Shannon Stacey

Torture by crockpot

How can you tell when Mom can’t cook? I realized yesterday the bulk of our grocery budget is spent on beverages, ice cream, school snacks and paper plates.

But as I use it more, I’m starting to really love my crockpot. I can start supper in the morning, when I’m already in domestic mode, rather than at the end of the day when I’m tired and my brain’s fried. But the aromas drifting out to me from the kitchen for the entire day are sheer torture. My house smells delicious and I’m starving and it still has eight hours and nine minutes to cook.

Today in the crockpot is a new-to-us meal that was a hit with the entire family, which is outrageously rare: Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches from Shredded up on bulky rolls with lettuce and tomatoes and provolone? NOM. Also, it’s brutally yummy-smelling while cooking.

Tomorrow, I’m just going to throw some boneless chicken breasts in it with some broth and maybe a packet of the Herb & Garlic Lipton soup mix and see how that goes. Everything I’ve read says it’s best to cook them from frozen, so I hand-trimmed the breasts (because I’m extremely uptight about that) and stuck them in the freezer. We’ll see how that goes.

Very forgiving cooking method, that crockpot.

9 comments to “Torture by crockpot”

  1. Lori
      · January 18th, 2011 at 5:23 pm · Link

    The frozen chicken recipe? I do it all the time. So tender and tasty. 4 frozen chicken breasts, 1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix (but wow – does subbing the Herb & Garlic Lipton soup sound great!), and 1/2 to 1 can of chicken broth.

  2. Natasha A.
      · January 18th, 2011 at 6:14 pm · Link

    So…any chance you wanted to share more crockpot recipes? I’ve been..unlucky in that department :( Although the chicken with the herb and garlic sounds awesomesauce!

  3. Lee Laughlin
      · January 18th, 2011 at 7:55 pm · Link

    I’m not a huge fan of mushy food, so the crock pot is not my best friend. However, the beef recipe sounds pretty good. I’m not a white meat fan, so I’ll pass on the chicken :) Good luck taming the beast.

  4. Jaci Burton
      · January 18th, 2011 at 8:03 pm · Link

    It’s really hard to screw anything up in the crockpot as long as you give it enough time to cook.

    Lee, you can substitute thighs/drumsticks for any white meat chicken recipe, and just don’t overcook it so it isn’t mushy. :-)

    Natasha – I’m rather fond of tossing a roast in the crockpot with a cup of water on high for 5 hours. Just salt and pepper and it’s tender as can be. Any cut of roast is fine and I guarantee fork-tender success. You can use the juice to make gravy. Yum.

  5. Shannon
      · January 19th, 2011 at 1:30 am · Link

    I don’t have a big repertoire because my family’s wicked finicky. But the beef one I linked to is wonderful. (But use the cut it calls for–rump roast–it didn’t shred well with whatever the first one was I used.)

    This link was given to me in a recent comment: A big variety and some look really good.

    This upside down whole chicken recipe from Angie came out good.

    And I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole and neither would my kids, but my husband and some fellow campers liked this chili recipe from

    I’m nervous about how long to cook the frozen chicken breasts. Eight hours on low? They’re pretty plump, with the tenders underneath, not the frozen slabs in a bag.

  6. Jewell
      · January 19th, 2011 at 6:50 am · Link

    For awesome shreddable roasts, my fav is English cut. Verra flavorful and perfect for long cooking times.

  7. Shannon
      · January 19th, 2011 at 12:00 pm · Link

    I don’t think I’ve seen that cut, but the meat departments of our grocery stores are far from butcher level. Two different oven roasts and two different pot roasts is pretty much all they offer.

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one, though. We like that meal a lot. And we have heaps of leftovers from it.

  8. Carin
      · January 19th, 2011 at 9:01 pm · Link

    Shannon, you need a meat thermometer – it will set you free! Ok, that was way overdramatic, but I used to worry a lot if I’d cooked meat enough, but a stab with the thermometer when you think it’s done will verify and put your mind at ease.

    I hadn’t heard of starting with frozen chicken breast. I do the chicken breasts and salsa in the slow cooker meal, but just start with raw chicken at fridge temp. It finishes in about 4 hours, so I wonder if the freezing is to time your chicken to take all day? Gosh, this is making me hungry and it’s way too late to use a crockpot!

  9. Shannon
      · January 21st, 2011 at 2:39 pm · Link

    I’ve been married 17 and 1/2 years and I’ve never owned a meat thermometer. Or a whisk. I think I need to start buying some of this stuff now. :lol:

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