Cookery and Culinary Arts/Stuffing in crockpot

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Question
I would like to use my reqular stuffing recipe but cook it in a crock pot. How should I adjust the moisture content and do I need to adjust anything else? I usually soak the bread in water, squeeze dry, add 6 eggs sesonings onions and celery and more bread until the liquid is a used up. Then bake in the oven.

Answer
There shouldn't be any reason that your stuffing won't work in the crock pot.  There are two main factors that you will need to take into account though, the low temperature and the moist environment.

Most likely your crock pot will not be able to reach as high a temperature as you're used to in the oven.  This is OK, as long as the crock pot is able to reach 200 degrees or so, in order to fully coagulate the egg proteins in the stuffing which will bind everything together.  If you have doubts that your crock pot will reach this temperature, you can fill it partway with water, turn it on, then check the temperature an hour or two later.  If you're not able to reach a temperature at least very near 200, I would recommend steering clear of the crock pot.

Eggs have a funny property - the slower and more gradually you cook them, the looser they will set up, and the lower temperature you can cook them to.  The practical effect of this is that when you cook your custard (stuffing, as well as french toast, is just a form of custard) in a crock pot you will end up with a very creamy, more pudding like consistency than if it was cooked in the harsh hot environment of the oven.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing, dependent on your personal tastes.

The moist environment may be a factor, but the way you describe ringing out the bread, I would think you should be OK with your recipe as-is.  If you usually cook this covered with foil or a lid then I wouldn't adjust the recipe at all.  If you usually cook it uncovered in the oven, then you are going to want to scale way back on water and liquid ingredients.  I suspect your recipe calls for it to be covered though...

You will surely want to check the stuffing at several points throughout the cooking time .  I would recommend you start checking about 1/2 way through cooking.  If you notice that the stuffing is not coming together near the end - if it remains very liquidous and doesn't seem to be progressing, then you always have the option of finishing it in the oven.  Ten minutes uncovered in a hot oven can do wonders for a soggy dish.

Best of luck, and let me know if you need more help.

Cookery and Culinary Arts

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Adam W Price

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I can answer general and specific questions related to all manner of food preparation, food cookery, and peripheral disciplines such as applied food science, nutrition, or sanitation. I am knowledgeable in meat, poultry and seafood fabrication, recipe development, world cuisines including 'fusion' styles, and all of the primary cooking methods (grilling, steaming, etc.). I can assist you with developing or redesigning recipes, planning for events (from a caterers point of view), troubleshooting recipes, identifying and working with unfamiliar ingredients or cooking methods, or (most importantly in my opinion) figuring out exactly why things happen the way they do. If we understand the science and reasoning behind our craft, then we can start learning how to cook instead of learning to recreate recipes. Other sides of the craft that I am experienced in include: sugar work (though limited experience with chocolate, sad to say), ice creams/sorbets, baking and pastry, wines (specifically when paired with foods), and others. If for some reason I cannot answer a question, I will do my best to point you toward a source that can.

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I have nearly two decades of experience as a professional in the field, and I enjoy experimenting with new ideas on my own time. I have worked in restaurants ranging from quick service to fine dining, bakeries, butcher shops and institutions. I have done event planning and execution for large and small scale catered events. I have managed several kitchens and developed menus ranging from simple buffets to elaborate multi-course meals. I have an extensive library of recipe books as well as books on cooking techniques, food science, food safety, and nutrition.

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I graduated with high honors from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park). I am ServSafe certified for food safety and sanitation, and I take this very seriously.

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