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Poor man's slow cooker? Answered

Hello all,

I tried to search an instructable down but I haven't so far.  Has anyone done something on doing a poor man's slow cooker?  I don't really want to buy a slow cooker cause they are mostly used for cooking meats, and the last thing me or probably anyone needs to do is eat more meat.  I just have a few recipes that call for a slow cooker and would like to try them out.  I'm thinking I could just cook in a regular pot and keep the temp or flame really low.  Is it really that easy? 

Inquiring cat would like to know!



If you insulate a box it doesn't take much heat input to raise the temperature in the box. I am sure a TEN WATT BULB would do it, if the stew pot and bulb is inside a nicely insulated box. Heat goes in... but doesn't come out.... and the temperature will rise to whatever value you might want. Most slow cookers are not insulated, so they need a lot more watts to get it hot. This would make a good instructable if you build it. Be sure to build it so it isn't a fire hazard. I KNOW this would work because in my house, I heat a 40 gallon GAS water heater using ONLY THE PILOT LIGHT. It works because I insulated the tank so heat goes in and none comes out.

Honestly, slow-cookers are so cheap and undeniably useful (even for things besides meat) that it's worth just buying one, especially if you work a lot or are just generally busy. It also makes better food. We haven't made tacos on the stove in a long time because the slow cooker is easier and way better tasting.

As far as leaving the bones in, I would highly suggest keeping them in. There's a lot of flavor in the bones and as long as you remember to fish them out before serving it won't have any adverse effects. It's honestly the easiest way to remove meat from bones. When it's done cooking the meat will be so tender it's impossible to keep it on the bone.

In the old days people did this for slow cooking.

Get a good heavy cooking pot with a lid.

Fill with your recipe and heat up on the stove to boiling.

Now put the pot in a box heavily insulated with straw and leave for 8 or 9 hours the straw does the job and keeps the heat in.

Today I guess we would use polystyrene insulation as we have easier access to that than straw but same principle.

Alternatively - I had a slow cooker that was no more than an insulated container with a removable pot to go inside. Same process fill pot and heat on stove. However this one had a 60 watt incandescent light bulb in the insulated container to provide a low level of heat through the day. Worked well.

Take your pick.


4 years ago

Use a dutch oven or a deep cast iron frying pan with a lid. My wife uses one to make beef stew that melts in your mouth. She sears the beef, adds potatoes,water, onion, carrots, seasonings and brings it to a boil. Then she slaps a lid on it turns the heat down to its lowest setting and lets it simmer for five or six hours, just like a crockpot.

A crock pot? You can make soups and a lot of other things in it.