During summer’s hottest days, you might think it best to stash the slow cooker away until fall’s cooler temperatures have you craving slow-simmered stews and braises again. But it’s time to rethink your kitchen equipment! It turns out that there’s nothing better for summer’s lazy days and high temperatures than your trusty slow cooker. Here are six easy, make-ahead recipes that don’t require turning on the stove.
Tag: slow cooker
It’s July. It’s steamy. You’re likely sweating. And yet tonight’s dinner still has to be made. Instead of cranking on the stove and making your kitchen and home only more sweltering, skip the range altogether and opt for a stove-free supper. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts showed off new ways to enjoy a Stove-Free Summer, including one machine that will save the day come dinnertime: the slow cooker. Thanks to this do-the-work-for-you device, you can set and forget many of the same items you’d otherwise watch over on the stove. And best of all, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen. Check out two ways to prep mussels right in the slow cooker for simple weeknight cooking.
Your family may have its share of Easter Sunday traditions that make you itch with excitement year after year: tearing open the Easter baskets, hunting for eggs in the yard and spending some quality time together. But, odds are, you aren’t so tied to the work it takes to put on the annual holiday meal. This Easter, ease up on prep (and make space in your oven) with our fleet of family-favorite slow-cooker recipes, tailor-made for your Easter menu.
Bet you didn’t think you could cook your Easter ham without an oven. This super-convenient technique easily produces a juicy and tender ham, while a tangy-sweet sauce of apricot jam, Dijon mustard and brown sugar brings on sweetness and shine.
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.
The beauty of a slow cooker is obvious: It does all the work while you ignore the thing for hours at a time! But for those of us with small kids underfoot, there’s an even smarter strategy to take advantage of: If you assemble your ingredients ahead of time (say at night while the rascals are sleeping), you can simply dump it all together in the morning. When the kids are up again, and it’s the end of your day, or soccer practice is over (whichever comes first), one of these kid-friendly dishes will be ready for dinner when you are.
Pulled Pork 3 Ways: With just a few spices, this pork cooks in its own delicious juices all day long. Then it’s ready to become not one but as many as three dinners! Slather on a bit of BBQ sauce and serve it over rolls, scoop it up (along with lots of that juice) and place it on top of rice along with crunchy diced apples or use it for Food Network Magazine’s pork tacos (pictured above) topped with mango, queso fresco and avocado.
If you haven’t dusted off your slow cooker just yet, there’s no time like the present. With the colder temps setting in, this most-trusty kitchen device should be back in your arsenal for the coming months, for slow-cooked, pull-apart meats, as well as hands-off dinners and all other takes on low-maintenance meal prep. These are the meals that should hit your slow cooker first now that summer is over.
Just because barbecue season is ending doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the tender, smoky goodness year round. Rely on Trisha Yearwood’s Slow-Cooker Georgia Pulled Pork Barbecue in the coming months by topping bone-in pork roast with homemade barbecue sauce. Just cook it low and slow until dinnertime.
You know all about the perks of setting it and forgetting it, but are you aware of your slow cooker’s secret powers? Beyond the game-changing greatness of slow-cooked meaty chilis, beef stews and more, this most trusty appliance has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its ability to cook dinner while you’re away at work, check out a few surprising things you can make using the slow cooker’s gentle heat.
Instead of standing over the stove or turning to the microwave for your early morning oatmeal fix, go for Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal (pictured above). Before you turn in for the night, combine steel cut oats, dried cranberries, dried figs and some liquid in the slow cooker and, come morning, you’ll have a bowl of perfectly cooked oatmeal waiting for you.
Yep, you read that right. When you’ve got multiple dishes in the works for a party, the trusty slow cooker has your back. It frees up oven and stove space, and its low-and-slow cooking method will bring out the best in meatballs, spiced nuts, sticky pudding and even hot chocolate. For a retro touch, you could even serve these genius party dishes from Food Network Kitchen straight out of your appliance. Read more
Opening the door on a cold night and being greeted by the inviting smells of stew from a slow cooker can be a dream come true. But winter is not the only time a slow cooker is useful. In the summer, using a slow cooker avoids heat from a hot oven — and it takes less electricity. Slow cookers are a modern mom’s favorite weeknight helper. Some chefs peer down their nose at them, but there are so many recipes that are updated for today’s farmers-market sensibilities and farm-to-table tastes, proving that using a slow cooker doesn’t automatically involve also using a can opener! Read more
I’ll admit it: I’m late to the slow-cooker party. But in my defense, I could never seem to find a slow-cooker recipe that doesn’t involve a packet of onion soup mix, gravy mix or can of soup — until now. Behold, five delicious, real-food dinner recipes that politely cook themselves over the course of an afternoon. Now that’s something to celebrate.
A vegetarian dish that’s as healthy as it is hearty? We’re sold on this one (pictured above) full of carrots, cremini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.
As a mom of four small kids, I like meals that are simple, inexpensive and versatile. That’s why this one is a staple in our house. Any cut of pork will do, and slathering it with a mustard-based sauce before cooking gives it just the right amount of flavor. Add BBQ sauce, use it for tacos, sandwiches or whatever you (and the kids) like.