Because Ree is in the big city today, and will likely spend a good deal of her 48-hour stay there either rushing to go somewhere or being rushed somewhere else, today seemed like a good day to slow things down a bit. In many different ways, we’re all rushing. And sometimes, the last thing we want to do after a long day is figure out what to make for dinner, let alone begin the process of actually preparing it.
So today’s theme focuses on the Slow Cooker. You know, that big heavy crock with a lid that, if you’re like me, is probably sitting on a shelf collecting dust somewhere? The one that you only occasionally pull out, but each time tell yourself that you really should use it more often? Then you end up hauling it back to where you stored it before, and you forget about it all over again? Yes, that one. Well, today is the day it gets its time in the sun. Today, we’ll explore the various recipes available here that show us how we can just throw things into that big ol’ pot early in the day, go about our usual activities, and return to the wonderful aroma of food that practically cooked itself for us.
Let’s start with The Noshery’s Posole: Pork and Hominy Soup in the photo above. Can you imagine coming home to a pot filled with that? Bliss, I tell you. Pure bliss.
Or perhaps you’re in the mood for some chili. Some Texas Chili, to be exact, served up jenjenk style.
Oh my goodness. That’s all I’ll say.
Of course, although the slow cooking process works wonders for meat, there are many other uses for your trusty old crock pot. Vegetarian? Then try these Crockpot Gingered Chickpeas and Spicy Tomato Stew from cookincanuck.
Or how about skipping the whole savory side of things and using your slow cooker to make lovely sweet treats? We’ve got those, too. Babskitchen offers us a lovely Mulled Cider In A Crockpot, seen below on the left. We even have cake! Check out monstermama’s Crock Pot Cake on the right. Or you could also try making a batch of Mommy’s Kitchen’s Homemade Spiced Applesauce, also seen below on the right.
Now, a slow cooker recipe roundup wouldn’t be complete without a mention of some form of pulled pork. So here are two different kinds of slow cooker pork recipes.
That’s Stephanie’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe you see on the left, and fujimama’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig on the right. I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to grab some tortillas right about now.
And there you have it! All these are examples of the great choices waiting for you in our Slow Cooker category. I didn’t even get a chance to show you a whole Crockpot Roasting Chicken from stubleroots, or a wonderfully delicious Creamy Italian Chicken pasta dish from Angie Arthur. If you’re looking for a new slow cooker recipe to try, I think there’s a good chance you’ll find something you like in there.
Or am I late to the whole crock pot party? (It won’t be the first time.) Are you among those who are already making good use of your slow cooker? Were you shaking your head when I talked about my slow cooker gathering dust somewhere? (It won’t be the first time I’ve induced forlorn head-shaking, either.) If so, what are some of your favorite recipes?
Or, as in my case, is your slow cooker not even on your radar when you’re trying to come up with a plan for lunch or dinner? If that’s the case, then let’s dust it off and try some of the incredible recipes here! A warning, though: you just may end up upgrading your slow cooker from basement residence to premium countertop real estate.
You might want to warn your toaster or coffeepot.
Comments are closed for this recipe.
Bella Benedict on 5.5.2010
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Mama Jen on 3.27.2010
I love my crock pot and use it a lot, especially for recipes including dried beans. But, here’s the trick – add a rice cooker and you have dinner totally hands free. We have a 10 month old baby and I would set the slow cooker up in her morning or lunchtime nap and the rice cooker some time in the afternoon when I had 2 minutes. Dinner was DONE! Even if you work, come in , put on the rice cooker and you can get changed, set the table and have perfect rice staying warm for up to a few hours (makes it sounds like I sell the things – I don’t!). Totally worth the cupboard space.
Some kind of Wondermom on 3.26.2010
I love my crocpot! Here’s one of my fav recipes:
Maple apple pork
1 pork tenderloin
4 apples, peeled, sliced and cored
1/4 cup of real maple syrup
Toss it all in, and walk away. Yummy!
mitfordfan on 3.19.2010
I love my Crocks! All three of them! Yes, I do actually use all of them at the same time, depending on what I am cooking. I can have a main dish in one, baked potatoes in the second and a dessert in the third. All I have to do is put together a salad and a complete meal is done!
vasi on 3.3.2010
It’s amazing. I can’t wait to cook it with my brand new range cooker.
Jennifer B. on 3.2.2010
I put frozen chicken breasts in my crockpot all the time. I’ve never had a problem.
Cheri V on 3.2.2010
The last “desserty” thing I made was something we call Scotcheroo Bars. They are a yummy gooey version of Rice Krispie bars. Anytime I send a “Box from Home” to my daughter at college or to my son who just returned from Iraq, a pan of Scotcheroos is the foundation of the box. They are absolutely the EASIEST thing you can make, and they are NO BAKE! Equal parts (1 cup)corn syrup, brown sugar,boil for 1 minute, and add 1 cup peanut butter, then add 6 cups of any Rice Krispie type cereal. I usually “fourple” (quadruple) a batch and mail some off, freeze some, and “frost” the remaining pan with a mix of 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup butterscotch chips (hence the name). I actually prefer to use all chocolate chips, but the man of the house likes the butterscotch flavor. (When he and I share a bar, he takes the top half and I get the bottom…it’s OK, the bottom is SOOO gooey!)
Tonya on 3.1.2010
I LOVE my slow cooker! My only problem with it is that my son HATES food cooked in a slow cooker, he doesn’t like his food mixed together. As soon as he sees it out on the counter, he says oh I guess I’m not eating tonight. We keep having him try some things, like when I just make meat in there, he’ll sometimes try that, but not anything that has a bunch of ingredients mixed together. So he usually eats a frozen pizza or chicken nuggets. So I need more kid friendly recipes.
adventuresinwomanland on 3.1.2010
Try this in your slow cooker. Dudes will come from miles around to eat its beefy goodness.
Dinner That Practically Makes Itself: Pot Roast, Potatoes and Carrots
Better than a candle in your house.
Must get the Scent-er-net!
Gina on 3.1.2010
I don’t have a crockpot yet and I was looking online on info about what’s the best. Came across your blog through Google. Although it’s not a crockpot review site, your recipe actually convinced me to buy one. But which brand?
Btw, thanks teatimestacey for the crockpot link above, have already bookmarked it as well
Patricia on 2.28.2010
I love slow cooker cooking so much I have three of them!
robinb on 2.28.2010
I love my slow cooker(s) so much that my friends call me the crock pot queen! It’s so easy to throw everything in and just let it do it’s thing. It’s hard for me to share recipes as I literally just throw in whatever’s on hand (like chicken breasts + cream of whatever soup + carrots or chicken + a jar of salsa) and create along the way . . . If you haven’t done so yet, please try creating a fab meal using a slow cooker or two. Lots of recipes here on TK, or be brave and create your own!
Cuckoo on 2.28.2010
I love using the crockpot on Sundays. It’s so easy, just put the stuff in it in the morning, come back home from church to a nice hot meal… yummy.
It’s Sunday morning here in Germany and I’ll come home from church to a good hot pea soup…
jenweb on 2.27.2010
I love my crockpot! Super easy recipe:one pork roast (1-2lbs), 1 can ckn broth and 1 pack dry italian dressing mix; low 8-10 hrs, shred and add to a couple of jars of Classico spaghetti sauce. Yummy! Can do the same with ckn breast: 3-4 ckn breasts (don’t bother defrosting ) 1 can ckn broth and 1 pack dry italian dressing mix, low 8-10 hrs; shred chicken and mix with one package cooked egg noodles, about 1/2 stick butter and juice from crock pot (if used bone-in ckn, strain juice before adding to noodles). Kids absolutely love it.
If you have a crock pot, it is worth the time to clean off the dust and crank it up. You’ll love coming home to a hot meal that requires very little work to prepare.
Melissa on 2.27.2010
I’ve had my crockpot for years and like you, only used it once or twice a year until this past fall/winter. I’ve done soups, ribs, chili, meat sauce for pasta, etc. in it, and have a pulled chicken recipe my whole family loves that I’ve done more times than I can count. I actually just posted a braised beef recipe myself the other day: http://bit.ly/bxprIW (I served it with rice and asparagus but I think it would be absolutely over the top delicious with mashed potatoes and garlic-sauteed spinach.)
Deb Dennis on 2.27.2010
I love my crockpot, but I also love my bean pot…same principle, but you can use it in the oven or the microwave, it keeps food hot for up to 2 hours after you take it out, and if you put it in the freezer over night, you can keep cold foods chilled up to 2 hour!
It is a great addition to my crockpot!
Cheryl Stevens on 2.27.2010
I would love to have your BoeufBourguignon recipe! Since seeing the movie Julia and Julie, Ihave wanted to make it in my Dutch oven.
Thank you, Cheryl
StaCav on 2.27.2010
I, too, love my crockpot!! I use it at least twice a week – it is so easy to just add all of the ingredients and then just let it cook all day. Several years ago I received a cookbook as a gift with over 800 crockpot recipes and I have not yet made my way through the entire book! The one item that surprised me the most to cook in a crockpot is meatloaf – yes, meatloaf! When I first read the recipe, I couldn’t imagine how it would brown. But I tried it and it truely does cook perfectly. I just use my standard meatloaf recipe and just turn it on low for about 8 – 10 hours. It comes out perfectly!!
Dawn W on 2.27.2010
I use my crock pot all the time. I just got a new one that has three interchangable crocks… 3, 5, and 7 quarts each.
I always take mine on vacation with us. We always rent a beach house and it can feel like punishment to spend the day on the beach and then have to think about fixing dinner. So, I preplan our meals to include several crock pot meals that I can put in the crock and have ready when we return.
cindy on 2.27.2010
thank your for the great ideas…love the crockpot..esp in winter..again thanks a million…
Courtney on 2.27.2010
I just made the Chickpea/Tomato/Ginger/Spinach dish pictured above for the first time yesterday, and all the dinner party guests LOVED it (including yours truly!) Just wanted to pipe in with my new favorite use for the crockpot…making my own yogurt. It’s so incredibly simple. Here’s a link to my blog describing the process:
DitsyD on 2.27.2010
I make the same Mexican Chicken recipe as Martha Litson. It’s very good.
Someone said that they thought of crockpots as winter cookers; well, let me tell you, here in Texas, they make great summer cookers when I can’t bear to heat up the house with either the stove top or the oven. For me, summer is for slow cooker/grill cooking.
Lundy on 2.27.2010
My crock pot pork roasts always turn out great! A friend of mine has a book with a crock pot recipe for each day of the year, and is currently cooking through it. My life would be complete if I could make crock pot french fries.
JulieBaby on 2.27.2010
I use my crock pots all the time. My favorite trick is to use it is to cook potatoes for mashing. Peel (or not) and dice your taters, cover them with water, cook on low for a few hours. This is a huge help to me at Thanksgiving because I always have a houseful for dinner, but I always work at the library the night before. So, Wednesday morning before work, I prep the potatoes and stick ‘em in the fridge. Thanksgiving morning I plug that bad boy in bright and early. I drain and mash the potatoes and put them back into the crock pot on warm. It is such a blessing not to have to do all that at the last minute when our friends are arriving.
Martha Litson on 2.27.2010
I love my crock pots~
Our favorite crock pot meal is Mexican Chicken
4-5 boneless/skinless chicken breast (I semi thaw and chunk them in approx 2 inch cubes, but you can leave whole frozen, I just found that if I leave them whole, we only get 2 meals out of this, if I chunk them, we get 4 meals)
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans (I do not drain or rinse)
1 can ro-tel tomatoes (don’t drain)
cumin to taste (I love cumin so use approx 1 teaspoon)
garlic powder to taste (same note as above)
Option: If you have a lime hanging around, you can squeeze the lime juice in the pot too… or add a bit of the zest.
All in the pot
Cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours
Your house will smell amazing
Serve over white rice with some shredded cheese, sour cream and diced avacados.
I put the left over rice & chicken in the same storage container and serve it the next day as burritos.
Beth Arnold on 2.27.2010
The best ham EVER!!!!…Purchase a whole Butt ham…no seasonings needed… just cover the bottom of crock in water (not much) put ham in, ( If i want the ham for lunch, I usually put it on low at 3:00 a.m. in the morning) ….. that’s it… so moist, and it will fall apart…. AWESOME
Patti on 2.27.2010
I’m probably showing my age, but my first crockpot came from supermarket receipts. (Do they still do giveaways like this? Not around here!) It’s great for poorman’s food, and I think all college apartment dwellers should have one. Beans, cheap cuts of meat, etc…perfect!
One of my favorite slowcooker recipes is pork shoulder cooked with lots of crushed garlic, grated ginger, and a few jars of hoisin sauce. It’s just me and two little kids, but I freeze it after cooking in more manageable sized portions. Great with asian slaw in a tortilla!
Betsy Madison on 2.27.2010
I could not feed my family through the work week without my crockpot(s). I have 3 and sometimes have all 3 going. My favorite use is precooking chicken so I can shred it when I get home and make chicken salad, quick soups, tacos, casseroles, etc…. I cook big on the weekends and often use the crockpot on low to reheat during the week. There’s nothing like a warm meal waiting when you walk in the door.
Becky on 2.27.2010
Ican’t wait to try some of these recipes. I am always looking for recipes that enable me to have a yummy dinner on the table for the family! Thanks!
Staci on 2.27.2010
YUMMY great site thank you
Julie Schwind on 2.27.2010
I will begin planning our Easter meal soon, and will be using my 3 crock pots to make it happen! We have a long day of singing in the choir at three church services, so we will be letting our dinner cook all morning long in the crock, with a few extra refrigerated items ready to go into the oven when I get home. The easiest Easter I ever had was the year we got the two extra crocks on Freecycle and planned our first ever Crock Pot Easter!!!
robyn on 2.26.2010
I couldn’t survive without my crock pot. In fact, after 18 years of cooking, I’m on my third one! I’m a mom of a teenager and three boys under 4 so even with a home office I’m busy. (Having a teenage is work enough! Can I have a high five girlfriends?) I’m so excited to be trying a couple of these new recipes. Thank you for the Slow Cooker day!
As for leaving it all day…when I was a teacher, I would put my food in the crockpot at 630am and not get home until 5pm. I never had any problems. I understand the fear, but maybe you could set your crock pot in your sink (with the faucet turned away) to ease your fears. I always just make sure that it is sitting on a counter away from little fingers that slide along the edge looking for something to grasp, (Not my kids!) and I check to be sure that there isn’t anything touching it. (Like a plastic bread wrapper…)
As for now, I’m a stay at home mom with a home based business, and I still use my crockpot. Embrace the simplicity!
Lonna – are you adding liquid to your recipes? You mentioned that they were dry. You should add a bit of liquid (juice, water, broth, beer,etc – not milk) when cooking.
Basset Hound Lover – I frequently (usually) put all of my meat in frozen. I haven’t had any trouble.
Good Luck Fellow Kitchen Lovers!
DebraG on 2.26.2010
My family loves my Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup. The recipe is on TK. It’s super easy and great to come home to on a cold day. But, now I really want to try that Chick Pea Stew recipe. It looks divine!
Pam P on 2.25.2010
I love my crock pot and try to use it every couple of weeks. The only problem is that most recipes and braising in general, calls for a lot more food than this single gal can (or should) eat I usually pick something I can eventually freeze afterward, because no matter how good it is, I can’t eat it 3 meals a day for long!
On another note, short ribs are the perfect single person’s crock pot food. Where as you need a whole roast for pot roast (like Ree fabulously showed us on GMA this morning) I can do 4 short ribs, have two for dinner and two for leftovers and don’t get completely sick of eating them
rockymtngal on 2.25.2010
I love recipes from the slow cooker! My favorite is peach cobbler or southwest chicken. Both so easy and fabulously tasty.
teatimestacey on 2.25.2010
There is a great blog out there by a mom who cooked in a crock pot every day for a year. Over 300 recipes with a verdict on if her kids liked it & they’re all gluten free if you have allergy issues (though you don’t need to be GF to enjoy them.) Check her out at http://www.crockpot365.blogspot.com She also came out w/a cookbook the same time as Ree… No affiliation, just a fan!
kayanthony on 2.25.2010
I really love my crock pot for cooking whole chickens. I just stuff a chicken, breast side down, with some sprigs of rosemary and a couple of lemon halves and rub down the outside with ground rosemary, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper and let it cook 6-8 hours on low. It’ll make its own broth, that can be made into a great flavorful stock later.
Courtney on 2.25.2010
Oh I use my Crockpot at least 3 times a week- it’s my best kitchen friend! It’s so easy to throw in a few ingredients, and voila, dinner is ready when you get home. I definitely recommend one with a timer.
Easy, easy, easy chicken recipe:
In Crockpot, stir together one can cream of chicken soup, one can cream of mushroom soup, and one can French Onion soup. Add in 3-4 bonesless skinless chicken breasts, cover and cook on low 8 hours. Makes the yummiest gravy.
Lonna on 2.25.2010
I love my crockpot, but the last few times I have done pork chops they have been dry. They were not very good and I said I would never do them in the crockpot again. I have also had chicken that isn’t very moist. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I used to do them all the time. Any suggestions???
The WiseacreBbaker on 2.25.2010
I heart my crockpot and use it often. Love the ‘alternative’ ideas you’ve provided like mulled cider and cakes. I make bread pudding and mulled wine at Christmas. But not at the same time. Did you also know you can make jams and preserves? Keep up the good work.
Ann on 2.25.2010
I cleaned the dust off of mine just this week and have a beef stroganoff from Tasty Kitchen going in it right now! I really am going to use mine more often from now on.
TIFFV in KC on 2.25.2010
I LOVE my crocks (all 6 of them)- I use mine 2-4x a week regularly- dinner wouldnt be on the table without it! Last night was french dip, last week was lemony chicken soup, i’ve done bread boules, cakes, lots of side dishes, a million roasts…oy, I could go on! Mine is put on low with frozen meat to start for at least 10 hrs each time I use it, never had a problem in all my years of crock cooking! I have also found that lots of casserole and soup type dishes can easily be turned crockpot friendly and seriously can’t be over cooked! Can’t wait to try more of these recipes!
Sandra on 2.25.2010
Slow cookers RULE! That said, I don’t use mine nearly enough, so thanks for all the lovely recipes.
Smootens on 2.25.2010
My crockpot is cooking up pork tenderloin covered in cuban seasoning right now! and I just washed out the marinara with meatballs last night. Now that soccer season is back on we will get back to two crock pot meals a week again. LOVE my crock pot!
Rhonda on 2.25.2010
Ree, are YOU Erika?
Janet on 2.25.2010
Yes, that posole recipe is to die for! I’d never made it before and thought it sounded good. My husband just about went weak in the knees when he tasted it.
Erika (TK) on 2.25.2010
Wow! So much crock pot love here! I’m really enjoying all the recipes and tips shared in the comments here. And I’m inspired to use my crock pot even more. But first, I have to get a new one. My crock has a crack (haha … that cracks me up … haha … did it again!).
Cookin' Canuck on 2.25.2010
My crockpot has been resting for several weeks, but you have inspired me to pull it out and put it to work once again.
Thanks for featuring my chickpea recipe!
Carolina Girl on 2.25.2010
I love my crockpots!! I have 2 big ones and a small one. And there are many times that I have both big ones going at once with pork in one and mac & cheese in the other! I look forward to trying some of the crockpot recipes here on TK!!
VickiT on 2.25.2010
There’s no dust on my crockpot; or should I say crockpots. I use mine ALL the time and there are some weeks that is all I use to cook in.
I have gone for months this winter without ever using my stove or oven. Instead I’ve used my crockpot, my Nesco, or the indoor grills. I’ve actually got four different crockpots with the most recent purchase a few years ago now being my favorite one. That is also my largest one as it is a 6 quart size. Because I have two very bad knees my crockpots come in very handy at making meals easy for me to prepare. Having said that though, I really do love cooking and baking. I miss standing in my kitchen for hours making something for my family. It’s what I’m known for in our circle of friends and family. Crockpots are great for so many reasons.
I had to comment though on those recipes you have posted. I MUST make that very top one, the Posole:Pork and Hominy! That looks SO good. Even better that I think the pork shoulder may even be on sale this week for only $.99/lb. YAY! Cheap dinner too. That’s always a nice thing. I have made your Carnitas recipe in the past and it’s awesome.
Thank you for your recipes.