Some of you email and ask me if there is a way to convert all of my crock pot recipes to the stovetop. When I first get over my initial shock of wondering why on EARTH would someone not want to use their crock pot (y’all are weird, but I love ya. HA!), I’m usually able to answer the question pretty quickly. So, I thought I would just write a reference post that I could direct people to, instead of writing the same email over and over. 🙂
There are a few reasons you might not want to use your crock pot:
- You forgot to put your meal in soon enough and only have 2 hours before dinner. Oops.
- You put your meal in the crock pot but forgot to turn it on. Oops again.
- You don’t have a crock pot. (This is just SAD.)
- You are afraid your crock pot will burn the house down. I get this, I really do. My Mama falls in this category.
- You’re in the woods with no plug-in and want to make dinner.
- You’re a weirdo. Ha, just kidding…sorta. 😉
First off, it’s pretty easy to convert some recipes…especially ones like soup. Just cook them in a pot on the stove instead. You might need an hour or so for the flavors to really blend together.
Others, like cake, are harder to get just right. And some should just only be made in the crock pot – for instance, Whole Baked Chicken. I am ALWAYS going to make that in the crock pot. I just am. So there.
I’ll just give you guys a general guide about how to convert crock pot recipes. They might not be spot on, so proceed with caution – and when in doubt, use a meat thermometer and do a taste test. You know you’re sticking your finger in it already…don’t lie to me.
Also, note that you might need more liquid. Most crock pot recipes don’t need a lot of liquid because they don’t let moisture escape….so, don’t burn the soup please.
Converting large chunks of meat
For things like roasts and ribs (3-5 pounds) that call for you to cook them on LOW for 8 hours, you’ll need to cook them in the oven for about 2-3 hours at 350 degrees or until a meat thermometer says they’re done. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, get one. Check out this meat temperature chart.
I always cover my meat with parchment paper so it doesn’t get too brown…unless I forget. Then we eat burned meat.
If the roast says to cook on HIGH, well I’d still cook it at 350 for 2-3 hours.
For soups, you can basically just transfer those to a stock-pot for the stovetop. Cooking time will be based on how long you have. I give mine at least 1 hour on medium-low. I always add cooked meat to my soups for the stove-top – so I precook it before making the soup.
For casseroles and such that call for LOW for 4-8 hours in the crock, you’ll need about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. For dishes that need 6-10 hours on LOW, you’ll need about 40 minutes in the oven. For a dish that says 10-12, hours you’ll need about 2 hours in the oven at 350. I’m not sure about you, but I RARELY see recipes that need 10-12 hours.
If a casserole/cake calls for HIGH for 1 ½-2 hours then you’ll only need about 15 minutes at 350. Use discretion – you can usually look at a casserole and see if it’s done. As a general rule, HIGH cooks twice as fast…but it’s hot and can burn things sometimes. HIGH = HOT. 😉
If it calls for 3-4 hours on HIGH, you’ll need about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. A recipe needing 4-6 hours on HIGH in the crock will need about 90 minutes+ in the oven. If it calls for HIGH longer than that, something might be messed up with the recipe. Ha, ha!
I, myself, don’t convert recipes very often. I usually cook them as directed…because I’m a rule follower. IF a recipe calls to cook on low and I don’t have the time, instead of cooking on the stove-top or in the oven, I just turn my crock to high and cook for ½ the time.
USE DISCRETION: I am not a know-it-all. This is just a general guide. Always pay attention to the food you’re cooking…and always use a meat thermometer. All ovens are different and all stovetops are different. And sometimes I get distracted and forget dinner is cooking – sooooo, take this with a grain of salt. There is a reason Stacy uses her slow cooker so often. 😉