When I got married, almost eight years ago, we were gifted many wonderful kitchen gadgets, utensils, and appliances. One appliance that gets the most use in our kitchen is our slow cooker. The one we have is a simple model, but it’s been used often over eight years and hasn’t shown any wear on it yet!
Ok yes, I did just watch that episode of This is Us, but my slow cooker/crockpot does not have a faulty switch. And besides, I don’t like to run it if I’m not home, and I always unplug it as soon as it’s done! Just figure I should throw out a few safety tips because we all know about #thisisus and the problem it caused!
The slow cooker can be useful in so many situations:
- When you can’t all eat together, so everyone gets a warm meal
I often use my slow cooker when I know we will have a busy evening and may not have the chance to all sit down for dinner together since we can each get our meal when we are ready. Tyler and Ryan recently started swim lessons, and Justin often has meetings on the same days so that dinner can be a little tricky.
- You have more time in the morning to prepare dinner than you will in the evening
Those evenings that you know are going to be crazy are perfect days for a slow cooker meal. You can prep it all in the morning, set the slow cooker, and have a nice warm meal ready in the evening.
- Make meats more tender
If you have some meats that are the less-expensive cuts, you can cook them in a slow cooker, and they will be nice and tender when you are done because of the slow low-temperature cooking.
- Use less heat and electricity
A slow cooker is perfect for making those warm, hearty soups in the winter, but also work great in the summer for keeping the temperature in the house down since they don’t use near as much heat or electricity as the oven.
So which slow cooker is the best to use? Well, that depends on what you are looking for. I prefer the simple models because they seem to last longer since there is less to go wrong on them. We have the Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Stay or Go Slow Cooker and it is perfect for our family.
- Simple to use: just put everything in, set it for the temperature you need, and put the lid on.
- Easy to clean: the inner stoneware comes out to clean separate from the base
- Seals: clips seal the lid so you can take it to a potluck party without worrying about it spilling on the way
- Good size: 6 quarts is large enough to make most soups and chilis, a 6-pound chicken or a 4-pound roast
- Carrying handles: also great for when you are taking this somewhere so you can carry it easily
- Dishwasher safe: the lid and inner stoneware can be cleaned in the dishwasher
Bonus for parents: If you use the clips while you are cooking, there is less worry about a curious child pulling at the cooker and having the lid and the hot contents spill out onto them.
Slow cookers can be used in a variety of ways, from meals that you build right in the crock pot, to meals that require a bit of prep work, to dump-and-cook freezer meals. But remember, a slow cooker can be used for more than just dinners, but also for breakfasts, desserts, drinks, gravy and so many other delicious recipes.
Some of my favorite recipes for a slow cooker:
- BBQ Chicken SandwichesAugust 4, 2017
- BBQ Pork Potatoes in the Slow CookerMay 7, 2018
- Beef Roast: A Full Meal in the Slow CookerMay 30, 2018
- Beef and Pork ChiliJanuary 29, 2016
- Chili Nacho DipDecember 20, 2017
- Christmas Recap + Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe 2 WaysDecember 28, 2017
- Easy Slow-Cooker Potato and Cheddar SoupNovember 1, 2017
- A Simple Yet Fabulous Slow Cooker [Product Review]February 1, 2018
- Homemade Vegetable Broth from Kitchen ScrapsAugust 8, 2018
- Slow Cooker Mac & CheeseFebruary 28, 2018
- Spiked Hot Apple CiderDecember 13, 2017
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Bowl in the Slow CookerMay 16, 2018
Do you have a favorite recipe for your slow cooker? How often do you use yours?
You can check out this slow cooker and other wonderful products that I recommend on my Amazon store.
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