Slow Cooking Saves Time in the Kitchen

Make your slow cooker do the work for you! It will save you much time in the kitchen.

Slow Cooking Saves Time

When I was a newlywed (circa 1994), slow cookers were not cool. They were the small kitchen appliances that grammas used or that gathered dust on the shelf. They had weird, outdated illustrations on the side. They often came in colors like orange, avocado, and brown.

Yes, even in the 90’s.

But, something happened over the last 20 years. Folks realized what a boon it was to have someone babysit dinner so that you didn’t have to. Home cooks realized that braises and other preparations did very well in the slow cooker. Recipe developers started getting creative in how to use the slow cooker.

And voila! The slow cooker is hip once again. And it’s lost its 1970s color scheme.

A slow cooker can save you time in the kitchen.

It sounds odd that something SLOW could save you time, but it does. It does work for you while you do something else.

Using a slow cooker can save you loads of time in the kitchen, namely because the recipes that favor this method of cooking are fairly easy to assemble and can be left alone. That is the beauty of them. Spend 10 to 20 minutes prepping things for the crock and then walk away.

Just walk away.

slow cooker enchiladas

Here are some of our favorite slow cooker recipes:

365 slow cookerIf you’re hooked on slow cooking, you might want to check out my friend Stephanie’s new cookbook, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers. I was sent a digital galley to review, but I also paged through it at Barnes and Noble recently. It’s a great collection of slow cooker recipes that will last you. all. year. long. No repeats for a year! Go check it out on Amazon.

Do YOU make good use of your slow cooker?

Kitchen Time Savers series | Life as MOMThis post is part of the Kitchen Time Savers series. You can follow along this month as we explore lots of ways to make more efficient use of our time in the kitchen.

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Disclosure: This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.

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Comments

  1. I’ve been on a slow cooking kick recently. In a two-week period, I have used/will use my slow cooker to make the following:
    applesauce (twice)
    baked potatoes
    whole roasted chicken
    chicken stock
    veggie stock
    chili
    pot roast
    brussels sprouts
    sticky chicken drumsticks

    I think it’s saved us money on cooking with gas, for sure. Last month’s PG&E bill was $16! (That’s only for a small apartment, yes, but usually it’s around $21 if I’m using the stove and oven normally.)

  2. What is that fancy slow cooker sitting on your counter? I’m in the market for a new one, unfortunately, and I’m worried that the newer ones cook too hot.

    • That is a Ninja cooking system I was sent to try out. I’ve not used it often enough to know how well I like it. Liquid seems to evaporate more quickly from it than traditional slow cookers.

    • Brandette W. says:

      Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing Ellen. I wondered what slow cooker that was, I hadn’t seen it before. I researched it some on bed, bath and beyond. It is quite expensive at over $150 and seems a little complicated. I am not sure I would use any of the other functions other than slow cooking.

      With that being said, I recently bought 2 new 6qt Hamilton Beach’s that I absolutely LOVE LOVE! The first one was a Christmas gift from my husband. It is the one that has the metal crock insert, just like the Ninja does. This one is my favorite. It cooks hot, which I really like. The metal insert insures I won’t have any cracked crock inserts again, that has happened a few times to me and it is so very sad when it does. Every single thing I cook in it comes out fantastic and I never have any doubt it will be done and cooked through. I use mine at least once per week, often it is 3 times. I make soups, marinara sauce, chicken, enchiladas, no-boil pasta/lasagne, chili, pinto beans, bulk ground beef, so may things!

      I also bought the Set it and Forget model. It comes with an insertable cooking probe for meats and roasts. I love this one too because it cooks exactly like my other. I often times need 2 cooking at one time, so I opt’d to get another Hamilton Beach since I was so very pleased with the first one. Sometimes I have the first one cooking our meat, while the second is cooking baked potatoes. Works so well our little family!

      I have had many Crockpot & a Cuisinart brand slow cooker and never really liked them, not nearly as well as I like the HB ones I have now. The Cuisinart was the worst of all, it never ever got hot enough. My real clue that this thing was a piece of junk was when I tried cooking a batch of pinto beans and they never ever cooked to soft. I returned it to BBB and bought the second HB one with the credit. Not to mention that both HB ones were very reasonably priced, even better with the BBB 20% coupon.

      • My mom is trying to talk me into getting the one with the probe. What do you think? She thinks it will keep me from ending up with dried out roasts. Do you use it much?

        • Brandette W. says:

          I do and I LOVE it! You insert the probe and can set the temperature for the specific meat you are cooking, ie: whole chicken vs a beef roast. When the meat reaches desired temperature, the cooker switches to warm automatically. It is simply brilliant! I also love that the Set it and Forget in model (I have #33967) comes with a big spoon that latches on top of the lid, it also has a thick rubber gasket around the lid with large metal clamps so the lid can be securely clamped down. This allows it to be easily transported without fear that things like soup or chili will spill all over your car. Between the latches and the gasket this thing is really really leak proof.

          I also like to buy things that are quality without spending a fortune (I am a SAHM to our young son so we live on my husband’s income alone!) Both of the slow cookers are very well made and sturdy. I like that a lot, because I feel with careful washing and storage, these will last many a long time even with my frequent use of them!

          I seriously can not rave or recommend them enough. By far one of my favorite kitchen appliances, behind my Zojirushi and Vitamix for sure!! Here’s the link for the Set it and Forget It one I have: http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/all-slow-cookers-set-n-forget-6-qt-programmable-slow-cooker-with-spoonlid-33967.html

          And just in case, here is the link for the one with the metal insert I also have and LOVE: http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/all-slow-cookers-6-quart-programmable-stovetop-slow-cooker-33567.html

          If you have any other questions, let me know.

          • genabear@gmail.com says:

            I have the one with the probe and I am thinking about replacing it. It cooks too hot. To keep food from drying out, I have to put foil between the lid and the top of the crock. I also have to cook on low and about 2 hours less than the recipe calls for. I think the warm cycle on mine ruins hot, too be honest.

            Every thing I’ve heard days that this HB model is great. I’d recommend using a new one a few times while you are in your return window just in case.

  3. Actually the 1970’s colors are actually back :) I bought a small crockpot last year that was brown with owls on it in orange and yellow. I loved it because it looked like something from the 70’s.

  4. Kelly Hess says:

    Yes!! I always have crock pot Monday’s at our house. I normally have extra time on Sunday night so I cook 2 meals one for Sunday night and then do the prep work and get everything in the crock pot for Monday morning. Mondays are hard enough, it is so much better knowing dinner is taken care of!

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