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 Post subject: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Quick Q for anyone who's made the Meaty Beany Chili, specifically - or a similar recipe which requires two separate cook times (boil lentils, then add tomatoes/beans and simmer):

I am bringing a slow cooker of this to a teacher luncheon tomorrow. I can make the chili today and then put it in the slow cooker to warm in the morning - but wondered if I could instead just cook it overnight in the slow-cooker, rather than on the stovetop and have to transfer.


The conversion times I found for stovetop vs. slow cooker are:

Stovetop Time/Low-Slow Cooker Setting/High Slow Cooker Setting

15 to 30 minutes/4 to 6 hours/1-1.5 to 2-2.5 hours

35 to 45 minutes/6 to 8 hours/3 to 4 hours

50 minutes to 3 hours/8 to 10 hours/4 to 6 hours


My mom has always made chili in a slow cooker, but just the dump-everything-in-at-once-and-cook-on-low-many-hours method (all cans - no dry beans/lentils). I'm a slow-cooker novice (had to borrow hers for this, in fact).


Because the lentils are cooked/boiled first, would it be best to cook them on high for maybe 2 hrs, then drop in the beans/tomatoes and switch to low to cook overnight? Or...?

Any ideas/suggestions would be warmly welcomed! Because this is representing the "vegetarian" contribution to the luncheon, I want to do it proud - so am willing to cook on stovetop if necessary, but thought I'd ask. =)

Thanx!


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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:26 pm 
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I haven't tried the recipe myself so I can't vouch for it in particular. But lentils cook down in a slow cooker SO well, I'd wager that 8-10 hours on low would be perfectly fine. Though I don't know if the recipe's intention is to have them at a softer than usual texture or what :P

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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:42 pm 
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Moon wrote:
I haven't tried the recipe myself so I can't vouch for it in particular. But lentils cook down in a slow cooker SO well, I'd wager that 8-10 hours on low would be perfectly fine. Though I don't know if the recipe's intention is to have them at a softer than usual texture or what :P


Thanx, Moon! The recipe (from IDI) says to boil lentils first, then add tomatoes/beans.

Given your experience with successfully cooking lentils in the slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low, when would you suggest adding the tomatoes/canned beans? All together with the lentils, or could that cause the beans to fall apart, being in there that long?

Sorry if I sound clueless here! If it were just for my family, I'd be more adventurous, but I'm doubling the recipe for the luncheon, and I'm excited to bring something truly awesome without execution missteps.

Thanx, ~M


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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Having read other threads about IDI, I guess the lentils are only precook end to make the actual weeknight cooking time go faster. I would just slam the lentils, beans, and tomatoes in and cook for 8 hours on low.

ETA: Ha! I just went to check and make sure there was no potatoes since they can break down, and the blog post gives slow cooker directions! Which is what I thought, 8 hours on low. Do it up! It will be great! And report back ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:17 pm 
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I've only made it in crockpot form, since it's on the blog that way. It's great! You just throw the lentils in dry.

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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Moon wrote:
ETA: Ha! I just went to check and make sure there was no potatoes since they can break down, and the blog post gives slow cooker directions! Which is what I thought, 8 hours on low. Do it up! It will be great! And report back ;)


oddspongeout wrote:
I've only made it in crockpot form, since it's on the blog that way. It's great! You just throw the lentils in dry.


DUHHHH! I didn't even THINK to check the blog, because I am using the recipe out of the book. I even saw the video for it when she first posted it, but never read thru the recipe online - and did not see a slow-cooker mention in the book version of the recipe.

Ack, sorry to waste everyone's brain power (and mine LOL). I'll have a nice side-by-side, because I'm making a regular batch in dutch oven for us, and then the luncheon batch (double) in the slow cooker. I will report back! Thanx again. ♥


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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:33 pm 
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Moon wrote:
the blog post gives slow cooker directions! Which is what I thought, 8 hours on low. Do it up! It will be great! And report back ;)


My verdict: stovetop version for the win!

Maybe it's just my lentils: For the stovetop, I had to boil them + simmer them 10minutes longer than specified, and they still weren't mushy/melding into the chili. However, the slow cooker wasn't even close: had it cooking on low for 8 hours, and the lentils were still FIRM - so cranked it to high for an hour, and that made them tender enough, but I'm certain I didn't accomplish the really soft texture recommended... Delicious, nonetheless!

Because the lentils were the petulant stepchild here, the slow cooker didn't seem to be a huge advantage with this specific recipe. However, adding all the ingredients in one step - after sautéing the veggies - was quick and easy, for sure.

Thanx again for directing me to the blog recipe. =)


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 Post subject: Re: Stovetop to Slow-Cooker conversion Q
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Ah, too bad! I wonder if soaking the lentils beforehand would change things.... To me it makes a big difference to cooking time. Glad it all tasted good, though!

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Well! Fruit is stupid! These onions taste nothing like fruit! - allularpunk
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