Summer is here! And it’s the start of a new month, so I’ve declared July to be Slow Cooker Month! I am so in love with using my slow cooker. In fact, I challenged myself to use my slow cooker every day for a full year (I only made it 4 1/2 months, but that’s a story for later). This month I’ll be posting roundups of delicious slow cooker recipes that I’ve found/used over the years. Today though, I’ll be posting the slow cooker basics to show you how you can and should take advantage of your slow cooker!
Why use a slow cooker?
- It’ll keep you from eating out! How many times have you gotten home from work and it’s so late that you simply can’t gather the energy to cook dinner, so you all go out instead? Throw a bunch of ingredients into your slow cooker before you leave for work, and you’ll have a hot, delicious dinner ready when you get home!
- Meals are quick to put together. Most meals take less than 5 minutes to put in the slow cooker, perfect for those busy days. And if you have any meals in the freezer, it takes just seconds to dump the bag and let it cook!
- Easy to clean. Most models are dishwasher safe, and you can even purchase liners to make clean-up even easier!
- It doesn’t heat up the house! Summertime is brutal when it comes to cooking. Having the stove AND oven on is just torture! A slow cooker is awesome for making a hot meal without making the house 10 degrees hotter.
I thought slow cookers were only used for soups and roasts! Not at all! Actually, you can make almost anything. Cakes, lasagna, even delicious breakfasts! The texture of certain things might be different, like the pasta may be very soft, but most things still turn out great.
How expensive are they? It varies depending on the model size, and whether it has a programmable timer. Crock Pot and Hamilton Beach are two of the main brands, and the price ranges from $25.00 for a 4-quart up to $70.00+. You can always try to find a generic brand on sale for $20.00 or less, as well; just find what works for you! I have a Salton slow cooker that my mom gave me, and I can’t even find it on Amazon; it’s possible that company doesn’t make slow cookers anymore.
Can I leave the house while it’s on? Yes, definitely! The slow cooker’s temperature is about 200 degrees so it heats up very slowly; it’s designed to be on for long periods of time. When I left for work in the mornings, I started dinner around 8:00 am and when we got home around 4:30 that afternoon, dinner was perfectly cooked and in no danger of catching fire!
Next week I’ll post a roundup of amazing breakfast recipes you can make in your slow cooker! During my time of using my slow cooker every day, I was surprised at the variety of breakfasts I could cook. But they all turned out great and I’d definitely make them all again!
How often do you use your slow cooker? Do you have any favorite recipes? Share in the comments below!
(Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post.)