Just got a very nice email from Ashley L., who is a little concerned with the slow-cooker beef recipe this week. To quote, “HELP! I don’t have a crock-pot, and I can’t afford to go out and buy one…am I going to ruin this roast is I cook it in the over? Can I use a cast-iron dutch cooker, instead?”
Great news…you can, absolutely, cook your crock-pot recipes in the oven, using a dutch oven, cassoulet pan, or even a cast-iron skillet and some foil*.
As you know, we often include crock-pot and slow-roast recipes in our weekly meal plans, so we have a LOT of practice doing conversions!
Here’s one of our favorites, Braised Lamb Shank Tacos…
Another of our most popular dishes is typically cooked in a smoker, or in the crock-pot (which is a sin against God and nature…) but can be done deliciously by slow-roasting in the oven.
Check out The Best Dang Pulled Pork Sliders for several fantastic methods…
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Lastly, here’s another favorite, “Low & Slow Southern Baked Beans.”
Now, lot’s of folks make stews and bean dishes in the crock-pot, and they taste pretty good. What makes oven-roasting better? One word: REDUCTION. There’s very little reduction in a crock-pot, as the whole idea is to seal moisture IN. Slow roasting allows the liquids to slowly evaporate, thickening and intensifying the flavors.
So, you have your own crockpot recipes that you want to try slow-roasting? Here’s an easy conversion chart:
Crockpot time – Oven time
- 12 hours/Low – 3 hours/325° F
- 10 hours/Low – 2 1/2 hours/325° F
- 8 hours/Low – 2 hours/325° F
- 6 hours/Low – 1 1/2 hours/325° F
- 5 hours/Low – 1 hour, 15 min./325° F
- 4 hours/Low – 1 hour/325° F
- 4 hours/High – 2 hours/325° F
- 3 hours/Low – 45 min./325° F
- 3 hours/High – 1 1/2 hours/325° F
*To use a cast iron skillet, follow the same instructions, but (once the food is in it) wrap the entire skillet in 2-3 layers of heavy foil, before putting it in the oven. Good luck, let us know if you have any questions!
– Chef Perry