The Ingredients list is simple:
- 3 lbs pork
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1 pkg. Crock Pot Pulled Pork BBQ Seasoning
- 1 cup water
The Preparation section is even easier (I will type everything exactly):
- PLACE pork in slow cooker.
- MIX seasoning packet with ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar until blended. Pour over pork.
- COVER & COOK 8 hrs. on LOW or 4 hrs. on HIGH. REMOVE pork from slow cooker. Shred, using two forks. Return meat to slow cooker. Mix with sauce and heat before serving.
That's it. Notice anything? That's right, that 1 cup of water listed in the ingredients is not used anywhere in the preparation. Why is it needed? After some discussion, we decided the water was designed to keep the meat moist during cooking. We feel that step one should read, "PLACE pork and water in slow cooker." We can make a case for it being added to the sauce in part two of step 3, so we're not certain of our choice. It's what we're going with.
This error leads us to another error by omission that has been frustrating us: everything we have been cooking in our new slow cooker has been either overcooked or done way sooner than the estimated times on recipes. My wife did some research and discovered a couple of interesting things, which our slow cooker instructions and manuals don't mention.
- Modern, recently-made (last 5 years or so) slow cookers are set to higher temperatures than older models. If you had an older model and purchased a new one, you may notice that your recipes are finishing sooner or are overcooked when cooked in the new cooker. This may be why. No one seems to know quite why manufacturers decided to make this unspecified and unneeded change.
- Slow cookers are designed to be used at a minimum of about 2/3 full. If you are, say, two people who just want enough for dinner and some leftovers, and you purchased a larger slow cooker, you may find your food overdone because it gets too hot during cooking because it is only 1/3 or maybe 1/2 full.
In both cases, why not clearly mention it? It makes a pretty big difference; my wife and I have wasted a number of meals because we couldn't figure out what we were doing wrong. We had a solid, older model that made good food and we could use without issue and we were throwing out dry, almost inedible food with the new, larger one. Knowing either piece of info would have made a huge difference; knowing both is causing us to rethink our purchase and considering downgrading to a smaller slow cooker.
Where is the editing? Why omit this information? Is no one reading or reviewing these items?
Addendum (2/21/2014)Here is the response I got back from the company. Doesn't exactly instill confidence that they will fix the issue in subsequent runs of the ingredient package:
Thank you for taking the time to contact B&G Foods Inc. We’re sorry to hear about confusion regarding the directions on our Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
After placing the pork in you slow cooker, mix the entire seasoning packet with water, ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar until blended. Pour over pork.
B&G Foods Inc.Corporate Consumer Affairs/2