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EMELYN21 SparkPoints: (1,676)
Fitness Minutes: (1,067)
Posts: 15
2/8/13 4:00 P

I have 3 different slow cookers. 5 qt, 3 qt, and 1.5. Since there are only two of us, I use the 3 qt most often. For the best results, your slow cooker should be 2/3 full.

My favorite is to take a whole chicken, season with lemon pepper (after taking off the skin), cook on low for 8 hours. Dinner afterwards is usually the leg quarters and then I save the breasts for other recipes.

I also use a microwave steamer a lot. It's great for cooking quick meals for 1 or 2.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,411
2/8/13 3:59 P

I use mine to cook roasts, beef, lamb and pork

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/8/13 3:48 P

thanx all. this is very interesting.

SOCCERTAZ SparkPoints: (32,168)
Fitness Minutes: (22,487)
Posts: 181
2/7/13 4:26 P

I use mine to cook roast and chicken. I have even cooked desserts in it. There are plenty of cookbooks that focus on cooking in a crockpot. Also just do a quick google search for crockpot recipes. You will find a lot.

SWEDIEPIE Posts: 338
2/7/13 2:19 P

I am also a slow-cooker lover! I use it 3-4 times a week, and I always plan two meals around it, so I'm really only cooking for my family every other night.

I buy the large pork loins, divide them into thirds and freeze them. I put them into my crockpot completely frozen in the morning, turn it on low, and I have a perfectly cooked pork loin by dinner. I also throw in vegetables if I feel like it.

I've made apple butter and overnight steel cut oats. I make turkey chile and freeze half for a dinner during our busy sports season with the kids, and tomorrow during the blizzard here in New England I'll have a big crock of beef stew on.

I also use mine as a warmer if I have time to make dinner in the afternoon, but sports prevent me from putting dinner on the table- I'll cook and leave everything in the crockpot for whenever my husband and kids can get to it. (Pasta/sauce/meatballs, etc.)

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
2/7/13 1:30 P

I used to make chicken wings or turkey legs in mine. I would do huge roasts, chicken and then of course some yummy desserts.

M_MOE87 SparkPoints: (686)
Fitness Minutes: (499)
Posts: 19
2/7/13 12:26 P

I love my slow cooker! I use it a few times each week. I've learned to spray some non stick spray on the inside...makes clean up so much easier! I also have one that you can program for a certain amount of time and then when that time is keeps it on "warm". Great option!

I have this slow cooker cook book and it's awesome! I've used quite a bit of recipes from there!

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,231
2/7/13 12:17 P

I love my great big slow cooker! Used to have an old one that was a "regular" size, but I like the (newer) big one so much, I sold the old one at a yard sale. And there's only 2 of us now. Makes a ton, I can freeze lots of leftovers to use for a quick dinner especially in the summertime when I don't want to cook.

I use it a lot for turkey breasts and also large slabs of pork loin. There's a great crockpot pulled pork recipe here on Spark. I do beans as well; ditto the comment below on kidney beans. I've done the soups and stews as well. It's particularly helpful in the summertime when you don't want to heat up the whole house, just to have a hot meal. Nothing like walking into the house after a long day, and supper is ready!

I haven't tried it yet, but I've got a recipe for bread made in the crockpot. I think after we finish the loaf of wheat I made the other day (in the oven) I'll try bread in the crockpot. And no, you do not need a breadmaker. I used to have one but when it died, I didn't replace it. I prefer to do all the mixing and kneading by hand-- seems so "down to earth".

I agree with the google-ing-- you'll come up with so many ideas, you won't hardly be able to know where to start.

MZNAYLUV SparkPoints: (4,179)
Fitness Minutes: (5,811)
Posts: 83
2/7/13 11:59 A

I use my slow cooker to cook everything!! LOL!!

ARMYWIFE0703 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (10,169)
Posts: 83
2/7/13 9:27 A

I love my slow cooker, I have recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and with 3 kids and a full time job, it helps out alot.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/7/13 1:19 A

well beans are a no-go for me. the gas is painful, not comical, its hurts like hell. so thats out. but I did slow cook some chicken that turned out tender and yummy.

SPKRAUSE Posts: 543
2/2/13 12:14 P

Slow cookers are great. There are some good slow cooker cook/recipe books out there, as well, and all the suggestions given so far are great.

All sorts of tougher meats do well in a slow cooker, as do all sorts of beans and, by extension, bean dishes like chili and baked beans. The only thing to deal with concerning beans is that some beans -- especially reds/kidney -- *must* be brought to a boil for several minutes to break down some toxins, and some slow cookers won't get hot enough on their own, so first you need to boil, then transfer to the slow cooker.

What I love making is overnight steel cut oats ... on the lowest setting with chopped apple and walnuts inside.

EREBECCA SparkPoints: (4,541)
Fitness Minutes: (302)
Posts: 163
2/2/13 12:09 P

Wow - all of these sound so good.

SONICB Posts: 4,375
2/2/13 11:54 A

I looooooove my giant slowcooker. It's so useful for batch cooking and freezing leftovers for later. I have a 6.5-quart one and a smaller 1.5-quart one (for hot dips, smaller recipes, etc.). Check out for a blog by this lady who tried a new slowcooker recipe every day for a year. (She has a great sense of humor!)

Recently I've mostly been using my 6.5-quart slowcooker for split pea soup, chili, and other soups... but I have used it in the past on lasagna (with moderate success) and other pastas like mac & cheese (didn't work out so well). I've had a lot of success with chicken recipes (e.g. cacciatore), pulled pork, ribs, and pot roast--just toss whatever vegetables you want in there.

MUSCATDBQ SparkPoints: (3,450)
Fitness Minutes: (1,751)
Posts: 214
2/1/13 10:25 P

One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is taco chicken. You fill up the cooker with chicken breast (bone in or boneless, both will work, but boneless is easiest). The amount somewhat depends on the size of your cooker...I usually do around 3 pounds. Then add 1 cup water, one packet taco seasoning (I make my own equivalent to cut down on sodium), and one jar salsa. Cook for 6 or so hours. Use forks to shred the meat (and remove bones if needed) and let cook for maybe a half hour or hour more so the juices get soaked in. Not only does your house smell good, it tastes awesome too. And, it freezes supurbly for quick meals later.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/1/13 9:38 P

okay, thanx. will check it out.

also - thanx. don't meet too many other Brennas hehehe

CHEARIO Posts: 3,895
2/1/13 7:51 P

I use my Hamilton Beach for chili, stews, meat cuts (whole chickens, turkey breasts) and dry beans.

GRAMCRACKER46 Posts: 1,765
2/1/13 7:51 P

I might recommend a food steamer. You can make rice in it plus veggies etc. btw..I like your name as my granddaughter is a Brenna.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/1/13 7:13 P

okay thanx. I am thinking maybe between a slow cooker, a bigger rice cooker and a wok I should be good to go!

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
2/1/13 6:59 P

You can put pretty much anything in a slow cooker. I don't use mine much anymore, but when I did I liked to put some sliced chicken breast and a sauce (teriyaki, BBQ, etc) and serve it with freshly steamed veggies and rice. Or I would make a quick beef stew with diced beef that I browned with an onion in a pan, then transferred to the slow cooker, cover with stock and some corn starch to thicken. I liked to add in potatoes around 2 hours before serving.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/1/13 6:30 P

hmm, maybe I'll think about making spaghetti sauce with meatballz or something. thanx for the ideas.

but most definitely need a bigger cooker.

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
2/1/13 5:52 P

Google "healthy slow cooker" and you'll get thousands of ideas. I've used mine a lot to make compotes and fruit butters with fruit that's getting over-ripe and would go to waste. You can use a slow cooker for homemade yogurt. (Although there are easier ways IMO.) It's probably the best way to cook dried beans, which are also a great money saver. Really, there's no end to what you can make with a cook slow cooker, so investigate websites and cookbooks and have fun!

KSUGIRL93 SparkPoints: (26,879)
Fitness Minutes: (20,835)
Posts: 85
2/1/13 3:55 P

I use the heck out of my slow cooker! Mostly for slow cooking meats (roasts & large amounts of chicken or stew meat) and dry bean recipes. If you donot have one I would strongly suggest getting on. The thing Ilike best about my current one is that if I set it for 6 hours and I do not get home for 7 it stops cooking on low or high after 6 hours and goes into a keep warm mode. I have long work commute and this is huge for me. It means the food is cooked correctly and it is done when I get home so I have time for the gym. Really a great kitchen tool!

2/1/13 3:32 P

Soups are good, but our favorite thing to make is SO easy...I first line the slow cooker with one of those liner bags so I don't have to scrub the thing at all. Yes, I can be lazy...but I think slow cooking and being lazy are buddies. After I use the liner, I put plain chicken breasts in. Then I pour water over them until their covered. Turn on Low for 6 hours. Done.

Yes, there is no seasoning, but it's cooked chicken that we can use in a zillion different meals with any seasoning we want. The chicken stays very moist. I prefer water because it has no added sodium like stock/broth does.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,504)
Fitness Minutes: (72,489)
Posts: 2,075
2/1/13 3:24 P

I am thinking of getting a big slow cooker. so I'm thinking what do you guys use to cook in your slow cooker?

is it only for chili, soups adn stews? do you use it for more than that.

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