Thursday, 8 January 2009

Slow Cooker Porridge Disaster -- Help!

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Oh, dear, what would Goldilocks think?

Last night I tried to make slow cooker porridge for the first time. I scoured the internet for recipes, and as they varied greatly in the quantity of liquids needed I went about half way.

Into the slow cooker I put 3 cups whole rolled oats (not instant), 4 cups milk and 4 cups water, along with a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of salt (we add brown sugar to taste after cooking).

I put the slow cooker on low at about 10.30 pm and woke at 7 to an unappetising mess. The porridge was thick and gluggy with a strange taste, even after adding the sugar.

Around the edges the porridge was bubbling, brown and stuck. It took me several attempts at soaking and scrubbing and a few hours to clean the slow cooker bowl.

So please, tell me where I went wrong?

Would greasing the bowl have made any difference? None of the porridge or oatmeal recipes I've seen call for greasing, but I never want to do such an awful clean-up job again.

What should I have done differently?





My Usual Porridge Recipe (NO slow cooker)

about 1/2 C whole rolled oats per person
water
milk
cinnamon
brown sugar
pinch salt
cream or extra milk
grated apple, nuts or raisins (optional)

Put oats in a saucepan. Pour over cold water until just covered and a little extra (maybe 1-2 cm or 1/2"), and leave overnight, or cover with boiling water, put the lid on, and leave for about 30 minutes. In this time the oats will swell and soak up most of the water.

Add cinnamon, salt and an extra 1-2 cm milk. I know this is not exact, but you don't need to be. If it looks too thick, add extra milk.
You could also pop in a grated apple, some nuts or some raisins if you like. Cook stirring until porridge has thickened and is just simmering. Simmer very gently for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar to taste, then serve. Extra brown sugar and cream or milk can be added at the table.



21 comments:

The Tin House said...

Oh Kate - I'll be looking on at the comments here with great interest as I've just bought a slow cooker and the two things I've cooked in it have been awful. Lisa x (p.s. happy 2009!)

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I've tried oatmeal in the slow cooker once, and I hated it! It just tasted wrong. Actually, I hardly ever use mine; I just like the taste of stove-cooked food better.

Kirstin said...

Oh, bummer...but I can't help you because I've never done this.

Shimmy Mom said...

I'd never thought to make it in a slow cooker, so I have no answers for you. But you have intrigued me so if you find the answer, please post it. Sorry about the failed attempt though, I think scrubbing nasty slow cookers is one of the worst chores ever!
Good luck.
*hugs*

Stitchingranny said...

Another one who cannot help as I have always done the soak overnight way as you normally do - though nowdays as the only one left in the house who eats porridge I usually resort to the sort you just add milk to and pop in the microwave for two mins.

Jayne said...

Best way to make porridge is old school the night before (learnt this on nightshift in a hospital) - measure out the oats into a large saucepan, fill half way with hot water then cover and leave till you're ready for bed.
Then top up with more hot water, cover and go to bed.
In the morning add the amount of milk you want, turn the heat on underneath and stir - will give you the creamiest porridge ever.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

No advise here!
I haven't had a slow cooker since the wedding gift went out years ago. You're brave to try.

River said...

For slow cooking try adding more water and leave the milk addition until morning.I think the long cooking of the milk may have been the problem. Like overcooked rice pudding. Maybe twice as much water as you have oats? I do mine on the stove top too. I soak my rolled oats with extra oatbran and a little brown sugar overnight, then add a smidge of milk in the morning.

Chookie said...

I think your slow cooker either cooks too high for porridge, or you didn't have enough liquid. I suspect it's the former; I've been told that newer SCs run at higher temps than the old ones (my 1970s SC needs a day and a half to cook stews!) Sounds like the milk burnt to produce brown bits and the nasty taste.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I have tried doing this a couple of ways and everytime it turned out yucky!

I soak my oatmeal over night, equal parts oatmeal and water. I just mix it in a bowl and let it sit covered. In the morning I add more water and cook, it only takes about 5 minutes, and it is so yummy and creamy.

mrsjones6 said...

I've never tried porridge in a slow cooker so I really don't know what would make the difference. I have only ever made soups or raosts in my slow cooker. Your stove-top recipe does sound delicious though and definitley deserves a try!
Have a great weekend!
Jennifer

ps. I left a little something for you on my blog.

Kirstin said...

Kate, I left you something on my blog....I'm putting your resolution to the test (C:

Kirstin said...

Kate, I left you something on my blog....I'm putting your resolution to the test (C:

Rose said...

Hullo Kate,

I picked up a link to your blog on an American site. Guess where I live? In the Illawarra, south of Sydney and I had to go to the US to find you. :-) I'm glad I did as your blog looks interesting.

Re the porridge in the crock pot: don't use milk at all in the crock pot. Try 250ml (a cup) of oats to 1 litre of cold water. Salt to taste and cook overnight.

Cheers, Rose

Anonymous said...

Try this Crock Pot Oatmeal recipe!
I have a ton of crock pot recipes that are delicious. I use mine all the time. Let me know if any of you all would like me to pass on the recipes that have been passed on to me. Just email me at thebournefamily@yahoo.com!

Thanks!

Ingredients

* 2 cups steel cut oats (not instant or rolled oats)
* 6-8 cups water, depending on how long the oatmeal will cook
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 2 apples, peeled and diced
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup sliced bananas
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts




Directions

There are many health benefits of oatmeal: It's full of fiber, reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), has lots of protein, and may help prevent heart disease.
The problem with some crockpot oatmeal recipes is they don't use enough liquid. So by the time you wake up in the morning, the oatmeal is crusty and stuck to your slow cooker. This crockpot oatmeal turns out just the way oatmeal was intended to taste and can cook 8 to 9 hours without sticking.
Important: You must use steel cut oatmeal, such as McCann's Irish Oatmeal, not rolled oats or instant oats. Otherwise, your oatmeal will cook too fast and end up sticking to the crockpot.
Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. If you're planning to cook the oatmeal 8 hours or longer, use 8 cups of water. If you want to cook it less than 8 hours, use 6 cups of water. Put first seven ingredients (through raisins) in slow cooker and cook on low. Just before serving, Stir in bananas and walnuts. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar if desired.
Serves 8.
I got this from healthyrecipes.com

Anonymous said...

Try this Porridge recipe!

Ingredients

* 2 cups steel cut oats (not instant or rolled oats)
* 6-8 cups water, depending on how long the oatmeal will cook
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 2 apples, peeled and diced
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup sliced bananas
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts




Directions

There are many health benefits of oatmeal: It's full of fiber, reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), has lots of protein, and may help prevent heart disease.
The problem with some crockpot oatmeal recipes is they don't use enough liquid. So by the time you wake up in the morning, the oatmeal is crusty and stuck to your slow cooker. This crockpot oatmeal turns out just the way oatmeal was intended to taste and can cook 8 to 9 hours without sticking.
Important: You must use steel cut oatmeal, such as McCann's Irish Oatmeal, not rolled oats or instant oats. Otherwise, your oatmeal will cook too fast and end up sticking to the crockpot.
Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. If you're planning to cook the oatmeal 8 hours or longer, use 8 cups of water. If you want to cook it less than 8 hours, use 6 cups of water. Put first seven ingredients (through raisins) in slow cooker and cook on low. Just before serving, Stir in bananas and walnuts. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar if desired.
Serves 8.
I got this from healthyrecipes.com

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear of your porridge disaster. There's nothing worse than a burnt porridge pot.

I use my slow cooker a lot, and often for porridge. I think the keys are a) to use steel cut oats - they hold up to the cooking better b) to use at least five cups of water to each cup of oats c) to fill your cooker well over half full d) to avoid including any dairy products - although these can be stirred in at the end - they just burn and taste nasty.

I've also had mixed luck with slow cooking cinnamon in general. It either looses its flavour, or takes on an odd flavour.

So, I'd make up your usual recipe, with lots of water, and omitting all the dairy and cinnamon. Slow cook that, and then stir in the dairy and cinnamon the next morning.

And to clean the pot, fill it with cold water and soak for eight hours or so.

Good luck!

Helz said...

Hi, I just had the same problem! Woke with porridge this morning that the kids would barely eat (and they love it usually) and was the consistency of that Ready-Brek stuff.

Anyway..I have decided not to give up - purchased myself a cheap wall timer that you just plug your appliance into so that I can get the slow-cooker to come on some time in the small hours, to maybe cook for 3 or 4 hours instead of about 8 or 9. am going to experiment, so will update you on what occurs!

For those of you have given up on slow-cookers, they really can be a life-saver, with the right recipes (honest!) I could not manage without mine, what with a whirlwind toddler under my feet - I can only cook when he's asleep!

Jo said...

Do try the slow cooker again - my family enjoys porridge every morning from ours. As others have said - use steel cut oats, 4 parts water to 1 part oats and a little salt. We add a splash of cream, maple syrup and raisins in the morning. For easy cleanup of any pan mess, add some baking soda to the soak water directly in your pan... give about 10 min. and your mess will wipe off very easily! Best of luck to you from an Oz-mummy stuck in the USA...

PaisleyJade said...

Hi there - I know this is a year or so late - but I do it this way (from my blog)

http://www.paisleyjade.com/2009/07/overnight-porridge.html

Anonymous said...

Apparently you should use a bowl with a lid INSIDE the crackpot to do it overnight.