About My Coffeepot
When it comes to most anything new, I believe in starting small and keeping it simple. When I started cooking in my coffeepot, I used the little one I had and my only purchased piece of equipment was a thermometer to make sure I was holding above 140 for an hour which is pretty much the minimal safe cooking temperature for almost everything.
Well, a coffeepot does a lot better than that. The lowest temperature I found on an old coffeepot I had was about 165 and it reaches that temperature in about 2 hours. More normal is a temperature around 172 which is reached in the same time period. The smallest coffeepots are actually too small to cook a decent meal so I purchased the basic Mr. Coffee on price alone and am very pleased with my selection. The temperature is about 174 and it reaches that temperature in a little less than 2 hours. This is exactly the same as a crockpot and it is a perfect size.
My problem with crockpots are that they are too big, too small and the ones that are the perfect size have the heating on the side so they don’t cook very evenly. They also cost more than a basic Mr. Coffee. The only other choice is a metal or glass pot. I choose glass because it is easier to clean and see if it is clean. Remember, the heat is applied from the bottom of the coffeepot and you are very close to the scorching temperature of some foods so it’s nice to be able to clean it every time. After you break a couple of pots, you learn to discipline yourself into only using wood or plastic utensils and not being as aggressive in stirring the pot.
As I write this I am returning to coffeepot cooking. For the past three months I have expanded my horizons to include cooking in my fondue pot and also BBQ on my grill. Unfortunately this change has caused me to loose discipline on the absolute necessity to portion control my meals and not have any leftovers to tempt me. If I grill 3 chicken legs and thighs I will eat all three and still cook dinner the next day. If I put one in the coffeepot and make a delightful meal, I am satisfied and will not eat anything except rabbit food until my next dinner is ready.
The fondue pot is about halfway in between the temptation to grill too much and be efficient with the charcoal and the portion controlled slow cooking in my coffeepot. Because it has a rapid rate of heating at very controlled temperatures, you can delay cooking until you are hungry and there is always a temptation to cook more if you are hungry. It is also a little larger capacity than my coffeepot so you definitely can cook larger portions. Initially, I avoided the temptation to cook more but as I started using the fondue pot and then grilling I paid less attention to portion control. At the same time the last month has been an almost continuous family party with eating and drinking and 2-3 meals a day and I gained about 10 pounds.
I use an Oster Fondue pot and it has absolutely wonderful temperature control from sous vide temperatures (125 Fahrenheit) on up. The only other issue not previously discussed is that it does not come with a top because you don’t use one when making fondue. I solved that by using a top from an old pot. The design of this unit has elements of an electric frying pan for fritters, a Teflon coated wok for stir fry and an electric stew pot.
However, always remember that the magic is not the coffeepot, it is the joy of cooking meals that you really like in the proper amounts so you are satisfied and there are no leftovers to tempt you. I portion control everything I buy, especially meats, into 4-7 oz pieces and freeze all but the one I intend to use. For me, portion control is the hard part as I still revert to my “see food diet” every chance I get. I mean if I see food and it’s there I eat it until it’s gone. Without the discipline of portion control, I would still be over 200.