Two years ago when I started food blogging I asked the question, “Crockpots: excellent kitchen tool or a waste of space?” I was surprised so many people loved them. What was I missing?
One time I did more than just consider donating my crockpot. It was in one of the big garbage bags getting taken to the thrift store as donations. But it was bothering me. It is such a cute crockpot but I had yet to come up with something that I loved to make it it other than roast beef and apple cider.
In the end, it was Reg who saved the crockpot. He just did not want me to let it go. He kind of insisted I give it another shot. So that is what I am doing this summer!
OK crockpot, you need to start showing me why you are so great. It is HOT now on the east coast so the timing is perfect. I need you to keep my kitchen cool and still make me foods I want to eat but don’t dare turn on that oven. My first test? Baked potatoes and roasted corn!
It seemed simple enough. People just wrapped their washed, pricked and seasoned potatoes in aluminum foil, put them in the pot and let them cook the day away. For health reasons, I never allow my food to rest directly on aluminum foil so I used a Martha Stewart trick instead. I added a layer of parchment paper to protect the potatoes.
A Facebook friend named Michelle said she throws in corn on the cob too! I thought, well if it turns out well then the crockpot has really shown its worth. Because my slow cooker is so small, I had to cut the corn in half before wrapping in parchment paper and aluminum foil. No seasoning at this point.
I put two potatoes on the bottom, then the corn, then the last potato. It was the only way they would fit. I cooked them on low for six hours.
When dinner was almost ready I melted a little butter into some olive oil then added thyme leaves and smashed garlic cloves to infuse with flavour.
The top potato was smokin’ hot but…. was undercooked. Oh no!!!!!! How was everything else?
Thankfully the bottom potatoes were completely cooked through. Reg actually said it was the best perfectly cooked potato he has ever had! I would not go that far. I much prefer my method for making baked potatoes because they have a crispy exterior but in the summer there is no way I was leaving my oven on at 500F for an hour! It was a great potato though and what a treat on such a smoldering summer evening without heating up the house!
The corn? Well, it was way over-cooked. We did not enjoy that dish at all, unfortunately. It even burned in a few areas and the flavour was not great. The other corn from the same batch we got and boiled the day was perfect. Sigh… Well I will heat the house less by boiling corn on the stove than baking a potato in an oven!
The garlic and thyme infused butter and oil was delicious by the way! I added it to the baked potato so I wouldn’t have to drench it in butter and could use less because it was so flavourful. Then I added a dollop of low fat sour cream and some green onions. Very nice!
OK crockpot, you are showing some promise but your track record is far from perfect! I am going to continue putting you through the test kitchen and I do hope you end up proving your worth and staying in my kitchen. I didn’t purchase you to just sit in my cupboard. I plan to utilize your super foodie powers once I figure out what they are!