I Tried CrockPot Meals Food and Recipes: Here are my Thoughts
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CrockPot Meals are brought to you by the same people that make the actual crockpot cooking device – Sunbeam Products, Inc. These meals are all about easy meal preparation and cooking. The meals come frozen in individual boxes ready to be put in your freezer until you are ready to use them. No thawing time is required – you simply place the frozen ingredients into the crockpot and turn it on. Can’t get much simpler than that!
As you can expect, they do not feature fresh ingredients or more sophisticated meal choices. The choices you have are pretty basic and would fall under what I would call a casserole, soup or stew type meal choice. As of the writing of this post, you can choose from a total of 11 meals that don’t change from week to week.
As a working mom I’m all about easy to prepare meals, so these meals really intrigued me and I held out a lot of hope that they would be as easy to make and full of flavor as stated.
I ordered two meals from CrockPot Meals to try:
- CrockPot Cuisine Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken
- CrockPot Cuisine Savory Beef with Stroganoff Sauce
Let’s see how they worked out, shall we?
1. CrockPot Cuisine Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken
Both my husband and I love spicy food and in particular creole and cajun food. So picking this meal was a no-brainer.
There was not a lot of preparation to this meal. You basically cut open the two pouches, (1) with the meat and sauce and (2) with the vegetables and put it in the crockpot with ½ cup water (if cooking on low) or 1 cup (if cooking on high). Everything comes ready to go, there is no cutting, chopping, or anything.
Again, there is no real “cooking” involved. You turn the crockpot to either low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Thirty minutes before serving you cut open the rice pouch and add it the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot, replace the cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes.
Taste and Final Product
This is where things didn’t turn out like I was hoping they would. The andouille sausage was very spicy – but I knew it would be, and expected I wouldn’t eat much of it. But without the sausage the overall taste of the meal was bland and not very flavorful at all. So you either had extremely spicy or not taste. The rice turned to mush and the grain of the rice was so small you couldn’t even really tell it was rice. My husband didn’t mind it, but I found it very disappointing.
As you can see from the comparison picture below, the end result only remotely resembles what is shown on the website.
Would I Eat It Again?
Absolutely not. For the price of $6.24 a serving or $24.99 for the meal(not including shipping), it was not worth the price at all. As I said the taste was bland except for the extreme heat of the sausage, and the rice was nothing more than mush. But I don’t know how you can expect cooked, then frozen, then thawed, then cooked again rice to be anything but mush. Maybe if it had been a medium or large grain rice it might have helped – or maybe not.
Even though it was a time saving meal, that doesn’t mean much if it’s not good. In this case I felt that I could have just as easily made this same recipe with my own ingredients and cooked my own rice separately and had a much better meal for the price.
2. CrockPot Cuisine Savory Beef with Stroganoff Sauce
I love Stroganoff of any kind. The rich beefy taste combined with the creamy sauce over noodles is just such a comforting food after a long day. So I was excited to see this as an option.
Again there was no preparation involved. Simply putting the frozen ingredients along with water into the crockpot and putting the pouch of noodles in the refrigerator.
Just like with the other meal, there is no real “cooking” involved. You turn the crockpot to either low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Thirty minutes before serving you cut open the noodle pouch and add it the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot, replace the cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes.
My bowl looked nothing like the picture on the website. You couldn’t really tell there were noodles in it at all.
The flavor was even more tasteless than the Creole-Style Sausage and Chicken. We actually ended up throwing the majority of it away and made sandwiches. We just couldn’t eat it, after trying a couple of times and even trying to add Au Jus and sour cream.
Would I Eat it Again?
Again, absolutely not. This dish was absolutely horrible. Between the mushy, pasty noodles that didn’t even somewhat resemble noodles, and the total absence of any sauce this was just a horrible meal that as I said we ended up throwing in trash. And I’ve made stroganoff myself in the crockpot before, and it was wonderful. But you can’t cook noodles(and actually they were over-cooked before even putting them in the crockpot), then freeze them, thaw them out, and cook them again for 30 minutes. They just simply mushed up.
This was an expensive – at $24.99/meal, $6.24/serving – flop. This meal could have easily been made with fresh ingredients from the grocery store, in the crockpot, with the noodles cooked separately for much less than what you will spend for an awful meal from crockpot.
Final Results: 0 out of 2 Recipes Approved
Save your money and make your own crockpot meals. These meals were terrible and didn’t save any time when we had to make another meal to replace what we couldn’t eat from the crockpot meal.
These days you can even take the main ingredients for a meal like these – less items like rice and noodles that absolutely have to be cooked separately – and freeze them together in containers ahead of time to easily create your own crockpot frozen meals to cook.
Read our full review of CrockPot meals right here on Revuezzle.
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