Slow cookers

#1
I did a search and got 177 hits which I'm not about to trawl through so if this is a repeat you all have my appologies!

I am a big fan of slow cookers but Mrs G_L isn't, only because she prefers a thicker gravy/sauce than they produce.

Is there a way of thickening the liquid after cooking and prior to serving?
 
#2
what are you cooking firstly, beef when left in for 8 or so hours melts and crumbles so that it leaves a think sauce as in beef boginuff, currys are good. sausage stew using the ready made stew packs are great aswell er in doors reckons it thins it out if you keep taking the lid orf to check on it aswell.
 
#3
Stick a bit of cornflour in and give it a stir before letting it continue to simmer for a bit maybe?
 
#5
1. Go easy on the liquid
Because your slow cooker will have a tightly sealed lid, the liquid won't evaporate so if you're adapting a standard recipe, it's best to reduce the liquid by roughly a third. Liquid should just cover the meat and vegetables. Don't overfill your slow cooker or it may start leaking out the top and food won't cook as well. Half to two thirds full is ideal and certainly no more than three quarters.

2. Thickening
Just as the the liquid doesn't reduce it also doesn't thicken. You can roll meat in a little seasoned flour before browning it, then add the remaing flour to the meat juices before adding it to the slow cooker or use a little cornflour at the end. If you want to do the latter, take a teaspoon or two of cornflour, mix it to a paste with a little cold water. Transfer the contents of your slow cooker to a saucepan and heat on the hob, stirring in the cornflour. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#6
It won't thicken in the slow cooker so make the gravy thick first or at the end. As mentioned cornflour try two teaspoons dissolved in equal quantities of water, add more if needed
 
#8
I only put enough gravy/stock in to just cover the meat and leave it - a check in between to make sure it's still ok. After the required time, I then add the par boiled veg etc. top up the gravy to the appropriate thickness and level, then leave it to finish.
 
#11
on the subject of slow cookers, which cooker would you guys suggest as a good buy?
 
#13
A lot less liquid is the key.... just cover the ingredients with a stock, I like Bisto powder, not the granules, plus an Oxo cube or even better a M P White stock pot.

If it still looks runny at the end, you could always mix up some dumplings and throw them in for the last hour, that will absorb some of the liquid.

Jarrod gave a good tip a while ago which I've used ever since.......to make a stock from beef or chicken bones, cover in water, bring to the boil in a pan, together with some onion, carrot, celery and some herbs, then transfer to the slow cooker for the day.

Ultra safe, not so long ago, I went rushing off to a job about 12 miles away, did it, then just as I got in the van...... WAAAAAAH!

Remembered I'd left a pan of stock on the stove, drove like crazy home..... kitchen full of smoke, a pan that took ages to get the black off.

My tip, when the stock is done, pour it through a large sieve into a pan and discard bones etc.

Then, split a large tissue in half and lay in the sieve.

You then pour the hot stock through, the stock passes through, while the fat floats on top (sometimes the tissue can get blocked halfway though, so use another tissue to finish.)

The stock can be reduced if you want, then bagged, sealed and frozen for later use.
 
#14
If (when) I get the gravy too thin, I bring to the boil and add potato flakes until thickened. Tastes better than cornstarch / cornflour ...
 
#15
A lot less liquid is the key.... just cover the ingredients with a stock, I like Bisto powder, not the granules, plus an Oxo cube or even better a M P White stock pot.

If it still looks runny at the end, you could always mix up some dumplings and throw them in for the last hour, that will absorb some of the liquid.

Jarrod gave a good tip a while ago which I've used ever since.......to make a stock from beef or chicken bones, cover in water, bring to the boil in a pan, together with some onion, carrot, celery and some herbs, then transfer to the slow cooker for the day.

Ultra safe, not so long ago, I went rushing off to a job about 12 miles away, did it, then just as I got in the van...... WAAAAAAH!

Remembered I'd left a pan of stock on the stove, drove like crazy home..... kitchen full of smoke, a pan that took ages to get the black off.

My tip, when the stock is done, pour it through a large sieve into a pan and discard bones etc.

Then, split a large tissue in half and lay in the sieve.

You then pour the hot stock through, the stock passes through, while the fat floats on top (sometimes the tissue can get blocked halfway though, so use another tissue to finish.)

The stock can be reduced if you want, then bagged, sealed and frozen for later use.
Stupid question time.......I take that this is after, you've removed the bones and fat?
 
#16
Try chucking in some lentils. They sort of break down and give the sauce some body. Or use oxtail - the gelatine has the same effect. I don't like cornflour as it gives a funny texture. Except as the main ingredient of Birds custard powder.
 
#18
Watched a programme on Sky over Christmas where they were testing slow cookers and to thicken the gravy over an 8 hour cooking period they added a tablespoon of semolina .
I use it to stop the base of a pastry case going soggy so it probably will work in a slow cooker though I've not tried it .
 
#19
#20
And for slow cookers, I'd say get two or three. They are cheap as chips. Get a big ass one for a joint, a small one for sauces, and maybe a midsize one if required.

I tend to cook the meat & anything else in it all day, then drain the liquid into a pan and make the gravy/sauce on the stove. Well I did until the stove shat out on me; see above.
I've never tried doing a joint in one. Any tips?

I'm kinda guessing it'd come out a bit like a pot-roast/dutch oven type of cooking

I'm wondering if it's the dog's bollox for cooking mutton - I have only played with a mutton joint a coupla times, and haven't found a recipe yet that enabled me to cook it so that it gets tender enough for my missus'n'kids (even I had to concede on each occasion that it was 'a bit tough' . . .)
 
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