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Crock Pot and Fridge

Odd question. . .

For a while I've been saying I will use my crockpot more, cause it's awesome to come home and be able to sit right down for dinner. Issue being that my morning routine generally involves me getting dressed and running for the door, forgetting that I wanted to throw a few things in there.

Last night I tossed everything I wanted to put in the crock pot into a plastic bag and put that in the fridge. That way, if I didn't remember it my husband could possibly put it in after I left, or when he stopped in for lunch.

My question is, in leiu of the bag ( that works for beef stew which all the parts go in at once, and don't need to be layerd etc) is it ok to put everything in the crock, cover it with saran wrap and toss it in the fridge? I am worried about the crock cracking from being cold then being heated.




Beef stew ( what was in the ziplock bag)
pound stew beef
1/3 bag baby carrots
minced onions to taste
1 can diced tomatos
1 can whole peeled potatos
1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
dulcinbradbury
Oct. 6th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried it. I tend to use a gladware or rubbermaid type container for that though, particularly if there's prep work. So... if I cut up & brown meat the night before w/ some onions & garlic, that goes into the container. Fresh veggies will go into the container if there's room. Canned goods go out on the counter in front of the crock. Usually the site of the container in the fridge and/or the canned/dry goods on the counter is enough to remind me to start before I go.
sweet_tea79
Oct. 6th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
This is what I do as well. Setting my alarm 5-10 minutes earlier combined with the sight of the crock pot and fixings on the counter usually work to jog my memory.
maramijade
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
that's pretty much what I'm attempting with the bag idea. I just know I have an inclination to hit the snooze and have had items sitting in my fridge for weeks ( thinks of the pork chops that should have been bbq waiting for the garbage at the moment)

and with it prep'd and ready to go I can tell the hubby to dump the bag in the crock at lunchtime instead of having to remember each thing :)


klarenka
Oct. 6th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't risk it - seems like if you do that for too long (crock going directly from fridge to heating element) at SOME point it's going to crack.

Why not just put all the ingredients into a tupperware and dump them into the crockpot on your way out? It involves just as many steps as using the crockpot itself.
sputnik
Oct. 6th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
I've done this a lot. The heating is so gradual that the pot isn't affected like it might be if you put it straight on a burner on a stove. Also, if you do this you need to allow more time to cook since it will take at least an hour to warm up to cooking temps.
kestrel127
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
IAWTC.
coffeewhore
Oct. 6th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
ME TOO!
misskerri
Oct. 7th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
this is what i was going to say, as well.
bellichka
Oct. 7th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
iawtc!
hap
Oct. 6th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
I am pretty sure I have done both -- crock to fridge and also plastic containers in fridge, transferring to the crock in the morning. The crock heats pretty slowly, so I wouldn't worry too much about it, but it probably is a concern. Usually I don't do it because the crock takes up too much darn room, while I can fit the container(s) in better.
end_of_the_mind
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Just to warn you, there is concern about food poisoning issues here. Assuming your fridge is set at 40 degrees or so, and the crock gets over 150, there's a fair amount of time your food will spend in the 70-90 degree range where bacteria flourish. This is an unavoidable side-effect of heating from a low to high temp very slowly, as the crock does. Most of the time it will work fine, but there will be cases where the meat in question has enough bacterial load that the slow heating will cause overgrowth and then illness. (Cooking to recommended temps doesn't kill all the organisms--it usually kills just enough that your immune system can handle the rest. If there are a bunch to begin with, though, cooking may not kill enough off, so your body is stuck with a high pathogen load. This makes for interesting parties indeed!)

Just tossing that out there. Since crocks heat so slowly, they really aren't comparable to quick heating like pan-frying or baking and such.
mhaithaca
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
Definitely a real concern. The heavy crockery of a Crock-Pot and other slow cookers is designed to hold its temperature for a long time, so the effect of taking a crock from the refrigerator will be to make the food heat up more slowly than usual.

You'll get lots of "I've done this lots of times and haven't died yet!" comments, just as the "Can I put frozen meat in the Crock-Pot?" FAQ always gets, but just because those people have survived or haven't made themselves violently ill yet doesn't mean it's a safe practice.
ssterchaos
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
That's a really good point. I hadn't thought of it and I'm sure a lot of other people haven't either.
end_of_the_mind
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
As noted above, too, people have thought of it, ignored it, and been fine. It's sort of like eating raw eggs, though--eventually something bad will happen. It probably won't kill you, but it certainly won't be pleasant for a day or three!
end_of_the_mind
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
And holycow wrong icon! I'm so sorry, OP! I didn't mean to imply this was a dumb question. I actually meant to post this icon *points above* Sorry about that.
maramijade
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
tis ok :) I think we've all hit either reply all or chosen the wrong icon at some point :) didn't take it that way anyway. . . :) I was mainly looking for a shortcut beyond what I had already come up with :D -- and knew that the crock from fridge to pot would probably be a bad idea :)
agent_diamond
Oct. 8th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Microbiologist's note: even if you kill off all the bacteria, you might not degrade the toxins they produce that actually make you feel sick- not all of these are heat labile. It's better just to avoid letting them grow.
end_of_the_mind
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Hah hah, yeah. I wasn't going to get into all the fun toxins. They've lost a lot of their terror now that we use botulism toxin for cosmetic applications and tetanus is all but gone.

Rereading that, I almost sound like I'm lamenting the loss of lockjaw. Not the point! But yeah.

Hooray for micro degrees! My mom has hers, but I went the zoology route. Never could get into the micro scale of things. Hats off to you, though! It's not an easy field.
missingkeys
Oct. 6th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
My crock says not to do that. Instead I've got a big glass mixing bowl and I pop everything in there and into the fridge. Because it's glass and the sides are, well, mixing bowl-like, everything can slide in quite nicely so I don't have to worry about re-layering.
morningdozer
Oct. 6th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
We do this all the time -- no crackage yet!
alibali
Oct. 7th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
I usually always do this since I'm not about to start browning meat at 7am before work. I'm actually headed off to do this now for dinner tomorrow night.

I know I read it somewhere so I checked for the manual for my slow cooker online. I have a 6qt Hamilton Beach and this is a direct quote from the manual: "Many recipes call for cooking all day. If your morning schedule doesn’t allow time to prepare a recipe, do it the night before. Place all ingredients in crock, cover with lid, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, simply place crock in slow cooker."

Hope this helps!
rita0373
Oct. 7th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
I take the crock out of the fridge while I get dressed so it warms a little and then put it in the heating element. My instruction book also tells me there is no problem refrigerating the food in the crock overnight.
deanne
Oct. 7th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
This!
thatgirljj
Oct. 7th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
If you can get those crock liner bags, just fill the bag with everything you want to put in, then put the bag in the fridge. Morning comes, pop it in the crock and you're good to go.
warriorofworry
Oct. 7th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
fridge to pot
My crock's instructions specifically say NOT to refrigerate the crock, and that it is likely to "be damaged" if it is frozen or refrigerated and then put in the pot.
So, Big no.
aythrea
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
Considerable additions
I live in a family that has an appetite for spicy meals. I've been using the crock whenever I get a chance, so when I saw this, I had at it. And now I'll share:

1 LB Stew Beef
1/2 Bag baby carrots (It was a small bag)
3 potatoes, peeled, cubed.
7 dried pablano peppers
1/2 cup mild salsa.

I used the salsa in place of the tomatos because I didn't have any.
Put it all in on low, and walk away.

And it's been cooking for a number of hours. ^_^ My house smells amazing.
sraun
Oct. 10th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
I just got a new (bigger) crockpot - the crock is dish-washer safe, oven-safe, and microwave-safe. Given that, I'm not concerned about filling it, leaving it in the refrigerator overnight, and putting it in the morning.

I will be careful about what I put in it - if it's not going to be set on High right away, I'm only going to use large intact cuts of meat - no hamburger, shredded meat, or stew meat. I'll also be careful about what goes in with it.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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