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Old 23-02-2014, 14:21   #16
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re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

First of all...most meat if NOT ground like ground meat/sausage has very little bacteria in it...only ON it...the surface passes through the "critical temp" pretty quickly and even if it sdidn't...5-6 hrs till above bacteria killing temps hardly causes a petri dish full of bacteria...otherwise...why would my lab results take days.....

I agree with the lawsuit comment and I certainly haven't come across any meaningful articles or warning from anywhere about the dangers of slow cookers/crockpots.

I've use mine a lot over 30+ years and I'm neither a cook or a worrier....never been sick from one or had a guest report ill effects...can't say the same for expensive restaurants I've been too...with professional chefs and equipment....
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Old 23-02-2014, 14:22   #17
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re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

"Wouldn't slow cookers be sued out of existence if they made people sick?"
Offhand, if food is kept below 45F or above 140F it is considered "safe" from bacterial growth. I think that's the temps used by OSHA and others to determine food safety on buffet tables and the like. Shouldn't be hard for a slow cooker to maintain, say, 150F.

But if you're going to cook at such low temperatures, there's a quiet little trend in "thermos bottle cooking". Just heat the stuff up, to or past boiling, and then throw it in a wide-mouth thermos for the afternoon. Come back and it will still be hot, and now cooked, with zero extra energy input. I find the old glass thermos bottles to be way better than the stainless steel ones--until you break one.

And I'd guess another "zero energy" way to cook would be to stick a huge tea cozy over the slow cooker, or any other pot. As long as you don't set it on fire...insulation has to help lower the energy usage.

Me, I'd like to find a pressure cooker with a glass top. Because I don't like recipes and timers, I like to see what's happening in the pot.
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Old 23-02-2014, 14:27   #18
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

I have edited the title to reflect the change in direction of the thread.

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Old 24-02-2014, 04:58   #19
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

An alternative to powered slow cookers is the Wonder Bag. We just bought one to test out this cruising season. Have made one test meal in it and it worked great.

http://nb-wonderbag.com/


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Old 24-02-2014, 05:47   #20
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I had a styrofoam cooler and an old blanket. So I made my own thermal cooker for my pressure cooker. If the pressure cooker is at least half full (it needs the mass) it will stay hot all day long. I also cover it with spare blankets. If you use an induction hot plate in the afternoon when electricity is peak this will have your dinner waiting for you. And no worries about leaving appliances running when you leave the boat.
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Old 24-02-2014, 05:52   #21
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

While the power usage could be handled especially is you are starting the diesel to dock, anchor or charge the batteries anyway. I would look at a pressure cooker. Same flavor as slow cooker at a fraction of the time. I cook a lot and I can't think of a flavor advantage to the slow cooker (sure otherwise I'll not agree). For the dock, I use a slow cooker...
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Old 24-02-2014, 06:58   #22
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
I had a styrofoam cooler and an old blanket. So I made my own thermal cooker for my pressure cooker. If the pressure cooker is at least half full (it needs the mass) it will stay hot all day long. I also cover it with spare blankets. If you use an induction hot plate in the afternoon when electricity is peak this will have your dinner waiting for you. And no worries about leaving appliances running when you leave the boat.
Same idea as the Wonder Bag (not a new idea, just a new product). I've seen older versions of this idea using straw filled boxes.
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Old 24-02-2014, 07:14   #23
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
An alternative to powered slow cookers is the Wonder Bag. We just bought one to test out this cruising season. Have made one test meal in it and it worked great.

Wonderbag - Home

Just the endorsement I needed to buy one, and I like that most of the purchase proceeds are going to a good cause.
BTW, what was the test meal
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Old 24-02-2014, 07:36   #24
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

I have a 12 volt electric cooker which uses about 12 amps. I then wrap it in a blanket to increase efficiency.

It works great for cooking rice, noodles, baking potatoes, yams, fish etc.. Can probably cook just about anything. I can cook a meal of rice in about 35 minutes, (then let it sit another 15-20 minutes)
Can be used to make tea etc...

It is not good for making fried food, or cooking things quickly. It easily runs off a few solar panels in tropical areas, or in the summer in temperate climates. If the batteries are not full, it is best to use the cooker while the sun is out, rather than using it at night or when overcast to avoid the cycle losses of the battery.
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Old 24-02-2014, 10:01   #25
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

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Just the endorsement I needed to buy one, and I like that most of the purchase proceeds are going to a good cause.
BTW, what was the test meal
A beef and vegetable stew. My GF was concerned about the beef getting properly cooked so she pre-cooked it a bit. Now, we don't think that was necessary. Brought the whole stew to a boil and then moved it, pot and all, to the bag.

About 2 hours later it was delicious...meat falling off the bone tender.

Getting ready to head out cruising for a few months. Will update after we return with more field experience.

We like the idea of not heating up the boat more and being able to just leave a meal cooking while we go off snorkeling with no worry about the boat catching on fire.
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Old 24-02-2014, 10:02   #26
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

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A beef and vegetable stew. My GF was concerned about the beef getting properly cooked so she pre-cooked it a bit. Now, we don't think that was necessary. Brought the whole stew to a boil and then moved it, pot and all, to the bag.

About 2 hours later it was delicious...meat falling off the bone tender.

Getting ready to head out cruising for a few months. Will update after we return with more field experience.

We like the idea of not heating up the boat more and being able to just leave a meal cooking while we go off snorkeling with no worry about the boat catching on fire.
....and you can feel all green, warm and fuzzy too. ;-)
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Old 24-02-2014, 11:12   #27
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

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My GF was concerned about the beef getting properly cooked so she pre-cooked it a bit. Now, we don't think that was necessary.
From a culinary point of view, you often impart alot of flavour and improve the meat texture by quickly browning the pieces before firing into the pot. Just boiling meat is sometimes, um, bleh.
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Old 24-02-2014, 11:48   #28
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
From a culinary point of view, you often impart alot of flavour and improve the meat texture by quickly browning the pieces before firing into the pot. Just boiling meat is sometimes, um, bleh.
She's the foodie, so maybe that was part of her thought process too.
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Old 24-02-2014, 15:28   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post

Same idea as the Wonder Bag (not a new idea, just a new product). I've seen older versions of this idea using straw filled boxes.
Straw in a box? you must be a youngins. when I was a kid we used to put hot rocks in a hole in the ground and put our woven basket on top.... And don't even think about saying -you had woven baskets? why we used......
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Old 29-04-2014, 02:35   #30
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Re: Amps, Watts and Volts Required For Slow Cookers

We regularly use a slow cooker on board - reality is that even though we'd rather sail than motor, we do end up motoring for long periods on some days (British Columbia, summer winds are often light). Then, the alternator is a source of plentiful energy so we figure we might as well use it.

We got a model made by Hamilton, a 4 quart "Stay or Go" model, with a nice rubber gasket between the glass lid and the bowl, and two clamps to hold it in place. Their target market is the pot luck crowd, I think. It sits on the gimballed stove top. Never had a spill even when some big wakes rolled us.

I have used this using only our solar panels, at 48 degrees north in the summer. We have two 85 Watt panels which in full sun put out 12 Amps at about 14 V, and an inverter that is supposedly 95% efficient.

Cooking meat is no problem - we cube/chop it, brown it first, and always use boiling water for the liquid.

Van
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