If there was ever a secret weapon in the kitchen, your trusty slow cooker is it. With its ability to transform tough, often cheaper meats into tender, fall-apart mains of greatness, it’s no wonder that this hands-off cooking vessel is a wintertime staple. The key to using a slow cooker to its utmost potential is setting it all up in the morning, letting it do its thing and coming home later to a full-fledged, perfectly executed meal. Simply clear some space on your countertop, prep your ingredients and crank on that slow heat for delicately cooked, no-fork-necessary preparations for pork, beef, chicken and turkey.
Ingredients like brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, paprika and tomato paste make Food Network Magazine’s Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches the easiest way to get the coleslaw-topped sandwich favorite even in the dead of winter. Cooked low and slow for hours on end, pork shoulder gains all the quintessentially smoky vibes of barbecue without ever entering an actual smoker. For more takes on slow-cooker pork, pile it into tortillas for Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos or make your own slowly cooked meat for homemade Cuban sandwiches.