Aimee, in my Chicken Stroganoff question below, you mentioned you were often buying frozen chicken breasts for your recipes. Do you think most of the cooking times you list are for frozen breasts, even if you don't indicate they are frozen? I tried your Nacho Chicken and Rice Wraps and those actually call for cooked chicken pieces. You indicate to cook on low for 6-7 hours. By 4 hours I had a ton of the mixture burning on the sides of my crockpot. By 5 hours I decided I was ruining in and turned it off. It turned out well except for all the amount I lost that burned on the sides and bottom of my crockpot (and yes, it was on LOW). Are different crockpots stronger in temperature than others? Mine is a big family sized capacity. Do you always spray non-stick cooking spray in your crockpot? I have never done that, but am wondering if I should always do it and if I should reduce my cooking time from yours listed. I'm never quite sure about when a crockpot dish is actually done...
No, I always thawed my chicken out (it was just cheaper for me to buy it in the frozen bags when they were on sale, then I could pull out what I needed since I never know what I'm going to cook from day to day). Since I moved and have a smaller freezer now, I can't buy frozen chicken anymore. LOL! Only 1 or 2 of my recipes that I can remember actually call for frozen chicken, and I let you know in the directions. I do believe that some crockpots are hotter than others. I know my mom's crockpot seems to cook different than mine, but it's not usually several hours different in cooking time. I do ALWAYS spray my crockpot with non-stick spray before using it (I hate having to clean it. LOL). Actually, now a lot of time, depending on what I'm making, I use those disposable crockpot liners (I think Reynolds makes them). A lot of times, dishes to burn around the edges in a crockpot (depending on what it is). Even mine burns around the edges, but if yours was to that point where you thought your were ruining it at 5 hours, then I'd probably start cutting back on the time and see if that makes a different. Usually in a crockpot, you'll know it's done when meats are no longer pink, beans aren't hard, rice and veggies are tender, etc. Once you hit those stages, it's done. There are some recipes you can leave in longer than what the cooking time says and they won't burn or anything (usually soups). :) Hope this helps.
I do a lot of crock pot cooking cuz I am usually at work.
Recently I had to replace my original 1973 wedding gift Rioval Crock Pot because it had so many cracks in the crockery. It was loosing temp and not cooking well any more. I guess you could say it died.
But I bought a programable oval Rival and I hate it. Why? because it always BOILS instead of slow cooks. I have lost the recpt and can not return it. Too late.
But I recently learned that I could slow cook without it boiling over or boiling foods if I pout it on WARM instead of high or low or a specific amount of hours. The hot boils, the low cooks and sometimes boils, and teh warm slow cooks, and there is no real warm on this thing.
I also have learned to use less liquid in this hotter crock pot. I do plan to buy a smaller one. My real small one cooks correctly: slow and low! It is just too small.
So yes there is a difference in cooking and heat due to styles, lot numbers, brands and types.
My mom has a metal Westinghouse (about 20 yrs old) I don't like it, but she does. I find it too hot. I prefer the CROCK or ceramic.
Martha, I hope this helps by confirming your suspicions about the variances.
I have 4 different crockpots, all different sizes and love all of them. They are all different brands. I love the programable one, flips to warm after the number of hrs I set it on....I don't think any of them are too hot...