Slow cooking without a crockpot – Kitchen Challenge #8

We didn’t bother moving any of our 3 crock-pots over here (yes, 3, sm/med/jumbo), because we knew the power conversion from the US to Europe wouldn’t work.  To my surprise, slow cookers don’t exist in Finland.  Completely unable to find one.  What’s a girl to do?

I started looking into ways to cook slow cooker recipes in the oven.  I figured it had to be the same concept, right?  I figured it would be about the same amount of time, but I had no idea what temperature I should set the oven at.

Internet to the rescue!

Well…sort of.

I looked around at several sites, but found varying advice.

  • 2 1/2 hours on high in the crockpot = 30 min at 300 in the oven
  • 300 in the oven for 2 hours less than the crockpot time
  • 250 in the oven for the same amount of time as in the crockpot
  • 3 hours on high in the crockpot = 1.5 hours at 325 in the oven
  • 7 hours on low in the crockpot = 2-3 hours of simmering on the stovetop

I also found varying suggestions to keep the liquid amount the same, to reduce the liquid amount by half, by 1 cup, by a can…

In addition, to slow cook in the oven or on the stovetop, a Dutch oven is highly recommended.  Yet another thing I don’t have.

So I experimented.  I did a pork roast for carnitas in the oven, in a stainless steel pot.  It turned out…okay.  I think I had it in at 300 for approximately 4-6 hours.  Next I tried a beef stew on the stovetop (same pot).  I kept the heat on low for about 3 hours.  The meat never really got tender.

In other words – not much success here.  I though about buying a slow cooker from amazon.uk (which offers free shipping to Finland – Bonus!) but at this point, it just doesn’t seem worth it, to buy a new slow cooker I’ll only use for another year.

What I really want is a Dutch oven.  Scratch that.  What I really want is this:

Finnish Sarpaneva cast iron pot, sold by Finnish Design Shop

Finnish Sarpaneva cast iron pot, sold by Finnish Design Shop

You would think that living in Finland, I’d be able to find this fairly easily.  Not so much.  And it ain’t cheap!  So I’ll just keep filing away crockpot recipes for future use, and look forward to getting my crockpot out of storage when we move back to the States (and buying a Dutch oven).

 

I’m intentionally challenging myself in the kitchen, working with new ingredients, attempting more challenging dishes, and doing it all while grocery shopping in a foreign language.  Read more about my Personal Kitchen Challenge here.

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Categories: Personal Kitchen Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Slow cooking without a crockpot – Kitchen Challenge #8

  1. Jen

    Oooh, the Finnish pot is really cool!

  2. hi sara, i’ve been out of the blogland loop for a bit but wanted to pop by to say HI!
    i get your posts by email and they are really great! keep up the good work!

    crock pots! just sheer madness isn’t it!!! hahahah
    i finally had to break down and confess to a friend who kept sending me crock pot recipes….
    that there is no such thing here.
    her reply… yelling this over skype vid… ‘ WHAT THE *#*# KIND OF PLACE DOESN’T HAVE CROCK POTS!!!
    HAHAHAHA!!!! she also has 3 sizes!

    never thought about amazon uk even though i order things all the time from them! good idea!

    i did spot your beloved sarpaneva cast iron pot over the weekend if i remember correct it was around 120euros at the arabian iittala outlet. and wow are those babies seriously HEAVY!
    have a wonderful day! xx tracie

    • Yes, amazon.uk is a great option. I think there was one for about 25 British pounds, and their Free Super Saver Shipping applies to Finland, which I couldn’t believe. Like I said, if I was going to be here any longer than a year, I’d go ahead and get one!

      120 euro is a pretty good price for that pot…

  3. anonymous

    Why do you need to have a built-in heating element in a pot and specifically one that doesn’t even have a thermostat or a temperature scale? Seems a bit redundant.

    How about a more traditional model?
    Or if you really must…

    • Well, the built in heating element is great for leaving something to cook all day while you’re not home, which I would never do on the stove. And I did try the “more traditional” method with what I had on hand…pretty much what the whole post was about. 😉

  4. I am obviously behind in my reading . . . Everyone is different, aren’t they?? I have never liked a crock pot . . . never have been pleased with what was done in them. And this morning, with a gift card that I just received, I got a dutch oven! I’ve wanted one forever . . . Keep up the posts, I enjoy them!!

    • I’ve never been blown away by a crockpot meal, but I freely admit to being lazy and finding the result acceptable, most of the time. 😉

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