The Crock Pot: Dinner in 10 Minutes

I’ve done a few crock pot dishes lately and am really enjoying the simplicity. Basically, toss a few ingredients in over the space of 10 minutes, turn it on, and you’re done preparing dinner (or whatever). Another thing is that the last couple of times I’ve used it I get things started at 1pm in the afternoon, turn it on high, and all is perfect 6 hours later for dinner. I see no advantage to the slower cooking on low for 10-12 hours, though if it’s a weekday and you’ve got to be at work, then that makes perfect sense.

Yesterday I just decided to experiment with some adding some unusual ingredients added to a basic crock pot of boneless pork ribs, cabbage & onion. Click for the HQ version.

Boneless Country Pork Ribs
Boneless Country Pork Ribs

This was 2 pounds of pork, a large bulb of fennel, one medium yellow onion, one large jalapeno pepper with seeds, a half head of cabbage and about 1 cup of chicken stock. Six hours on high.

It was fantastic.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More


  1. NickW on March 14, 2010 at 12:40

    I love the crock pot – definitely one of the kitchen gadgets I miss on my stay in Norway. Coq au vin is also a goodie to try, but unfortunately takes a little more time (depending if you want to brown the chicken in the bacon grease before adding, or not).

  2. Chris P on March 14, 2010 at 14:49


    Looks great. But, like you, I have started to care not only about what I eat, but what I eat eats. So I’ve gone to grass fed beef, wild fish, and cage free eggs. But I’m still eating run-of-the-mill pork and chicken.

    So what do you do about pork? Were those supermarket boneless pork ribs? Is run-of-the-mill pork not as bad as run-of-the-mill beef?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2010 at 19:03

      Yea, unfortunately when I’m up here (back just now) at the cabin it’s supermarket. But I can get pastured pork at the local farmer’s market here in san jose.

      • Chris P on March 14, 2010 at 20:15

        Thanks. That answers my question. That is, when you can, you get pastured pork.

        In Minnesota (where I live) there is a website which has a list of farmers with good practices. I think I will get a load of 40 lbs of pastured port to go along with the 40 lbs of grass-fed beef I’m getting soon. I’ll get a grass fed lamb when I can.

        I think it’s ok to eat regular pork when necessary. There is an idea in toxicology that there is no sense in talking about something being a poison without specifying a dosage. That is, quantity matters. So if we just eat LESS non-pastured pork, that’s a good thing.

  3. Primal Buckeye on March 14, 2010 at 17:46

    Love the simplicity of cooking with the crockpot. I hope you make more post like this.

  4. Ben on March 14, 2010 at 18:37

    Did the same thing on Saturday:

    – 1kg rolled shoulder of lamb
    – 3 brown onions, quartered
    – 2 large carrots, chopped
    – 3 cloves garlic, whole
    – can of brown lentils (ok, not very paleo here)
    – 1 teaspoon salt
    – 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    – 1 tablespoon ground coriander
    – 1 tablespoon allspice (ground pimento)
    – 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
    – 600mL water

    In the crockpot, in the oven at 160 degrees C, 5 hours. It was my first effort so turned it every hour to check it but will just leave it next time.

    The meat just fell apart, the fat all rendered without burning and rose to the top. It. Was. Heaven.

    Had it for lunch on Sunday (i’m in Australia, a day ahead of the US to explain the time differences) and reheated lightly in the frypan to remove about 100mL of fat (it was a very fatty cut) and reduce the sauce. Wife and kids (3 and 1) loved it.

    And today I had the left overs for breakfast. Awesome!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2010 at 19:05

      Good deal, Ben.

      Luckily, in both the brisket I did last week and the pork this time I got just enough fat rendered that it was all taken up by the meat.

      You might try adding 1/2 – 1 C chicken stock to poultry & pork, beef stock for beef & lamb, instead of water.

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  6. Paul Verizzo on March 15, 2010 at 06:42

    The only difference between high or low is in the warm up phase. Once the liquid is gently boiling, it’s the same temperature. I guess an exception would be for the ingredients not in the liquid but exposed to the radiant heat of the crock.

  7. Lisa on March 15, 2010 at 19:06

    That sounds great. I’m still looking for a crockpot that doesn’t have a toxic nonstick coating. If you find one let me know!

  8. eric on March 16, 2010 at 07:17

    I use the crock pot at least once a week. Works great for chicken. The meat gets very tender and teh broth gets a great texture and flavor from the bones and skin.

    Can a crock pot be used to sous vide? Does it get too hot?

    • Chris P on March 16, 2010 at 09:58

      I use my crock pot for sous vide. Works great. Bought a PID controller from SousVideMagic at About $160.

      Although, if I had to do it over again, I might get a Sous Vide Supreme (which is what I think Richard has) for about $450. Holds more, probably gets to temperature more quickly, and is altogether a less thrown together looking solution.

      But, again, the SousVideMagic works great with a crockpot.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2010 at 11:02

        It’s remarkable how fast the SVS gets water up to temp.

      • GHarkness on September 30, 2010 at 05:51

        Don’t worry that the SVS “holds more” – it doesn’t. The PID controller works just as well with a huge rice cooker or dutch oven as it does with the smallest crockpot. It has a “learn” mode that goes through a learning cycle to determine how the cooker you are using at the time responds.

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