This Holiday Season It's Time To Use Your Slow Cooker - Here Are 12 Genius Ways
Marilyn Caylor 11/7/2016
Cooking during the holiday season can turn into a real chore. But, it doesn't have to be! While it won't cook a whole turkey for you, these amazing slow cooker tricks will make you fall in love with your crock pot all over again.
When you're preparing meals for a large crowd this holiday season, it can be a logistical nightmare trying to plan it so that everything is done cooking all at the time same.
Here's a neat little tip - you can use your slow cooker to make mashed potatoes. Plus, you can keep it warm while the turkey is still roasting in the oven!
If you want tons of flavor, brown meats before placing them in the slow cooker. If you toss raw meat into the pot, it will cook just fine. But, searing it beforehand tends to add a richer depth of flavor. If you want a super juicy roast to come out of the slow cooker, do yourself a favor and take an extra 5 minutes to sear it in a pan first!
A favorite stovetop recipe can be made in your slow cooker with this handy conversion chart. Keep in mind that for anything you cook on the stovetop, you'll need to reduce liquids by 1/2 cup, or add in 1/2 cup if the original recipe didn't have any liquids in it.
There's no need to buy a separate humidifier when a slow cooker makes a great substitute. Just fill up the pot all the way with water, and set it to HIGH. After an hour, release some of the moisture into the air and reduce the heat to LOW. Keep filling the pot with water so you have a constant supply of humid air.
The fall holiday season wouldn't be complete without hints of cinnamon and cranberries wafting through the air. You don't need artificial air fresheners or toxic candles to duplicate the yummy smell of fall. A slow cooker can do double duty as a potpourri warmer!
To make this recipe, fill your slow cooker about 3/4 of the way with water. Then add:
- sliced oranges, including peel
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teabag, berry or fruit flavor
Let this simmer all day, and refill the pot with water as needed.
Did you know a slow cooker can also make yogurt? If you eat this for breakfast or snacks on a daily basis, making your own can save you a lot of money in the long run. It's so easy to make, too! Check out all the details on this slow cooker hack from The Krazy Coupon Lady.
Your slow cooker is a perfect receptable for keeping chocolate melted. This comes in handy for baking, or for chocolate fondue dipping sauce! Bake a cookie, then dip it in chocolate. Yum!
Fill the slow cooker halfway with water and then set it to high. Fill chocolate into separate mason jars, and set it inside the pot. Once it has melted, set the cooker to low to keep it warm and gooey.
Although technically not edible, these fun DIY crayons will keep your kids off your back while you make the actual food! The amusing disc shape will keep them happy, at least until dinner is done. TP Craft has more details on how to create this kid-tastic project!
The video below shows you how to make 2 different dips in one slow cooker.
A slow cooker is one of the most versatile item you can have in your kitchen toolbox. From easy aluminum foil clean-ups to melted chocolate, slow cookers are a must-have appliance. Which tip is your favorite?