It surely sounds like an odd thing to write about, but every time I make dinner in my crock pot, I get so happy ’cause it’s so easy. I keep telling myself to write about why I love my slow cooker and I never do it, so finally, here goes.
When I was a young bride, I got a crock pot as a wedding gift. (I don’t remember the brand for sure, but I think it was the original Crock Pot.) What I do remember is that it was that 70’s brown or orange, and it didn’t have a ceramic pot that lifted out…it was all one unit and had one heat setting. I loved cooking in it, but it was seriously a pain to clean…you had to fill it with water and soak it, and you had to be careful when washing it out in the sink not to get the cord part wet. I don’t believe it could even shut itself off.
Smart Slow Cookers
Unlike the 1976 version, the slow cooker I have now is the perfect union of simple technology and sensible design. It’s a Rival Crock Pot, and I’ve had it for a few years now (you can find a similar one here). Mine has two settings…the setting for low is 4-6 hours and high goes for 8 -10 hours. Some of the things I love about using a slow cooker:
- I like the size of this particular slow cooker. It is an oval shape, which means that it fits all types of poultry and meats. I can really put a lot of what I want in there.
- Stays warm once it shuts off.
- One of my favorite things about the slow cooker is the liners you can get now. I use the Reynolds slow cooker bags…they fit perfectly, and cleanup is so easy it’s ridiculous. If you have not tried these, I would urge you to give ’em a go. Dinner doesn’t get easier than that!
- Easy to clean, attractive on the counter.
Why Use A Slow Cooker?
There are so many benefits to cooking in a slow cooker. in addition to the obvious – the convenience – when you cook in a slow cooker, you can save time, money, and eat healthy.
Because they cook your food slowly over a long period of time, you can use less expensive cuts of meat that will turn out tender and delicious! Crockpots provide a one pot dinner, which means that everything is ready when you get home, with minimal mess. I love to use my slow cooker in the winter because I love to cook hearty meals when it’s cold, but in the summer same holds true…it doesn’t heat up my house!
(Learn a bit more about the nutritional benefits of your slow cooker here: Turn Up the Slow Cooking Heat for Health)
Need Great Slow Cooker Recipes?
When it comes to finding great recipes for your slow cooker, there is no end to the types of things you can prepare! Appetizers, meats, dinners, soups, bread, you name it. The only limit is your imagination. Sometimes it seems like there are so many options you just don’t know where to start. One of my favorite is a whole chicken… I put it in the crockpot on top of a small trivet well seasoned and let it cook. amazing. once you get the hang of it you’ll never give it up, but here are a few cookbooks if you want to get started with some tried and true recipes:
- I like this dinner for two: Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook for Two: 100 “Fix-and-Forget” Recipes for Ready-to-Eat Meals
- This is a very popular one: Fix-It and Forget-It Slow Cooker Champion Recipes: 450 of Our Very Best Recipes
- Gourmet, anyone? The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World
- Homecooked goodness: Taste of Home Slow Cooker: 431 Hot & Hearty Classics
- Vegetarian: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free Recipes
Chicken In The Crock Pot: Recipe Tip
I love to cook a whole chicken in my crockpot! One of my favorite spices in the Saratoga Spicery Greek Blend. It’s so good… Just rub it on your chickens before you put it in the crockpot, and it cooks up delicious and savory. There is nothing in this world like coming home to a delicious roasted chicken, and the house smells like heaven. Happy crocking!