The slow cooker is truly a gift from God! It allows you to multitask while it works at slowly heating and melding flavors together. If I were to go through college again knowing what I know now, I would have used the crock-pot for almost all of my cooking.
We often think the only things the crock-pot is good for is making soups, stews, chillies, and roasts. In honor of the last week of 2012, I thought I would post 12 unusual foods to consider making in the crock-pot. These foods are totally worth trying in the slow cooker. And in a lot of cases, in my humble opinion, they are easier to make in the crock-pot.
So as 2012 whittles away and we enter the new year, you may want to consider making some of these 12 foods in the slow cooker.
With slow cooker apple sauce, instead of mashing the apples, lots of stirring and standing over a hot stove, you just stir the apples when they are soften to your likeness, and within a minute you end up with a naturally sweet treat.
3. Crock-Pot Steel Cut Oats RecipeSteel cut oats are sturdy and do very well in the crock-pot over night. The beauty of this recipe is that as you sleep, breakfast is being made for you, and when you are ready to eat, there it is!
Some people may have scoffed at this idea , but you really can make a great risotto in the crock-pot. Plus, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, that you don’t have to stand over the hot stove, stirring and stirring and stirring until it’s done. This recipe is so tasty and is a time saver!!!
I especially love this recipe in the hot summer months when I don’t want to keep opening and closing my oven to stir the granola. I now make my oatmeal granola almost exclusively in the crock-pot too, because it also cuts out the part about cleaning an extra bowl. I mix a double batch of the ingredients in the crock-pot and then cook it, so I only have one dish to clean. Efficient, effective, and almost effortless. Love it!
Red Robin is the kids’ restaurant of choice, so we go there about three times a year since we have three kids. It’s a special treat to go, so we don’t eat their fries too often. We make our own instead!
7. Crock-Pot Corn on the CobCorn on the cob can totally be cooked in the slow cooker! Can you believe it? And it turns out great!! As I am writing this now (in October), my girls just finished shucking a wad of corn, and now I am going to prepare it for the crock-pot to cook tomorrow while I am at church to bring to a potluck. The interest in this post surprised me, as people must have been “googling” “crock-pot corn on the cob” on the internet a lot this summer.
Did you know you can use regular uncooked lasagna noodles (that aren’t even designated as no cook noodles) and put them in the crock-pot, and when the crock-pot lasagna is done, the noodles are perfectly cooked?? Have you ever used the no boil noodles? They are kind of strange, thin and disintegrate easily. I love that making the lasagna in the crock-pot saves the step of boiling and handling the hot noodles! I learned this idea a few years ago when my awesome friend, Jolie, brought a crock-pot lasagna to a potluck.
I’ll be honest with you; I do prefer oven-baked breads, but the point is, you can cook a bread in the crock-pot. It’s great when your oven is otherwise occupied or it’s just plain too hot in your house to bake in the oven. ***Updated 9/25/13: Now I don’t have a preference taste-wise. It’s great and more frugal to make in the crock-pot.
We have had four successful years cooking a turkey in the crock-pot at Thanksgiving. The first year I thought about doing it, I had made so many whole chickens, it just seemed like a natural extension to do the same thing with a turkey. It was an immense success, so moist and tender! Even if you get a big bird, you can ask the butcher to cut it into sections to put in your crock-pot. I used a seven quart crock-pot and a smaller bird, so I have never had my turkey cut professionally. I always bake another turkey in the oven while my crock-pot is going so I can end up with lots of leftovers for my family and extended family.
I pretty much have this on hand all of the time. The first time I made crock-pot yogurt, I felt like I was doing a science experiment to see if this would actually work. Would milk actually turn into yogurt with a little heat, a little yogurt start, and a little time? Yes!!! Plus this recipe saves SO MUCH MONEY!!! For the cost of a half gallon and may be 4 ounces of yogurt, you can have two quarts of yogurt!!!
By far this ended up being the most popular post on our blog this year, surprisingly being pinned thousands of times. I, feeling fluent in crock-pot, didn’t even try to make real bread in the slow cooker until this past summer. I am so shocked at how amazingly well it turns out. I have made the same recipe in my 2 quart and my 7 quart slow cookers. It’s flatter in my 7 quart, but it still works. I like making bread in the crock-pot when it is too hot in the house to use the oven.
What are some foods that you make in the crock-pot that might be considered odd?
Have you ever done crock-pot freezer cooking? Here are 10 meals for $5.64 each.
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