Using crock-pot to reduce tomato sauce

MaterexDecember 30, 2011

Hopefully I'll soon have a decent tomato crop (I live in Florida). I'll be running them through a Victorio strainer.

My question is: Can I use my large, oval crock-pot to reduce sauce down instead of on the stove? Would I dare do it over-night? High or low temp? lid on, off, or just propped open a bit?

Your imput greatly appreciated....

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tracydr(9b)

I've done it. Last summer I put overnighted a crock pot full of sauce and ended up with the most amazing, thick rich sauce. At first, I thought I'd ruined it because it was so dark and looked so different but when I stirred it up, added a splash of red wine, OMG!
We're still eating off that batch. One little half pint will cover a half box of spaghetti and make the most amazing pasta. It did take a ton of tomatoes, though. I think I cooked it for about fourteen hours.
I'm growing more paste tomatoes this year so that it's easier to prepare and cook the sauce. We really enjoy sauce and salsa more than anything else. We like a few fresh tomatoes each day but want enough sauce/salsa to last all year.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 11:44PM
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Materex

to tracydr: Which setting did you use, high or low? With lid on/off? Thank-you for the quick (and possitive!) feedback. You and I may be on to something, I think LOTS of people want a non-scorcing, easy way of making sauce without a lot of personal attention and a high usage of electricity....even gas ain't cheap.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 2:02AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I made some this summer. I started off on high with the lid on. After it came up to temp I removed the lid and turned it on low. Turned out great!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 7:51AM
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tracydr(9b)

I used low setting and left the lid off so that the water could evaporate.
I've also used the oven and roasting pans on very low settings, if the crockpots are too small.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 6:58PM
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sautesmom

I think it would be great, on low. Every time I try and use my stovetop to reduce it down, my tomato sauce ends up tasting burnt. Since the crockpot is a "gentler" heat, it should be an excellent way to cook it down.

Let us know how it worked for you!

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 11:03PM
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larryw(z6Ohio)

I never thought of using a crock-pot but I imagine it would work. However, it seems kinda small to handle a decent sized batch.

At least 15 years ago an Italian lady told me about using an electric roaster and I have been doing that ever since. NO MORE BURNED SAUCE!!!!!

Some details:

1) Skin and core the tomatoes first--cut them open to be sure there are no yucks inside.
2) Cook up in a big pot and boil for at least 5 minutes
till the steam coming off the stewed tomatoes changes from a harsh smell to a sweet tomato smell.
3) Ladle into a blender and rev her up for about 15 to 20 seconds.
4) Pour the blender load into a hand cranked processing
strainer and turn the crank BACKWARDS, SO LIFTING THE SEEDS
UP OFF THE SCREEN INSTEAD OF FORCING THEM THROUGH. The
strained juice goes into the electric roaster and the seeds and small amount of tough pulp gets recycled to the garden.
5) Continue blender load after another until all the juice has been extracted. You will be impressed with how thick and creamy your juice is at this point--It is actually
as thick as any commercial juice on the market and is much more tasty. You can add a teaspoon of salt to each quart and a vitamin C tablet, process and can per standard procedures and enjoy as the finest juice possible. Note that if you throw some seeded hot peppers into the stewing
pot you will end up with something like snappy tom--but now on to sauce making.
6) I set my electric roaster thermostat at about 280; I
think you can piddle with this to match your unit to a good simmer rate. I also set a small electric fan next to the roaster to blow away the vapors and have found this cuts concentration time down considerably. A thick crust tends to form on the surface of the simmering sauce; I stir frequently to bust this up and it helps a great deal.
7) Before I turn the roaster on I measure the depth of the juice using a clean ruler. I concentrate to 1/2 that depth
to get the thickness of sauce I like. I find I can boil down a full roaster load to 1/2 depth in 4 to 6 hours.
8) Once your concentration is complete you can add into the roaster pan whatever flavorings/etc you desire to end up with your maranara or spaghetti sauce.
9) I then pressure can but one could also freeze if desired.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 8:37AM
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calliope(6)

Larry......thanks! I have been setting on crock pots the night before for sauces, and I process enormous amounts of tomatoes. Never thought of the roaster, but I have a big one and I'll try this next harvest.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 10:11PM
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