Slow Cooking & Kitchen Efficiency

Yesterday we talked about ways to be more efficient in the kitchen. Efficiency, I clarified, as being tasty and nutritious results without a lot of waste. One of the ways that I save time in the kitchen is by using the slow cooker.

Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

One of the things that I love about a slow cooker is that you can do your prep work in the morning and then not have to spend much time or thought about dinner later in the day when tummies are starting to rumble. Sure, there might be some last minute futzing, but generally speaking, you’re good to go.

Currently, I own three different sized slow cookers that I use on a weekly basis. And during a freezer cooking session, I always have at least one, if not two Crockpots, going at the same time. (Yes, mine really are Crockpots.)

I find that by using the slow cooker, I have delegated a large portion of the meal prep to one of my kitchen “servants” and I can spend the time on something else. I particularly appreciate the slow cooker for braising large cuts of meats, like these:

Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

 

Chicken in the (Crock)pot

Slowcooked Ham

And the slow cooker is great for making broth with the drippings. Simply get it going as soon as dinner is done and let it simmer all night. Beautiful broth when you wake in the morning.

Talk about efficiency! The slow cooker does the work for you!

What do YOU like to make in the slow cooker?

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Comments

  1. I don’t think I could live without my slow cooker. One of my favorites right now is a venison (or beef) stroganoff. It cooks all day with condensed soup, then you stir in cream cheese and sour cream at the end. It’s a kid-approved, no-fail recipe that also doesn’t require much work on my end to prep. Can’t beat that!

  2. I use my slow cooker for country style pork ribs and roast beef.

  3. I’ve already got my slow cooker going this morning. I put in some country ribs w/ BBQ sauce to have with Texas toast and corn on the cob tonight. Should be good! : ) I plan to cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker next week using your instructions. Thank you!

  4. Deborah Jennings says:

    I use mine for beef tips. I use whatever beef is on sale. Cut it up to where it is like stew meat. You put that in the crock pot and mix up 2 cups of brown gravy mix. Pour this on top and cook on low 6-8 hours or high for about 4 hours. I serve this with rice and have a vegetable or salad on the side. It is so good!

    I also use my crock port for beans and soups and stews and so much more. In fact, I just got another one yesterday. =) Love them!

  5. Best thing ever for those nights with choir practices or games/practices. I’ve learned how to fix beans and double the batches and freeze my beans…no more canned beans! Last night we had homemade bbq baked beans in the crockpot. It made enough for last night plus 4 packages for the freezer!

  6. Since I have VERY little ones, I use all of my slow cookers to do my freezer cooking easily. I make my spaghetti/pizza sauce in my 6qt slow cooker and then divide it out and freeze …. Make EVERY soup in the crockpot, doubling the recipe so I can freeze at least half.

    I would marry my slow cooker if I could!

  7. I use my slow cooker every Sunday. Plus it is wonderful to use in the hot months. Don;t want to turn the oven on and can have a hot meal still. LOVE it!

  8. My kids call my slow cooker the bean pot because that’s what we cook in it most often. It also makes a great way to make soup or cook a pot roast, as you said. I need some kid friendly slow cooker recipes, because I think that is one tool they will definitely want to take with them and know how to use when they leave home!

  9. I want to get better at using my crockpot. I make beans and chili in it, but other than that is sets on my shelf. All of the old crockpot recipes I inherited relied on canned soups and such. Since I no longer cook that way, I’m a bit at a loss. I look forward to learning some new crockpot recipes.

  10. My current 2 favorite recipes are both from Rick Bayless’s “Mexican Everyday”: Yucatecan Pork and Chicken Veracruzana. Absolutely fabulous Mexican food, easy to throw together, and it smells delicious all day while it’s cooking. I used to use it mostly for cooking beans, but since I got a pressure cooker, I tend to use that for beans instead since it doesn’t require so much forethought and I think it uses less energy.

  11. I use it for the things above–chili, soup, chicken, etc. Also, I like to use it as Jessica mentioned, to prepare meat ahead of the meal assembly. For me, that mostly means chicken or steak with a cup or so of mild salsa, cooking on low. I use that for burritos or “oven fried” chimichangas from Home-Ec 101.com hours later. The beef is very good, but the chicken is much quicker. Today I am using an easy recipe–chicken breasts, potatoes cut up, carrots with chicken gravy mixed in. I used chicken gravy I made from slow cooker whole chicken pan juices that I had frozen.

  12. LOVE my slow cooker, and now LOVING my new pressure cooker. It is another way to improve my time efficiency in the kitchen.

    Here’s my whole chicken recipe for either slow cooker or pressure cooker.
    http://randomrecycling.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-cook-whole-chicken.html

  13. Just made turkey breast, cooked all day, took it out, drained fat( reserve the broth), shred the meat, add gravy or cream of chicken soup. Hot turkey sandwiches…. So delish!!

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