Chulent Alternatives

When I mentioned that I don’t like scrubbing chulent pots, many people responded that one need not eat chulent on Shabbos day. I’m in total agreement, but have not yet successfully found a hot dish that serves well under the circumstances. Most of the Shabbos day meals I’ve had that did not involve chulent were cold. (One person served crock-pot meat balls, but we don’t own a crock pot and regular pot meatballs do not do well with 24-hour cooking.)

So I’m curious: what do people replace chulent with?


28 thoughts on “Chulent Alternatives

  1. BBQ ribs, or chamin, or what is that stuff called – the meat sandwiched in shredded potatoes on top of a layer of onions. There are plenty of options.

    Why don’t you guys have a crock pot? Just curious.

  2. try morroccan chulent which the rice, meat and other portions of the chulent are cooked separately so it comes out looking like real food instead of a blob

  3. Tens of different types of soups. And they better be served slightly less than scolding- none of this wussy luke-warm business. If you want something warm after the soup for the main course, you can heat your side dish on top of the crock pot before the meal.

    Kisarita, doesn’t morroccan chulent also have whole-boiled eggs in it?

  4. I would hate to have scolding soup. And I can’t see how slightly less than scolding would be much of an improvement.
    Sorry, but I absolutely could not resist.

  5. Just give me the hottest temperature at which my tongue doesn’t go numb. It seems like every house I visit serves soup at luke-warm temperatures. I’m the type that’s finished the soup while everyone else is still blowing their first spoonful.

    I guess you don’t have the heat-resistance to appreciate hot soup.

    I just took a shot at you above the neck.

  6. 1) You can get a non-stick crockpot.
    2) You can cook in a cooking bag. They actually work.

    Then you can make chulent and not have to deal with cleaning it.

  7. Most crockpots nowadays don’t stick all that much. I usually soak it overnight in water with a little dishwashing soap mixed in. Then on Sunday morning, it takes less than 5 minutes to clean. We rarely have chulent anyway because we prefer lighter fare on Shabbat. Lighter meals are also not as tough on the stomach when taking a nap right after eating.

    My wife has been making thick vegetable soups in the crock pot sometimes, but everyones favorite seems to be the Yemenite soup that she makes – it’s great because it has meat and potatoes (and lots of other good stuff), but it isn’t quite as heavy as chulent is. Of course sometimes I’ll eat 3 bowls and that makes it just as heavy….

  8. Any kind of chicken with no gravy. Kugel. Rice. Potatoes. Soup (on blech before shabbos). Shepard’s pie. Meat loaf. Lasagna. With a blech, most foods can be heated up as long as there’s no liquid.

    Such a “good girl” post – discussing shabbos food options before you’re even married. My goodness what has bad4 come to!

  9. Quinoa with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Meat patties taste better the next day rather than shnitzel. And if you take it out early enough, sweet and sour chicken. Liquidy, so can’t be too close to the blech, but tastes good even at room temp.

  10. I made this incredible meatless cholent, (more of a moroccan stew), that was mainly eggplant, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes, and peppers, with a bunch of delicious spices slow cooked and kept in a regular pot on the blech over shabbos. Easy cleanup, since it doesn’t get sticky, and wow, is it good!! I can give you the recipe if requested…

  11. For the “cooking bag” crowd, a quick equation:
    Heat + Plastic + Food = Food with Plastic In It
    Bisphenol A was only called out as dangerous after an entire generation of babies grew up ingesting it with their milk. Cholent is not so holy that you have to play with your health and hormones for its sake.

    Second: it’s not the stickiness of cholent alone that’s a problem: it’s dealing with a pot full of brown murky water. So, anything that leads to a pot of brown murky water is not a good alternative.

    Third: For all those who recommend heating dry things on the blech – do you have better success with it than we do? Cuz all we get is lukewarm, dry, and unevenly heated at best.

    Lastly: My mother requests that you share the recipes! She’s totally interested and loves new food ideas.

  12. Cover correctly- very air tight, to prevent dryness. Lukewarm is NEVER usually the problem- we’ve got the old-fashioned sheet of metal as a blech.

  13. I would like to state for the record that I am with the crowed who uses crockpot liners. First off, slow-cook liners generally don’t contain BPA nowadays, they contain a nylon resin. The biggest risk in using one is the potential to burn oneself. See this:

    As for cleaning cholent pot, it really isn’t that difficult or nasty. I would venture to say that it can be equivalent to cleaning any other stubborn supper pot which can come in all shades of the rainbow, brown included; well at least a few shades of the rainbow… :-p

    If you still have your heart set on avoiding cholent, or cleaning brown murky water for that matter, I can offer two suggestions. 1) Hot Pastrami or 2) Potato and Meat Stew, aka Yapsuk.

  14. To reduce burned & dry food: Place a few aluminum pans upside down on a blech or hotplate to dissipate the heat…make the heat less “concentrated.” And put your foil wrapped food on top of those upside down aluminum pans, not directly on the heating surface.

  15. noah, that sounds interesting, could you post the recipe? always looking for new and interesting recipes, especialy in regard to cholent
    i ate at a morrocan family in israel and they had slow cooked chicken in a pot kept on a platah, it wasn’t bad

  16. I put a couple cups worth of water in the crock pot before putting the bag (and anything, not only ) chulent inside the bag. It keeps it from burning and the plastic from melting. After shabbos it takes minutes to just rinse it out like you would a plate that was used for the meal. Takes less time to clean the crock pot than any other serving dish that was used.

  17. I use a crockpot (you can get one for less than $30 on amazon and they’re wonderful) and never use a cholent bag – just SPRAY IT WELL (with pam) before you put everything in on Shabbat. it is truly life changing!

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