either at the water heating stage (which is a gentle and continuous increase) or at itís final temperature state.

Last edited by markkubis on Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Development Engineer

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:10 am    Post subject: Re: Crockpot Mod Reply with quote

I do not think crock pots are constructed without thermostatic control. It is the only way to make them fire-safe in light of what operating conditions can be experienced. I do however believe it possible the thermostatic control is not properly applied in some designs so as to render it ineffective.

Please always look for the UL label!

My thoughts immediately went to mentioning that:
If the unit has no electronic or digital controls or timer; just a switch and indicator lamp, you can make a precise adjustment to it's heating capacity using an every day lamp dimmer of adequate capacity.

Lamp dimmers are available mounted to a power cord, allowing you to attach it in the same way as an extension cord.
Just make sure the AMPERES rating of the crock which hopefully does not need to be more than 8 or 10A is not higher than the rating of the dimmer! This should be a reasonable solution if you value food quality as much as I do!

When shopping, try to appreciate when companies are letting the accounting department make the design rather than the Engineers! It often seems as of Engineers are considered responsible for the "edited" chopped up version of designs that make it to the stores! It is a shame because the best features only would increase the manufacturing cost a very small amount.
Any decent design is going to have some kind of sensor and temperature display concerning the food cooking inside. A separate thermostat that you will hopefully never know about will serve the fire protection purpose, and the comprimise is not made to try to serve both needs with the one cheap bimetal switch!

For cooking pork, I would like to see one that can be profiled so that it starts on high, and then lowers! Mine does not.

Also as a side note, I can not stand the "toaster ovens" made with the small diameter "calrod" oven elements! The time / temperature curve of these is terrible and not suited to the application!
Resistance wire inside quartz tubing makes the best heat source, bread browns slowly and gradually, allowing control and good results!

[quote="spiff1242"]Hi all,
So I recently bought a new Rival crockpot without doing much research. I made a couple dishes and my meats came out a bit overcooked and the liquid was bubbling (reached boiling), which I thought was odd because it's supposed to use really low temps (sites say food should reach 160-180ish, not 212!). Searching on the internet, I found literally hundreds of reviewers complaining about their devices. Further search revealed that new regulations have forced makers to make crockpots cook hotter for food safety (needs to get over 140 quickly). That would be fine if my pot topped off around 180 or so, a safe but not too hot temperature. However, my pot is basically cranking out heat until it boils, even when it's on low!

So I'm looking for some help on how I can basically bring down the temperature on this thing. It has no thermometer, so I believe it outputs a constant rate of heat. Here's what I've come up with so far.
1. Insert a resistor or something to reduce the current and/or voltage that is going into the device. (I have no idea how to do this, I'm no electritian)
2. Raise the liner that has the food higher out of the heating element.
3. Point a fan at the whole unit the whole time to wick away heat.
4. Strips of metal attached to the heating part using some kind of heat resistant glue to act as heat dissipation.

I'm trying to test two and three right now but haven't found a good equilibrium yet. Also, an issue with all of these approaches is that ideally, I want the food to heat up quickly for the first hour to get out of the food danger zone, then slow down the heat output. These might make the initial heat up way too slow.

I'd appreciate any suggestions and ideas. From reading all the frustrated crockpot reviews online, it seems like a good solution could really help a lot of people out there.
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Joined: 22 Jan 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Crock Pot Hot Shot Reply with quote

Hi all, the subject line is not in reference to myself. I was just trying to be clever. Also scorched (no pun) that my newer crock pot boils instead of slow cooks. I contacted the mfg. for temp details. I have a Rival SVC401 and it runs at 165 on warm, 212 on low and 350 on high. With these settings, I feel slighted. One more setting and I could have had deep fryer too! Ok, so why am I writing? Because I would like to say thank and share some I discovered. Per some cooking sites, a temperature of 176 is what we all are looking for to get an 8-10 hour run without blasting our food to a crisp. You may also be interested to know the really old units had a 140 low setting temp, so be careful about buying used. Myself not being as smart as the rest of you, the tuna can lifters sounded appealing to me and I did notice some units look as if that's the way manufacturers design them. Another possible solution is to check and see if your oven or microwave includes a programmable warming feature. That would allow time and temp to your exact specifications. Newer model ovens are now computer controlled so you would still have to check, but may cost less to run than a lot of counter top appliances. Overall, I would not assume sitting a crock pot insert in your oven all day would cost more. Here's an article I found from 2000 that addresses the low temp in the older units we are now missing.

Slow Cookers Change as published in the Hartford Courant, Sept. 20, 2000

A reader e-mailed the Food desk to comment on a recipe story about crock-pots - or slow cookers, as they are now called - that appeared in the Food section last Wednesday. This man finds that his new crock-pot, a 6-quart Hamilton Beach model, takes less time to cook than his original cooker by the same company.

Through some research, he found that his old model had a temperature setting of 140 degrees for low. The new model is 180 degrees at low. He says food reaches the boiling point in about 4 to 5 hours.

A call to Hamilton Beach Proctor-Silex in Glen Allen, VA., confirmed that the new pots have a higher temperature on low. The change was made to prevent any food contamination and ensure that foods cook to the proper temperature.

Crock-pot cooks should consult the manual that accompanies the cooker and adjust recipes they find elsewhere accordingly. As our e-mailer points out, he has found that a 4-pound pot roast, cooked in his new pot, "is over-done after six hours on low." He compared his experience with the recipe for flank steak with gravy, published in the crock-pot story, which listed cooking times as 8 to 10 hours on "low." This recipe was taken from an older crock-pot cookbook, whose recipes were developed for the older models.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: alton brown's slow cooker I FOUND IT! Reply with quote

So I've been trying to find the slow cooker / crock pot that alton brown uses in Good Eats (Puddin' Heads Episode) It is British unfortunately. Here is the model Morphy Richards 48730. I wanted to buy one for myself that was good and was confident AB wouldn't have a crappy one for himself. If you are willing to pay 47 pounds plus shipping across the ocean, i guess you are in luck!
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Joined: 22 Jan 2009
Posts: 7
Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Lifter Idea Works Great!!! Reply with quote

I wasn't willing to trust my unit to any electricial modifications, so I opted trying the tuna can lifter idea. Search this topic and you'll find the original post. My oval unit took 3 cans to perfectly perch the insert pot. Before cooking from scratch, I decided to test it with something already cooked. I put some stew in to make sure the heat came up ok and then watched to see how it simmered. That went well so my next meal was from scratch. I roasted a couple of cornish game hens. When I had cooked hens before, the unit ruined them in 5 hours. The skins were burned everywhere they touched the pot and the meat was dry and over cooked. With the tuna can inserts, the hens were still ok after 8 hours. They were fully cooked with that juicy melt in your mouth tenderness we all love from crock pots. I am already trusting the unit without supervision. My last meal was corned beef brisket which I simmer for 17-24 hours. The meat was perfect and cooked as expected. I'm a happy camper!
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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1276
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for info, the federal government got on industry's case about slow cookers.

you're not suppose to keep food in the "danger zone" too long.

so new models heat faster - full pot to 'safe' hot within x time - and do not use an ultra low thermostat ie 140'F setting.

all crock pots / slow cookers are thermostatically controlled with <various means> for over temp cut off.

use of as dimmer switch simply causes it to heat slower - and stay in the danger zone longer, as the situation dictates.

unless of course the voltage is reduced to the point the appliance can not develop enough power to reach its thermostatic set point. which again makes for food safety questions.

while I am not impressed with the US gummymint's only 'safe approach' is to cook everything until it turns to ashes, one needs to be aware of what one is fiddling with.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:09 am    Post subject: dimmer controlled crockpot Reply with quote

Case in point for the disability theory. If we had many more EE doctors around, nothing would ever get invented...we'd be too busy theorizing how things won't work...
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: It's the wattage Reply with quote

I think these suckers work based on wattage and not on thermostats. That's why you get varied temperatures based on the environment.
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Location: Nerdtown

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:16 pm    Post subject: Outlet timer Reply with quote

Perhaps the safest, most practical method for analog toggled (Warm/Low/Medium/High) slow cookers is the timer method. Much like conventional electric stovetops these days, which run at one intensity for various lengths of time, slow cookers could be controlled by a timer.

An outlet timer can be purchased at your local hardware store or Wal-Mart (for those who have one) for around 10 USD. The outlet timer that I found from GE has a 1250 Watt maximum, which may yield a factor of safety greater than 4 for a 300 Watt slow cooker.

The temperature would obviously fluctuate, but that entirely depends upon the heat capacity of whatever you are cooking and environmental conditions. The timer that I am aware of can be programmed to intervals as short as 15 minutes. Hypothetically, you could program the timer to reach "the safety temperature" within the first hour and then intermittently heat the slow cooker to stay within a desired temperature range. One problem is that most timers are only programmable for a 24 hour period, which is only a problem for those who like their food to turn into pudding Shock . Another problem is that the intermittent temperature range may not be as consistent or as precise as desired. I propose that someone should make some tables and graphs that we can all use, specifically for 3 lbs. of sauerbraten using an outlet timerÖ I am too lazy to Teasing

Yet again, it is not the fault of the engineers but that of the politicians who make these regulations and the people who elect them Laughing Out Loud .
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Diane B.

Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to add these factors for lowering the temp inside the newer slow cookers (units made after design and temps were changed "for safety reasons"**).

First option though would be to dig out an old slow cooker from someone's cabinet or buy one from a thrift store or garage sale, and use that.
From what I can tell, the older ones used around 75 watts on low and 150 watts on high, where the newer ones usually have wattages of 180 and 250. So typical older units operated at around 175 F on low and 195 F on high, and new ones at least 200 F on low and 300 on high (ack!).

For the newer/hotter units, also try these things to keep foods and crock at a lower temp:
...make sure the crock or pot is 1/2 to 2/3, or even 3/4 (or temp will rise)
...keep proteins off the floor of the pot (elevate them on veggies, foil balls, etc, or even wrap in foil)...also keep them away from sides when possible (for crocks heated from sides as well as bottom)
...use shorter cooking time for delicate proteins like chicken breast, and/or add them after other foods have been cooking awhile
(...keep this stuff in mind for recipes found online and in older slow cooker cookbooks since those recipes are often based on the old temps)

** The temp. changes were made by slow cooker manufacturers because too many purchasers were tossing big hunks of *frozen* meat into the cookers (manual warns against that, though sometimes will work), then getting sick because the temp stayed low in the center of the meat long enough to allow certain bacteria to grow. So to avoid lawsuits they just upped all their temps --leaving buyers with a problem but not manufacturers.
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